A Mastery Curriculum
We believe children at Crabtree Infants’ should have the opportunity to learn through a rich curriculum that gives a wide range of experiences and enables them to master key concepts. Our learning is based on a topic approach. The children are encouraged to identify what they already know about the topic and what they would like to learn. This is then tracked onto the expectations from either the Foundation Stage for Reception or National Curriculum for Year 1 and 2 to ensure the children have the appropriate coverage of all subjects.
We want our children to be:
- self motivated learners
- personally responsible for their decision
- curious and motivated
- having fun in their learning
- part of a community
- able to develop an appropriate code of conduct
- able to learn through a structured programme of activities which are suited to their learning style and ensure their skills progress
- able to sustain interest and concentration
- challenged but enjoy success in learning
- able to extend their range of experiences and increase their creativity
Organisation of Pupils for Learning
Children are organised in a variety of ways, based on our knowledge of the children and their learning and personal, social and emotional needs. These include: whole class, flexible groupings of different sizes including friendship, ability, behaviour and mixed ability as well as working individually or working in pairs. Our pupils will be interacting across and within the year group with other children.
Beyond the Classroom
We believe that the learning environment extends beyond the walls of the classroom. To this end we offer a range of learning experiences that include:
Woodland Learning - Weekly sessions enable children to use our extensive grounds including a woodland area. This gives children the opportunity to observe and explore the natural environment, develop problem solving skills and increase a sense of responsibility for the environment.
Workshops to support topic learning - we enable children to take part in workshops such as The Great Fire of London, Florence Nightingale, Castles etc.
We have a regular and constant list of School Trips and Visits to locations such as the The London Eye, a London River Cruise, Windsor Castle, Aldenham Country Park, Southend on Sea, Mill Green Museum, Stockwood Park, Whipsnade Zoo. We also include local trips visits to St Albans Synagogue, mosque, churches, library, fire station.
It is also important to us that we have visitors to school which have included: Rabbi, Salvation Army, Hindu Priest, Nurse, Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Chinese Drummers.
Theme Days/Weeks Art Day, Science Week, Islamic Focus Week, Chinese Cultural Week, Birdwatch Fortnight, Walk to School Week, Book Week.
Supporting Your Child’s Learning
At Crabtree Infants' School we value parents and carers as partners in their children's learning and encourage them to work with their children at home to support the work that we do in school. We recognise the importance of play, speaking and listening in children’s educational development. We encourage parents and carers to read frequently with children at home, play word and maths games and help with learning their spellings. We offer suggestions and activities for this on the weekly blog. We also recognise the importance of physical activity and the need to develop gross motor skills. Please see our Starting School Booklet for more information.
Foundation Stage: Reception
There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. 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, the prime areas, are:
communication and language
personal, social and emotional development
We also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
The specific areas are:
understanding the world
expressive arts and design
Key Stage One Curriculum: Years 1 and 2
Children in Key Stage One follow the National Curriculum which includes English, Mathematics, Science, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Design and Technology, History, Geography, Art and Design, Music, and Physical Education (PE). Subjects are often grouped together when teaching topic areas.
There are separate guidelines for the teaching of Religious Education (RE) and Personal, Social, Citizenship, Health and Emotional learning (PSCHE).
The core areas of the National curriculum are: English, Mathematics, Science, ICT and RE. The other subjects are grouped as the Foundation Subjects: Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Development.
Crabtree Infants’ School understands that SMSC development is a key feature of children’s learning and development and ensure that it underpins all aspects of school life. Please have a look at this year's SMSC calendar.
Staff at Crabtree Infants’ are passionate about ensuring that the children are given a wealth of exciting learning opportunities that inspires their imagination and develops a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them.
Personal Social and Health Education provides skills which will help the children to work well with others and understand different viewpoints. Much of this work is central to the school ethos as we value and respect the children and teach them to respect each other. We follow the ‘Jigsaw’ PSHE curriculum which is a mindful approach to PSHE and covers the following topic areas:
Being Me in My World
Dreams and Goals
School Council: Twice a year, 2 children per class are elected to be representatives for their class on a School Council. Weekly meetings take place where the children are involved in discussions around e.g. the school’s priorities, ways to further improve the school playground, fund raising events and supporting charities. The children then present the results of their discussions to the school.
Eco Council: Children are elected to be part of an Eco group to discuss environmental concerns. Activities have included designing posters to remind people to turn off the lights, a litter pick and bulb planting. The school has achieved the Eco Schools Silver Award for its work in this area.
Fairtrade Councillors: Children are elected to take on the role of a Fairtrade Councillor. This involves raising awareness of Fairtrade and helping to organise events throughout the year. The school holds a ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’ and the children help to run a Fairtrade Café for the parents. The school has achieved the ‘Fair Achievers Status’ award from the Fairtrade Foundation.
Citizen of the Week: Each week the children are invited to nominate a child to be ‘Citizen of the Week’. The nominated child may have been spotted embracing the school’s values and golden rules. A ‘Citizen of the Week’ is selected by the headteacher and his or her name is published in the weekly bulletin.
Values: The children are involved in discussions about the values that they feel are important to develop at Crabtree Infants’ School. There is an opportunity to vote for the value that is going to be the focus value for the term ahead which then becomes the basis of assemblies and class discussions.
Cultural development: The importance of ensuring that the children have an understanding and appreciation of the wide range of different cultures within our school and wider society is an essential element of their preparation of life in modern Britain. The school invites visitors from many faiths and cultures and enables the children to visit places of worship. The curriculum enables children to learn about e.g. special days, special books and special places that are beyond their own experiences.