At Isambard Kingdom Brunel we provide an exceptional education for our pupils and work closely with families to identify needs as early as possible to ensure learners make progress from their individual starting point with any support they might require. We provide the best educational journey for individuals. We believe that every pupil has the right to a high-quality education, to see themselves as successful, to participate in enrichment and learning and to be full citizens locally, nationally, and globally. Therefore, we are committed to the locality and to building the best provision possible for each pupil in academic, social, emotional and health education to ensure that every child achieves, every child belongs, and every child participates in learning, enrichment, and the community.

In Reception, our curriculum is deliberately ambitious to challenge and support all children to reach their full potential across all areas of the Foundation Stage and beyond. We develop their strengths and support them to progress in areas that they find challenging. The knowledge and skills are carefully selected, well sequenced, and built upon. Our children continuously learn through planned, purposeful play and enhanced provisions which are scaffolded with a balance of adult-directed and child-initiated activities in engaging, stimulating, and challenging environments both indoors and outdoors so that our children can succeed, contribute to and love learning.

The importance of embedding purpose and context to enhance our pupil’s learning is invaluable and we believe that learning should be ‘brought to life’ wherever possible to inspire learning curiosity. We provide a range of real experiences including preparing and caring for butterflies, baking, and local trips. We value the significance of our community and family relationships and local visitors enriching learning such as bug professionals, bakers, and church committee members. Parent workshops also provide our families with the knowledge and understanding of our curriculum and the intended learning journeys. We regularly share our learning highlights on social media and frequently provide our families various prospects to be immersed in school life including Fabulous Friday learning activities, mystery reader opportunities and volunteering.

At IKB, our curriculum is separated into half-termly topics which reflect the key texts used in weekly English sessions which then sequentially influences the themes explored in sessions about understanding the world. A different maths focus is delivered weekly to develop secure mathematical foundations to underpin mastery in mathematics. Children also receive daily phonics sessions during the first period of the school day. We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds phonics programme to ensure children are taught systematic synthetic phonics, which is ambitious, well-organised and meets the needs of children.

Although our schedule is flexible and varied depending on children’s interests and needs, our daily routine is consistent as possible to provide our pupils with a level of security that comes from knowing what to expect from the day ahead and this is discussed with the children on arrival via a visual timetable. A typical day centres around four whole class focussed sessions which consist of Phonics, English, Maths, and a wider curriculum subject in conjunction with independent learning and provision time as well as shared stories and snack time. Pupils also receive weekly physical education sessions, whole school assemblies as well as show and tell, forest school and extra-curricular opportunities.

During independent learning time pupils can choose freely from any of the wonderful classroom resources to extend their learning, including role play areas which are intentionally designed to echo the English Talk4Writing approach to allow pupils to recall, imitate and innovate during their play. Adults observe pupils, facilitate discussions, play alongside, or initiate playful provocations to ensure children are sensitively moved forwards in learning. Pupils also work in small groups or 1:1 to enhance their learning opportunities based on their individual journeys. Interventions and 1:1 reading also occurs during these periods. As part of our early identification of need, we screen each pupil upon entry to school for talk boost and deliver weekly sessions individually and whole class.

Reading is a priority, and we believe our pupils will develop a love of reading to be able to learn to read and then read to learn. Every child is a reader, and the teaching and learning of phonics is predominantly high in the initial stages of Reception. High quality texts are the foundations to our topics and children are further exposed to a wide range of reading facilities including decodable phonics books and reading for pleasure books.