Echelford Primary School follows a curriculum which mainly mirrors the content of the National Curriculum 2014 (attached below). This is accompanied by a Progression of Skills document for each subject which shows how we build on a subject, developing a depth of understanding, as a child moves through our school.
Children in Reception class follow the Foundation Stage curriculum which is divided into 17 Early Learning Goals. These fit into 7 key areas: -
- communication and language
- physical development
- personals, social and emotional development
- understanding of the world
- expressive arts and design
All through the school, children are taught in mixed ability classes. They progress through the classes according to age and the teachers ensure the learning provision is planned in such a way to keep each child stretched and keen to learn more.
Year groups are categorised into what is known as Key Stages, with Year 1 and 2 being Key Stage 1 and Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 being Key Stage 2.
We follow Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised which is a complete systematic phonics programme. This is taught daily from Reception up until the end of Year 1. In Year 2 and KS2, the focus is on grammar, spelling rules and patterns (Phonics catch up support continues in Year Two and KS2 for those children who still need it).
Throughout KS2, we have adopted a spelling approach which continues on from the children’s phonological understanding that they develop during Reception and KS1. Each spelling pattern links to a phonics sound which they can draw on using their previously learnt knowledge and use this to support further learning.
The Power of Reading programme provides the foundation for our English curriculum and supports with meaningful links across the curriculum through the use of quality children's texts.
No one reading scheme is followed to support the children's individual reading development, we ensure there is a wide variety of books for all of our children regardless of age or ability as we believe reading skills are best developed through a wide 'diet' of reading opportunities.
Awe and Wonder
We know that children learn best when they are excited, inspired and engaged. Daily lessons are crafted in response to the children’s interests and there is an expectation that each year group seizes every opportunity to involve additional experiences including inviting visitors into school and taking the children out on trips.
At the start of each academic year you will receive information about the additional opportunities that have been planned for your child. Educational visitors including musicians, dancers, sports specialists and other individuals who are experts in their field come into school to elevate the children’s learning experience. We also provide opportunities for children to learn about future careers and are always delighted to hear from members of our community who may be willing to share their working life with us.
Our commitment to enabling each child to build independence, grow in confidence and develop resilience is central to our decision to provide residential experiences from Year 3 onwards. In Year 3 the children stay overnight in our school building which is a complete adventure for them and an excellent introduction to nights away. In Year 4 the children take part in a learning festival which sees them camp locally at the same time as their counterparts from the other Trust schools. Year 5s head to Tunbridge Wells for outdoor adventure and Year 6 complete a city-break and immerse themselves in the best cultural experiences the West Country has to offer.
At Echelford we are very fortunate to have a collection of unique learning spaces referred to as ‘The Lighthouse’. The Lighthouse, Wonder Room and Nest provide staff with a stimulating environment in which to nurture the curiosity of our children.
Year round excellence
Our creative approach to provision extends into the Summer holidays with our popular Summer camp. The camp is run by our own, highly qualified, members of staff whom your children already know and trust. A range of activities are offered ensuring your children make the most of time to enjoy themselves in the Summer holidays.
All of these activities form a valuable part of the children learning and development but we do depend on the financial support of parents to be able to continue organising them. However, no child will be excluded where there is a case of genuine financial need.
At Echelford, our curriculum aims to immerse pupils in meaningful learning opportunities ensuring they thrive throughout their time at school, whilst preparing them for an ever-changing world. Using our own diverse locality, lessons are designed to engage, motivate and inspire all pupils to reach their full potential. We strive to teach our children fundamental skills such as teamwork and resilience, whilst enabling them to complete learning of which they are truly proud.