At Downs Infants we believe that education is about developing the whole child. It should enable children to be able to make the very best of their lives; having choice and opportunity in their social and economic situation, contributing to society, and developing a sense of self-worth. A good education should be rich in knowledge and in opportunities to apply that knowledge. Children’s education should include experiences of our cultural, artistic, sporting and social heritage, and encourage them to contribute to this.
Evidence suggests that embedding learning is most effective when there is the opportunity for 'spaced retrieval' i.e. revisiting knowledge, skills and concepts away from the point of teaching, and over time. We have applied this principle appropriately to infant children by making use of 'continuous provision'. Children have access to an environment both inside and out that allows them to continue and extend their learning in the absence of an adult. Using the characteristics of effective learning, children are encouraged to be independent, curious, and to persevere - with skilled adults available for guidance and support.
We teach all subjects throughout the year, but each half term we focus on two foundation subjects to develop, and the subject leaders feedback to staff and parents about those subjects in half termly 'round ups'.
Subject Round Ups
Computing at Downs Infants: E-Safety
We use our own systemic synthetic scheme, 'Sunshine Phonics', for teaching phonics for reading and writing. The order of the introduction of sounds is based on 'Letters and Sounds' and we support learning with 'Jolly Phonics' actions and rhymes. We have a set of agreed resources for teaching and supporting phonics across the school. All teachers and TAs have regular training from our literacy leaders at INSET days and PDMs (Professional Development Meetings). After Reception, we group children according to the phase they are working in. These are USUALLY within year groups. These groups are assessed each half term, and children may also move between groups during half terms based on teacher observation.
We use books closely matched to the phase of phonics that pupils are working within. This is monitored on an ongoing basis, through regular phonics checks and reading with the teacher. All children are allocated to a level on 'Bug Club' for which they have 'real' books and access to electronic books.