At Mortimer St. John’s we follow the National Curriculum. Please click on the link below for further information. National Curriculum England
The Foundation Stage is a vital time in which our children settle into school life and are supported in becoming happy, confident, independent learners. The curriculum covers seven areas of learning.
Prime Areas of Learning:
Communication and Language focuses on giving children the opportunities to experience a rich language environment, develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves and to speak and listen in a range of situations. This also focuses on developing the children’s listening and attention skills in a range of different situations.
Physical Development focuses on providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement on both a large and small scale. Children are also helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development focuses on helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others. This involves forming positive relationships and developing respect for others, developing social skills and learning how to manage their feelings; helping children understand appropriate behaviour in groups and to have confidence in their own abilities.
Specific Areas of Learning:
Mathematics focuses on providing the children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and to talk about shapes, space and measures.
Literacy focuses on providing the children with the opportunity to develop their reading and writing skills through the application of their phonic knowledge. Children are encouraged to develop a love for reading and use their imaginations to craft well thought through sentences.
Understanding the World focuses on providing the children with opportunities to develop their understanding of the world around them, both past and present. Children are encouraged to develop an understanding of the differences and similarities they see both in the natural world as well as between themselves and others and be sensitive to any differences. Children will also learn age appropriate IT skills.
Expressive Arts and Design focuses on enabling the children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. Children are provided with opportunities and encouraged to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design technology.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
The characteristics of effective learning describe factors which play a central role in a child’s learning and in becoming an effective learner. They run through and underpin all seven areas of learning and development, representing processes rather than outcomes. There are three characteristics of an effective learner:
Playing and exploring – engagement
- Finding out and exploring
- Playing with what they know
- Being willing to ‘have a go’
Active learning – motivation
- Being involved and concentrating
- Keeping trying
- Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
Creating and thinking critically – thinking
- Having their own ideas
- Making links
- Choosing ways to do things
Foundation Stage Class Teachers will assess the children in each of the Characteristics of Effective Learning and report this to parents.
Reports from Previous School
Please hand to your child’s teacher any reports or paperwork you may have from their previous school/nursery. This information is important to us as it enables us to build a clear picture of your child.
In the Foundation Stage we provide an online learning journal. This will contain a record of your child’s achievements from both at home and at school. This will be compiled by both you the parent and us at School. Further information will be sent home when your child starts school.
Key Stage 1
We want our children to become confident speakers, fluent readers and competent writers. Reading is carefully monitored and children are encouraged to read for understanding and pleasure. The children participate in discussions and make predictions based on what they have read. As children’s reading skills develop, they learn to read for information from the wealth of books in classrooms or the school library.
Children are encouraged to develop their spoken language through questioning, discussion and drama. Personal writing forms an important part of the subject. This takes many forms including: actual, imaginative and descriptive writing. Our children examine a wide range of stories, poems, plays and information books. The children are given opportunities to enhance their vocabulary, and gain a deeper understanding of grammar and spelling. Handwriting is taught throughout the school in continuous cursive script.
Mathematics is an important part of the curriculum and we want our children to develop an enthusiasm and interest in the subject. They experience working with and applying numbers, money, measuring length as well as mass, capacity and time. They will also look at the properties of 2D and 3D shapes, understand and give directions and make and interpreting data in different graphs. Children are encouraged to apply their knowledge to solve different problems. Children will also develop confidence and fluency in mental calculation.
Where appropriate, the children explore mathematics through practical experiences, for example using money in shopping, weighing when cooking.
We aim to help children develop lively and enquiring minds and acquire some of the basic skills relevant to adult life. We want our children to understand and appreciate the world they live in and develop an understanding of science. Children are taught the skills of scientific enquiry to develop their knowledge and understanding of life processes and living things, materials and their properties and physical processes. We use practical activities to promote an exchange of ideas, questioning and logical thinking.
Our children will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They will learn about their surroundings and gain an understanding of a variety of physical and human environments. We aim to extend children’s interest and knowledge beyond their immediate experience and help them to interpret the world in which they live, by encouraging them to ask questions and to develop a responsibility for the earth and its people.
We want our children to be aware of their personal and cultural background and the society in which they belong. We help children develop an awareness of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, through questioning and the use of historical sources. We encourage children to be aware of the changes in their own lives and those of their family.
In our ever increasing technological world, it is essential that children are equipped to take advantage of the opportunities which ICT provides. Our pupils are taught the principals of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to create and debug simple programs. We aim to develop children’s computing capability in all areas of the curriculum using a range of software incorporating cross-curricular links. Our children have access to a variety of technologies including iPads, digital cameras, programmable robot toys, interactive boards and the internet. Children’s access to the internet is closely controlled and all our computers have internet filter protection. Children learn how to keep themselves safe when using technology in an age appropriate way.
Our children use their creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. They are taught to develop their design and technology capabilities through a combination of knowledge, design and construction. We aim for the children to be able to identify a purpose for their work, and then plan, make and evaluate. The children use tools and work in a safe manner.
Musical activities can give great pleasure to children. Class music lessons involve singing and work on rhythm using percussion and tuned instruments. We aim to develop abilities and interests in making and appreciating music. We perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions. Whole school singing plays an important role both within the school and the wider school community.
Whilst enjoying a PE lesson, children are using communicating skills, developing language, co-operating and using logical thought. Physical Education is important for developing health for life, in body and mind. Mortimer St. John’s offers a progressive and structured programme of physical activities, which cover gymnastics, dance and game skills. Our pupils engage in competitive and cooperative physical activities. Dance and Multi Sports specialists work with the children on a regular basis enhancing their learning in this area.
Art and Design
We want to develop children’s understanding of colour, line, shape, form, texture, tone and pattern. Our children experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. This is achieved through working with a variety of media such as pastels, paint, fabric and clay and learning a repertoire of technical skills. Studying the work of famous artists also forms a significant part of the art curriculum.
Health Education and Relationship Education
Health Education and Relationship Education encompasses work which is centred on attitudes, feelings and an understanding of ourselves and our relationship with others. Children learn what is good mental health, how they and their bodies may change as they grow, how to keep themselves safe and how to ask for support if they need it. Children’s questions are answered frankly and straightforwardly in a factual manner appropriate to the age of the child.
As a Church of England School we seek to develop Christian attitudes. Through Bible and other stories we strive to develop an appreciation of the influence that each of us has on those around us. We follow the Christian calendar, particularly celebrating Christmas, Easter and Harvest Festival. It is also important that the children understand the history behind and beliefs of other faiths.