The curriculum is all the planned activities that we provide in order to promote learning, personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also other aspects of school life designed to enrich the experience of the children.
In the Early Years (Nursery and YR), our curriculum is underpinned by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework; children learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through seven areas of learning and development. Children mostly develop the 3 prime areas first, which are essential for healthy development and future learning. These are:
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas of the curriculum. These are:
The curriculum is play-based, and involves a balance of children self-selecting activities, whole class work, and focused small group activities, which are adult led by the teachers and support staff. Teaching teams carefully observe the children and plan progress for each of them by intervening in play and also through planning targeted teaching to move learning forward.
‘Themes’ through which to deliver the full coverage of the EYFS Framework are identified and developed according to the children’s interests. All staff make continual observations to record the children’s progress; these assessments form an important part of the future curriculum planning.
Key Stage One & Key Stage Two
In Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, our curriculum is based on the 2014 National Curriculum and covers the following subjects areas: English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Art and Design, Design Technology, Music, Physical Education and French (Key Stage Two only). Religious Education is delivered through the agreed Hampshire ‘Living Difference’ curriculum. Where it is appropriate, the core skills of reading, writing and mathematics are applied in other subject areas so that children rehearse basic skills in a purposeful context.
We believe that all children should receive a broad and balanced curriculum. Where there are commonalities between subjects, learning is linked and lessons taught using a cross-curricular approach. We recognise that this is not always meaningful and therefore, some subjects are taught discretely.
We are passionate about reading at RPS. We actively promote reading for pleasure, and share our favourite stories and books with the children. Early readers gain confidence through making links between letters and the sounds they make through the phonics programme. We use the Oxford Reading Tree suite of books that allow the pupils to grow as confident, independent readers. Our weekly reading raffle has become a highly anticipated event every Friday, as children are keen to choose from our Reading Treasure Chest!
For certain subjects or units of work, we may draw upon specialist teachers/sports coaches to deliver lessons in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for children. Children in Years 2 and 4 learn to play a range of musical instruments through participating in Listen2Me delivered by Hampshire Music Service and all of the French curriculum is delivered by a specialist teacher. Sports coaches deliver some units of work in P.E., such as gymnastics, tennis or multi-skills, and in some terms, they provide sports and games during lunchtimes.
The statutory curriculum is enhanced with well-planned opportunities that make up the wider school curriculum. This may be trips or visitors to provide rich, meaningful experiences, such as visitors from different faiths, links with Southampton City Mission, Bikeability, swimming lessons, author visits, a residential trip in year 5, visits to local places etc. Themed days and/or weeks, such as Anti-bullying Week, Book Week, Art Week, Love Days, Shakespeare Day, Sports Day etc enable children to explore important issues and/or experience deep learning. In school, a range of extra-curricular clubs and activities are on offer. These are run by staff and external providers, and enrich experiences in sport, music, art, ICT, cooking and the natural world.
As part of the wider curriculum, we participate in local community events as opportunities arise, such as making lanterns for the Romsey lantern parade and attending the war memorial service. Children also have regular opportunities to participate in Level 2 tournaments to enhance their skills in a wide range of sports in a competitive environment. Our links with local secondary schools also provide further opportunities to enrich the curriculum; children have opportunities to attend music workshops, maths sessions, art sessions and sports competitions.
The curriculum being taught in each year group is communicated with parents/carers through a year group ‘Learning News’ letter sent home every half term. This provides an overview of what will be taught in each subject and includes ways that parents/carers can support learning at home.
Home learning is an integral part of our curriculum, providing valuable opportunities for children to practice key skills and share their learning. Children receive weekly homework at an age appropriate level, designed to build on the key learning taking place in class.
Our curriculum is also designed to develop our key learning values, known as iPowers, which teach life-long and transferable skills for learning. These are: Independence, Perseverance, Open Mindedness, Working Together, Enthusiasm, Reflection and Solving Problems. These learning values permeate across the school and develop a core set of learning behaviours that ensure that children are effective learners. For more information, see below.
The expectations for each learning value change as children move through the school, in order to ensure that they are always ready for their next phase of their education. Learning values are promoted through individual rewards and through regular celebration in assemblies.