Intent, Implementation and Impact
At Ashworth Nursery School we intend that our ambitious and inclusive curriculum educates all the children in knowledge, skills and understanding, to be effective, inquisitive, curious, independent learners and influence their wider thinking across all areas of the curriculum. Fundamental British Values are at the heart of our curriculum and everything we do, we focus on promoting the more general concepts within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and understand that the children’s development within these areas is key to promoting the values in the long term. We endeavour to give the children the Cultural Capital they need for future success i.e. giving each child the best start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their full potential and achieve future success. We are passionate about creating opportunities for children to communicate more easily through developing language and communication skills and specifically teaching vocabulary. We wish our children to believe in themselves and their abilities and capabilities, to belong to the school learning community and the wider community and to become successful in their academic career and beyond.
It is our intention that children experience the seven areas of learning through a balance of whole class/group teaching and play based learning. This is through the children’s interests, topics, themes, continuous provision activities, and phonics. Learning is carefully planned by the staff to support communication and language development; personal, social and emotional development; and physical development as well as literacy, mathematics, understanding of the world and expressive arts and design.
At Ashworth Nursery School we encourage children to demonstrate their attitudes and behaviours to learning through the Characteristics of Effective Learning.
Our curriculum is designed to recognise their prior learning by providing first-hand learning experiences and allowing the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers to enable them to challenge themselves. We ensure the content of the curriculum is differentiated to meet the needs of all learners and is taught in a logical progression so that children build on prior learning. We plan through a topic-based approach on an annual basis, but these plans are adapted and amended to address the ever growing and changing needs and interests of all our children.
We understand to maintain high standards of quality first teaching we have to invest in our staff by providing high quality Continued Professional Development (CPD) to match the current needs of the staff and also to match the needs of our children. Teachers and Teaching Assistants at Ashworth Nursery School create an environment to match the needs and skill levels of our children and use their own teacher assessments and gap analysis to inform their planning and the quality provision.
We recognise that language and communication are vital in all areas of a child’s development. We welcome children from culturally diverse backgrounds and many of our children are at an early stage of learning English as an additional language (EAL). Communication and language development are therefore a consistent focus. We support children’s development by providing a rich language environment, where conversations, singing and sharing stories become a regular part of the children’s day.
In addition to Read Write Inc. Nursery resources we have ‘core books’ which we read frequently with the children. These books are the type of books that can be re-visited again and again, on different levels to support language development. The idea is that children will develop language and increase vocabulary in addition to gaining a love of books and will become very familiar with these known texts so that they can remember and re-tell them. Our core books are:
On Wednesdays we hold ‘open story and phonics times’ where our core books are read and phonics teaching modelled (mornings –11 am and afternoons 2.40 pm). This is a chance for parents to spend time with their child and enjoy sharing favourite stories within nursery.
We also have ‘core rhymes’ which support language development. Children chant or sing the rhymes at group and carpet times. By the time the children leave nursery they are familiar with each core rhyme. Our core rhymes are:
Twinkle, twinkle little star
Hickory dickory dock
Jack and Jill
Hey diddle diddle
Incy wincy spider
Baa Baa black sheep
Mary Mary quite contrary
I’m a little tea pot
12345 once I caught a fish alive
Our Nursery School considers the all-round development of children. Our children are immersed in lots of practical, first-hand learning experiences through which they are encouraged to explore, experiment and develop their language. The children use both the indoor and outdoor classroom during teacher directed and child-initiated times. We have a particular love for outdoor learning and each day we go outdoors to learn about our outdoor environment. We offer enhanced outdoor experiences on ‘Muddy Mondays’ and ‘Wellie Wednesdays’. Additionally, throughout the year we organise several exciting activities, outings and visits/visitors to enhance the children’s learning.
We believe learning through play is vital, we use the environment to ensure the children’s needs are met through continuous provision, enhanced provision and following their interests. Staff teach an objective through whole class, small group teaching and going into provision to observe children’s play and move learning forward at that point. They record ‘snapshot’ evidence of children’s learning to build an overall picture and set next steps for learning. Formative assessment takes place within every session and helps staff to identify any children that needs more support to achieve the objective and those that need challenging. This may be instantaneous if appropriate. Although EYFS has a separate curriculum we are keen to make sure our children are prepared for the next chapter in their school life.
At Ashworth Nursery School we believe ‘happy children learn’ and the enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour. Our children feel safe to try new things.
The broad and balanced curriculum design ensures that the needs of individual children including EAL, SEND and disadvantaged, and small groups of children can be met within the environment of high quality first teaching supported by targeted interventions where appropriate. In this way it can be seen to be impacting in a very positive way on pupil outcomes. We endeavour for pupils to be Reception ready and prepared for the next phase at primary school. We consistently receive positive feedback from feeder schools and parents about how our children are 'school ready' when they make the transition to primary school. The impact of our curriculum is measured by assessment procedures which allow us to measure outcomes against all schools nationally. We measure the percentage of pupils achieving age related expectations by the end of Nursery. The impact of our curriculum will also, in fact, be measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into well rounded individuals who embody our values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens.