Curriculum Information

Please find below information regarding the curriculum in the Infant School.

Please refer to individual year group pages for more information on the curriculum.

For additional curriculum support or information please talk to your child’s class teacher.

Reading and Phonics

At High Down we teach phonics using the Letters and Sounds programme  This starts in Nursery with Phase One (including rhyme, alliteration and oral blending and segmenting) and continues rapidly in Reception with Phases Two, Three and Four. In Year One existing learning is consolidated and alternative spellings from Phase Five taught, with Phase Six being taught throughout Year Two.

As children move through the early stages of acquiring phonics, they practise by reading texts which are fully decodable and closely tailored to their current phonic knowledge.  In Reception these are always selected for them by the teacher or teaching assistant. These books are drawn from a variety of schemes, all following the Letters and Sounds teaching progression.  The schemes are Floppy’s Phonics, Songbirds, Rigby Star Phonics, Big Cat Phonics and Phonics Bug.

Books are changed frequently, whilst allowing sufficient time for reading and rereading at home.

As children move through the school, those who take a little longer to ‘take off’ with phonics also have access to fully decodable, but more age appropriate texts, from the Rocket Phonics and Dandelion Readers schemes.

Once children have a secure knowledge of the letters and sounds taught and can blend words confidently, (usually expressed as the ability to read at a speed of approximately 90 words per minute) they access our Book Banded reading scheme which has books from various published schemes and is designed to give children experience of a variety of reading genres. There are fiction and non-fiction books within each level to encourage the development of comprehension skills.

Comprehension is taught through individual, guided and whole class reading.  Children are introduced systematically to the skills of information retrieval, inference, predicting what might happen next in a text and sequencing events, whilst focusing on developing a wide and varied vocabulary.

All children are encouraged to select books from the classroom, library or home to share with their parents to encourage a love of reading (see also information below on our ‘100 Reads’ challenge).

100 reads challenge

This is a way of encouraging regular reading, with an emphasis on children exploring a breadth of different texts.  All children at High Down Infants and Nursery have the chance to take part in the ‘100 reads’ challenge.

The challenge is for each child to read 100 books from a set reading list.
There are separate lists for Nursery/ Reception and Year 1/2 (see below).

We hope that these recommended reading lists will give the children some focus and direction when it comes to choosing their reading books, with all the titles being carefully selected for their specific age ranges. We would also like to emphasise that the children will probably be sharing these books with an adult rather than reading them independently, but this still counts as a book read.

For more information on 100 reads challenge please view information below.

Relationships Education is designed to help children to have positive and safe relationships with family, friends and online.
Health Education will help children to make good decisions about their health and wellbeing and enable them to know how to seek support if any health issues arise for themselves or others.
We have reviewed our PSHE curriculum to make sure that our lessons meet the requirements that the government has set out for the content of Relationships and Health Education.
We have also updated our Relationships and Sex Education policy to reflect the new statutory status for Relationships Education. The government guidance is also shared below.

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High Down Schools
Down Road, Portishead
Bristol BS20 6DY