Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting
At Head Start Primary we offer a broad and balanced curriculum which follows the new Early Years Framework and the National Curriculum. We tackle all concepts in a creative way to enthuse and engage the children. We want them to be curious thinkers who challenge themselves at every opportunity, developing resilience and determination to build on cultural capital for their future. We encourage children to question the world around them and in doing so this provides them with a deeper level of understanding about what they are learning. Language and literacy are at the heart of our curriculum. Research continually shows that language and literacy provide children with the building blocks not just for academic success, but for fulfilling careers and rewarding lives.
Children at Head Start Primary will be provided with a curriculum that is progressive and secures knowledge and skills through a model that narrows gaps and ensures children acquire fundamental basics for them to achieve and progress. All of our primary staff have jointly planned the curriculum to ensure it is logically sequenced to support the children’s development of knowledge. Subjects have strong curricular links that reinforce new skills the children receive in different parts of the curriculum. Curriculum content is planned to meet the children’s interests and needs. There is a logical progression that builds systematically on prior learning. It is explained effectively and builds necessary foundations.
Staff and children work together in groups according to their class abilities. They meet regularly to discuss and plan engaging and exciting topics that provide as much curriculum coverage as possible. Curriculum areas that cannot be covered in this way are taught discretely. Topics are decided upon based on children’s interests and National Curriculum objectives.
“Children strengthen their understanding of the world they live in if it is ‘joined up’ and ‘connected’.”
“Children learn from repeated activities that are cross curricular. Repetition is effective for improving long term memory.”
(Bradley Busch – Registered Psychologist).
Opportunities for Speaking and Listening are optimised and basic skills, including scientific enquiry are delivered through this holistic approach to teaching.
The curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced to provide challenge for every child to enable them to develop and succeed both academically and socially and prepare them for re-integration back into mainstream or specialised provision. We are aspirational about the children in our setting and strive to achieve the best possible outcomes for them as individuals. We strive to equip children with a love of learning and a natural curiosity through a stimulating environment which will allow them to become lifelong learners, providing foundations for an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge.
We ensure that all basic skills within literacy and numeracy are targeted as these are often areas in learning that need developing before others can be addressed.
At the heart of our Reception / KS1 curriculum is language, all children should be given the opportunity to flourish in a language rich environment where they can communicate effectively with those around them. We use a wide range of literature to inspire our children and this is used to drive and inspire our curriculum. We believe reading and exposure to literature is key to future success, developing a wide-ranging vocabulary and imaginative, creative children. We teach pupils how to read through a systematic and synthetic phonic programme that gives them the basic skills of decoding and comprehending text. Head Start staff are trained in a range of phonics programs such as Read Write Inc and can therefore ensure the continuation of the phonics program children are taught in their own school when they attend Head Start Primary.
Through our curriculum we intend to:
- Ensure all children feel included and valued and support their personal, social and emotional development so they feel safe, secure, stimulated and happy.
- Foster self-belief and self –confidence in all children to encourage them to be aspirational and positive about their future.
- To work collaboratively with parents / carers and the wider community to help each child to succeed.
- To ensure all children acquire spoken language and become confident communicators.
- Ensure all children make good or better progress during their time at Head Start Primary.
- Equip children with the skills they need to continue to succeed in their next stage of education.
- Continually strive to close the gaps in attainment for all our pupils.
Everything we do is in the best interests of our children, first and foremost. Staff do their upmost to enthuse the children and broaden their experiences of the topics via off site visits, visitors into the unit and shared experiences of the wider community. We prioritise creating and offering experiences to all children. This accommodates their acquisition of new skills and opportunities to independently practise and embed those that they have already learnt.
Children’s achievements are celebrated regularly through displays in classrooms and shared areas, structured play and interactive displays.
Assessment & Progress:
It is understandable that many children who attend Head Start have negative attitudes towards school and school subjects. Many have problems accessing large parts of the National Curriculum, caused by a combination of factors: poor literacy or numeracy skills; limited concentration; problems with interaction with other pupils and a general lack of confidence and self-esteem. It would be ineffective, to attempt to replicate the lesson content and teaching approaches that have failed in the past to motivate these pupils.
There are further factors to consider. Our children vary in age, and in ability. Classes are both mixed ability and mixed age, and originate from many different schools.
Children at Head Start Primary are generally keen to learn in their new environment. Our philosophy is to seek approaches which will re-motivate pupils to learn whilst highlighting any skill deficiencies and barriers to learning which we also aim to address.
All children will be baselined on entry to Headstart Primary to identify their starting points. We will use Thrive to create a profile for each child to support their social, emotional and mental health. We will assess each child against Development Matters and the National Curriculum depending on their age / stage. We will then create a bespoke curriculum for each child based on their assessments. We will use observation as well as low stakes quizzes and tasks to assess children on entry. We will work closely with the school to gain as much information as possible about their current attainment and progress.
Reporting and Feedback:
All stakeholders responsible for referred children will be given online access to their child’s daily tracker which monitors Respect, Resilience and Responsibility and gives examples each day of how this has been achieved. Each child will also have a tracker linked to the National Curriculum / Development Matters; which stakeholders can access to review their progress.
Reception and KS1 children are given a weekly target and KS2 children agree a daily target. The achievement of which is also documented within the daily tracker. The targets are small, achievable and relevant to the child’s own individual development.
We also feedback to parents/guardians verbally at the end of each day.
We have a huge focus on recognising, praising and promoting positive behaviour which is achievable for us because of our small numbers and high staff: child ratio.
Parent/carer involvement in their child’s education is seen as critical at Head Start Primary, a partnership we actively seek to maximise throughout the academic year. We firmly believe in building positive relationships with children and their families which promote mutual respect where children feel safe and valued. Parents’ contributions are crucial in helping them to become effective partners in their child’s learning. We are sensitive to each child’s needs, feelings and interests and pledge to work with the whole family to support each child to develop into a confident, passionate and successful learner.
Our intention is to ensure all parent/carers feel valued by Head Start and that they recognise their integral role in their child’s progress and development. We are very conscious that education is a partnership between home and school. We believe children are happiest and learn more effectively when there is a strong partnership between home and school.
£120 excl. VAT per student, per day*. Includes free transport.**
*Costings may be subject to change depending on the level of support/needs of the child.
**Free transport within a 6 mile radius of Head Start Primary premises.
The following policies are available upon request:
All activities undertaken have a Local Authority Risk assessment completed and all staff involved in any contact with the students have enhanced DBS.
We are extremely happy to have access to a provision like Head Start Primary. As well as placing some permanently excluded learners, we have referred several local schools. The provision has been able to adapt their delivery to meet the needs of each child, which has been invaluable. The staff are passionate about creating a safe and trusting environment, which makes us feel confident commissioning places and assured our learners are in capable hands.
Inclusion Team Leader