Christmas Performances

Letters have been sent via email and tickets will be going home on Thursday 7th December. Please click on each performance in the school calender for further details.

The Early Years Curriculum

The EYFS Framework covers the development and learning of children from birth to the end of their reception year in school. We aim to build to build on children's previous experiences as they enter our school to ensure a happy and purposeful year in reception. This enables our children to be ready and confident for Key Stage 1. Our EYFS curriculum based on Ark's principles has been devised to specfically meet the needs of young children and all statutory requirements.

At Ark Castledown our mathematics curriculum has been tailored to adhere to the EYFS statutory framework. For phonics and reading we follow the Read, Write, Inc. programme. Reading is further developed through a wide range of reading books.

The curriculum is divided into seven areas of learning; three of which are prime: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development.  These prime areas of learning are integrally connected and are respected as transcending cultural differences, reflect the beginnings of child development, are critical for influencing later success in learning and emerge as an outcome of early experience.

The specific areas of learning are Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.

The early years team's approach to curriculum delivery is through planning teaching activities and experiences in a way which facilitates progress in learning.

We aspire to ensure a breadth of balance in the curriculum through carefully planned adult input and sensitive interaction using the EYFS framework whilst also having regard for the skills, knowledge and attitudes the Key Stage 1 National Curriculum demands. We prioritise enabling all pupils to meet and exceed expected national levels of progress in English and mathematics as the foundation for academic success.

Appropriate intervention can help children to become more involved in the learning process and provide opportunities for new learning and development, so that they can make progress. Early intervention is a feature of our teaching and learning practice.

Taking the curriculum outside

It is important to develop learning opportunities outside because outdoor learning provides the opportunities for:

  • the acquisition of gross motor skills
  • taking risks
  • fostering a love of nature and the environment
  • gardening
  • large play which is not possible indoors
  • learning experiences suited to the outdoor environment
  • physical fitness

It is also important to take into consideration the social world we live in which can confine the opportunities which children have to play outside either from a safety point of view or lack of space.

We aim to provide an outdoor curriculum which compliments and is an extension of the indoor curriculum. It is ever changing as it reflects the children's interests and needs as they progress through the foundation stage.