The Curriculum at Chater Infant School
At Chater Infant School we are committed to ensuring that each child receives High Quality Teaching which ensures effective learning in all lessons. We believe that all children should enjoy learning and that each child must be encouraged to be a life-long learner and have an equal opportunity to achieve their maximum learning potential. This is a challenging goal and as a school we are constantly reviewing and developing our practice as we strive to achieve it.
At Chater we are committed to ensuring that:
- Every child feels valued and included, taking into account their individuality
- We deliver a meaningful and relevant curriculum that offers rich and varied opportunities to inspire all children
- We promote an ethos in which children become creative, innovative and confident
- We develop enquiring minds with a capacity to think rationally, creatively and critically, thereby enabling children to make informed choices
- We develop children’s sense of respect and responsibility, helping them become good citizens in a multi-cultural society
- We promote understanding of their own and other’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
We offer a curriculum which is balanced, broadly based and which:
- Is driven by our vision that our school is ‘remembered for all the right reasons';
- is driven by the needs, interests and relevance to our community;
- Emphases and celebrates growth mind set thinking;
- Fully utilises our rich school and local environment;
- Utilises opportunities to work with our parents and carers and meets their aspirations for their children;
- Promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and in society
- Prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life
- Comprises all learning and other experiences that Chater Infant School plans for its pupils.
- Includes all learning and other experiences that Chater Infant School plans for its pupils. These include opportunities for real-life experiences, such as; cooking, fundraising, observing animals and plants grow and change over-time, experiencing live performances, learning through scientific investigations.
- Provides children with opportunities that promote higher level cognitive development
As well as preparing children academically, our curriculum prepares children physically, mentally and socially to support them with the challenges of modern day living in the U.K. Safeguarding our children at Chater Infant is paramount and a significant emphasis is placed on feeling and keeping safe and knowing what to do if this is compromised. We believe that children work best and to their potential when they feel safe and secure and teach children about these ‘protective behaviours’ in class and during assemblies.
High Quality First Teaching
To ensure that our KS1 curriculum is effective and meets the needs of our pupils, there is an emphasis on the delivery of high quality first teaching across all subjects. As a school with a high percentage of EAL pupils (90% or more), a lot of consideration and pedagogy has gone into how our curriculum should be delivered so that children can make expected or outstanding progress across KS1 through whole class teaching. Being a school with a large number of EAL pupils it is important that teachers have a consistent approach to how lessons are delivered to enable children to make progress and develop outstanding behaviours for learning. This good practice includes the following:
- Good quality oral modelling of sentence structure
- Good quality oral modelling of language structures needed to write
- Children need to think it, say it and then write it
- Always provide children opportunities to do this across the curriculum
- High expectations that all children will make good+ progress
- Plenty of opportunities for children to talk
- Adults modelling of oral and written language
- Language structures and frames to support talk
- Pre-teaching and over learning (where necessary)
- Visual resources – pictures, work banks, phonic charts
- Use of practical resources and manipulatives (Mathematics)
- A kinaesthetic, auditory and visual approach to meet the needs of all learners
- Working walls and interactive displays
- High quality questioning (open questions)
- A vocabulary rich classroom (on displays and learning walls to develop new vocabulary for our learners, modelled by all staff)
Enrichment through visits and visitors
We believe that all of our children should enjoy their learning and that we must ensure that the curriculum is enriched through a range of opportunities. We recognise that not all children at our school may have the same real life experiences as each other. Therefore, the enrichment of our curriculum provides all children with real-life opportunities and experiences to enrich and extend their learning. We feel this is vital for all of our children to develop academically but also socially and culturally. They are carefully chosen to enhance teaching and learning opportunities across the curriculum including;
- Visitors into class and themed workshops
- Visits outside of school linked to what they are learning about in their topics including local parks and local places of interest.
As a school, we feel that it is essential to use, learn about and learn from the local resources around us. We have established a strong school community amongst our staff, parents, Governors and pupils and have made many links in the local community. These community links have made it possible to enhance children’s learning across the curriculum, provide real life opportunities and develop our pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural awareness. These community links include;
- Michael’s All Angels and Church
- Watford School Trust
- Cassiobury Park
- Pizza Express
- Westfield Children’s Centre
- Multi-Cultural Centre
- New Hope Trust Community Garden
- Country Parks
- Chater Infant School Talent Show
- Watford Mosque
- West Watford Gurdwara
- Watford Recycling Arts Project
- John Lewis
- Watford Council
- Chater Junior School
- Watford FC Community and Sports Education Trust
By working with the local community, we are able to offer our children opportunities to become responsible citizens and share these values. As a school, we continually support our local community by raising money, food and clothes collections for local charities (Watford Refugee Trust, New Hope Trust) or supporting community events such as the annual Watford Celebration Show in May at the Multi-Cultural Centre.
Growth Mind Set (GMS)
We believe that children learn best when they have a Growth Mind Set (GMS) as opposed to a fixed mind set. We teach Growth Mind Set values in PSHE lessons as well as across the curriculum. By doing so, we encourage our children to:
- Be independent learners
- Be resilient
- Embrace challenges
- Learn from their mistakes
- Take risks with their learning
- Be curious, inquisitive and to ask questions
- Work hard and put in the effort
- Work in a group
- Reflect and improve on their learning
Our teachers are skilled with delivering Growth Mind Set values across the curriculum and provide these learning opportunities throughout the school.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development
We pride ourselves on the quality of SMSC development at our school.
We actively encourage children to utilise opportunities to learn about balanced views, how to resolve conflicts in an effective way and to think about the dangers of extremism and radicalisation. They learn about the teachings and practices of the principal religions in Britain. Children are provided with a programme of assemblies and in class learning which have to promote their SMSC and also provide clear guidance on what is right or wrong. At Chater we actively promote respect for all people and work hard to prepare our children for life in Britain. Our school ethos encourages children to understand the importance of good manners and courtesy towards others and to actively demonstrate this. The children learn about Protective Behaviours particularly to equip them to manage any difficult situations including bullying that they might encounter.
We are proud of the way that we help our children to become self-assured learners and know that this impacts positively on their progress and development.
Children are enabled to discuss and debate issues in a considerate manner. They are also taught about how to make healthy choices and to look after themselves.
At Chater Infant School, our children know that each day at school is important and we know that they do not actively seek to miss school. They take pride in reflecting about their own beliefs and are keen to learn about each other. Our children enjoy learning about themselves, others and also about the world in which they live.
The children at our school are able to use a range of social skills in different contexts. They are aware of how to behave when on visits and also when working respectfully with other children, visitors and also children in other year groups.
Take up at After School Clubs and out of school time events indicates our children’s willingness to participate in and respond very positively to a range of artistic, musical, sporting and cultural opportunities.
At Chater Infant School the curriculum actively promotes the fundamental British Values as outlined by both Ofsted and the Department for Education. The British Values have been broken down and matched across the curriculum (particularly in PSED/PSHE lessons). In some instances, the British Values overlap and work very well alongside the values that we hold as a school including Rights Respecting, Arts Mark and International School Award values. Chater Infant School is working effectively in reinforcing and securing these shared values in the following ways:
|Democracy:Democracy is considered to be very important within the school and the children have an understanding and respect for the democratic process at a simple level. They are actively involved in decision making and know that their viewpoints are important. All children are consulted at the beginning of each year when the Class Agreements are drawn up to reinforce expectations about behaviour in the classroom, around the school and also learning behaviour. Children are given the opportunity to vote for School Council members along with other decisions throughout the school year. They are reminded about the importance of one vote and how this needs to be adhered to in order to maintain fairness. At Chater any perceived injustices that the children may have are dealt with promptly and fairly.|
|The Rule of Law:The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced on a regular basis, as well as when dealing with behaviour and also through school assemblies. School rules and expectations are clear and fair. The children are taught about the reasons why we have laws and how these keep us safe and also the consequences when Class Agreements are not followed. In KS1, the children take an active role in creating their class rules. Our children are aware that the school rules are there for all children and that everyone is expected to adhere to these. They are aware that these rules relate to their rights and responsibilities.||Individual Liberty: Children are actively encouraged to make choices at school, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. At Chater we are committed to ensuring that our children develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for the children to make choices safely. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our eSafety and PSHE lessons. There is also a significant focus on their responsibilities to ensure that they are also respectful about the rights of others. They understand the importance of listening to each other and the right to be able to disagree when discussing their viewpoints.|
|Mutual Respect:At Chater a huge emphasis is placed on respecting each other while children are learning and also at play. This is a core value that is promoted through our behaviour management and is fundamental in everything we do at Chater. Values such as being respectful and also taking personal responsibility for actions are promoted in classes and also in school assemblies. Class Agreements promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our policies and home school agreement.|
|Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:Chater serves a very culturally rich and diverse community and this is celebrated in our curriculum, activities and commitment to ensure that experiences of all our children are valued. Differences and similarities between cultures and ethnic groups, disability and gender and family situations are discussed during class and whole school activities. Assemblies and discussions addressing prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed up and supported by learning in R.E. and PSHE. Children are actively encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Visitors from and visits to different religious places of worship are actively encouraged. A majority of significant festivals and religious days are observed and acknowledged and there is a programme of visits to different places of worship. Any comments deemed as intolerant are dealt with sensitively but also robustly.|
International School Award (British Council)
As we are a multi-cultural and diverse school community, we feel that it is important to celebrate and learn about countries and different cultures across the globe. As a school, we have achieved the British Council’s accredited award for International Schools. This work has had a significant impact on our KS1 curriculum as it gives children the opportunity to learn about different countries and cultures across a range of subjects including English, Maths, Art, Geography, P.E., Dance, R.E. and PSHE. The ‘international’ curriculum supports our children to have a better understanding of the world around them. It enables our school to develop a curriculum that celebrates who they are and where they are from and develop socially and culturally. This makes our curriculum more bespoke to Chater as it will include some activities and learning that they can learn, share and develop. The ‘international’ activities are interwoven into our topics so there is a clear purpose for learning in a range of subjects. Alongside the activities, the award gives our children the opportunity to develop global links with other schools around the world. Our links with an international school may be in the form of completing joint projects, class emails, sending card, pictures and writing letters to learn more about each other. As well as activities within the classroom, our international school activities are supported through whole school events and assemblies.
Rights Respecting School Agenda Award (UNICEF)
Chater Infant School has been awarded Level 1 status by UNICEF in recognition of our work promoting children’s rights. The KS1 curriculum embraces our children’s rights in our learning in lessons (particularly in PSHE and R.E) and through assemblies. We teach our children that everybody has these rights and that everybody should be treated equally and fairly. It is important to recognise that everybody should respect the rights of other people. We have a responsibility to ensure that our pupils learn how to respect and value themselves to create a safe and happy school community. The UNICEF articles underpin everything that we learn about across the school. It supports our children to develop the right skills to prepare them to become responsible young citizens.
Arts Mark Award (The Arts Council)
Chater Infant School has received an Arts Mark from Arts Council England which recognises how well the arts have been embedded across our KS1 curriculum. The Arts include Painting, Drawing, Sketching, Artists, Genres of Art, Sculpture, Graphics, Craft, D&T, Literary Arts, Poetry, Drama, Music and Dance. Achieving the Arts Mark status indicates the value and importance of these subjects across our curriculum. It recognises our commitment to provide a broad and balanced curriculum and allows our children to be creative and to explore the arts through various forms and media.