Our School Curriculum
Here you will be able to find useful information on each subject of the curriculum. For more information about our curriculum please don't hesitate to contact the school either by email or in person.
Home Learning (Pandemic measures)
There is a daily phonics lesson in every class.
We use the Read, Write Inc systematic Phonics scheme.
We aim that children should be able to read a range of different kinds of material fluently and with understanding. We hope that they will find pleasure in reading for interest, enjoyment and information.
Children will read with their teachers in school as part of a structured programme. All children are encouraged to take books home at a similar reading level to share with parents. A Book Week is held each year and children have the opportunity to meet authors and illustrators. Children make good use of our well-stocked library.
In writing, children are encouraged to write independently from an early stage. Phonics, spelling, grammar and handwriting are taught as skills to be used in writing e.g. stories, poetry, descriptions and reports.
Speaking and Listening
Children are encouraged to express themselves clearly and confidently and to listen attentively to others. They take part in activities such as story telling, imaginative play, drama and group discussion.
Children are taught to read using the Read Write Inc scheme of work. We use both the structured phonics scheme in which the children are taught systematic phonics each day in all year groups. This supports the children's reading of the books they then use in guided reading sessions.
The children read a wide variety of other reading material and take books home of a similar level to read with their adults. We encourage the children to read as often as possible and to record this in their reading diary.
Work in Mathematics in Foundation is planned to follow the framework of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Years 1 and 2 follow the National Curriculum for mathematics.
Across the school we have adopted a mastery approach to teaching maths where we teach each aspect in depth rather than jump around from one topic to another.
Oral and mental work features strongly in each lesson. Over the year children are taught to use numbers, make calculations, handle data and solve problems. They are also given opportunities to measure and work with shapes.
Children learn about the natural and man-made world through first hand exploration of objects and events. Children are encouraged to develop investigative skills by putting forward ideas, testing them
and drawing conclusions from the results. Findings are recorded through drawings, charts, models, writing and the use of information and communication technology.
Every year we have a Maths and Science week, with invited expert guests, speakers and a science theatre group. All the children take part in a special challenge; these have included kite-making, designing and making a structure from newspaper to support the heaviest weight and making the biggest dragon to fit into the smallest egg!
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Olney Infant Academy gives children the opportunity to experience the very best possible start to their education. We ensure that our children establish solid foundations on which they can build for their future learning journey. This ensures that they continue to flourish throughout their school years and beyond. The EYFS prepares children for learning in Key Stage 1 and the KS1 National Curriculum.
Our Foundation Stage curriculum and learning experiences build upon what the children have already experienced either at their pre-school, nursery or home settings. In Literacy, skills are taught daily, with specific emphasis on phonics. The children learn to read and write in a variety of fun and practical ways. The foundation to their learning is provided by the Read Write Inc phonics scheme which teaches the children to hear, say, write and read the sounds in words. Maths is also taught daily in a fun and practical way. We value all areas of the EYFS curriculum and celebrate children’s successes in whatever they excel in.
Each day through our comprehensive assessment and planning, children will access learning challenges in each of the 7 EYFS areas of learning. In practice, most challenges will develop a number of different skills and knowledge. For example in role play children could be learning to play with others whilst developing their language or story telling skills or during modelling with construction children could be learning positional language, to count, spacial awareness skills and fine motor control.
Each week is carefully planned to ensure children receive personalised learning experiences, taking into account their skill development and interests. Some challenges will be adult-led, whilst others will be independent activities chosen by the child. We provide opportunities for learning indoors and outdoors whatever the weather.
We have excellent working relationships with the parents of our pupils and value working in partnership throughout the Foundation Year.
ICT Computing intent statement
At Olney Infant Academy we want our pupils to be able to thrive as digital citizens who are confident and competent using a range of technology positively, responsibly and safely. We aim to give pupils high quality, enjoyable and memorable learning experiences whilst providing a wealth of opportunities within computing with an open-minded and adaptable approach. We recognise that the world of technology is fast changing therefore computing education needs to progress appropriately in order that our children move forward with the skills and knowledge necessary to be active participants in today’s, and the future’s digital world.
At Olney Infant Academy we aim for pupils to have a foundational understanding of computing to include algorithms, simple programs, logical reasoning and prediction. Pupils to purposefully and creatively store, manipulate and retrieve digital content as well as recognise how technology is used across the wider world. Our intention is that pupils will also be able to use their computing skills across the whole curriculum to inform and enhance life-long learning whilst developing children’s curiosity and critical thinking.
We understand and promote the accessibility opportunities technology can provide for all our pupils. We encourage staff to make learning creative and accessible whilst our school values of independence, being courageous in undertaking challenging tasks, being supportive with their peers and being open-minded about all tasks undertaken are integral to every day school life at Olney Infant Academy. We want our pupils to be fluent with a range of tools to best express their understanding and hope by the end of Key Stage 1, children have the independence and confidence to choose the best tool to fulfil the tasks and challenges set by teachers.
Our teaching implements all aspects of the Computing curriculum – Digital Literacy, Information Technology and Computer Science. Knowledge and skills are taught progressively, allowing the children to embed their learning over time. Children are taught to be supportive, respectful, understanding and kind towards others and everyone they meet through our online safety teaching whilst nurturing each child to be a unique individual.
We are proud holders of the NAACE ICT Mark since 2013.
Personal, social and health education (PSHE) deals with many real life issues young people face as they grow up. It gives them the knowledge and skills needed to lead healthy and responsible lives as confident individuals and members of society.
Promoting positive behaviour
PSHE promotes pupils' personal, social and emotional development, as well as their health and wellbeing. It helps to give children the knowledge and skills they need to lead confident, healthy and independent lives. It aims to help them understand how they are developing personally and socially, and tackles many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up.
Benefits for pupils
PSHE is a non-statutory part of the curriculum, but at Olney Infant Academy we believe in the importance of learning how to lead healthy lifestyles, manage feelings and build positive relationships. PSHE promotes children’s positive behaviour, mutual respect and self-awareness.
In Geography children develop an awareness of localities in and beyond their own country. They are encouraged to observe their surroundings and examine pictures and pictorial maps of distant places. Where possible, our work is based upon children’s first hand experiences of places with the help of Barnaby Bear! We also have links with schools in Newton, Sierra Leone.
Children are taught about everyday life, work, leisure and culture of people in the past, progressing from familiar situations to those more distant in time. Children have the opportunity to explore the lives of different famous men and women, as well as past local and national events. The use of television and radio programmes and visits to local centres of interest supplement our work, e.g. Olney Museum and Milton Keynes Museum of Rural Life.
Through P.E. we aim to develop co-ordination, strength, stamina and skills. Above all, we hope to promote a healthy lifestyle and enjoyment of physical activity. Children participate in a wide range of physical activities including games, gymnastics and dance, including country dance. We make good use of professional football, cricket and tennis coaching both within the PE curriculum and as extra-curricular activities. During June and July all age groups use our heated learner pool to develop confidence and water skills.
We aim to encourage enjoyment and understanding of music through listening, composing and performing. Children are taught a wide range of songs and introduced to a variety of instruments. Children in Year 1 are given the opportunity to take part in Elfin Strings. Year 2 children can do Infant Strings and are also given the opportunity to learn the recorder. We also run a singing club and the children take part in community events such as Dickens of a Christmas and sing to the residents of Broomfield and Bayhouse.
Children develop their understanding and enjoyment of art, craft and design through a wide range of activities that include drawing, printing, painting, collage, sewing, claywork and weaving. They are taught to use a range of materials, tools and techniques to produce a variety of work. They are introduced to the work of artists, crafts people and designers, locally and from other cultures.
Take One Picture
Each year the whole school collaboratively takes part in a project called 'Take One Picture'. 'Take One Picture' is the National Gallery's countrywide scheme for primary schools. The Gallery focuses on one painting to inspire cross-curricular work in primary classrooms. Every year we exhibit the work we have created in our school hall which is open to parent, carers and members of the community. The National Gallery then chooses a few select items to be exhibited in the Gallery. Olney Infant Academy has been very fortunate to have their work displayed numerous times and we have also featured on BBC Television’s “Look East”. We are very proud of our achievements!
At Olney Infant Academy, Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens.
At Olney Infant School we follow the Agreed Syllabus of Religious Education in Milton Keynes. Children have the opportunity to discuss the difference between right and wrong, express their feelings and consider the viewpoint of others through topics such as relationships, special places and occasions. Children study Christianity as well as aspects of other religions. Children study Judaism as their second major religion.