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 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.
Two staff members took part in training and helped to produce this booklet to share practice across the different schools involved.
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 follow the White Rose Maths programme and support our teaching with Power Maths resources. By the end of year 2 the full programme would have been delivered.
Each class covers mathematical content in daily maths sessions and through their topic work.
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 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.
Phonics is taught daily across the school and revisited throughout the day in other subjects. We teach phonics using the systematic programmes; ‘Read, Write, Inc’ and 'Letters and Sounds'. The children are introduced to the sounds and taught to form letters using the 'Read Write Inc' rhymes and 'Letters and Sounds' is used for the order in which the sounds are taught. These programmes teach children to recognise the different letters (phonemes) and their sounds and to link each sound to a written letter (grapheme).
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.
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. The whole school uses the same teaching process and planning format.
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 topic based curriculum 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 or written text.
We seek to enrich our children’s learning and experiences by providing opportunities for visits and exploration of areas close to our school. These have included; walks around the local area to look at different types of buildings, walks in the woods to explore seasonal changes, walks to the post-box to post letters written by the children, visits to the local Tesco store to explore food production processes, visits to our local library, visits to the local church to celebrate Harvest and experience Christingle Services and visits to the local care home to sing to the residents at Christmas to add a little Christmas cheer!
The children experience a wide range of educational visits including those to the Norfolk Broads where they enjoy a boat trip and nature trail, to a trip to the theatre to experience live performances such as The Gruffalo. Our year 2 children have a fantastic opportunity to attend a residential at Holt Hall close to Christmas, where they develop independence skills and enjoy a wealth of outdoor learning experiences with their friends!
In addition to the external visits our children experience we seek to provide opportunities for visitors to come into school to share their knowledge, expertise and experiences. These have included visits from Mini-Monsters including giant snails, snakes and other interesting creatures, along with theatre companies, story tellers and dance teachers as part of our Multi-Cultural and Arts Week.
We provide a safe and supportive environment where the children can ask questions, express their views and opinions and put what they have learnt into practice in their own lives. PHSE and SRE is used across the school to help children develop their knowledge, skills, attitudes and understanding of subjects including, online safety, different religions, cultures, relationships and healthy living at an age appropriate level.
At Ghost Hill, we aim to provide a high quality Religious Education for all our pupils. The children learn about and from Christianity and the six principle religions throughout the EYFS and Key stage 1. 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.
At Ghost Hill, Computing is taught as an integral part of the curriculum and supports all aspects of the children's learning. Using ICT, children learn a variety of skills and programs in a safe, supported environment. Ghost Hill Infant and Nursery School embraces the positive impact and educational benefits that can be achieved through appropriate use of the Internet and associated communications technologies.