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Connect Education Trust


Early Years

Our ambitious early years curriculum is designed to give children, particularly the most disadvantaged, the knowledge, self-belief and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. Coherently planned and sequenced, it builds on what children know and can do, towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for their future learning. Our curriculum connections maps identify how the areas of learning are developed across the year and linked to a half-termly topic. Purposeful planning builds on prior skills learnt and becomes more challenging as the year progresses.

Our approach to teaching early reading and synthetic phonics is systematic and ensures that all children learn to read words and simple sentences accurately by the end of reception. We use Read, Write Inc reading books that are carefully matched to the sounds children have been taught, in order to build confidence and success. Our phonic assessment data measures the impact of phonics teaching half termly and informs additional support to enable any child experiencing difficulties to catch up. There is a strong culture of developing a love of reading, supported by class book areas and daily opportunities to enjoy high-quality stories and poems selected as part of our Reading Spine.

Talk for Writing strategies underpin the teaching of writing. Through oral rehearsal, actions and text mapping children begin to make sense of a range of storytelling language and sentence construction in preparation for writing. Vocabulary development is a key focus and our intent is for children to build their knowledge and understanding of word meanings in order to make effective and ambitious choices when they write. Stimulating and engaging texts introduce children to a broad range of narrative themes that they first imitate and then innovate, creating stories for themselves. Storytelling and language development are also enhanced through role-play and opportunities for performance.

A sharp focus on early mathematics ensures that children gain confidence, speed and proficiency when working with numbers. Direct teaching of concepts and skills is given real-life context and purpose, and supported by a range of everyday resources as well as manipulatives such as Numicon. Opportunities to embed mathematical concepts are provided through planned practise both in the classroom and the outdoor learning environment. Flashbacks or retrieval practise enable children to remember more over time.

Our provision across both prime and specific areas of learning enables all children to develop their personalities, talents and abilities. Children have the opportunity to play and explore, be active learners and think critically. Our curriculum drivers of growth mindset, communityenvironment and language development are embedded in teaching and learning and develop the child as a whole. We believe that every child is unique who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.