We have recently updated our curriculum to enhance cross-curricular links and ensure that children’s learning builds on previous years to develop their skills and knowledge. We were keen to make sure that it is both progressive and cohesive throughout their time at Chartham. In discussion with stakeholders, we wanted to understand what they believed made Chartham unique and wonderful to consider how this could be reflected in the intent of our curriculum.
We are fortunate to live in a community where everyone is keen to be involved in school life; where everybody cares about the school and its children. Over the years we have had strong links with our community and we believe this has been vital to Chartham’s success. We want our curriculum to reflect the values of the community and develop these links further.
Our aim is to provide everyone with learning skills that will prepare them for the next stage in their education and beyond. To provide opportunities that some may not otherwise have. We want to provide our children with a curriculum that is progressive, that develops their creativity and natural inquisitiveness, and that is relevant to our setting and the world that they inhabit.
To do this, we believe that children’s ability to access and enhance their own learning is vital and as such developing reading and literacy in all areas of the curriculum underpins everything we do at Chartham.
Communication with parents and the community is important to us; so much of our learning is shared via social media and through our ‘Tapestry’ online learning journal, as well as in books. Parents, family and friends are invited in to share the children’s learning, whether it is on ‘Newsday Tuesday, ‘Fabulous Finale’ or class assemblies. Parents are also able to share home learning through ‘Tapestry’. Our topic based approach allows children to become immersed in their learning and we ensure that through our curriculum development, skills and knowledge is built upon throughout their time at the school.
Ultimately we want ALL of our children to leave Chartham Primary School prepared for their next step, with a genuine curiosity and love of learning. Our aim is to provide them with a love of reading, a desire to find out more; and knowledge of the world. We believe these skills, combined with our rigorous approach to monitoring and assessment, will give our children the opportunity to make the most of the world ahead.
At Chartham we provide all children, from Year R to Year 6, an ‘online learning journal’ through the platform of ‘Tapestry’, which records observations, photos and videos of their curriculum learning and also provides an opportunity for parents to comment and add their own observations to their own child’s journal. This helps to provide a strong partnership between school and home.
This enables children's practical and group work skills in all curriculum areas to be valued, from PE skills to drama activities, outdoor learning, and Maths problem-solving activities... the possibilities are endless!
At Chartham, the aim is to provide the very best possible start to every child’s education and enable them to fulfil their potential. We believe children should feel safe, have new exciting and inspiring experiences, build friendships, develop a love for learning and, most importantly, are happy during their first year of school.
Well-planned, structured activities and opportunities for children to discover and be curious are provided within a free-flow environment between the two Year R classrooms and the outdoor learning area. A stimulating, secure environment is provided, where children are encouraged to develop key learning skills. A broad-based, high quality curriculum is provided to all pupils covering all 7 areas of learning
There are seven areas of learning and development. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas are known as the prime areas:
•Communication and Language
•Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied are:
•Understanding of the World
•Expressive Arts and Design
We also place a great emphasis on how children learn, looking at the Characteristics of effective learning. The characteristics of effective learning are split into three main areas and then three sub sections within each area. These are ‘playing and exploring’ which shows how the child is engaging, ‘Actively learning’ which shows the motivation behind the child’s learning, and finally ‘creating and thinking critically’ this shows the thought processes behind learning and new achievements.
Early Years Foundation stage staff (Class Teachers and Teaching Assistants) plan and work closely together. They regularly observe and assess learning through an online journal to inform the next steps in teaching.
We have close links with local nurseries and visit all children in their nursery setting prior to starting school. Before children start in Reception, a home visit is offered to new parents to our school, to be able to talk informally with the Early Years Foundation Stage staff. Several ‘Stay and Play’ sessions give each child the chance to explore the opportunities and activities in the Reception Class before starting school, and even try a school lunch! Upon joining school children enjoy a staggered start and are allocated a Year 6 ‘Buddy’ to support them during their first year at school.
At the end of reception we ensure smooth transition to Year 1 through transition mornings, story sessions and storytime visits from new teachers. We have also developed continuous provision in Year 1 and have an exciting new outdoor area!