The Curriculum

The Learning Environment and the Enriched Curriculum

Much care and attention is given to the development and maintenance of a stimulating learning environment in both the school building and its grounds. Children’s work is handled sensitively and expectations with regard to the quality of the learning activity and its products are very high.

Our school ethos is founded upon children learning through, wherever possible, first-hand experience. We use the rich resources of the immediate local environment and beyond to the Downs, the Coast and the City of Chichester.

We welcome many visitors and professional experts help to further develop the children’s learning. The learning environment is enriched with a wide range of artefacts and objects to support cross-curricular links. The children are proud of their school and their achievements. They are encouraged to care for the environment and share the range of facilities available to them.

What is the National Curriculum?

The national curriculum consists of the ‘core subjects’ of Maths, English & Science. The remainder of the curriculum is made up of the ‘foundation subjects’, Computing, History, Geography, Religious Education, Art, Music, Design Technology and PE. In addition we teach Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship. The requirement as to what should be covered in each of these subject areas is set out in national documentation. However, it is up to each school to determine how it plans and organises the curriculum to meet these requirements.

What is the Lavant Curriculum like?

Although the national curriculum is published in discrete subject areas our approach is to link learning within these subjects meaningfully and to site the learning in contexts that are real for the children. The school has a long-term curriculum plan, which identifies when learning opportunities in each aspect of the curriculum are provided and the time allocated to that unit. Concepts and knowledge are revisited in different contexts in different year groups to ensure developing understanding and continuity of learning.

Teaching and Learning of Phonics and Spelling in EYFS and KS1

All phonics in EYFS and KS1 are taught following the Letters and Sounds document alongside the ‘Jolly Phonics Programme’. We have adopted the suggested daily teaching sequence set out in ‘Letters and Sounds’; Introduction, Revisit and Review, Teach, Practise, Apply and Assess learning against criteria. When appropriate, children are grouped to allow for the high achievers to make accelerated progress and those with additional needs to gain further support within their phonic phases.

Teaching is multi-sensory, encompassing simultaneous visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities to enliven core learning. Phonics is taught in short, briskly paced sessions and then applied to reading and writing in a meaningful context. All activities are well matched to the children’s abilities and interests, and all classroom environments have an age appropriate display concentrating on both sounds and key words. We provide ample opportunities to reinforce and apply acquired phonic knowledge and skills across the guided reading and writing.

Reception:

  • Daily discrete phonics lessons every day for 15/20 minutes.

  • By the end of reception children are expected to be at least secure in phase 3.

Year One/Year Two:

  • Discrete phonics lessons 3x a week for 20 minutes

  • By the end of year one to be secure in phase 5.

  • Children at the beginning of year two review Phase 5 before moving onto Phase 6.

  • Children requiring extra support are taught every day in a discrete lesson for 20 minutes.

Assessment

Children’s progress in developing and applying their phonic knowledge is carefully assessed and monitored. Children are tracked using the Letters and Sounds Progress Tracking sheet. Teachers use daily phonics sessions to monitor children’s progress and assess children through their writing and reading.

In Year 1 children will take the phonics screening check. This assessment will confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. If a child does not reach the appropriate standard then additional support will be put in place in order for the child to make accelerated progress with their phonic awareness development.