Children deserve the best start in life and their education. PWPA understands that every child is unique and we provide a wide range of opportunities that follow children’s interests and build on their previous experiences. All our pupils learn both inside and outside in a safe and secure environment. This enables children to fulfil their potential by challenging them in all areas of learning and develop positive relationships with their peers and other adults.
At Paddock Wood Primary Academy we have high expectations of all pupils, to ensure that a significant majority of children achieve Early Learning Goals at the expected or exceeding level at the end of the year, through:
- Providing a broad, balanced, relevant and creative curriculum that sets in place firm foundations for further learning and development in Key Stage 1 and beyond
- Extending children’s experiences and learning through outdoor Forest Explorers sessions
- Proactive systems of assessment involving observations and purposeful interactions with pupils
- Developing excellent relationships with parents and carers to build a strong, constructive partnerships
- Providing a caring and inclusive learning environment which is sensitive to the requirements of the individual child including those who have additional needs
- Setting up nurture groups to improve social confidence and positive interaction
- Focused interventions in key areas of learning and development
- Ensuring we have an optimum balance of teacher led activities and sustained child initiated play sessions.
Characteristics of effective learning in our academy
We ensure that our environment and delivery of our curriculum incorporates the three characteristics of effective learning and teaching:
- Playing and exploring – children will have opportunities to investigate and explore, play with what they know and be willing to ‘have a go’
- Active learning – children will have time and space to concentrate and persevere on tasks they might find challenging and then enjoy their achievements when they succeed
- Creating and thinking critically – we encourage and support children to develop their own ideas, make links between them and develop strategies for completing tasks.
The EYFS curriculum is divided into prime and specific areas; a significant majority of children in our setting will have met these statements by the end of the Foundation Stage:
Prime areas: Communication and language
Children listen attentively with sustained concentration in a range of situations and respond appropriately to ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions. They express their views confidently, showing awareness of the listener’s needs and using a range of vocabulary and correct tenses. In our academy we ensure we offer lots of opportunities for whole class and group discussions, where we model questioning and extend pupils’ vocabulary, as they respond to each other.
Personal, social and emotional development
Children play cooperatively and form positive relationships with their peers and other adults. They are confident to try new activities, share their interests and speak in front of the class. Pupils can manage their own feelings, can listen to other children’s suggestions and accept their point of view can be different from their own. Teachers and other adults achieve this by scaffolding and discussing solutions to problems and by teaching a discrete PSHE program.
Children show good control and coordination in large and small movements. They handle tools effectively, including holding a pencil correctly in order to control the size of their letters. Children understand healthy choices in relation to eating and exercise and manage their own hygiene. We provide dedicated activities that improve children’s fine and gross motor skills. These include Funky Finger sessions, yoga, discrete PE lessons and outdoor physical development times.
Specific areas: Literacy
Children read regular words phonetically, as well as many irregular ‘high frequency’ words. They understand what they are reading and can describe main events in simple stories. We use a systematic and rigorous approach to teaching phonics which is regularly assessed. In PWPA we promote children’s passion for reading through sharing high quality texts daily and ensuring children read frequently in groups and individually. Children use their phonic knowledge to spell regular words and can write many irregular ‘high frequency’ words too. The majority of children form their letters correctly in the pre-cursive style making sure their sentences can be read by themselves and others. We ensure that children have lots of opportunities to write in meaningful contexts and for a range of purposes (including using strands of Talk4Writing).
At the end of the year our children can count reliably with numbers to at least 20 and can estimate a number of objects in a set. They solve practical problems that involve combining groups of 2, 5 or 10, sharing into equal groups, doubling and halving. Using quantities and objects they can add and subtract two single digit numbers and count on and back to find the answers. They use everyday language to describe shapes, sizes, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money. The way we plan and teach mathematics enables children to develop and deepen their understanding of numbers, shapes and measures. We use a range of manipulatives and hands on experiences as well as careful questioning to develop children’s mastery of mathematics.
Understanding of the World
Children talk about past and present events in their own lives. They recognise similarities and differences between people and communities. Children talk about features of their immediate environment and how it differs from others. Throughout the year children go on seasonal walks to observe and discuss changes that have occurred. We carefully plan for pupils to learn about a variety of cultures and traditions, including Diwali, Chinese New Year and European languages week. Children recognise and use a range of technology to support their learning, including Beebots, interactive whiteboards and cameras.
Expressive Arts and Design
Children safely use, explore and experiment with a variety of materials, tools and techniques. They use their imagination to represent their ideas and feelings, through dance, songs, art and role play. We provide a wide range of open ended resources for children to use and manipulate for their own purposes. Children create models, to extend their play and we teach skills to evaluate and improve their creations. Role play areas evolve throughout the year following the children’s interests.