Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The Foundation Stage makes a crucial contribution to children’s early development and learning. We provide children with a rich variety of teaching and learning experiences that are appropriate to their needs. The Foundation Stage is about developing key learning skills such as listening, speaking, concentrating and learning to work and co-operate with others. Teaching to achieve these early learning goals is through first-hand experience and structured play.
The outdoor environment also plays a key role in the Foundation Stage curriculum and both the Lower and Upper Foundation classes have their own specially equipped outdoor areas which are planned for and in constant use.
Key Stage One and Key Stage Two
Children are taught all National Curriculum subjects with literacy and numeracy skills reinforced across the curriculum. Planning allows for creative, cross-curricular learning that builds on children’s previous knowledge. A termly topic provides a framework for learning with at least one class book being used as a stimulus. We aim to provide a range of key experiences for children as well as more practical opportunities for them to develop, practice and extend existing skills. We also focus on providing learning environments that are stimulating, informative and support learning.
Opportunities are provided for pupils to participate in activities such as dance and drama workshops, key experiences for writing, cooking, gardening, philosophy (P4C), a range of sports activities, specialist music tuition, and a range of computing activities. Provision for this enhancement comes from within the academy and in conjunction with various community partners e.g. Other WCAT academies, local services, visiting specialists and local authority music teachers.
Providing a creative cross-curricular curriculum to meet both the academic and pastoral needs of pupils is a key part of our academy ethos. For example: Elements of Social, Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) and British Values are reflected across the curriculum and links to staying healthy are taught in Science, Literacy and Food Technology.
The academy uses a variety of co-operative learning techniques to develop children’s ability to learn from each other and to help all children fully engage in lessons.
The needs of specific individuals and groups of pupils are well met through the delivery of differentiated work within lessons by teaching staff and support assistants and the provision of a range of individual and small group intervention programmes.
Curriculum - Subjects
Each child should be able to access the mathematics curriculum and experience a sense of achievement and enjoyment. They should develop confidence and a positive attitude supported by the relentless determination of teachers to ensure accelerated progress for all.
We aim for all pupils to:-
- Have opportunities to use, extend and test ideas, thinking and reasoning.
- Explore maths and look for patterns, rules and properties, leading to an understanding of mathematical rules.
- Talk about maths to adults and children, and have space and time to think about ideas and methods, or to ask questions.
- Use mathematical vocabulary and use symbols, images, diagrams and models to support problem solving and reasoning.
- Use and apply mathematics in and beyond the classroom, making links to wider contexts.
- Calculate with accuracy and efficiency and be able to check their own solutions.
- Review and take responsibility for their own learning, making suggestions and following their own ideas regularly.
- Use effective feedback from teachers or from other pupils to improve their work.
In Early Years and Key Stage One ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonics sessions are taught daily to class groups. Children are supported in implementing their Phonics skills across the curriculum at every opportunity. Phonics intervention group work takes place in Key Stage Two for children who need additional support in securing these skills.
At Bell Lane Academy, writing is taught daily through carefully chosen current and classic books and a variety of other quality texts that link to the class topic wherever possible. This approach enables us to effectively engage pupils and provide them with many exciting opportunities to write, supporting in the development of an enduring love of literacy.
All objectives are taken from the National Curriculum for the appropriate year and are taught in an imaginative and interactive manner. The teaching of grammar, punctuation and spelling skills underpins every lesson with a clear focus also being placed on the importance of neat, legible joined handwriting. In Foundation Stage daily Literacy lessons support children in developing and using their phonic knowledge to record in a variety of different ways.
In Foundation Stage children are encouraged to use their phonic knowledge to read a range of words on a daily basis and are supported in developing their comprehension skills through a range of questioning. This effectively supports them in developing their reading skills.
In Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, specific comprehension skills are taught during a weekly reading lesson. Other opportunities for teaching reading are also developed throughout the curriculum whenever possible. Relevant class books (and other texts) are chosen in order to support children in being able to analyse and discuss writer’s choices.
In all Key Stages reading objectives are taken directly from the National Curriculum for their year. Reading is taught through a range of different activities which, whilst further developing comprehension skills, also promote a love of reading.
A variety of fiction and non-fiction books linked to the class topic are available in every classroom for children to access. We work in partnership with the local library to ensure that quality age appropriate, interesting books are always accessible. These topic based books are changed at regular intervals ensuring there is always a new, interesting book just waiting to be read!
Weekly trips to our local library in the Reception and Key Stage One classes also provide children with the opportunity to choose a book linked to our topic or one linked to their own interests.
The academy largely uses the ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ scheme supplemented with ‘real’ books that are colour banded to match the scheme. We also supplement with other schemes such as ‘Snapdragons’ and ‘Treetops’. Children are generally listened to read 1:1 with an adult once a fortnight.
Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. Through science, pupils understand how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change and improve the quality of life. They learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.
At Bell Lane, we use a range of teaching methods in science lessons, with an emphasis on providing a curriculum which develops and extends the children’s scientific concepts and enables them to be curious about the world. This will lead to children learning to work as scientists by planning and undertaking practical investigations through a problem solving approach.
The aim of history teaching is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about events and the lives of people who lived in the past. Children learn to value their own and other people’s cultures and develop a range of skills and abilities. These include finding out about and investigating past events and developing own opinions based upon enquiry and analysis.
Through the teaching of History we aim:
- to enable children to know about significant events in British history, and to appreciate how things have changed over time;
- to give children an understanding of how the past is different to the present;
- to give children some knowledge and understanding of how Britain is part of a wider culture
- to help children to develop their enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation skills
Geography teaches an understanding of places, people and issues. Through their work in geography, children learn how to draw and interpret maps; develop the skills of research, investigation, and analysis of areas, both local and global. Through their growing knowledge and understanding of human geography, children gain an appreciation of life in other cultures. Geography teaching also motivates children to find out about the physical world, and enables them to recognise the importance of sustainable development.
Through the teaching of Geography we aim:
- to enable children to gain knowledge of different places in the world, an awareness of sustainable development, and appreciation of what ‘global citizenship’ means;
- to develop enquiry, problem-solving, ICT, investigation and graphic skills, including how to use, draw and interpret maps;
- to enable children to know and understand environmental problems at a local, regional and global level.
Art engages, inspires and challenges pupil’s thinking, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment invent and to create their own works of art, craft and design. Art is built upon creativity, imagination and exploration of personal expression. Children learn to draw, paint and create sculpture. In Art, children are taught how to use a wide of materials effectively and talk about their work including the work of others. During lessons children will be taught about significant artists and designers. Skills learnt in Art can be transferred and used creatively across the primary curriculum.
Design Technology is based around a problem solving, investigative context that encourages pupil freedom and creativity. Children are taught how to design and make functional and appealing products for themselves and others from a design brief. Design technology encourages research of existing products, construction and evaluation. Across the curriculum children will use a variety of tools and make a range of products from different materials, textiles and ingredients.
Computing is taught across the academy through the exploration of technological equipment in Early Years to the more complex understanding and creating of algorithms, collection and representation of information and digital literacy. Children use a range of resources to develop their computing skills across the curriculum all different subjects.
Through the teaching of the National Curriculum objectives, our aims are that children learn to:
- become digitally literate and able to understand and apply computer science skills
- understand, fix and create algorithms in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs
- evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies
- be responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
In Foundation Stage all children have access to the outdoor environment where, amongst other things, a large range of physical activities are promoted and encouraged. Lower Foundation children have a weekly ‘Sticky Kids’ session in the main academy hall and Upper Foundation children have a weekly PE session.
Key Stage One and Two children have PE sessions twice a week which includes both indoor and outdoor aspects of the Physical Education Curriculum. Swimming is included as part of the Year 4 PE programme.
During morning breaks and lunchtimes, physical activity is encouraged through the provision of a wide range of activities to engage children such as skipping, Rip Tag, hula hoops, pogo sticks, lolo balls, a traversing wall and an activity trail.
We also offer a variety of after school clubs such as Dance, Football, Kwik Cricket, Netball, Kick Boxing and Multiskills. Children are also provided lots of opportunities to compete in a range of different sports events with other schools in our local area.
All children in our academy receive specialist language learning every week which focuses on cultural understanding, learning more about the wider world and French language. This is reinforced by curricular activities, links with a partner school in France and activities based on themed days throughout the school year.
At Bell Lane Academy, we strive to ensure that children have a good understanding of the importance of becoming a sustainable academy. This involves enhancing the curriculum by looking at a range of environmental issues to ensure that our children understand how they can be involved in bringing about change and improve everyone’s future. We hold a yearly Eco week to further highlight the importance of this issue in modern society and the nine themes adopted from the Eco School scheme are incorporated into the curriculum during this week.
At Bell Lane Academy, Music is taught weekly as part of a theme or topic. Our music curriculum aims to provide all pupils with a high quality music education which engages and inspires children to develop a life-long love of music, increases their self-confidence and imagination, and provides opportunities for self-expression and a sense of personal achievement.
Musical tuition of a range of instruments is also offered throughout Key Stage Two (through the local authority Music Service). This takes place individually and in small groups. We also have a well-established choir who take part in various concerts and community events throughout the year.
Religious Education and Collective Worship
Pupils participate in daily assemblies throughout the year which include our weekly ‘Class Showing Assembly’ and ‘Superstar Assembly.’ Assembly is an important part of the school day when we meet together as a community. It is a time when we place emphasis on the development of values and attitudes towards each other and the world around us. Assemblies are nondenominational and although they are of a broadly Christian nature due consideration is given to the multicultural society in which we live.
The R.E. syllabus taught in school is in accordance with the Local Education Authority Agreed Syllabus.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from religious education and collective worship should they so wish. If parents do not wish their child to be taught the agreed syllabus or take part in short acts of collective worship then they should inform us in writing. Their child can then be excused and suitable alternative arrangements can be made.
Sex and Relationships Education
Sex and relationships education is incorporated into the academy curriculum under the umbrella of 'Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education' (PSHCE). We aim to encourage children to develop a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude to their own bodies, health and hygiene. Children's questions are dealt with as and when they arise and are answered in a sympathetic and honest way, which promotes family values.
Towards the end of KS2 particular issues are dealt with in more detail by staff or visiting suitably qualified professionals. On these occasions parents are given prior information about the content of these lessons and the opportunity to withdraw their child if they wish.