At Ghost Hill Infant and Nursery School we aim for every child to achieve their personal best through educating, enriching, enthusing and empowering our children. We value the abilites and achievements of all our pupils and are committed to providing for each pupil the best possible learning opportunities and environments. We recognise that all children have different styles of learning and we respond to this accordingly. We are a school that values the child as a whole and the strengths that they have. For more information, please read our SEN Report, which can be found on our Statutory Information page.
At Ghost Hill Infant and Nursery School we believe that every moment of a child’s time in school should be filled with rich experiences and memorable moments. We plan for our curriculum to go beyond just academic success, and offer a curriculum that gives all children at Ghost Hill Infant and Nursery School new experiences that help to enrich their learning, deepen their understanding of the world and develop enquiring minds and skills for life.
We want our children to be successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. We encourage and support each child to achieve their very best through creating an atmosphere of trust, openness and respect which encourages an enthusiasm for learning and critical thinking. Through a curriculum based upon the characteristics of effective learning, we encourage children to explore, take risks, investigate, be creative, and discover the world around them. They are supported to respond to challenge within a learning environment that is secure, enjoyable, and sensitive to individual needs and where mistakes are embraced as part of a learning cycle. We give our children time for independent thought and action as well as time to work together.
We help our children to take responsibility for their own learning through shared and clear learning objectives, success criteria and targets that build upon prior knowledge, skills and understanding. We encourage positive self-esteem by providing challenging, achievable learning experiences. Careful assessment ensures a personalised approach to teaching and learning and diversity and individuality are celebrated, clearly reflecting our ethos and values and our commitment to equality of opportunity.
We work closely with our feeder Junior school and build our curriculum to support transition and to ensure there is no repetition; only preparation for the next stage in the children's learning. We liaise with subject co-ordinators and curriculum leads through moderation opportunities and regular communication to ensure the knowledge and skills we are teaching our children are enabling them to be key stage 2 ready.
Finding out and exploring, using what they know, being willing to have a go.
Being involved and concentrating, keeping on trying, enjoying achieving what they set out to do
Have their own ideas, use what they already know to learn new things, choose ways to do things and find new solutions
The curriculum at Ghost Hill Infant and Nursery School focuses on problem solving, discussion, collaboration, imaginative thinking, exploration, practical skills, and opportunity for internalisation, reflection and challenge. We view the curriculum at our school as all the opportunities that promote learning, personal growth and development. This includes statutory requirements (National Curriculum), extra-curricular opportunities (experiences and visits) and the hidden curriculum (what our children learn from the way they are treated and are expected to behave). Our curriculum reflects our Ethos and Values and we are really proud of everything that the children at Ghost Hill Infant and Nursery School have the opportunity to learn and experience through enrichment, enthusiasm and empowerment in their education.
The curriculum in Nursery and Reception is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This provides a framework for realistic and challenging experiences that meet the different needs of all our children. It includes seven areas of learning:
Cross-curricular links are made through carefully planned topics. Learning is achieved through practical and enquiry based activities, as well as whole and small group teaching sessions.
Mathematics is essential in everything we construct, everything we calculate and almost every problem we have to solve in our everyday lives. This is reflected through the whole school, where the use of mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding is integrated into practical activities, meaningful problems and our topics. Children develop their knowledge and understanding of mathematics as they progress through the school. Resources are available to children to help them learn, develop and apply their understanding of the subject.
For our Nursery children we provide a range of continuous provision mathematical activities which the children can access throughout the day. These hands-on practical activities ensure the children learn in a fun way using a range of different resources. To support this, we follow the Development Matters document which shows a clear journey from Development Matters in Nursery (3-4 years) to Reception where White Rose is aligned to the new EYFS Statutory Framework 2021, ELG Numerical Pattern and Number. The children then have the knowledge to access the KS1 Curriculum. We use White Rose from R through to Year 2.
You can access the 2021 Development Matters document by clicking here.
The mathematical areas covered throughout the year in Nursery can be seen in the table below:
For our Reception aged children the emphasis is on practical experiences and the use of everyday objects to ensure the children develop a secure foundation upon which to build. Key mathematical vocabulary is introduced and used throughout, applying it to everyday experiences.
At the end of reception, children should be able to:
Have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number.
Subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5.
Automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.
At the end of reception, children should be able to:
To support this, we follow the White Rose teaching sequence. Reception follow a more fluid approach to teaching and learning in mathematics, supplementing the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Below is the Reception yearly overview table, showing the different elements to the National Curriculum and how it is covered in the school using the White Rose approach.
Two staff members took part in training and helped to produce the booklet below.
In Key Stage 1, the national curriculum programme of study for mathematics is followed and each year group covers work suitable for the needs and abilities of children within the class. We teach maths in a very practical manner using a concrete, pictorial and abstract approach to the teaching of concepts and skills. We also use a Maths Mastery approach to support pupils in acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. We deliver our Maths Curriculum by following the White Rose Maths teaching sequence. The areas of the Maths curriculum are broken down into weekly blocks for a suitable length of time to secure the pupil’s mathematical understanding. If needed, teachers have the flexibility to extend the length of time on a particular mathematical area, should the pupil’s need more time to consolidate their understanding.
Each class covers mathematical content in daily maths sessions and through their topic work.
Please see the White Rose Maths sequence of teaching in Key Stage 1 below:
At Ghost Hill Infant & Nursery School, we aim to equip every child with the skills and enthusiasm to become independent and confident readers. We want our children to love books and to read for pleasure so daily exposure to high quality texts is a crucial part of our pupil's days at home and at school.
Big Cat Phonic Books are used in Reception as part of the phonics session once the first 6 sounds have been introduced. These books are fully decodable and will support the children with their early reading experiences. Picture only reading books will be issued to Reception children after the first curriculum meeting with parents. These books are to build up questioning, discussion and comprehension of stories.
We want our children to love books and to read for enjoyment. To achieve this, we offer a wide selection of reading books and use a broad range of texts in lessons across the curriculum. Children are also encouraged to enjoy our well-stocked and welcoming library. Reading skills are taught daily in whole class, group and individual reading activities. Our children also enjoy visits from mystery readers, storytellers and authors, trips to the local library, special book weeks, book sales and reading challenges.
The school follows the Oxford Reading Tree book bands from pink to brown.
With the help of Rex Retriever, Victor Vocabulary, Sequencing Susi, Inference Iggy and Predicting Pip (see our Reading Dogs presentation below for more information), children are taught the five key skills needed to become fluent confident readers:
Read: To be able to decode the words.
Retrieve: To recover, call back, recall, regain information from the text.
Explore: To look more closely, scrutinize, examine the authors use of language and viewpoint.
Analyse: To break down into components or essential features, e.g. text conventions, structure and organisation.
Deduce and Infer: To derive as a conclusion from something know, assumed or reasoned.
Phonics is taught daily across the school and revisited throughout the day in other subjects. We teach phonics using the systematic programme 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds (revised)', which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.
Blending and segmenting sounds is taught as soon as the first 3 sounds have been introduced, helping the children to read and spell words immediately, using and applying their knowledge and skills. A whole school focus is put on the production of ‘pure’ sounds and children are reminded not to add ‘er’ to the end. Our phonics lessons are taught in a multi-sensory, fun way that our children really enjoy.
Click the Little Wandle videos below to watch on YouTube.
At Ghost Hill, we teach writing through ‘Talk for Writing.’ It enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally, before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version. It builds on three key stages - Imitation, Innovation and Independent Application." Each unit of work begins with a Hook to instantly engage the children; this may be giant footprints, a video of reindeer dancing, a message or a crime scene in a classroom!
Once introduced to their texts the children learn and analyse them. This could be by oral rehearsal of the text using a story map, or through drama. The children have opportunities to examine the vocabulary and key features of the text before writing their own versions. They are encouraged to 'Magpie' ideas from the original text and apply them into their work. Letter formation, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation Skills are taught discretely and within the Talk for Writing Sessions and texts include fiction, non-fiction and poetry
The whole school uses the same teaching process and planning format to support consistency and progression.
At Ghost Hill Infant and Nursery School we teach Science through hands on practical experimentation and learning. We aim to create ‘awe and wonder’ moments which ignite children’s curiosity, while giving them the skills to discover and explore independently. We encourage the children to experiment, investigate and analyse. We teach Science through topic based learning from Nursery to Year Two and have a dedicated afternoon every week for our Science curriculum.
PE lessons are taught following a scheme of work by Get Set 4 PE. The scheme follows the aims of the National Curriculum, to ensure that pupils are physically active for sustained periods of time, are given opportunities to develop their fundamental skills and can excel in a broad range of activities.
Each lesson plan has progressive activities that are designed to inspire and engage our pupils. From Reception to Year 2 lessons build on prior learning to extend and develop a range of skills.
Through our PE lessons teachers will look at the whole child, developing personal, social and creative outcomes for the children as well as their physical development.
The school is also part of the West Norwich and Dereham School Sports Partnership to give the children access to a broader range of sports and activities that we are unable to provide at Ghost Hill.
At Ghost Hill we teach Foundation Subjects through a carefully planned curriculum which uses Topics as a vehicle for their delivery, which helps to immerse and excite children in their learning and thus make learning more relevant and ‘real’ for them. Subjects taught through topic include geography, history, art and design, design and technology and music. If the children’s learning can be further enhanced, cross curricular links are made to core subjects such as English, maths and science. The learning experiences we provide for the children are a balance of hands on practical activities and recorded work in the form of drawings, photographs, pupil voice or written text.
Music is an integral part of Ghost Hill Infant and Nursery School and is used across the curriculum. We want our children to be inspired and engaged by the songs, lyrics and associated movement that they experience throughout their time in the school, both as part of their daily learning or the more specialised performance opportunities. We want the children to feel reflective and expressive, developing their own appreciation of music with the opportunities we provide as a school.
At Ghost Hill our intent is to ensure our history curriculum develops and fosters our children’s curiosity, interest, and enquiry about the past. Our children are provided with the scaffolding required to access the learning at all levels. Our history curriculum focusses on a carefully planned progression in skills, knowledge and vocabulary, which enables our children to develop their understanding over time drawing on prior learning to deepen and advance current learning. Through our topics, which act as a vehicle to the delivery of our carefully planned curriculum, we are focused on creating enthusiastic learners who over time develop an ability to empathise with historical content, as well as gain knowledge of the chronology of key events, famous historical individuals and their lives along with significant historical events in time, which have had an impact on how we live today.
At Ghost Hill our geography curriculum is designed to develop and foster our children’s curiosity, interest and fascination about the world and their place within it. Our children are provided with the scaffolding required to access the learning at all levels. Our carefully planned topics act as a vehicle for the delivery of our geography curriculum which helps to immerse and excite our children in their learning and thus make learning more relevant and ‘real’ for them. Through carefully planned progression in skills, knowledge and vocabulary our geography curriculum enables our children to develop and deepen their understanding over time drawing on prior learning to deepen and advance current learning.
At Ghost Hill our intent is to ensure our art and design curriculum stimulates our children’s creativity and imagination and provides them with visual, tactile and sensory experiences through this special way of understanding and responding to the world. We believe “every child is an artist” who is able to communicate what they see, feel and think through the use of colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials and processes. We recognise that art is not always about an end product but is a process of exploration of creativity. We aim to provide our children with progressive skills, knowledge and vocabulary to use in their own work and to appreciate and explore the art of a range of artists as they move through the school.
At Ghost Hill our intent is to ensure our Design & Technology curriculum provides children with progressive skills, understanding, knowledge and vocabulary to enable them to be resourceful problem solvers. Children at Ghost Hill make real products or prototypes of real products designed to solve real problems in ways which are relevant to the children’s ages and stages of development. Children are encouraged to use their imagination and creativity but also to consider the needs of the product user be it themselves or another individual or group. Children learn that designing and making is a repetitive process through which they will need to continually evaluate their product by testing their ideas and making improvements. They will also use these important critical thinking skills to critique existing products, their own work and that of others.
At Ghost Hill, we aim to provide a high quality Religious Education for all our pupils following the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus 2017-2022. The curriculum aims to enable the children to have the knowledge and understanding of sources of wisdom and their impact whilst exploring personal and critical responses. The children explore eight key areas of study: Beliefs and Practices, Sources of Wisdom, Symbols and Actions, Prayer, Worship and Reflection, Identity and Belonging, Ultimate Questions, Human Responsibility and Values and Justice and Fairness. We believe that children should be encouraged to have positive attitudes to diversity and difference so that they learn from an early age to value diversity in others and grow up making a positive contribution to society.
We provide a broad and balanced approach to develop the children’s critical and philosophical thinking skills and encourage children to have respect for people whose opinions and beliefs are different from their own.
Through computing at Ghost Hill, we seek to educate children on the importance of technology in a safe and supported environment as they become more exposed to it in their everyday lives. We aim to equip children with the life skills they will need to embrace and utilise new technology to function in a rapidly changing virtual world. We encourage children to engage with technology at home by asking them to complete homework through ‘Google classroom’ as well as various apps and programs to support learning across the curriculum.