The curriculum we follow is designed to fulfil all aspects of the Foundation Stage and National Curriculum for 5-11 year olds. We aim for children to think for themselves, generate their own ideas and be able to apply what they have learned. They are encouraged to take their own initiative and to discover that making mistakes is an acceptable and valid way of learning.
We do not forget that children are individuals and may vary in the rate at which they make progress. We realise too that the acquisition of skills and concepts depends on experience and motivation: in school, at home and in the wider community.
Our curriculum is delivered through a number of topics across a 1 year cycle in the foundation stage and a 3 year cycle across the school:
|Cherry Class||Once Upon a Time…||Wild and Wonderful||Spots and Stripes|
|Apple and Chestnut Class||Super Heros||India||Tracks, Tyres and Trainers|
|The Time Machine||The Rise of the Robots||Land Ahoy|
|Dragons and Castles||Rumble and Roar||Above and Below|
|Oak and London Plane Class||Coast to Coast||Disaster Struck|
|Attack!||Earth and Space||Healthy, Wealthy and Wise|
|Early Civilisations||Amazon Adventures||Lights, Cameras, Action|
Children in the Reception year
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) covers children’s learning from birth to five years (to the end of the academic year in which your child has their fifth birthday). The Curriculum ensures that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children are ready for school and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is an integrated, play and activity based curriculum, culminating on assessment against the Early Learning Goals and built around seven areas of learning, with the prime areas being: Communication Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. The specific areas that the prime areas are then explored are: Literacy, Maths, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
Play is the work of young children. Through carefully structured activities, they have the opportunity to ‘discover’ new concepts, practise ideas and give reality to their learning. The play is supported by structured whole class sessions on phonics, reading and mathematics. The children enjoy this balance of adult led and child led learning.
Throughout their year in Reception we compile a ‘Learning Journal’ for each child and track each child’s progress. At the end of the year we use all the information we have collected to complete each child’s Foundation stage profile.
Children in Years 1 and 2 follow the National Curriculum, Key Stage 1 for 5 -7 year olds.
Children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 follow the National Curriculum, Key Stage 2 for 7-11 year olds.
The National Curriculum at KS1 and 2 includes:
• English, Mathematics, Science and ICT
• History, Geography, Art, Music, Physical Education, Design Technology and Language (French) required in KS2 but taught across the whole school
• Religious Education in accordance with the West Sussex Agreed Syllabus
• Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education
At the end of Key Stage 1 and 2 there are statutory assessments in English and Mathematics. At the end of Year 1 there is a statutory assessment in phonics.
Planning for learning across the National Curriculum
Every child is unique and they come to school having had a wide range of different experiences throughout their early years. We value and build upon the work done by parents and other adults during these early stages.
Children learn at different rates, and have differing needs. It is because of this that we adopt a range of teaching styles to match each child’s learning as closely as we possibly can. This may involve working alone, in an ability group, or as part of the whole class. All our learning is planned to be rigorous, child centred and thought provoking to engage the children
Great emphasis is placed on each area of language, and this work extends into nearly every part of the curriculum. Our aim is to enable each child to become confident and expressive in their use of language, both in the spoken and the written word. Our work is planned in accordance with the National Curriculum and is delivered through daily literacy lessons in each class, which also link with our topic. Wherever it is possible and appropriate we incorporate the use of ICT whether this be using Windows and apple based technology.
Speaking and listening
We give our children many opportunities to talk about their own experiences and to share their ideas and feelings with others. This helps to develop the essential skill of listening, and promotes questioning and discussion skills.
Our aim is that each child should become an independent reader who loves to read for pleasure, and has the desire to seek information which will enhance their own independent learning. Reading materials of all kinds are part of our children’s daily experience, to share and enjoy at home and at school. Children have access to a colour coded (Book Banding) reading scheme based around the Oxford Reading Tree that supports them through the early stages of reading, before they become ‘free readers’ accessing a broader range of novels again categorised by our own colour codes. It is essential that parents support reading at home and work to read with children on a daily basis.
We have a carefully structured approach to spelling. Key words are learned from the National Curriculum lists and a phonic approach is taught using the Letters and Sound Programme. We recognise that some children learn to spell in a natural way while others need more support. All children are encouraged to attempt their own spellings. When spelling is corrected in a child’s written work not all mistakes will be corrected as this can be discouraging and may stem the flow of a child’s writing. Spelling is also monitored through key stage 2 using a standardised scoring system, this is used to determine next steps in spelling and to group the children.
Drama, including role-play is important in developing all aspects of English as well as many other areas of the curriculum. We use drama activities to promote collaborative talk and extend language skills.
There is a consistent approach to handwriting throughout the school which aims at progress in speed and legibility. Our children are encouraged to join their writing as soon as good letter formation has been established. Parents are requested to use the early script we follow in school and to encourage correct letter formation at home as soon as a child begins to want to write. Once a cursive, joined script is developed children can achieve a hand writing pen for their hard work.
Writing is a tool not only for communication but also for thinking; a skill that encompasses the whole curriculum. It is crucial to much of our learning and involves such activities as writing stories, poems, accounts, arguments and instructions. We believe that the most interesting and best quality work is produced when a child is highly motivated and is clear about the purpose for their work.
Modern Foreign Language
All children at Chidham School have the opportunity to learn French. Our teaching is led by Madame Ingram who is a native French speaker.
Maths is fun! Our aim is that mathematics should be an experience from which our children can derive enjoyment and at the same time develop confidence and skill in their own mathematical abilities. All teaching in maths is underpinned through maths talk.
In order to achieve this we deliver a structured programme that is planned in line with the national curriculum. This includes work in using and applying mathematics, number, shape, space and measures, and data handling. Children are encouraged to use their mathematical skills to investigate and solve problems and, wherever possible, to do so in a meaningful context. There is a great emphasis on mental strategies especially in the early years, with the use of written calculations from Year 2 onwards.
Science involves our children in asking questions about themselves and the world around them, and beginning to seek answers through their own experience and by experimentation. Studies in materials, human and plant organisms, forces and motion, light and sound, enable our children to begin to give some order to the complex world in which they live. Scientific investigation is central to the science curriculum.
The school has a strong commitment to the use of new technologies across the curriculum and is equipped with laptops and computers as well as iPads. We are always working hard to follow new tools and research new apps. Each of the five classrooms is equipped with an interactive whiteboard or touch screen and Apple TV and these are used every day in our teaching and learning. Although taught discretely ICT is used most effectively when it is used as a tool to enhance learning across the curriculum, this can be seen across the curriculum through our long term curriculum planning.
Religious Education and Collective worship
The school is affiliated to the Church of England both through historical foundation and in Diocesan support. We follow the West Sussex Religious Education Syllabus supported by the Diocesan Guidelines for RE . We have strong links with St Mary’s Church and Father Paul is a regular visitor to the school.
Our major focus is in the study of Christianity, but our children also learn about other religions and cultures in the world. We believe that this will enable them to appreciate the importance of religion, its place in their own life and in the lives of others; and so begin to develop their own spiritual and moral values. Parents may express a preference for their child to be withdrawn from religious education lessons. In this circumstance, we would discuss alternative provision with a child’s parents or guardians.
A collective act of worship takes place every day. This is broadly Christian in character and is inclusive of other faiths. We value this time when the whole school community comes together to celebrate, to share ideas and feelings; to listen, meditate, pray and sing. We intend that the character of our worship is such that all pupils will be included unless parents have expressed a preference for their child to be withdrawn.
The children take part in a range of activities with the emphasis on participation and the development of skills. Individual events including gymnastics, dance and athletics take place, in addition to striking and fielding games, which include football, netball, and rounders. Sporting events are arranged with other schools on a weekly basis in and coaching opportunities are also provided before and after school. Parents provide us great support to attend sporting fixtures and transport children to events. We are very grateful for their help and committed to a healthy lifestyle for all.
We aim to provide each child with the opportunity to learn to swim. For one term in each school year the children (currently in Years 1 & 3) are taught swimming by a qualified instructor. With our location so close to the sea, we strongly believe that this is a vital part of our children’s learning.
During their time at Chidham all children have the opportunity to participate in a residential visit to Cobnor Activities Centre to participate in a range of outdoor and adventurous activities. This not only strengthens their physical skills, but their social and emotional development
We want to excite, interest and involve the children and develop their capacity to observe and learn about their surroundings. We aim to develop the creative, imaginative and practical skills needed to express ideas and feelings, record observations and make a product from a design. Children will learn about colour, pattern, form, space, line, shape, tone and texture. They will use a wide range of materials to produce their own work.
They will also be introduced to the work of a range of artists and art from other cultures in order to develop their appreciation of art forms.
Musical activities are very important to the life our school.
Our curriculum is designed to develop each child’s knowledge and appreciation of music. Each child is encouraged to listen to and appraise music and there are planned opportunities to compose and perform.
Children are encouraged to explore music through a variety of percussion instruments and all learn the ukulele during their time in school. Singing is very important and enjoyed by everyone, each week we enjoy a music assembly and children from Year 3 and above have the opportunity to attend school choir. Children also have opportunities for learning brass, strings, keyboard, piano, woodwind and guitar privately.
Personal, Social and Health Education
Our aim is for a carefully planned programme of personal, social and health education of which drugs, sex and relationships education is a part. Wherever possible, drugs, sex and relationships education is introduced as part of the school’s curriculum themes.
As part of our work in PSHE we consider democracy and the value this holds in Britain today. As part of this work we held a take over day and enjoyed letting the children undertake our jobs for the day. This included working in the Head Teacher’s office to preparing and serving lunches.
Year 6 follow a specific programme which explores aspects of the changes which take place during puberty, conception and the birth of a baby in the context of a loving relationship. Any teaching offered by the school is seen as complementary to the role of parents, and will have regard to parents’ views about its content and presentation. An invitation is extended for parents to view any teaching materials or videos we propose to use in school. The school nurse is occasionally invited to work alongside the teacher to explore matters relevant to each child’s growth and development.
Parents may express a preference for their child to be withdrawn from any part of sex and relationships education that is outside the curriculum element in the National Curriculum orders for Science.
We are firmly committed to active learning and regularly undertake educational visits linked to our topics. Whenever possible, relevant visits are made and visitors are invited into school.
Children in Year 3 are invited to take part in a 1 night residential to Cobnor Activity centre. This gives them a very gentle insight to staying away from home in an environment where they are familiar. The children take part in 4 different activities and always enjoy some time on the water.
As part of our local visits work the children take part in our ‘Beyond the School Gates’ weeks, held twice a year and enjoy a whole school walk three times a year. This is a new venture for the school linking Beach School and Forest School techniques with outdoor studies in our specific local environment. We work in partnership with Tuppenny Barn and Chichester Harbour Conservancy, the importance of this work is documented in this
with the Harbour Conservancy.
Our school has a very special partnership with a local organic smallholding known as Tuppenny Barn. It is situated in Southbourne, just off the A259 and is owned by Maggie Haynes. So far the children have planted fruit trees, helped with propagation, explored the pond and visited the Farmers’ Market in Chichester to see Maggie selling her produce.
Maggie has donated some wonderful tools to the school purchased using the profit from a sustainability fair which was held at the school.
With all this hard work and commitment to sustainability, we have a dedicated Eco School Team who work with the aim that our school will be an increasingly sustainable place in which to learn, whilst reducing the environmental impact of the whole school on the community.
For further information, please do not hesitate to contact the school.