Our Curriculum

What do we teach in Early Years Foundation Stage?
This stage of your child’s learning journey is called the Foundation Stage because it gives them secure foundations for their later learning. We want all children to have enjoyable and challenging learning experiences. At Glastonbury Thorn we provide a skills based curriculum which helps our children grow in confidence and independence.They learn through a balance of child initiated and adult led activities and are encouraged to work both inside and outdoors through Playing and Exploring, Active Engagement and Creating and Thinking Critically.  Children develop their learning characteristics to best prepare them for the NationalCurriculum.

There are three Prime and four Specific areas of learning:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
Looking at; making relationships, self-confidence and self-awareness & managing feelings and behaviour.

Communication and Language (CL)
Covering listening and attention, speaking & understanding.

Physical Development (PD)
Concerned with movement and handling & health and self-care.

Literacy (L)
Reading & writing

Mathematics (MD)
Focusing on numbers & shape, space and measure.

Understanding the World (UW)
Including people and communities, the world & technology.

Expressive Arts and Design (EAD)
Centred on artistic expression, with exploring and using media and materials & being creative.

We have an enclosed outdoor area which we aim to use all year round. We provide activities outside which support all the areas of learning. Staff and children in

Foundation Stage are outside in all weathers so wellington boots and raincoats are essential!

What do we teach in Years 1, and 2?
The curriculum in Years 1 and 2 is based on the National Curriculum outlined by the Department for Education. This sets out what pupils should be taught but it is for schools to choose how they organise their school curriculum. (Academies and free schools do not need to follow the National Curriculum.)

There are three core subjects:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science

and seven foundation subjects :

  • Computing (ICT)
  • Design Technology
  • History
  • Geography
  • Art and Design
  • Music
  • PE

Religious Education is also a legal requirement and we teach RE according to the locally agreed syllabus published by Milton Keynes Education Authority.

Personal, Health and Social Education (PHSE) is a non-statutory subject but is, nevertheless, an important part of the curriculum at our school.

Curriculum map for EYFS

Curriculum map for Year 1

Curriculum map for Year 2

How is the curriculum organised?
At Glastonbury Thorn, we follow a ‘topic-based’ approach to the curriculum.  This means that wherever possible, we group subjects around a topic.  The topics we choose depend on two factors: what areas of the National Curriculum we must cover and the interests and needs of the children.

Why do we use a topic based approach to the curriculum?
At Glastonbury Thorn School we believe that young children learn most effectively when the skills and knowledge that they are learning are presented to them in this unified way rather than as separate subjects. New knowledge is always easier to acquire when links are made to existing knowledge. Using a topic that is relevant and meaningful to the children as a framework makes it easier for children to develop these all-important links and to build upon what they already know.

Lessons will vary considerably in their structure and content but they will always be relevant, engaging and meet the needs of every pupil. Lessons will often be as practical and ‘hands on’ – children learn best when they are active and ‘doing’ – and of course we always try to make them fun!

We also actively promote the fundamental British Values and this forms part of our wider work in school with children in relation to their Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education (SMSC).

The British Values, as defined by the government, are :

Democracy
The Rule of Law
Individual Liberty
Mutual Respect
Tolerance of different Faiths and Beliefs

At Glastonbury Thorn we teach a broad and balanced curriculum that teaches elements of democracy, rules and laws, the monarchy, equality, values and virtues, environmental awareness and understanding of different faiths. These British Values permeate all areas of our curriculum across the whole school. Teaching tolerance and respect is an integral part of our everyday school life; children understand that they must follow our Golden Rules for us all to enjoy a happy school. We ensure all pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to, and demonstrate how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes such as a school council in Year 2 whose members are voted for by the pupils.

We believe that teaching these British values creates a climate within which pupils feel safe and secure and therefore allows them to learn, develop and prepares them for life in modern Britain.

Topics for all year groups for 2017–2018 are:

Foundation StageYear 1Year 2
AUTUMN1. You and me
2. Autumn & Festivals
1. By the sea 2. Whatever the weather1. Once upon a time
SPRING1a. Bears
1b. People who help us
2. Once upon a time
1. Living in my skin 2. The toy box1. Fantastic Mr Dahl
SUMMER 1. Growing
2. The natural world
1. Rain forests 2. Walk on the wild side1. What a wonderful world

Curriculum Newsletters for Foundation Stage Green Zone:

Autumn 1 2016 Autumn 2 2016  Spring 2017  Summer 2017 Autumn 2017 Spring 2018 Summer 2018

Curriculum Newsletters for Year 1 Red Zone:

Autumn 1 2016 Autumn 2 2016 Spring 2017 Summer 2017 Autumn 2017  Autumn 2 2017 Spring 1 2018 Spring 2 2018 Summer 1_2018

Curriculum Newsletters for Year 2 Blue Zone:

Autumn 2016  Spring 2017 Summer 2017 Autumn 2017 Spring 2018 Summer 2018

Reading Scheme
The reading scheme at Glastonbury Thorn consists of four colour bands (red, yellow, green, blue), the first two colour bands focus on learning to read, and the second two on reading to learn. Each colour band is sub-divided into four stages known as Red1, Red 2, Red 3, Red 4, Yellow 1 and so on.

Learning to read focuses on the process of decoding and using phonics skills to build and recognise words. At this stage children will need support to enable them to discuss the content.

Reading to learn takes place when your child is competent with the reading process and is able to read fluently, without relying on decoding, discussing their reading and showing greater understanding of what they have read.

The reading books in each band are made up of a wide range of books, all have been carefully chosen for their interesting content and graded according to their phonetic skills.

What is phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching children to skilfully read and write with accuracy, pace and fluency. At Glastonbury Thorn School the children are taught through a systematic synthetic programme (Letters and Sounds) to:

  • recognise and say the sounds that each individual letter makes
  • identify sounds the different letter combinations make e.g. sh or oa
  • blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. Children can then use and apply this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first, most important step in learning to read.

We also use ‘Read Write Inc‘ as an intervention programme to support children’s phonic knowledge.

Some websites you may find useful are:

Phonics Play

Letters and Sounds website

Education City

Oxford Owl

Oxford Owl Videos

Jolly Phonics songs

Performance Tables

Schools performance tables service

Great teachers don’t teach lessons, they teach children!

– Anonymous

“Thank you so much for teaching me. I have learnt so many things. All the teachers are very kind. I will miss you”

– Pupil