The curriculum is all the learning activities used to promote learning and personal growth and development. The curriculum includes both statutory requirements and a range of extra-curricular activities used to enrich the learning experiences of the children e.g. in Foundation Stage the children are taught the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, and in Key Stage 1 and 2 they are taught using the National Curriculum. We aim to teach children how to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and co-operate with others while developing knowledge and skills so that they achieve their true potential. In the Primary School there are three “Key Stages” for the different age groups:
- The Foundation Stage: 4 to 5 years (Early Years Foundation Stage)
- Key Stage One: 5 to 7 years (National Curriculum)
- Key Stage Two: 7 to 11 years (National Curriculum)
The school uses a wide and creative curriculum approach, grouping learning into exciting topics that are then further enhanced by first hand learning from school trips. From this, wider curriculum subjects have a hands-on and purposeful approach to learning that links children’s experiences to their outcomes in school. Long-term curriculum plans are available on the server.
In addition, the school follows a novel study approach to literacy. This involves children making deep connections between their reading learning and their written outcomes, and teachers are expected to use their learning environment to its fullest to establish an exciting and creative context for the novel to be placed in. This is supplemented by learning activities in writing and reading that use the core text, providing children with a real purpose to writing and the development of language. Besides their learning environments, teachers are empowered to be creative in their approaches to the text using roleplay, setting adventures, drama techniques, artwork and class debate to drive forward the key themes of their texts.
Furthermore, the school uses the Bug Club reading scheme to support depth of reading and development of reading content domains. We also use Letters and Sounds to develop phonics learning, with Phase 1 and 2 being taught in Foundation Stage and Phases 2-5 in Key Stage 1.
The school’s curriculum is supported by a range of wider opportunities that enrich and deepen the children’s learning and application. This includes a range of different sporting teaching and CPD from Rawmarsh and Wickersley trained specialists, as well as multiple sports clubs and competitive sports events to apply these skills throughout the year. Some examples include football and gymnastic opportunities.
Aston Hall is a school that is alive with music. Children have access to outstanding delivery from WPT specialists, as well as enhanced opportunities through the Rotherham Music Service and RockSteady music providers. Children of all ages and abilities are encouraged to develop their potential in this area, supporting the fact that all children will reach their potential whatever that looks like for them.
Every summer, the children have the opportunity to take part in a summer production, developing their drama and dance learning to apply to a fantastic production for parents and other children. They spend time identifying key elements of stagecraft, speaking and listening and in constructing effective visual performances.
Children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 have the opportunity to take part in a Christmas nativity production over the Christmas period. Key Stage 2 children also take part in carol singing for the local community. Furthermore, Harvest is celebrated for all children at the local Methodist Church, enhancing these links to the local community.
Early Years Foundation Stage
The early year’s foundation stage handbook (EYFS) sets the statutory standards that all early years providers must meet. This includes all maintained schools, non-maintained schools, independent schools and all providers on the Early Years Register. The EYFS aims to provide:
- quality and consistency in all early years settings
- a secure foundation for all children for good progress through school and life
- partnerships between different practitioners
- partnerships between parents or carers and practitioners
- equality of opportunity for all children
Aston Hall uses a range of vehicles to promote this, including first-hand teaching in class and small groups, imaginative role play activities in carefully designed settings, opportunities to link learning to different concepts involving play-based approaches/mediums (water, sand etc) and in a range of outdoor provisions.
Aston Hall believes in assessing the whole child, ensuring that their development as learners, individuals and as a group of peers is celebrated. We aim to work in partnership with parents throughout your child’s journey in our school. We monitor your child’s learning and progress and have a shared dialogue with parents and carers throughout the school year to both celebrate areas of success and share your child’s next learning steps and targets with you. Much assessment is ‘teacher assessment’ (e.g. observations of your child’s abilities on a day to day basis, evidence from books/independent learning tasks etc.) which is supported by more formal assessments of your child’s learning at key points:
- For Reading, SPAG and Maths, Headstart assessment tests are used at the end of the term to provide an indicator of children’s confidence at a given stage and year.
- Writing is assessed against the Interim Teacher Assessment Framework document at Year 2 and Year 6, with further material being used to support judgements in Years 1,3,4 and 5 from the Local Authority and within the Wickersley Partnership Trust.
- Formative assessment is used to support the planning process on a group-by-group level, ensuring that children are always placed to maximise their learning on any given day and these formative statements are broken down by year group.
- Foundation stage children work towards the statements identified in ‘Development Matters’ and are regularly assessed and observed against these criteria.
- KS1 (Year2) and KS2 (Year 6) also complete statutory assessment every year, following the proscribed Assessment and Reporting Arrangements yearly, as outlined by the DfE. This documentation arrives shortly after the first term, and is used by the school to plan effectively for the arrangement and delivery of the tests. Results from these tests are used as one measure to inform the school’s forward planning and DEP.
- Non-core subjects are assessed through the outcomes desired through the National Curriculum and are reported to parents and children at the end of the year in their school report and through parent’s meeting.