Curriculum rationale 

• The curriculum at Shepton Mallet Community Infants’ School & Nursery is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all pupils and gives them the skills, knowledge and understanding to prepare them for their future lives.

• It ensures that academic success, creativity and problem solving, reliability, responsibility and resilience, as well as physical development, well-being and mental health are key elements that support the development of the whole child and promote a positive attitude to learning.

• The curriculum celebrates the diversity and utilises the skills, knowledge and cultural wealth of the community while supporting the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

The national curriculum is a set of subjects and standards used by primary and secondary schools so children learn the same things. It covers what subjects are taught and the standards children should reach in each subject. Please click on the icon to go to the Department for Education Website for more information.

English Catch Up Curriculum

We have looked closely at the whole English curriculum (National Curriculum 2014) and identified key skills, knowledge and understanding, from the previous year required to enable each child to fulfil their potential in their current academic year. Each class teacher is thoroughly aware of gaps in learning from the previous year and they are placing an emphasis on catching up with these gaps in the first instance. Furthermore, we have revised our long and medium term plans recognising key concepts that must be revised in order to make progress following missed learning. We have also revised our delivery of Phonics and each year group is developing a Phonics Progression Plan for the year according to the children’s current level of phonic skills, enabling all pupils to make the best possible progress with their phonic acquisition. Those children who are not confident with blending/segmenting words will be targeted for additional support through interventions. The current  Year 2 children will complete a Phonics Screening Check in Autumn 2021. The children that do not pass are being tracked through the remainder of the Key Stage and supported to enable them to pass in summer 2022.

At Shepton Mallet Community Infants’ School we realise the importance of reading and have placed vocabulary rich, high-quality texts at the heart of our curriculum. All pupils are read to by an adult each day and using a wide variety of fiction, nonfiction and poetry texts. We ensure appropriate guided reading sessions are used to teach reading skills alongside all the other reading opportunities pupils have each day through our topic based cross curricular learning opportunities. We have also incorporated a daily reading session into our school day for all year groups.

Maths Catch Up Curriculum

We are using the NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics) curriculum prioritisation planning and professional development materials to form our catch-up curriculum. This resource provides a focused sequence for the primary Maths curriculum and links to the DfE guidance on curriculum prioritisation. We have carefully considered the key areas of mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding the children will need to enable them to reach their full potential at the end of their current academic year. For the Autumn term each year group will focus on gaps in learning which have been identified by end of year assessment data and discussions between the EYFS and KS1 teachers. Some key objectives have been taken from the previous year group to ensure gaps in the children’s learning due to COVID 19 are addressed. When secure with these objectives year groups will then move on to the teaching content for their current academic year. The aim is for all year groups to be working on the content and Maths curriculum for their year group by the start of the Spring term. In addition to this, all year groups have detailed termly planning documents highlighting the key curriculum statements which will be taught each term and any gaps in learning which will be addressed.

Science Catch up Curriculum

At Shepton Mallet Community Infants’ School & Nursery we have looked at the impact of COVID-19 on the teaching of our Science curriculum and how best to ensure that gaps in learning, as a result of the pandemic, are covered in the most beneficial way for both pupils and teachers. With careful curriculum mapping completed, over the next one – two years pupils will have acquired the key knowledge and skills to allow them to meet their key transition points by the end of that period. It is intended that by distributing catch-up over one or two years (dependent on year group) it will allow for teachers to use approaches based on enquiry and first-hand experience whilst working towards conceptual understanding, this is crucial to all our pupils to help them comprehend the often abstract concepts within science. Each teacher is aware of gaps in learning for their current year group by starting each topic with a session on ‘what do we already know about this?’ and ‘what do we want to find out?’ demonstrating the children’s prior learning and identifying areas for development. 

Curriculum Statement 2021 – 2022 

At Shepton Mallet Community Infants’ School & Nursery we offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced and which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points, as they progress through each Key Stage. The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum  and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the pupils in our school. The aim of our curriculum is for pupils to have the requisite skills to be successful, independent and motivated learners in readiness for their next stage of education. It is important that the curriculum considers the development of the whole child and not only concentrate on academic success. 

A number of pupils are still working on the Early Learning Goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum as they enter Year 1. There is a period in the Autumn Term where the majority of children progress to the National Curriculum. Throughout this period and beyond all children are still developing their phonic knowledge through the interactive scheme, ‘Bug Club’, and developing their fluency in reading and comprehension skills through daily Guided Reading.

The National Curriculum is delivered using an integrated topic approach and assessed using National Curriculum statements as a basis to ensure coverage and progression throughout the school. The teaching of both English and Maths is enhanced and inspired by the use of the topic based approach. This provides the children with a multi layered learning experience thus making the learning real and giving them the opportunity to apply their skills across a range of contexts. The more able are challenged further in their learning and children who find aspects of their learning more difficult are appropriately supported so that they too are enabled to experience success. National requirements and school requirements are mapped out as a whole school and then individual year groups plan the curriculum for their pupils accordingly. The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils and their understanding of the core values of our society are woven through the curriculum.

Included in the English curriculum is a strategy called Talk for Writing (T4W) which develops children’s writing skills through imitation, innovation and independence. Alongside this children experience lessons on sentence structure, punctuation, spelling and handwriting. 

The mathematics curriculum is currently delivered through a carefully structured programme developed for our children. In pre-Covid we were drawing on a range of resources including published schemes such as White Rose, Abacus and Numicon. We are currently developing a teaching for mastery curriculum which enables children to develop their conservation of number, reasoning, investigative and problem solving skills.

These subjects are taught in mixed ability groups. EYFS children are all taught in small, key groups. In Key Stage 1 there are small group interventions in order to support pupils in gaining the key skills to become successful readers, writers and mathematicians. 

Specialist teachers and instructors support physical education. All subject leaders are given training and opportunity to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school. Theme weeks, whole school activities and opportunities within and outside school all enrich and develop the children’s learning. After school clubs and events extend these opportunities further. Additional whole school programmes and approaches support quality teaching and learning and the school is well resourced in terms of learning materials, books and technology.

The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our pupils. The school grounds have been developed so they can enrich different curriculum areas. We offer experiences such as Tai Chi and learning to cycle using balance bikes. 

Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through our school-based parental and Governor visits, ‘Inspire days’, performances and class assemblies for parents. Developing their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.