This policy applies to all pupils in the Infant and Junior School, including the EYFS; our curriculum takes into account the ages, aptitudes and needs of all pupils, including those with specific learning needs.
Sheffield Girls’ Infant and Junior School recognises that all pupils of every age are entitled to a curriculum which is characterised by breadth, balance, coherence, relevance, differentiation and progression. Our ethos, Fusion Curriculum and excellent pastoral care is the structural framework that underpins academic achievement. Through the delivery of consistently excellent teaching and the implementation of support mechanisms, our pupils become individually successful, confident young women.
The Curriculum aims to:
- provide opportunities for all pupils to enjoy learning and make progress so they achieve their potential.
- provide pupils with experience in Linguistics (including Speaking and Listening and Modern Foreign Languages); Mathematics; Computing; Personal Development (including music, dance and drama); Art and Design Technology; History, RE, Geography and Citizenship; PE and PSHEE; Science.
- deliver experiences appropriate for the ages and aptitudes of pupils, including those with Specific Educational Needs
- enable pupils to acquire a vast range of skills including those linked to Speaking and Listening, Literacy and Mathematics
- provide opportunities for children to develop their enquiry skills, selecting information from a variety of sources and media and making judgements about its accuracy and reliability
- provide a full-time supervised education for pupils of compulsory school age
The curriculum has been planned to ensure that it is:
Broad – so that it provides each girl with a wide range of experiences, knowledge and skills, fostering educational development and encouraging independent learning
Balanced – so that each area of the curriculum is allowed sufficient time for its contribution to be effective
Flexible and Differentiated – so that what is taught and how it is taught is relevant and stimulating to meet the learning needs of individual girls and fully develop their abilities and aptitudes. Regular pupil progress meetings and Individual Learning Plans enable staff to identify and provide for a range of abilities and needs.
The curriculum aims to foster the development of the qualities and skills which will enable girls to achieve success and fulfilment in all areas of their learning and beyond. These include the developing skills:
- to be healthy;
- to stay safe;
- to enjoy and achieve on a personal individual level;
- to make a positive contribution to school and community life;
- to achieve wellbeing and
- to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Issues of teaching and learning are high on the professional agenda of the school; we aim to use a wide range of teaching styles in response to the individual learning needs of the girls. Subject Leaders and Coordinators take responsibility for the monitoring of teaching and learning as well as ensuring that staff, are kept up to date with best practice.
The development of spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness is included within the curriculum at all key stages. Assemblies are held on three days each week and these provide further opportunities to explore spiritual and moral issues. PHSE is taught both as a discrete subject and integrated into other areas of the curriculum – see PHSE Policy.
Fundamental British Values
Within our curriculum we:
- actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs;
- ensure that principles are actively promoted which:
- enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
- enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
- encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality in which the school is situated and to society more widely;
- enable pupils to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England;
- further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures;
- encourage respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010(2);
- encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England;
- preclude the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school;
- take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that where political issues are brought to the attention of pupils;
- while they are in attendance at the school;
- while they are taking part in extra-curricular activities which are provided or organised by or on behalf of the school;
- in the promotion at the school, including through the distribution of promotional material, of extra-curricular activities taking place at the school or elsewhere;
The early learning goals (the knowledge, skills and understanding which young children should acquire by the end of the reception year) and the educational programmes are set out in the “Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage” document March 2012.
The three prime areas of learning and development are:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
The four specific areas of learning and development are:
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
At Sheffield Girls’ Infant and Junior School we believe these are equally important and interconnected, depending on each other to support a rounded approach to child development. We deliver all the areas through planned, purposeful play, with a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities. We aim to challenge the more able girls to reach an exceeding level in the Early Learning Goals.
Our curriculum has the school values at its core. It builds on the dynamics of Kindness, Courage and Positivity, and perfects key aspirational competencies which in turn create sources of cognitive, metacognitive and expressive energy. The curriculum builds character attributes in the children, through the articulation of the Growth Mindset and Positive Project initiatives, and shapes their individual approach to life, now and into adulthood. Furthermore, it builds transferable, life skills such as communication, self-awareness and critical thinking.
Linked to current educational and scientific research, the curriculum harnesses the energy of the pupils, teacher, parents and learning environment, providing and consolidating essential education knowledge and skills. All of these characteristics are layered and connected within the subject areas and energises the learning environment through connectivity, creativity and innovation, bringing together all of these aspects into one curriculum. On this basis we have called our curriculum a Fusion Curriculum.
We set our programmes of study according to the needs of all abilities within our School, and differentiate appropriately within the classroom to ensure that every student learns and makes progress. We endeavour to make the learning experience holistic for all children, developing their individual talents and strengths and supporting their weaker areas. Our curriculum is intended at all times to provide the fullest and broadest experience for every child. Interaction with the community, participation in matches against other schools, and in competitions further enhances the pupil’s learning.
Students for whom English is an Additional Language
Pupils are given additional support in English if this is not their first language. In the classroom the teacher is careful to ensure that all pupils can understand and take part in all learning, and make the necessary adjustments to their learning plans. Some children have additional language support, given by a specialist teacher.
Special Educational Needs (including Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities)
This Policy should be read in conjunction with the Special Educational Needs Policy.
The teacher’s knowledge of their pupils, as well as experience as a professional, and parental concerns/observations is used to help identify individual needs and guide interventions. Concerns are highlighted to the school’s SENCo – who in consultation with the teacher, pupil and parents may do some screening or observations before setting a course of action. This might include making reasonable changes to teaching materials, facilities, resources or style that reduce barriers to learning. Steps are taken appropriate to the ages and aptitudes of the pupils.
The School monitors and records intervention and support for any pupils with significant learning difficulties or disabilities and ensures that our admissions, discipline and other procedures, including arrangements for school trips and examinations, take account of pupils’ learning difficulties or disabilities.
MAT (More Able and Talented)
We seek to provide opportunities for all of the children to acquire skills and progress in their individual ways. We believe that all children should have an education that encourages, motivates, supports and inspires them to achieve their full potential. Within this culture of aspiration, we are fully committed to developing an inclusive approach. We believe that in making provision for the needs of the more able and talented, that all our children will thrive and standards raised throughout the school. We aim to support each pupil during her time at the school so that she can access the fullness of the curriculum and find challenge and engagement appropriate to her ability level. Please see the Challenge and Engagement Policy for further detail.