In our school we have moved to a phase approach rather than the traditional key stages. By doing so, we hope to further enhance the transition support we provide for our pupils
We have created a distinct phase (Phase 1) for our Nursery (2 Year Olds) and Pre School. This close knit alliance ensures that our curriculum intent is carefully mapped and evaluated across the phase. This partnership working has enabled us to plan in clear progression and increase the level of challenge in Pre-School.
The Phase 1 curriculum is designed around community and family involvement with weekly ‘Family Friday’ drop in sessions and regular visits to our local care homes, churches, library and shops. Transition from Reception to Y1 can be daunting for some children, as they leave behind the Early Years Foundation Stage and embark on their journey through the National Curriculum. Play based learning is slowly reduced and the role of direct teaching increases. In order to keep pupil well-being at the fore front of our work and as a strategy to accelerate pupil progress even further, our Reception teachers now move up with their class into Year 1. The consistency of having the same teacher for a two year period reduces the dip which can be experienced at the start of a new academic year. The children are appropriately supported and challenged from day one as the staff already know their strengths and areas for development. We are hoping the partnership work with parents will be further increased as the teacher-parent relationship will already be firmly established. The movement of staff across the two year groups will enable our staff to have expertise in in regards to the EYFS Curriculum and the Y1 National Curriculum. Greater challenge can be appropriately embedded into Reception and the principles of the EYFS approach, such as the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ can be continued in Year 1.
Transition from Year 2 to Year 3 is another area that we are striving to further improve. Pupils can experience a dip in their attainment and progress as they move from the Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2 curriculum. Our Phase 3 (Year 2 and Year 3) approach has enabled the Years 2 and 3 teachers to work much more closely together. This includes joint training moderation activities, curriculum design tasks and movement of staff between the two year groups. Staff rotation is not as formal as the Reception to Year 1 transition, but each year – highly experienced year 2 teaching staff will be deployed in Year 3.
Our School Phases
Assemblies, play times, team briefings, curriculum meetings and moderation all take place in phases.
We are currently carrying out school action research into this approach and its impact on pupil well-being, attainment and progress.
If you would like further information, or if you would like to share your views, please feel free to contact myself – Catherine Ireland, Headteacher
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Thatto Heath Community Primary School
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