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English at Odessa Infants School
English is a core part of the whole curriculum at Odessa. Children are exposed to a number of high quality texts from Nursery to Year 2 on a weekly basis.
Children learn about the different characters and how to describe them, become familiar with the key parts of the story and begin to use what they have learnt to write in a similar style to the author they are studying. Children are also encouraged to apply the skills they have learnt in their English lessons to Foundation subjects such as History, Geography and Religious Education.
They are encouraged to research through books and the internet and then write about what they have found out.
From Nursery to Year 1, children have Phonics lessons every morning at Odessa. In addition to this any children who did not achieve the phonics screening check at the end of Y1 are given extra intervention groups to ensure they reach the national standard by the end of Y2.We use Letters and Sounds which helps children to learn their sounds while having fun.
During their lessons children learn all the sounds needed to be able to read and then apply these in their English lessons. Children learn the skills of segmenting words down into the individual sounds and then blending them together to read the whole word. They also learn about digraphs and trigraphs- sounds that either have 2 or 3 letters but make one sound. At the end of Year 1 most children take part in a Phonics Screening Check.
Our phonics screening check scores are improving and we are now working in partnership with the Elmhurst New English Hub that supports the school to achieve the national expectation to improve the outcomes for our children even more.
Children at Odessa read every day and as often as possible. They have daily Guided Reading sessions. All children at Odessa have access to an exciting programme called Bug Club. This is an online system where children can read hundreds of books which their teacher would have matched to them suited to their level. As they go through the book they are asked questions to check the children’s understanding.
The programme also shows teachers how well the children have answered the questions so it can then inform their planning. We encourage the children to read every week as part of their homework and children can take books home to enjoy. Children are rewarded on a weekly basis in assembly for their effort and hard work in reading. We also have a well-stocked library which children can use during lunchtimes and after school. We also regularly invite Parents and carers in to school to read alongside their children.
At Odessa children begin writing from Nursery where they development their fine motor skills. From Reception to Year 2 children explore different genres of writing and record every day. We have high expectations of our children and this is shown in their pride of their work.
We try to incorporate writing in all other subjects to maintain high standards.
English and Phonics Lead
At Odessa we aim to provide a happy, caring and stimulating environment where all children are encouraged to reach their full potential. Play is at the heart of our curriculum. We believe that children learn best through hands on experiences that are provided both indoors and outdoors. Children will develop positive attitudes towards learning if they are provided with a curriculum that meets their developmental needs. We allow the children to make choices about the activities they want to participate in.
As you walk around the Foundation Stage you will observe the children engaging in adult–led focused or child initiated learning activities. We value the learning that has already happened in the home environment and aim to build on this by developing close relationships with parents and carers. Together we are able to build on the child’s previous learning experiences and provide a personalised learning journey.
They need to:
- Use the skills we are teaching them in a calm and purposeful environment
- Immerse themselves in the processes
- Experiment and reinforce
- Use high quality books that engage the children and spark excitement and enjoyment in learning about the world around them.
During their time in Nursery and Reception, the children will experience the areas of learning that are laid out in the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage. The areas of learning are as follows:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
We place great emphasis on children’s social skills. We encourage the children to develop positive relationships with other children and adults, to share, to negotiate, to be independent and confident.
Communication, Language Literacy- Reading and Writing
Children will learn a wide range of vocabulary through talking with the adults and their peers or singing nursery rhymes. They will encounter many mark making activities, where children can begin to draw and write. They can use clipboards in the role-play area or paint on the ground outside. They will be introduced to many different stories, poems, props and puppets.
Children are expected to
- Use phonic knowledge to write words
- Write some uncommon words
- Write simple sentences
- Children read and understand simple sentences
- They can demonstrate understanding of what they have read
We involve the children in mathematical learning through many of the activities. For example, we may talk about how many buttons they have on their coat or how heavy a bucket of wet sand is. Maths resources for counting, sorting, matching, weighing and recognising shapes are available for the children to self-select.
Children are expected to
- Count 1-20
- One more one less
- Shapes- size, proportion, pattern, money
Maths at Odessa school
At Odessa we aim to produce lifelong learners of Mathematics with a passion for the subject. We use a mastery based curriculum aimed to inspire and challenge our children. Our lessons meet the objectives of the National Curriculum by providing opportunities to investigate, reason and problem solve. We also aim to create cross curricular links by applying our knowledge of Maths in other subject areas, for example: creating graphs and tables in Science, reading coordinates in Geography and calculating periods of time in Physical Education.
Each lesson gives children opportunities for ‘intelligent practice’ where they can improve their fluency of concepts and strategies and become more confident mathematicians. We also ensure our lessons are engaging by creating real life contexts that help children see Maths as a life skill.
At Odessa we also encourage our children to explain their Mathematics, which allows them to deepen their understanding as well as demonstrate their learning. We also promote the use of concrete resources across the whole school in order to embed and enhance an understanding of the foundations of mathematical knowledge.
Science at Odessa Infants School
At Odessa we enjoy learning a range of science topics including: plants and animals, sound and light and dark to name a few.
During science lessons children carry out a range of investigations to test their predictions and make conclusions from their results based on their scientific knowledge and understanding.
As part of the science curriculum children visit a range of scientific places including the science museum.
Felecia Rose Kane
Computing at Odessa Infants School
At Odessa Infant School we deliver our computing programme of study for KS1 using the Switched on Computing scheme of work. It covers all the requirements of the Computing programme of study in a way that’s intended to develop pupils’ understanding of the concepts, practices and perspectives that underpin programming and other aspects of computing science.
It provides ample opportunity to create collaborative project work in which pupils can acquire the information technology skills they’ll need. It also helps pupils understand the implications of technology for individuals and society as they continue to become more digitally literate.
Every half term, each phase follows and completes one unit, with a total of six units of the year.
Each unit focuses on one of the key six aspects of computing:
- Computational thinking
- Computer networks
- Collaboration and communication
This ensures pupils at Odessa receive a broad and balanced computing curriculum. For the most part, links are made between computing and what the children are learning about elsewhere in the curriculum. Online safety is embedded throughout the Switched on Computing units.
Religious Education at Odessa Infants School
At Odessa we enjoy learning a range of RE topics and cover a wide range of different religions and practises.
The children have the opportunity to discuss different Religions and practises and through discussion can identify how we can all be better members of society in a multi cultural and multi belief community.
As part of the RE curriculum children visit a range of Religious settings including Churches, Mosques and Temples.
Design and Technology at Odessa Infants School
DT at Odessa is intertwined throughout all curriculum areas as well as being taught as a standalone subject that is taught throughout the year. Children have the opportunity to study a variety of famous designers and then design, create and review their own pieces of work.
Both 2D and 3D products are designed by the children which are celebrated on displays found throughout the school. We are currently strengthening our links with external art exhibitions to provide a range of opportunities for the children to develop their design skills both in school and on educational visits.
PSHCE at Odessa Infants School
At Odessa we view PSHCE as an important part of the school curriculum.
At Odessa we believe in building a better future for our whole community. We ensure that we are able to provide a range of different activities and experiences that promote wellbeing and community cohesion.
We have created a code of conduct for all – The 4 C’s, which is reflected in all we do and our everyday practice:
We have put together a school council of children from all year groups dedicated to making the school Eco-Friendly. Our ‘Eco Warriors’ are reviewing how to be energy efficient across the school and how we can help to improve the environment.
Physical Education at Odessa Infants School
At Odessa Infant School, P.E. plays a significant role in school life. Children in Years 1 and 2 take part in two hours of high quality P.E. lessons a week. Children have one indoor lesson a week where they focus on skills including flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance through gymnastics, dance and athletic lessons.
Within the Early Years, our Nursery and Reception children are constantly developing their fine and gross motor skills through a variety of activities indoors and outdoors. Children also have the opportunity to play a variety of different sports and games and learn the importance of playing fairly, sharing
and following rules.
We are actively employing sports coaches to take after school clubs so that children can take part in a variety of different sports. We employ coaches to provide specialist
training in specific sports and we provide a variety of high quality equipment to engage and support all of our pupils.
If you would like to see how our sports funding is utilised please see the ‘School Sports Premium’ link on the website.
Music at Odessa Infants School
At Odessa we recognise the importance of music in our broad and balance curriculum. We have had a range of concerts this year with a varied selection of songs across all the year groups led by our Music Lead Nick Miniero. We also have visiting teachers in to teach a variety of instruments to year groups including the Ukelele.
Art at Odessa Infant School
Art at Odessa is woven throughout the whole curriculum as well as being taught as a discrete subject with all Art lessons planned. Alongside this Children have opportunities to work with artists and designers both in school and on educational visits. We use a wide range of media for both 2 and 3 dimensional work.
As a result of the importance we place on creativity and the creative process, the quality of the Artwork produced at Odessa can be judged for oneself with a walk around the school’s vast communal spaces which serve as an evolving exhibition space for all the children’s wonderful creations which we take great pride in.
Children in Years 1 and 2 have one Humanities lesson a week. The lessons are taught as part of a half-termly topic. Each topic has either a historical or geographical focus. As well as learning skills and knowledge directly related to History and Geography, Humanities lessons also allow reinforcement of essential mathematical and English skills and knowledge.
In History, the children have the opportunity to learn about events and people in London, England and the Ancient World. Our Geography curriculum explores the local area and the rest of the UK and makes comparisons with countries in other areas of the world. In both areas, there is the opportunity to reflect on how the past has shaped the UK and the World today and the effect our actions today may have on the future wellbeing of the planet.
The location of Odessa enables us to enrich our curriculum with visits to the fantastic parks and museums that London offers.
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Curriculum maps overview