Nursery and Reception make up almost half of our school, and we use our knowledge and experience of the Early Years to ensure that the curriculum the children enjoy is a balance of child and teacher led activities, structured to build key personal and social development skills whilst making the most of children's starting points to extend their knowledge and skills. We pack a lot in and have high expectations which is reflected in excellent outcomes for pupils.
A typical day/session in an Early Years classroom will include some whole class activities, and also time for children to work in small groups or individually, either with a teacher or teaching assistant, or independently. Children have extended opportunities to choose their own learning pathways and explore the resources provided, both inside and outside.
In Nursery and Reception.
There is an established 'Forest Schools' programme for pupils throughout the year: we believe that learning outside in the natural environment supports excellent personal, social and emotional development.
Although there are no national programmes of study for Religious Education, we include them in our curriculum, as they are essential additional aspects of modern education.
Our thematic approach to the teaching and learning of all subjects allows children to explore topics in depth and to make crucial links in their learning. We are dedicated to making learning 'real' by including experiences, practical resources, visits and visitors that bring lessons to life. We do not have a set topic programme, but prefer to vary what we do to enable us to include ideas from children and choose themes that match the needs of the year group.
We believe that developing excellent skills in core subjects - English and Maths - is essential for the future wellbeing and success of our children, and we have a systematic and well organised whole school approach to ensure that the vast majority of children leave us with the skills they need to learn.
In English we use the 'Letters and Sounds' phonics programme and do not use a single exclusive reading scheme, favouring an approach that allows children to read more widely. Our excellent programme has led to exceptional outcomes for children in the national Phonics Check, and this in turn has a significant impact on standards in reading. We use 'Talk for Writing' activities and believe an important part of our success is valuing the development of writing skills across the curriculum.
In Maths we have a strong emphasis on understanding the number system, and being able to explain mathematical thinking. We provide plenty of opportunities to develop problem solving skills and use a wide range of concrete resources to support early learning, including numicon, dominos, dice, 10s frames and number lines. Children are then supported in moving from the concrete, through pictorial representation, to the abstract: we are developing our Mastery curriculum to ensure deep, secure knowledge that provides a basis for Maths throughout children's time in education. KS1 use Power Maths resources to support teaching and learning.
Our Forest Schools programme runs throughout the year for all of EYFS and KS1. Children learn and practise new skills from across the curriculum through outdoor learning, and observe changes in the natural environment through out the year. This compliments our skills based Science curriculum that allows children opportunities to investigate and explore the world around them.
The Grove Infants use the Arts as a driver of cross curricular learning, and are proud of the gold Artsmark we have held for more than 15 years.
We have a specialist Music teacher, who works with all of the Year groups from Nursery to Year 2, teaching singing, instrumental work and musical appreciation.
We employ a Sports Coach who also works with all of our pupils: teaching PE - dance, gymnastics, games and use of large and small apparatus, supporting active play at break times, and running free extra-curricular activities after school.