Curriculum

Our children are organised in mixed ability classes according to age.

The curriculum at Stanley Green Infant Academy is broad and balanced. It is based on Foundation Stage Curriculum and the revised National Curriculum. It consists of three core subjects –

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science

And nine foundation subjects –

  • History
  • Geography
  • Art and Design
  • Computing
  • Physical Education (P.E.)
  • Music
  • Design & Technology (D.T.)
  • Religious Education (R.E.)
  • Personal, Social & Health Education (PSHE)

Our children are encouraged to think for themselves as Stanley Green Learners, they know what makes them a successful learner and they are encouraged to discuss their learning with adults and children in school, and with their families.

English

Our scheme includes speaking and listening, reading, and writing.

Speaking and Listening

As language is the basis for all learning this is given a high priority at Stanley Green. Children are encouraged and supported in becoming confident and clear speakers through the use of talk partners and creative talk groups, who learn how to listen and respond effectively to one another. Class assemblies, drama lessons, circle time, concerts and other school events, all play their part in creating an articulate school. At the end of each project children are given opportunities to present and perform their work to a wide range of audiences.

Phonics

Phonics teaching focuses on two areas – phonic knowledge and phonic skills. Phonic knowledge is about children knowing which letters and combination of letters (graphemes) make which sounds (phonemes). Phonics skills are about teaching the children how to use their knowledge for reading and for writing. We follow a revise – teach – practise – apply model, using the Letters and Sounds Guidance. This is a systematic programme that builds on reading and spelling skills. Children are taught in ability groups by the staff in each year group.

In Reception, we teach the main way of making the first 44 sounds. At first, children are taught sound discrimination and are taught 3-4 sounds per week. They blend and segment these sounds. For example, they learn that c-a-t can be blended to make the word cat. They will also learn that man can be segmented into 3 sounds, m-a-n. We stretch out the word so the children can hear the sounds. These skills of blending and segmenting are essential for reading and writing. We teach these skills through fun games and activities.

In Year 1, we continue with the different phases and teach the blends of the different consonants, for example tr as in train and fr as in frog, building on the work in Reception. We also teach the alternative sounds, such as the different ways to make the long a sound – ai as in rain; a_e as in make.

In Year 2, we continue to introduce the less common alternatives, such as the j sound in hedge/cage (-dge/ge). Year 2 work also involves learning different word endings

Some useful vocabulary about phonics

  • Phoneme – the smallest unit of sound in a word
  • Grapheme – how a sound is written down
  • Digraph – two letters making one sound, e.g. thin, boat
  • Trigraph – three letters making one sound, e.g. high, chair
  • Blending – putting sounds together to make words, e.g. c-a-t to make cat
  • Segmenting – identifying individual sounds in words, tap is made of t-a-p

Reading

We are highly committed to developing all children as readers as we recognise it to be a key skill for lifelong learning and enjoyment. Children learn to read using a range of skills – phonic decoding, language comprehension and word recognition. They are taught these skills through whole class, guided reading and individual reading sessions, as well as through English and phonic lessons. We place great emphasis on enjoyment of reading and use books throughout our curriculum to engage the children.

Writing

Writing starts from early mark-making to more developed pieces. Writing is linked to topics and we aim to inspire children to write in order to communicate their ideas, experiences and responses. We use a wide variety of texts to help children to develop their skills to write a range of genres. Children are encouraged to ‘rehearse’ their ideas for writing through talk, allowing them to experiment with new words and sentence structures. The classroom environments are set up to give children the chance to write for a variety of purposes and develop their skills independently. Children are actively involved in considering how they can improve their writing further

Writing – we believe that children gain greatest satisfaction from writing when they have a strong sense of purpose and audience. As part of their learning, they will be asked to write to entertain, to create, to describe, to explain, to inform, to instruct, to persuade, to recount or to respond, depending upon the context. They may write for themselves, for the teacher, for other children in school as well as for a wider audience. We encourage children to be confident writers and spellers by identifying strengths in their writing as well as pinpointing areas for development.

Year 1 and Year 2

In years 1 and 2 pupils are provided with targeted inputs for English and Maths in order to maximise potential. We deploy an additional teacher and a higher level teaching assistant to support these personalised learning strategies. Work is planned for children at the right level for their ability and they are challenged at an appropriate pace.

Maths

It is our aim that every child achieves a thorough understanding of number that can be applied to real-life situations. We believe that children need to have a well-developed mental capacity for number and calculation before they are introduced to formalised written calculations. We promote learning through understanding, along with learning by rote, in every aspect of mathematics.

Our children enjoy mathematics and use their increasing mathematical skills in everyday life. Mathematics teaching at Stanley Green takes a variety of forms, with emphasis on problem solving, investigation and opportunity to use and apply mathematical skills in a variety of situations across the curriculum. We aim to develop confidence by giving the pupils opportunity to talk about how they have used mathematics to solve problems, explaining their strategies to others in their class.

Science

Science is integrated into the projects to make it purposeful.  We have an excellent environment for scientific learning which teachers utilise fully. We encourage children to ask questions, compare, look for cause and effect, and investigate under fair conditions. We believe that all children learn a great deal from first hand experience and there are many opportunities planned for this. Our Science includes environmental science and promotes global awareness.  We invite guests to school to make presentations on various scientific subject matter and make educational visits utilising all the facilities and areas that Dorset has to offer, including exciting trips to the New Forest Owl and Otter Sanctuary and Brownsea Island. These trips have really enhanced our understanding of differing environments, habitats and the diversity of the animals located within just the Dorset area.

Computing

Computing is a tool that underpins all our learning.  We have just decomissioned our computing suite and installed a wireless network. We have a bank of 60 networked laptops which enable children to access a wide range of educational software pertinent to their stage of development. There is a broad range of learning themes including graphics, word processing, control technology, data handling and information research. Children also use their computer skills to access learning across the whole curriculum. Every classroom has an interactive whiteboard as well as at least 6 laptops which enables teachers and pupils to use computers on a daily basis to support their learning. We ensure safe internet access through careful filtering and monitoring by South West Grid for Learning. Children are also taught to use programmable technology including digital cameras, robots, tape recorders and computerised toys.  Please note that you will be asked to complete and return an Internet Safety agreement when your child starts school with us.

R.E. - Religious Education

We have our own scheme of work based on the Poole Agreed Syllabus. This introduces an awareness and respect for other religions and is broadly based on Christian values. It contributes not only to the children’s spiritual development but also their personal and social education. We encourage our pupils to respect and care for others, by showing fairness and acceptance. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from R.E. and assemblies should they wish to do so: any such request should be made in writing to the Headteacher.

We appreciate the beliefs of other faiths and encourage children to visit other places of worship. Diversity is promoted though multicultural activities and Assemblies.

Throughout the year special events are celebrated and parents are invited to take part in a range of activities.

Sex Education

We are expected to teach Sex Education. This is handled very sensitively. We look at family values, roles and responsibilities and the extended family.  We also feel it is important to discuss appropriate relationships and behaviour.

PHSE / Emotion, Health & Wellbeing

We have embedded the SEAL projects (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning), which positively supports our school values.  Our aim is to develop children’s knowledge and understanding of how to respond to their own and others emotions in a positive way.  We encourage children to develop their skills so that they can work independently and as a team.

We also promote healthy lifestyle choices and an enthusiastic approach to exercise. Our school has achieved Healthy School Status and Active Mark.

Drugs Education

Our drugs education teaches children to be drug aware and safe.  It is developed around medicines and the appropriate times to take them.  We discuss the purpose of medicines, who should deliver them and the potential dangers.

School Council

Each school year, we elect a new School Council to represent the views of children in Stanley Green Infant Academy.

12 children (2 children each from classes in Years 1 and 2) meet every two weeks to discuss issues that are concerning pupils and staff, like school routines or community issues. In these discussions we try to find creative solutions to children’s concerns and we focus on the school’s values of creativity, independence, collaboration and emotional intelligence to help us do this.

We make sure we talk to our classmates as much as we can to collect discussion ideas and we let them know about our ideas for change by taking assemblies or posting our actions on the School Council notice board.

Keep reading the school website for regular updates on our meetings and projects to improve school life in Stanley Green.