Learning is what we are about. Our curriculum is how and what we deliver to our children. The purpose of our curriculum is to support children to gain the skills, confidence and resilience to be the best that they can be; to achieve excellence in all areas – academic, creative, sporting and to be the best version of themselves. Our goal is to equip our children with the skills, knowledge, concepts and values to support them throughout their lives to be successful, confident individuals able to face everything and anything that the world might throw at them, and to have choices.
Our curriculum is designed to allow children to practice and build upon prior learning so that learning is embedded in to long term memory. Pupils are encouraged and helped to see links between subjects with reading at the heart of everything to allow them the ability to independently access the whole curriculum at an appropriate level.
Quality first teaching is where we start. We seek to provide enhancement opportunities to engage learning and believe that pupils should be happy, investigative and enquiring, with a thirst for new experiences and knowledge. We want all pupils to leave our academy with a sense of belonging, where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections and become good citizens.
As an academy, Epworth Primary Academy must teach a broad and balanced curriculum, including English, maths, and Science. We must also teach religious education. In order to provide pupils with a broad and balanced curriculum we incorporate the national curriculum (introduced September 2014).
The national curriculum is a set of subjects and is organised into blocks of years called key stages (KS). At Epworth Primary Academy, we have three key stages.
- The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS): Nursery and Reception
- Key Stage 1: Years 1 and 2
- Key Stage Two: Years 3, 4, 5, and 6
Within the national curriculum, there are core subjects and non-core subjects.
The core subjects are English, maths and science. The non-core subjects are art and design, computing, design and technology, history, geography, music, physical education (PE) and at Key Stage 2 only, modern foreign language. We also make provision for the teaching of religious education and personal, social, health, and citizenship (PSHCE).
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) - Nursery and Reception
At Epworth Primary Academy we recognise that children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates. The foundation stage makes a crucial contribution to children’s early development and learning. The foundation stage is about developing key learning skills, such as listening, speaking, concentrating, persistence and how to work and cooperate with others.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
Playing and exploring
Through planning, curriculum enrichments and play provision we encourage our children to explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world.
We give them time to practise and build up ideas, using what they know, finding out and exploring, and being willing to 'have a go'.
Active learning occurs when children are motivated and interested. Children need to have some independence and control over their learning. As children develop their confidence they learn to make decisions. Taking ownership of their learning provides children with a sense of satisfaction. They are encouraged to be involved, maintain concentration and enjoy their achievements and successes.
Creativity and Thinking
Children are encouraged to develop and share their own ideas, make links and choose ways to do things.
Areas of Learning and Development
The EYFS is made up of 7 Areas of Learning and Development broken in to 3 “Prime Areas” and 4 “Specific Areas”:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
None of these areas can be delivered in isolation. They are equally important and depend on each other.
In nursery the Learning and Development areas are delivered through a balance of child-led and adult led learning. We follow the children’s interests and adults observe and facilitate learning and development through questioning, suggesting, modelling, speaking and listening.
A weekly Forest School session in our small woodland area complements and enhances the learning experiences of children providing them with the opportunity to work as a team, develop problem solving, critical thinking and communication skills as well as having a positive impact on their health and well-being.
Children take part in a range of activities including:
- Den Building
- Woodland Craft
- Treasure and Scavenger Hunts
- Team Games
- Campfire and Cooking
All areas of Learning and Development are delivered through a balance of adult-led, adult-initiated and child-initiated activities. In each area the Early Learning Goal (ELG) defines the level of progress that the children are expected to have attained by the end of the Reception year.
Reception classes share an indoor space and an outdoor play area to which they have access on a 'free-flow' basis.
We work closely with the local pre-academy provision and we offer a range of transition opportunities prior to the children starting academy in September.
The programme includes :
- a parents' information evening.
- visits by Foundation Stage staff to other settings to meet the children and to talk to the staff.
- visits to Epworth Primary Academy.
- an offer of an individual home visit.
This programme enables children to settle in well and make a smooth and happy transition into our academy.
Phonics and Reading
The academy sees phonics as the cornerstone to helping develop a child’s reading skills to enable them to access the wide world of print. By teaching the sounds consistently from Nursery the children quickly pick these up, leading to blending and reading. We use Read Write Inc as a basis for our phonics teaching and supplement this in Years 1 and 2 with support from Letters and Sounds where required.
At Epworth we want to create readers; readers who read for pleasure, who understand what they are reading, who are challenged at the appropriate level and crucially who understand how the ability to read impacts on all aspects of their life. To support this the academy works with Accelerated reader to support its reading scheme. We also work closely with the local library and children are registered with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library scheme run by North Lincolnshire Council.
Religious education is provided for all children as part of the curriculum and in accordance with the Local Authority’s agreed religious education syllabus.
Assembly is an important part of the school day, during which we meet together as a community. It is a time when we place emphasis on the development of values and attitudes towards each other and the world around us. Assemblies are non-denominational, and although they are of a broadly Christian nature, due consideration is given to the multicultural society in which we live.