Our curriculum is underpinned by our vision and is driven by inspirational books, films and art. At Shamblehurst our curriculum will inspire and enable our children to learn independently; developing their confidence and resilience through high expectations and application of a broad range of skills in a creative and enjoyable way. It will allow them to develop in all areas, communicate their knowledge effectively, take ownership of the learning and be the best they can be.
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Programmes of Study
Early Years Curriculum
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum covers two areas, these areas are called ‘The Prime Areas’ and ‘The specific Areas’.
The Prime Areas
This area covers children’s development through communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development.
The Specific Areas
This area covers children’s development through literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and exploring arts and design.
Throughout the year the children are working towards achieving the Early Learning Goals (ELG) in each of the areas mentioned above. The ELG’s are considered to be what is expected for a child at the end of Reception.
It is our aim at Shamblehurst that our curriculum in EYFS is child led. This means that our curriculum is led by the interests of our children. Our curriculum topics can be anything, from mini beasts to the circus. We plan our curriculum using ‘Objective Led Learning’. This means that we have clear objectives that we work towards and use the children’s play to explore these. The children’s topics are a variety of lengths from one day to a maximum of two weeks.
COOL time – Choose Our Own Learning
During this time, children choose their own learning based on their environment. Children are encouraged to select their own learning based on their interests. During this time, our staff are highly trained to use the objectives to ensure the children achieve their potential in YR. Staff will be clear about the specific teaching in this area and will ensure that children are learning through play. The Year R staff carefully plan and resource the environment to enable the children to manage their own learning. They then use questioning, their knowledge of the children and individuals interests to extend and challenge all children.
Specific teaching sessions
As the year progresses, the children will be introduced to short whole class teaching sessions. These sessions include phonics, maths, writing and fine/gross motor skill development. Short guided reading sessions will ensure all children are taught the essential skills in YR to equip them with reading skills that they need to secure.
At Shamblehurst, we use Letters and Sounds to teach phonics. Letters and Sounds is split into six phases. Progression of Letters and Sounds within our school is set out below.
|Phase One||Covers important reading skills that children need throughout their journey when learning to read and write e.g. rhythm and rhyme, articulation, listening, oral blending and segmenting.|
|Phase Two||Teaching an initial 19 letter of the alphabet with a clear focus on blending and segmenting to read and spell simple words.||YR|
|Phase Three||Children will be taught the remaining letters of the alphabet as will as simple digraphs.||YR|
|Phase Four||Children will learn to blend and segment longer words for both reading and spelling.||YR|
|Phase Five||Children will learn alternative graphemes (spellings) for the same phonemes (sound) e.g. ai (as in rain) and ay (as in day).||Y1|
|Phase Six||During this phase, children focus on correct spelling.||Y2|
Below is a video showing the correct articulation of phonemes, which you may find useful when talking and working with your child.
Throughout Phases Two – Six, there are common exception words that children need to secure. These will help them in their reading and writing.
In Year R, parents will be informed of the common exception/high frequency words that children will be learning each week. Phonics teaching will start after October half term. This will give the children a chance to ensure they have the necessary Phase One skills to access phonics teaching.
In Y1 and Y2, a list of common exception words will be shared with parents at the beginning of the year. It is our aim that children learn to both read and spell these words by the end of the year.
We aim to ensure that children use phonics as a starting point when learning to read and spell. Phonics is a key skill in this but we recognise that it is one part of a puzzle when learning to read and write.
Key terminology for phonics teaching
Phoneme – smallest unit of sound in a word
Grapheme – visual representation of the sound
Blending – putting phonemes together to make words
Segmenting – breaking words apart into graphemes to help with spelling
Digraph – two letters that make one sound e.g. ch (as in chip)
Trigraph - three letters that make one sound e.g. igh (as in light)