At Westbury Park Primary School we offer a curriculum rich in wonder and memorable experiences. We work hard to provide a stimulating environment that provides exciting opportunities, promotes challenge, exploration, adventure and a real love of learning.
It is our intent that all children develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally in an environment which values all cultures, communities and people.
We aim for our children to be confident and independent, to believe in themselves and interact positively with others.
We understand that play is an integral part of learning and this is at the heart of our early years curriculum.
We believe that the correct mix of adult directed and uninterrupted child initiated play ensures the best outcomes for pupils.
Warm and positive relationships between staff and children, consistent routines and strong relationships with parents are key.
We recognise the crucial role that early year’s education has to play in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’s education is successfully based.
Pupils learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities and challenges. The weekly timetable is carefully structured so that children have rigorous directed teaching in English, Mathematics and Phonics every day. We also ensure regular Circle Time sessions to focus on C&L and PSED and Topic sessions to focus UW and EAD in our weekly timetable. These sessions are followed by group work where children work with a member of staff to develop their individual targets. This focused group time enables the teacher to systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide real-time verbal feedback which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning.
Children are provided with plenty of time to engage in ‘exploration’ throughout the variety of experiences, which is carefully planned to engage and challenge them in the provision. The curriculum is planned for the inside and outside classrooms and is planned in a cross-curricular way to enable all aspects of the children’s development including UW and EAD as well as to promote sustained thinking and active learning. Preparation and co-planning is led by the phase leader every week and half termly ‘child-led’ planning sessions are conducted to ensure that the children have agency over their environment and that the provision leads to depth of learning across all areas of the curriculum.
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Children follow the highly successful Letters and Sounds: Little Wandle program faithfully so that they meet good outcomes for reading with almost all children passing the Year One phonics screening. Reception children have a big question to answer over the course of the year through their topic learning. This is broken down into a question for each half-term unit. The themes are based on foundational ideas coming from the EYFS curriculum: from “What makes us special?” as part of PSED, to “Can we save the world?” related to UW. From this, we have chosen multiple high-quality texts to create an integrated approach to learning from which pupils can experience the full curriculum. Children also enjoy reading a variety of books inside and outside of school through quality guided reading sessions and independent reading with adults. They follow the Oxford Reading Tree band scheme which has successfully and consistently supported a higher than national figure in the Expected Reading level by the end of the Reception Year for many years.
We follow the Maths Mastery approach in Reception with an emphasis on studying key skills of number, calculation and shape so that pupils develop deep understanding and the acquisition of Mathematical language. Pupils learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives which are then rehearsed and applied to their own learning during exploration and in adult lead activities. These collaborative and practical mathematical experiences are carefully designed to help pupils remember the content they have been taught and to support them with integrating their new knowledge across the breadth of their experiences and into larger concepts. Teaching Mathematics in such a kinaesthetic and practical way, supports our children to become logical problem solvers that can demonstrate resilience and justification when learning.
Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together but we have a range of additional intervention and support to enhance and scaffold children who may not be reaching their potential or moving on children who are doing very well. This includes, for example, our nurture group with some of our vulnerable children or additional ‘1-1 intervention’ provision in Maths, Phonics and Physical Development to promote fine motor skills. The characteristics of effective learning are viewed as an integral part of all areas of learning and are reflected in our observations and assessments of children.
Our regular monitoring of teaching and learning includes: coaching and feedback from the phase leader from current, relevant training and professional development so that teachers and support staff develop a good subject knowledge and are effectively supported. We are also highly focused on frequently moderating outcomes across the year group so that every member of our team feels confident in making accurate judgements about where individual pupils are and their next steps for learning. This is also supported by external, small group moderation with other Early Years teachers within our cluster. In addition to this, our staff have regular contact and support with our Speech and Language therapist who helps to build subject knowledge of working with children who have communication and language difficulties.