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John Betts Primary School

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Our why ...


At John Betts Primary School we offer a curriculum rich in wonder and memorable experiences. We work hard to provide a stimulating environment that provides exciting learning opportunities, promotes challenge, exploration, adventure and a real love of learning.


It is our intent that all children develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally in an environment which values all cultures, communities and people. We aim for our children to be confident and independent, to believe in themselves and interact positively with others. Children will have a good understanding of both mental and physical health and the importance of this. They begin to gain skills in self-regulation and have the confidence voice their wants and needs.


We understand that play is an integral part of learning and this is at the heart of our Early Years Curriculum. We believe that the correct mix of adult directed and uninterrupted child-initiated play ensures the best outcomes for pupils. We want learning to also be driven by their interests to ensure maximum progress. Warm and positive relationships between staff and children, consistent routines and strong relationships with parents and carers are key.


We want every child to have the best opportunities, tailored learning to their individual needs. We recognise the crucial role that early years education has to play in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’s education is successfully based.

Our what ...


At John Betts Primary School we meet the welfare requirements laid down in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all of our children.


We prioritise creating a ‘language rich’ environment through the use of songs, nursery rhymes, stories and providing time for quality interactions between adults and between peers. Trained staff ensure that interactions are positive and progressive, allowing children to flourish and gather words at pace in order to become confident communicators. Through thorough planning we teach key words and concepts using the Word Aware approach linked to key topics and concepts.

Children are encouraged to become early readers through creating a love of reading and enjoyment of books which underpins our curriculum.  Alongside this we use a systematic teaching of phonics using the Little Wandle  Revised Letters and Sounds program.


The children have a solid foundation of early mathematical skill. They learn through nursery rhymes, stories and develop their mathematical thinking through direct teaching base from the White Rose progression of skills and through play exploration. We want our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences with an embedded understanding of number.


We have built our school environment to enable our children to strengthen their core muscles through physical play, children spend time outdoors in their natural environment in all weathers. They develop through wonderful, exploratory, sensory experiences in our mud kitchen, sandpit and taking part in activities based in our local Ravenscourt park.


Our learning environment is adaptable in order to reflect children's interests and their own progression. The children are supported to learn to work together, manage their feelings and ask questions through skilled adult facilitated play.


The curriculum is taught through topics which are enriched with classroom enhancements, trips and visitors. Topics are supported by quality key texts, key learning opportunities and experiences. These are chosen carefully to encourage children's speech, language and communication development. All planning however, is flexible and responsive to children’s needs so plans can be changed and adapted dependent on children’s interests. Through daily practices, environment, external visitors our children will learn about keeping bodies healthy including oral health. Children will gain an understanding of mental health through our explicit teaching of the Zones of regulation and daily modelling and practice in using these.

Our how ...


The overarching principles of the Unique Child, Positive Relationships, Enabling Environment and Learning Development underpins our curriculum, pedagogy and practice.


We understand the importance of parental engagement and believe that our parents and carers have a crucial role to play in their children's education. We work hard to create strong partnerships between home and school.  Parents receive curriculum bulletins and knowledge organisers each half term to inform them of what their child is learning each half term and to explain how they can support this at home, these include key vocabulary. Parents are encouraged to join workshops on all areas of the curriculum and mental health. Parents enjoy using our online EExAT and Google classroom to engage in their child's learning and share experiences from home.   


As part of the learning and teaching process, children are assessed in relation to their progress towards the Early Learning Goals. These judgements are made on the basis of accumulative observations, high quality interactions and in-depth knowledge of the children acquired through ongoing assessment. These ongoing assessments are used to inform planning and next steps in teaching and learning for all children throughout the year to ensure that they are on track to achieve the Early learning goals set out in the Early Years  Stage Profile Handbook 2021. Children who are not are identified early to ensure that their needs are being met.


Our curriculum and its delivery ensure that children, from their own starting points, make good progress. During their time with us some children make rapid progress towards their age-related expectations both academically and socially, developing a sense of themselves before transitioning into Year One. Children have reading and talking buddies where relationships develop, key reading skills are modelled and back-and-forth conversations are purposeful.   


We believe in high standards consisting of a carefully planned environment, enriched play-based and an ambitious curriculum that is adapted through the rigour of ongoing assessment.

Children develop their characteristics of learning and are able to apply their knowledge to a range of situations making links and explaining their ideas and understanding. Children are confident to take risks and discuss their successes and failures with peers and adults drawing on their experiences to improve or adjust what they are doing. Children leave with an understanding of what mental health is and techniques to help with self-regulation.