Academic Curriculum
Pelican School

Nurturing a passion for lifelong learning

Our teaching follows a carefully planned curriculum which builds on each child’s individual needs and curiosities.

We cover all subjects in the National Curriculum – literacy, maths, science, history, PE, religious education, ICT, art and design technology and PSHE (personal, social and health education).

We endeavour to provide an education where all children reach their potential in all areas of the curriculum. Children learn through a range of play-based activities as well as more formal methods of learning and have many opportunities to develop independence. Most importantly we want children to feel safe and secure in their learning environment.

Every child receives the attention they need, whether that be extra support to embed a concept or open-ended challenges for those who have mastered something and are keen to extend their knowledge.

Topics change according to the interests of the children. For example, in reception, topics such as dark/light and minibeasts are very popular.

Children solve problems, learn to read and write, enjoy maths challenges and develop their understanding of the world all within their topic.

First-hand learning experiences enrich the curriculum further. The children go on a range of educational outings both within Cambridge and further afield. Previous trips have included the Fitzwilliam Museum, Wandlebury Country Park and Stibbington.

Specialist teachers and coaches take the children for PE, kung fu, dance, gymnastics and music.

Smartboards, PCs and iPads are all in daily use which enables children to work independently by making videos or taking photographs, and assists staff in delivering the curriculum in diverse and interesting ways.

Our learning friends are at the heart of our school and teach the children about the Perse values in a child-friendly and age-appropriate way. They thread through all aspects of our curriculum and the children talk about and reflect on these in lessons and daily life in school from Nursery through to Year 2.

From the earliest stage in EYFS, pupils develop a breadth of knowledge and understanding across the curriculum beyond their chronological age.

ISI Inspection Report 2023

Nursery and Reception

Throughout the early years we focus on helping children form strong relationships, embrace appropriate challenge, take on responsibilities and become increasingly independent.

There is a balance of small, guided groups led by an adult with a specific focus as well as independent learning. We endeavour to use play as a vehicle for learning in order to make the school experience as meaningful, memorable and exciting as possible.

In all EYFS classes the children have access to the outdoors throughout the day where they have further opportunity to collaborate, problem solve and experience purposeful learning. This helps build their self-esteem, resilience and problem solving skills.

There is a smooth transition to Reception, where reading, writing and number work, alongside physical and creative activities, take place every day.

As well as activities that develop conversation and collaboration skills, reading books go home each night and we encourage children to read to an adult daily.

Children explore the world around them by thinking about how things happened and why things work. Small fascination traps entice children’s curiosity such as a letter from a character in a story, footprints left by the door or a classroom turned into a jungle!

In the Summer term in Reception, children begin to embrace more ‘whole class’ learning and spend time familiarising themselves with the Key Stage 1 classrooms in preparation for beginning Year 1.

Year 1 and 2

At this stage children are introduced to more formal elements of learning, building on the skills and knowledge learnt in the Early Years.

Lessons are delivered in a variety of practical and creative ways, encouraging children to solve problems and challenge themselves. Lessons are inclusive and highly differentiated to meet the needs of all children, to both support and extend their thinking.

We encourage children to talk through their learning, developing listening skills, and working with their friends to take turns and be patient. All children need life skills, so we nurture creativity, help develop team and leadership skills, and encourage perseverance.

We help children to become independent learners, taking ownership of their learning and building their self-esteem and resilience. We also promote working in pairs and group work so that children can be challenged in a variety of ways.

Children at the Pelican are avid readers and thoroughly enjoy their weekly visits to the library to select books of their choice. In addition, they take reading material home each day in the form of books, comprehension tasks or a poem set using our digital platform Seesaw.

Pelicans practise their mental maths skills daily and enjoy solving calculations and problems linked to place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, plus a range of other areas including money and measure.

Children are taught a modern foreign language, currently Spanish for Year 1 and French for Year 2. We provide practical opportunities for language use, such as buying items at a market stall, or holding Languages Day where children have the chance to celebrate languages from around the world.

Sometimes Pelicans visit the Upper School for science lessons in the laboratories where they take part in practical experiments, while in Year 2, children get to grips with computer coding by working to program a game.

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