At High Halstow Primary Academy we offer a curriculum rich in wonder and memorable experiences. We work hard to provide a stimulating environment that provides exciting opportunities, promotes challenge, exploration, adventure and a real love of learning.
It is our intent that all children develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally in an environment which values all cultures, communities and people. We aim for our children to be confident and independent, to believe in themselves and interact positively with others.
We understand that play is an integral part of learning and this is at the heart of our early years curriculum. We believe that the correct mix of adult directed and uninterrupted child-initiated play ensures the best outcomes for pupils.
Warm and positive relationships between staff and children, consistent routines and strong relationships with parents are key.
We recognise the crucial role that early years education has to play in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’s education is successfully based.
At High Halstow Primary Academy we prioritise creating a ‘language rich’ environment through the use of songs, nursery rhymes, stories and providing time for quality interactions between adults and between peers. Trained staff ensure that interactions are positive and progressive, allowing children to flourish and gather words at pace in order to become confident communicators. Children are encouraged to become early readers through enjoyment of books and the systematic teaching of phonics through our phonics programme Phonics International. . The children learn nursery rhymes and develop their mathematical thinking through direct teaching, exploration and invitations to play. We want our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences.
Through our indoor and outdoor environment we enable our children to strengthen their core muscles through physical play, children spend time outdoors in their natural environment in all weathers. They develop through wonderful, exploratory, sensory experiences in our mud kitchen, sandpit. Our learning environment is adaptable in order to reflect children’s interests and progression. The children are supported to learn to work together, manage their feelings and ask questions through skilled adult facilitated play.
The curriculum is taught through transdisciplinary themes which are enriched with classroom enhancements, trips and visitors. From our TDT we introduce lines of inquiry which are supported by quality key texts. These are chosen carefully to encourage children’s speech, language and communication development. All planning however, is flexible and responsive to children’s needs so plans can be changed and adapted depending on children’s interests.
We understand the importance of parental engagement and believe that our parents have a crucial role to play in their children’s education. We work hard to create strong partnerships between home and school. Parents receive termly overviews each half term to inform them of what their child is learning each half term and to explain how they can support this at home. Parents enjoy using Tapestry to engage in their child’s learning and share experience from home- we then use our snack time as a class to explore and help the children to build the confidence and skills to talk to their friends about what they have been doing.
As part of the learning and teaching process, children are assessed in relation to their progress towards the Early Learning Goals. These judgements are made on the basis of accumulative observations and in depth knowledge of the children acquired through ongoing assessment. These ongoing assessments are used to inform planning and next steps in teaching and learning for all children throughout the year.
Our curriculum and its delivery ensure that children, from their own starting points make good progress. During their time with us children make rapid progress towards the national expectation for a good level of development at the end of the year. Pupils also make good progress toward their age-related expectations both academically and socially, developing a sense of themselves before transitioning into Year One.
Children develop their characteristics of learning and are able to apply their knowledge to a range of situations making links and explaining their ideas and understanding. Children are confident to take risks and discuss their successes and failures with peers and adults drawing on their experiences to improve or adjust what they are doing.
We believe our high standards are due to our carefully planned environment, enriched play-based curriculum, quality first teaching and the rigour of assessment.