Curriculum and Class Topics

During the Foundation Stage the curriculum is divided into 7 areas of learning and development. These comprise of 3 Prime Areas – communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development. There are also 4 specific areas through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied – literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts & design.

From Year 1, as the children become ready, they begin to access the National Curriculum. This was introduced following the Education Reform Act 1988 and is for all children aged between 5 and sixteen in local authority maintained schools in England and Wales. The National Curriculum consists of eleven subjects and RE which all children will study at school.
The core National Curriculum subjects are : Maths, English, Science. The foundation subjects are : Design and Technology, Music, History, Art and Design, Geography, Physical Education, Languages, Computing.

From Year 3 the children will follow the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum. ICT is an integral part of all curriculum areas. We are well resourced in this area with interactive whiteboards in each classroom, an ICT suite and a class set of laptops. French is taught in KS2.

You will be sent information at the start of each term that tells you what your child will be learning about. The curriculum is arranged to follow a theme that is carefully chosen to meet the needs of the pupils, to cover the legal requirements of the National Curriculum and to try to inspire and excite the children and to promote independent learning. The themes are planned through six areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication, Language and Literacy
  • Creative Development
  • Physical Development
  • Knowledge and Understanding of the World
  • Mathematical Development

The staff at Farway believe that the curriculum should be relevant, fun and exciting for all learners. We know that children learn best when they are actively engaged with activities which are practical and take into account the different ways in which children learn and their individual strengths, talents and ways of thinking.

Great emphasis is placed on the pupils developing basic skills in reading, writing and maths but also on learning those key skills of working with others, problem solving, improving their own performance and communication. We use the language of Growth Mindsets and 7Cs (Confidence, Curiosity, Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, Commitment and Craftsmenship) to develop the children’s learning behaviours.

Continuity and progression is built in to the planning. Differentiated approaches to delivery of the curriculum cater for the varying abilities of children. Teachers use a variety of methods including class lessons, group activities and individual tasks. Whenever possible we try to arrange a visit or visitors to school to help the understanding of the theme and to allow the children to really enjoy learning.
The teaching of reading and phonics

Phonics is taught in daily sessions predominantly through the use of ‘Phonics Play’, a vibrant and interactive online phonics resource that the children fully engage with. The programme follows the recommendations of the Letters and Sounds scheme. The structure of each session is as follows:

  • Revise prior learning
  • Teach new learning
  • Practise new learning
  • Apply new learning in different contexts
  • Assess – we make daily assessment notes on planning sheets to support future teaching and planning

‘Phonics Play’ starts with teaching the children early single letter- sound correspondence, through a range of colourful and stimulating games and activities. It then progresses on to help them build a more in depth knowledge of vowel digraphs and trigraphs e.g. /ai/ea/igh.

During each session the children are able to use their phonics knowledge to read and write single words, captions and sentences. The sessions also provide opportunities for the children to identify and play around with sounds and words through e.g. rhyme and alliteration.

As part of the ‘Phonics Play’ programme the children also learn whole word recognition of common words, significant names and the phonically irregular ‘tricky words’ as identified in Letters and Sounds.

We also have a variety of attractive and appealing multi-sensory phonics resources that we use to support the teaching of phonics. These resources are out and available for the children to use and explore during their free choice time to help them consolidate and extend their learning.

Outside of the daily phonics session, the children practise their reading skills through: reading a text together as a class during lessons; Guided Reading sessions in small groups; reading one to one with an adult when possible; paired reading with another child from class 1 and their individual reading books for home reading. The children also enjoy choosing their daily stories with the class teacher which are often related to the termly topic or the children’s individual interests. Children are encouraged to bring books that they like reading to share with the class.

Home reading books are selected from our graded reading scheme each stage of which includes fiction and non-fiction titles from a variety of publishers including Oxford Reading Tree, Project X Origins and Phonics Bugs. The children also have access to our school library where they can select a book to take home and share with their family.

For more information relating to the Curriculum please speak to Mrs Katie Gray, Executive Headteacher.

Topics and Plans