Our Curriculum

At Willow Bank Infant School, we are committed to ensuring that the education our pupils receive is consistently underpinned by our school aims and values to ensure that our children are happy and successful at school.

At Willow Bank Infant School we are committed to delivering high quality and personalised education. Our staff are dedicated to ensuring that the curriculum is exciting and dynamic, engaging and maximising the progress and potential of all pupils.

 The school’s values ensure that our provision is child-centred, creative and innovative, fostering curiosity and a love of learning. As a school, we look to the future and aim to prepare our children to be resilient, reflective learners able to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing world.

In order to successfully achieve this for all pupils, Willow Bank Infant School delivers a curriculum that has clear progression through knowledge, skills and understanding and ensures that the children are ready to learn.

In our Foundation Stage, we believe in a play-based approach. This gives children the opportunity to think creatively and critically whilst practising new skills, building on existing learning and pursuing their individual interests. Children learn to share, discuss, communicate, adapt, investigate and ask questions through play. Although the majority of the day is made up of children taking part in self-selected play-based activities, all children participate in structured phonics, number and topic related carpet sessions daily.

The Foundation Stage Unit learning styles are continued into Key Stage 1 to allow the children to develop and progress smoothly. Key Stage 1 methodologies ensure they develop and progress as a whole class and as individuals. The children experience topics covering science, history, geography music and RE. PE is taught twice a week and there is a clear progression of skills throughout Key Stage 1.

At Willow Bank Infant School we are very proud of our ethos and values that underpin all we do. We consider that it is important for the children to be aware of British Values and develop an understanding of modern Britain and their contribution to it. British Values and the modern British society are incorporated into all areas of the curriculum and experiences that the children have access to.

Our curriculum has been designed to meet the needs of all our children. We follow the new National Curriculum, though we enhance and enrich the curriculum through our cooperative and collaborative working with other schools and initiatives, together with a variety of activities including educational visits, school performances, visitors invited into school to share experiences, Afterschool Clubs and Inter-school competitions. Many topics are brought together, where possible, and taught in a cross-curricular way, to maximise the use of time and also to make experiences more meaningful and provide children with a real context for learning. We use multiple strategies and approaches to support children’s learning, for example, using books from the RWI Reading Scheme to ensure that children learn to read using books best suited to them, and similarly, with Phonics, using the Read Write Inc system of Phonics teaching to create a learning experience that suits each child.

The values that we strive for at Willow Bank Infant School, together with the curriculum, create a welcoming and inviting school environment in which children feel safe and happy, where modern pace and traditional values come together to help children achieve their full potential.

 

Covid-19

Owing to the ongoing, and unprecedented impact that Covid-19 is having on the children and staff at Willow Bank School, we have had to suspend aspects of our curriculum offer until such a time as it would be safe to reinstate them.

 Covid-19 guidance from the DfE has meant that we can no longer have physical collaboration and co-operation between our school and others. The visitors we have to our school are restricted and the visits, performances and shared experiences we would ordinarily offer our children have also been suspended.

Throughout this difficult time, our focus remains on the mental and emotional wellbeing of the children in our care. We have adjusted the learning in the current year groups to support children who need to complete the learning they missed out on during the lockdown period last academic year. We have assessed the children in each class to ascertain where the gaps in learning may be and are working hard in our teams to support the children in filling those gaps and moving forward in their learning.

 Our focus for the Autumn Term is on settling the children back into the regular school routine, finding and filling any gaps in their learning from the previous school year, and introducing the children to their current year group expectations. For the Spring Term, we will focus on ensuring that the learning that would ordinarily happen in the Autumn term is embedded and that the children have exposure to the concepts, skills and knowledge appropriate to their year group.

The Summer Term will prioritise helping children to complete their learning journey so that they are in the best possible position to start their learning in their next year group, as we would usually expect.

We remain a nurturing and caring school and will adjust the pace of learning and curriculum coverage to suit the children, as our priority is ensuring that children retain their love of learning, their enthusiasm and curiosity as well as their emotional wellbeing. 

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