At Hartford Infant School we are on journey into learning. All staff and all children are involved and we are proud to share our experiences with you.
We believe that our children are unique and have the right to learn in a way that develops their natural curiosity. We aim to achieve this through a whole school child-led enquiry-based curriculum facilitated by a consistent and inspiring environment and engaging adults. We offer the children a variety of choices linked to their personal learning styles and are currently focusing on writing which is a while school targeted area.
Since 2017 we have worked alongside Early Excellence and reflected on the research of Brian Male, Mary Myatt and Julie Fisher toensure that our provision meets the needs of our children. We have developed our use of enquiry sessions throughout all year groups whereby children are encouraged to have self-directed time within the classroom to explore independent learning. These are known to the children and staff as COOL [Choosing Our Own Learning] time and enquiry and they enable the children to develop their independent learning through decision-making, problem solving, investigation and exploration.
In addition, children are taught, in daily sessions, the fundamental skills of reading, writing and maths using The National Curriculum (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum). This sets out what children should be taught by the end of Key Stage One [KS1] and in each of the other foundation subject areas. Children in Reception follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework–2). We choose to facilitate a mastery maths approach through regular fluency sessions to ensure that the children are continuously practicing key maths skills taught in our challenging maths lessons. There are also daily phonics and guided reading sessions and regular SPAG and handwriting opportunities in our weekly timetables. The teaching of Religious Education is statutory in all schools. It is taught as a subject outside the National Curriculum. At Hartford Infant School, we follow the Cambridgeshire Agreed Syllabus 2018 and deliver our RE in theme days each half term.
At Hartford Infant School, we aim to create opportunities for children to experience and master a range of activities that enhance and extend all other subjects from The National Curriculum in our enquiry sessions. Children have opportunities both inside and outside the classroom to enhance their learning throughout the term in science, art, design technology (DT), computing (ICT) music, science, physical education (PE), geography and history.
We ensure that in our regular whole school planning meetings we look to develop skills progressively and in a range of contexts pertinent to the children’s interests and/or current national initiatives. E.g. in response to the WWI celebrations our art work demonstrated a clear distinction of mark making skills taught in EYFS through to Year 2.
Our collective worship timetable dovetails with our enquiry lessons and personal, social, health education (PSHE) lessons using the Cambridgeshire Wellbeing scheme of work. Our Religious Education Policy Statement is available to view on this page.
We currently use the Leuven Scale to measure the children’s levels of engagement and can see that already our fledgling curriculum is having an impact on our children’s enjoyment of learning. This information is shared with governors and other stakeholders to demonstrate the positivity of our new changes. Currently our progress in reading, writing and maths in the autumn term 2018 is encouraging compared to previous year’s data (evidence: whole school Autumn data 2018). Our Pupil Voice activities have demonstrated that the children are enjoying the enquiry and COOL time sessions (evidence: Big Conversation 11.2.19 and Peer Review 22.1.19).
At Hartford Infant School, all children are invited to develop the following skills in our bold and engaging curriculum:
- a positive attitude towards learning from the moment they enter school
- a love of learning
- a commitment to seeking out ways to challenge themselves
- exploring, wondering and questioning
- experimenting and playing with possibilities
- researching and seeking information
- collecting data and reporting findings
- clarifying existing ideas
- deepening understanding through the application of a concept or rule
- making and testing theories
- making predictions and acting purposefully to see what happens and elaborating on solutions to problems.
Each year, the children access a range of trips, visitors and other thematic experiences to enrich their learning. These enrichment experiences are planned to compliment the enquiry journey that the children are engaged in. For instance as part of our geographical work, ‘I am a small part of the world’, the children had a bespoke trip to Cambridge city.
At the start of each half term a Learning Leaflet is sent home to parents and carers of the children in each year group to share key learning concepts and give suggestions for how to support their child.
There are opportunities for parents and carers to visit the classrooms and work alongside their children throughout the year and observe how we each phonics, maths or handwriting. Subsequent tailored workshops share top tips on how to support their child and there are numerous opportunities to come in and see the children’s enquiry work.
Parents can also access children’s work on enquiry with the use of an online journal (Tapestry) that is established in EYFS and currently launching in Key Stage 1.
We also promote Forest School within our school. This means every child has the opportunity to visit our woodland area on a weekly basis and access carefully planned Forest School sessions with a Forest School trained practitioner to support their outdoor learning and to enhance our curriculum.
We are confident that our journey will a rewarding one with opportunities to refine and develop our practice with the support of the children. We look forward to embellishing this report with evidence of the successful outcomes as we move forward.
At Hartford Infant School, we know that pupils who have a positive attitude towards their learning will make good progress and be successful. Consequently, instilling all our pupils with 'growth mindsets' has become a key priority for the school from September 2017 and beyond.
We want all our pupils to relish challenges, embrace their mistakes as part of the learning process, value the importance of effort, respond carefully to feedback and take inspiration from others.
This will help them to achieve, not only with us, but also in their future lives as adults.
We are very excited about the prospect of nurturing a growth mindset culture at Hartford Infant School. We have consistent displays across the school environment and try to use vocabulary that supports the children to see themselves as learners who are not afraid of making a mistake.
We know that to fulfil the potential of our pupils and encourage them to become confident and resilient learners we, as a team of parents/carers and staff, need to be modelling the mindset of a learner who is not afraid of making mistakes but who thrives upon them, knowing that this is all part of the learning process. The way in which we encourage children to learn and explore is vital to their success, not only at school but at home as well.
Bringing out the Best in Everyone