The school follows the new National Curriculum, which staff have used to plan a broad and exciting creative curriculum, following a thematic approach. This allows teachers to cover a range of subjects, such as Geography, History and ICT, to extend the children’s learning. Opportunities are also built in for children to apply their skills in Maths and Literacy within the topics being studied.
In Reception, provision is founded on the Early Years Foundation stage Statutory guidance. It is organised into 7 areas of learning, three prima areas & four specific areas.
- Prime Areas- Communication & Language, Personal Social & Emotional Development, Physical Development.
- Specific Areas- Expressive Arts & Design, Literacy, Understanding the World, Mathematics.
In all subject areas, children are encouraged to develop their independence. To this end, we have a well-stocked library, which is regularly renewed, using Reading Library Services, and an IT Suite, where all children have access to computers on a regular basis. Independence is also gained in Foundation and KS1, where the children are able to learn, both in the classroom and in our outdoor learning area.
History and Geography
Children explore a range of issues within the different contexts of place and time. Where possible first-hand experience is drawn on through trips and visitors.
Art and Technology
In Design Technology, children design and make products with a specific user in mind, for example waterproof clothes for a teddy or a funfair for a child in their class. They use kits and various construction materials to make their end product.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
PSHE provides children with the chance to develop their social and emotional skills as well as knowledge of key topics such as relationships, health, safety and drugs. Regular visitors come to talk to the children about a range of issues from fire safety and awareness in the home, road safety and safe use of the internet.
Modern Foreign Languages
Children in Year 1 and above receive a half hour French lesson a week, taught by a Modern Foreign Language specialist, and French is incorporated into other aspects of school life. The focus is on speaking and listening taught mainly through the use of songs, rhymes and games.
All children take part in 2 hours of PE a week, one of which is taught by our visiting PE specialist. PE lessons also focus on the importance of exercise in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. All children from Year 1 to Year 5 have 10 swimming lessons in each spring term. Our annual sports day takes place in the last few weeks of the school year. There are a range of sporting clubs run for the children after school, including netball, football and multi-skills and we also take part in tournaments across West Berkshire.
Computing is taught across the school. Where possible it is linked to topic work or learning across the curriculum. Pupils are taught to use IT safely and effectively for a range of purposes, including programming to solve problems, our underlying aim is to ensure Inkpen children are taught to be responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology and have the skills and understanding necessary to take an active part in a digital world.
Our children also enjoy a range of enrichment activities throughout their time at school. Sometimes these are “one off” events, at other times they can be developed over 2 or even 3 terms.
One off events have included African drumming and dance workshops, French breakfasts, theatre visits and trips to a local pheasant farm.
Our Foundation children spend one afternoon a week in the woods, attending Forest School. This is a wonderful opportunity for the children, where they can lead the learning, follow their interests and engage in their own curriculum, while all the time, gaining in self-confidence. There are also plenty of chances for them to take this new learning back into the classroom. There are also plans to extend this to the whole of KS1.
Music and Drama
We have also been lucky enough to have had whole class tuition through the Wider Opportunities in Music scheme, which has, in recent years, provided expert tuition in Brass, Strings, penny whistle and percussion.
The school choir is open to children of all ages and regularly sings at services in St. Michael’s Church, as well as concerts with other schools throughout the year at St. Nicolas’ Church, Newbury and the Anvil in Basingstoke as part of the Berkshire Junior Music Festival. Last year, we even made a trip with the choir to sing at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
School productions are highly valued as they are not only enjoyable, but develop the art of performance, team work, discipline and confidence. We present a Nativity performed by the Infants each Christmas and a Junior production each summer, either through a school-based performance or through our participation in the Confederation of Small Schools, professionally written and directed joint production at the Watermill Theatre
The school has its own kiln and art is an integral part of each child’s experience of the school. Our pottery has even been sent to the Queen.
Year 6 Residential Trip
Children in Year 6 are offered the opportunity to take part in a 5 day residential trip. Previous destinations have included Tregoyd in Wales and Beam House in Devon. This is a chance for children to develop their confidence and independence before heading off for secondary school, in a supportive environment, whilst undertaking adventurous and exciting activities, such as abseiling, climbing, raft building, surfing and zip wire.
“Our learning goes on” – quote from Red Kite class