The Curriculum at Eldon
At Eldon we know that our children will enter a world of work that is ever changing and increasingly complex. Our aim is to ensure that throughout their time at Eldon, children become resilient, independent thinkers, who have the knowledge, the skills and the confidence to pursue, and succeed in, whatever path they choose.
By the end of year six learners will leave Eldon with strong subject knowledge across all curriculum disciplines. They will be able to express their preferences and their possible future ambitions in terms of personal subject interests and strengths. Children from Eldon will know how to keep themselves healthy and safe as they go out into the community and on into the wider world. They will leave Eldon ready to compete academically and socially with their peers across the country.
Eldon serves a large and very diverse community. To achieve our ambitions our curriculum must be ambitious, knowledge rich and carefully constructed to meet the specific needs of our children. The curriculum at Eldon must ensure that children are able to express themselves effectively and creatively in spoken and written English. Therefore all of our schemes of work have a strong focus on improving the range of vocabulary and sentence structures that children know and use within exciting and stimulating contexts. These contexts will always include high quality, relevant texts which support them to gain a love of books, language and reading. Regular, exciting and enriching first hand experiences will both support curriculum knowledge, and provide other essential contexts for language development from our nursery class upwards.
The curriculum provides many opportunities for children to know and understand how and why young people may be drawn into gangs, youth violence and unhealthy relationships. Through exploring and discussing ‘difficult issues’ in a safe place our children will learn how to make the choices that will ensure they avoid dangerous and risky behaviour. Our children will have many opportunities to celebrate the social and cultural diversity of the school community whilst reinforcing the importance of British values. The curriculum must give children the cultural capital to move into secondary schooling confident about their path to success in modern Britain.
Our ambitious, knowledge rich and carefully planned curriculum will ensure that knowledge learnt is deep and built upon over the years. The ability to learn and the challenges and opportunities that entails are taught to our children through our ‘Eldon Learning skills’ framework which is delivered as an integrated part of the curriculum.
From nursery upwards, we use Letters and Sounds to teach phonics.
Reception children have daily phonics lessons, initially as a class but by the spring term, they are split into phase groups. We aim to have children achieving Phase 3 by the end of Reception.
In the Nursery and Reception classes we focus on engaging children in a love of books by using quality texts as a central theme in the classrooms and by sharing stories with them throughout the day.
In Reception, children read in groups with an adult, weekly, once they are settled. Staff also hear children read on a one-to-one basis where this is needed. In the spring term, we introduce ‘Daily Supported Reading’ to Reception groups.
In year 1, we continue teaching phonics, daily in phase groups, using Letters and Sounds. We aim that all children leave year 1 at Phase 5.
In year 1, children take part in ‘Daily Supported Reading’ for 30 minutes every day.
In year 2, we continue teaching phonics through Letters and Sounds. We aim that all children leave year 2 at Phase 6.
DSR continues in Y2 until children are on Level 22. In year 2, we also teach many reading skills through the English lesson. As children learn about each genre, they will deconstruct texts, learn new vocabulary and discuss inference etc.
Once they are no longer receiving DSR, children have 3 x weekly 30-40 minute sessions in which they are taught a very specific skill or strand of reading e.g. retrieval or prediction. This session is ‘whole class’ with a short follow-up activity. The whole class sessions end with children reading an appropriately levelled book for 15 minutes.
The Letters and Sounds phonics programme continues to be taught daily in year 3 for those children not at Phase 6: this may be as an intervention.
Children who are not reading at Level 22 will also receive DSR in a class or as an intervention.
Once children are fluent readers, our approach to the teaching of reading in KS2, like in year 2, is to embed many of the reading skills into the English lesson. In addition to this, children have 3 x weekly 40-minute sessions in which they are taught a very specific skill or strand of reading e.g. skim-reading, scanning, inference and deduction. This session is ‘whole class’ with a short follow-up activity. The whole class session ends with children reading their current reading book for 15 minutes. We use a range of materials to support these sessions and training takes place both externally and internally.
Children who have the potential to reach Greater Depth require challenge across the school. Teachers plan so that more-able children are asked to read, interpret and infer from more complex texts and to answer questions in greater detail. Teachers will monitor theses children’s choice of texts to ensure challenge is always there.
Across the school, children are read to on a daily basis by the teacher. Each class has a library session each week.
We expect children to have at least one book in their book bag that is stage-appropriate as well as a free choice or library book.
In EYFS and KS1, parents are expected to comment in reading logs regularly and school staff weekly. In KS2, children and parents are expected to comment in reading logs regularly and school staff, weekly.
As we develop our curriculum, we know that reading must be a central theme and children will be asked to engage with texts and apply their skills across the range of subjects.
Arts Mark Assessor
"When visiting the school I was overwhelmed with the excellent practice. There were children involved in developing fine motor skills and discovering the world around them, through participation in role play and art activities. It should be noted, that Eldon school is a beacon of good practice. It is a good school, with features of outstanding arts education practice."