"The school's curriculum is strong and well planned. The curriculum meets the needs of current pupils very well." School Ofsted Report, June 2019
We are passionate in our aims to create a curriculum which allows our children to become real learners. We believe we have developed a balanced, rich and inspiring curriculum which specifically meets academic, personal and social needs of our pupils and has them at its core.
We have therefore adopted 3 drivers which we feel must lie at the heart of our curriculum design and allow us to build upon pupils' experiences, knowledge and also address any areas of development in terms of cultural capital.
Our curriculum drivers are: -
First Hand Experiences: We know that our children learn best through providing them with learning experience outside of the classroom. We have a full and active calendar of events which are aimed at developing the semantic rather than a one-off event in the children’s memory.
Diversity: We are aware that our children come from a wide variety of local areas which means we need to instil within them an understanding and appreciation of the differences, that are existing in our school community, particularly cultural, so that everyone’s rights and needs are understood.
Communication: We realise that in today’s world the ability to send and receive information, understand speech and writing is paramount. We have an embedded approach to promote communication both verbal and nonverbal so that our children are able to interact in the world inside and outside school life.
Underpinning all of these is social, emotional, spiritual and cultural development of our Hearts and Mind Programme all of which combine together to create a curriculum which supports the children’s academic strength and precision teaching but also their wider developments such as nurture sessions and social skills.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth until the end of the Reception year.
It aims to develop each child to their full potential by offering a ‘principled, play based approach to learning and development’. Young children learn best through play and Early Years Practitioners will be able to provide your child with appropriate play and learning experiences for their stage of development and help them develop new skills. The activities that are provided for young children will underpin the skills they need to work towards the Early Learning Goals at the end of their Reception year at the school. The EYFS curriculum enables practitioners to recognise your child’s strengths and areas where they need more support to develop new skills.
For young children it is important that they are made to feel safe and secure in their surroundings. This is aided by having a key person within the class who gets to know you and your child well and builds a positive relationship with you as a family. In the Reception at Harpenden Academy your key worker will be the class teacher and the teaching assistant in your class.
The areas of learning and development are broken into seven areas. Three areas are particularly important for igniting children’s enthusiasm for learning. These are the three prime areas of:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
Leaving four specific areas through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
All areas of learning and development are important and interconnected and many activities will cover many of the areas. Each area is divided into stages of development and practitioners are able to identify resources and learning opportunities for individual children dependent on their developmental needs.
The EYFS also encourages practitioners and parents/carers to work together. This is an opportunity for you to provide input into your child’s development in discussions with your class teacher. At Harpenden Academy we have an open door policy which means we are always ready to help and discuss anything concerning your child’s welfare and education.
Should you wish for more information on the curriculum please email email@example.com