The school’s aim is to nurture, motivate, inspire and challenge children in their learning, so that the nursery is a place where fascination, creativity and endless possibilities for learning are at the core of what we do and as such children learn clear dispositions, concepts, knowledge and skills and are firmly ready for the next stage of their educational phase.
Implementation: How we are going to implement our curriculum
Our implementation of our curriculum is based on a clear pedagogical platform which recognises key principles and characteristics of effective teaching and learning.
Key principles are:
- every child is a unique child; we focus on using children’s interests to effectively move them on in their learning combined with a clear recognition of different learning styles.
- children learn through positive relationships and enabling environments which engages parents/carers as partners in young children’s learning. We have a key person approach, recognising an engaging environment is one that promotes both challenge and independence with effective interactions which facilitates children to progress rapidly in their learning be it a skill, knowledge, disposition or concept.
Key characteristics of effective teaching and learning : How we implement such characteristics
Playing and exploring – engagement
- Focus on hands on concrete learning experiences over a period of time; which enables children to sustain and extend their learning be it: knowledge, skills, dispositions and concepts.
- Daily evaluations of learning that focuses on building on the learning: (knowledge –what we want children to know; skills-what we want children to be able to do; dispositions-behaviour we want children to display; and concepts-what we want children to understand).
- High quality training : staff meetings focusing on video reflection of teaching and learning
- Focus on thinking language: staff focus on using limited questions which promote thinking. I wonder, what do you think, that looks interesting, have you noticed……. Additionally, promoting children’s ability to reflect, for example this term children were involved in creating a large car (that they could actually sit in) and focused on seeing how they can improve their car, its speed, its safety.
Active learning – motivation
This term (Autumn Term 2019) children have been involved in an extensive range of learning experiences that has enabled children to develop their depth learning. Such learning has included the following:
- Designing and building through creating a car.
- Creating a narrative through both super hero play and the creation of spooky stories.
- Understanding measurement through finding out how tall one of our trees is our garden to weighing and ordering a number of pumpkins.
- Knowing how to sculpt with clay.
- Working collaboratively.
- Writing for a purpose such creating a sign for our café.
- Knowing to jump, balance and have an understanding about healthy foods.
- Understanding the need for learning how to plan, design, build and reflect. Through such concrete learning experiences, children are able to understand what a design is and know how to use tools safely and effectively.
See the Headteacher’s blog for a more extensive understanding of depth and breadth of curricular coverage.
Creating and thinking critically – thinking
At Wentworth we use open ended questions and pondering language to enhancing children’s thinking skills and ability to reflect. For example children this term were involved in exploring the concept of heavy, light and lighter through weighing an assortment of pumpkins (lifting, feeling, rolling and ultimately using a weighing scale). Some children moved onto to order the pumpkins from heaviest to lightest.
The school consequently uses a range of tools and strategies to ensure the curriculum is robust these include:
- Systematic evaluations of learning including reviewing of support plans for all our children with SEND, end of day evaluations which clearly looks at what the learning is and how it will be developed, with a clear focus on specific children as well as evaluation of child initiated play.
- A multi-disciplinary approach including the engagement with a Speech and Language
- An evidence based approach to teaching including the use of communicative strategies to enhance language development including the utilisation of Lego Therapy (promoting interaction), Out and about (development of language and self esteem) and PECS (picture exchange System); to develop children’s ability to make choices.
- implementation of the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS & ECERS E) and the Infant and Toddlers Environmental Rating Scale (ITERS ) as well as utilising the Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Well-being scale (SSTEW scales). The audit in June 2019 achieved a score of 6.5 (within the region of good to Excellent: good is a score of 5 and excellent a score of 7; the national average is 4.3)
- learning walks (clear cycle of learning walks, which rapidly addresses areas for development as well as highlighting strengths). See learning walks Autumn Term 2019.
- SIP (School Improvement visits). Annual report May 2019.
- Moderation visits (next moderation visit with Hackney schools is Spring term 2020)
- High quality training (staff have received training on Science which has illustrated staff being more confident and knowledgeable in their practice). 88% of our evaluation of the Science training noted it being highly effective in developing their practice and 100% noted it having a direct impact on children’s learning.
- Research (an enquiry approach to learning); see research on drumming.
- Training delivered to other schools and settings (which enables us to reflect on our practice)
Through such tools the curriculum provides a balance between engaging in adult directed learning and in child initiated play (development of turn taking, using one’s imagination, working collaboratively, making sense of their world). The learning environments are designed at Wentworth Nursery School to facilitate independence, autonomy and challenge. Consequently in all areas of learning; resources, (there is a high emphasis on books/literature) are available to the children that promote: independence, challenge and motivation for learning, coupled with highly trained practitioners to move learning on through the skilful intervention including the modelling of high aspirational language, (including thinking language: I wonder, what do you think), which is re-visited over a period of time.
At Wentworth we recognise children learn at different rates and in different ways consequently we plan individual learning priorities for each child, based on their interests and curriculum entitlement with a clear focus on developing children’s self regulation in part supported by a key-worker system.
Through the above application of the characteristics to effective teaching and learning we follow and go beyond the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which provides ambitious expectations of our children.
The EYFS curriculum is made up of the following areas of learning:
The first three are known as the Prime Areas of Learning:
- Personal Social and Emotional Development
- Nurturing a fascination of learning; so children are keen to learn and persevere.
- Understanding right from wrong; so children are able to adhere to boundaries and respect others.
- Working collaboratively; so children can take turns and negotiate with others
- Being able to make choices and sustain concentration.
- Respecting and valuing others.
- Addressing my personal needs so children can be independent learners.
- Communication and Language Development
- Speaking/communicating in standard English; so children communicate their thoughts clearly, in sentences and use adventurous vocabulary.
- Listening and responding where children understand the concepts of conversation and how to engage with books and stories.
- Use of gestures/signs to communicate needs and wants
- Express ideas so children use sentences and connectives such as because.
- Engaging in gross motor movements: that enable us to climb, jump, balance, throw and catch
- Engaging in cardio vascular experiences: that enables us to know the impact on exercise on our bodies.
- Engaging in measured risk taking : that enables us to assess, think and problem solve
- Engaging in fine motor movements so to be able to use clay, play dough, and range of writing tools e.g pens, pencils, paint brushes effectively including the use of a pincer grip.
- Engaging in understanding what it means to be healthy: exercise, diet, and rest.
The latter four areas are identified as the Specific areas of learning:
- Nurturing a joy for literature
- Engaging in rich and engaging stories that enables us to know how stories are structured, to be able to use story language, to be imaginative in creating our own stories using descriptive language.
- Engaging in a vibrant vocabulary that excites and challenges our children so such vocabulary is applied in children’s own play.
- Recognising books serve a range of purposes and as such understanding the purpose of books and knowing there are different types of books.
- Development of children’s comprehension so children can re-tell familiar stories in sequence.
- Development of children’s phonological awareness so children can discriminate between letter sounds and write phonetically.
- Development of children’s mark making and writing so children are able to create their own stories, write phonetically and spell some simple words.
- Developing children as story writers; so children write with imagination and embrace a wide vocabulary.
- Developing children’s fascination and awareness of number so children can count with one to one correspondence. Are able to recognise numerals
- Developing children’s ability to solve simple number problems including understanding such terms as two more or one less than.
- Developing children’s understanding of a range of shapes (two dimensional and three dimensional shapes); so children can recognise and describe a range of shapes.
- Developing children’s understanding for the need to measure so children understand such terms as heavy/light, lighter, longer and the need to measure using both non-standard (e.g blocks) and standard forms of measurement (e.g rulers).
- Developing children’s understanding of patterns so children can create a range of patterns and follow a simple pattern.
- Nurturing a sense of curiosity and a willingness to ask questions including how/what/why/where questions.
- Understanding and respecting different religions and festivals so children are respectful of different cultures and religions within our school.
- Understanding different occupations and nurturing aspirations so children have high expectations and understand such terms as architect, engineer, builder, doctor, lawyer and teacher.
- Understanding and able to use technology so children can programme a simple robot.
- Developing an understanding about forces and liquids so children are able to understand about friction, gradients, the impact of heat on materials and in so doing able to predict and hypothesize.
- Expressive Arts and Design
- Nurturing and valuing children’s imagination so children can create stories using story language and adventurous vocabulary, coupled with a sense of wonder is fully embraced.
- Development of specific skills so children know how to use such mediums skilfully and appropriately including: clay, paint, pencils, textiles and natural materials including wood.
- Engaging in re-telling and creating children’s narratives through small world play
- Music and dance is celebrated so children are able to listen to a range of music, know how to use some instruments appropriately and move in a range of ways to an assortment of music.
The implementation of the curriculum is achieved in the following ways:
- End of day evaluations: unpicking both the learning relating to child initiated play and adult directed learning. Recognition that learning comprises of:
- Knowledge (what do want our children to know)
- Skills (what do want our children to be able to do)
- Concepts (what do want our children to understand)
- Dispositions (behaviours we want to foster e.g. ask questions, willingness to have a go)
- Weekly evaluations of learning, to inform future planning.
- Half termly review of individual children’s learning priorities, so the momentum for learning is continuing
- Pupil progress meetings: to review priorities and ensure priorities for each individual child is met.
- Tracking of learning across all areas of learning; to ensure both breadth and depth of coverage.
- Termly reviews of data to establish key strengths and areas for development
Partnership with parents/carers is achieved in the following ways:
- Initial meetings with the Headteacher and the child’s key-worker
- Home visits
- Termly reviews between parent and key-worker and ultimately involving the child
- Parent/carer workshops
- Parents/Carers participating within the nursery through a range of activities.
- Weekly blog to inform parents about the learning that has taken place within the school
- Half termly newsletters
- Home learning (started November 2019)
Impact: what have the children learnt
Children make rapid progress and over 50% achieved beyond age related expectations out of our 56 leavers in July 2019.
In our September cohort of 31 pupils note the following:
- Children eligible for EYPP make rapid progress
- Children with SEND make rapid progress.
- PSED 64% achieved exceeding in PSED
- BCRB boys made exceeding progress and attainment in all Prime Areas of Learning.
- PD 19% came in exceeding, however 62% left exceeding on exit.
- CL 19% came in exceeding, however 68% left exceeding
- Maths: 13% came in exceeding, however 55% left exceeding
- Lit: 19% came in exceeding, however, 55% left exceeding.
The school in partnership with parents/carers achieve similar results for the other two cohorts:
April 2018 cohort 12 pupils:
- 0% came in above in PSED but 50% left us exceeding.
- 25% came in above in PD but 67% left us exceeding
- 8% came in above in CL but 58% left us exceeding.
- O% came in above in Lit, but 58% left us exceeding.
- 8% came in above in Maths, but 50% left us exceeding.
January 2018 cohort 13 pupils
- 0% came in above in PSED, PD & mathematics, however 69% achieved exceeding.
- 23% came in above in CL, however, 62% achieved exceeding.
- 0% came in above in Literacy, however, 62% achieved exceeding.