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Our Curriculum at William Rhodes

Here we explain why we've developed the curriculum in the way we have and how this varies as children get older and in different subjects.

 Early Years Education

Our approach in the Early Years begins with the children’s own experiences and starting points. As soon as they come to us, we talk and play alongside them to establish what they know already and where their interests lie. From there, we offer children real experiences that they get immersed in within a structured and safe nurturing environment which is language rich.


High levels of involvement and well-being including self-regulation help children make academic progress and ensure they achieve as much as they can. Teaching in the Early Years is always engaging, but rooted in structure, routines and expectations to ensure all children feel safe and make the best possible progress.


We work in close partnership with parents & carers, recognising they are the child's first educator and that their input is highly valued and respected. When parents and early years’ staff work together, the results have a positive impact on children’s learning. 


Our guiding principles in the Early Years are to:

  • Welcome and include all children
  • Provide a happy, secure and language rich environment, in which the children can develop socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually both indoors and outdoors
  • Develop skills and concepts that will provide a good foundation for future learning
  • Develop a lively and enquiring mind through encouraging children to make their own choices, developing their perseverance, independence, co-operation and concentration
  • Encourage the children to express themselves clearly and to communicate their ideas developing their skills in speaking and listening skills
  • Develop physical control in both large and fine motor skills
  • Ensure planning, assessments and routines are sensitive to the child’s needs
  • Encourage children to establish good relationships with their peers and with adults – following the school rules
  • Develop children’s independence, resilience and ability to cope with change confidently.

As children move into Year 1 & Year 2


We've identified that our children often need additional work in securing the Prime Areas of Learning. These are:

  • Communication & Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

If children haven't got these foundations securely in place, they can really struggle as they move into the juniors. We've responded to this by developing a Prime Areas Curriculum for Key Stage 1 which runs alongside the traditional academic curriculum. Not only is this great developmentally for the children, but it also allows adults within the class to act as key person for children to check in with each day. This is an essential component of an attachment aware trauma-informed approach.

Getting off on the right foot


Teaching children to read and developing a love of reading is fundamental to our success as a school because reading underpins so many other curriculum subjects. Our prime objective is to make our children fluent in reading and fully literate at the earliest opportunity as this will allow them to get the most out of the wider curriculum and set them up for all their future learning.