Learning at our School

At Ilfracombe Infant & Nursery School, we aim for children to leave our school as lively, confident and proactive individuals who question new concepts and are excited and joyful about the world they live in.

Our curriculum:

  • Promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of the child
  • Prepares children for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life

The National Curriculum and EYFS Curriculum form one part of our school curriculum – our inclusive vision and ethos around the whole child forms the remainder. We ensure that important knowledge and skills are rigorously taught within a creative learning environment so that learning is natural and makes sense to the child. We provide a wealth of activities and experiences which encourage our children to sustain a healthy and active lifestyle. Children work hard and achieve their very best in everything they do and are joyful in their learning. We want our children to care for people, communities and their world and to be equipped with life long learning skills.

Arts and cultural experiences are embedded in our curriculum whilst maintaining a vital focus on English and mathematics. Our curriculum aims to enthuse, engage and make learning meaningful for the children. All subjects are considered equally important because providing a rich and stimulating curriculum ensures that all pupils have the chance to experience success and find things that interest them; integral to this is our creative curriculum. Visits to places of interest that provide authentic experience, field experts and specialists are used to engage the children in new experiences which enrich and inspire our learning approach – we are always looking out for new ways to engage and inspire the children. Please see our ‘Educating the Whole Child’ page for more information on how we approach specific subjects. 

We believe that learning should be intrinsic; children at our school are motivated by finding learning enjoyable and sustaining strong relationships with the adults and other children around them – they have a natural desire to master their learning without the need for stickers, points or reward charts. We find that genuine praise from the adults around them and their peers creates a culture for all children to want to do their best and care for each other. When children are intrinsically motivated, they will grow into young people and adults who gain a sense of joy in their lives from what they do rather than what they can get for it. Here are some of the ways in which we foster intrinsic motivation:

  • Create a child-centred classroom where the children have a say.
  • Promote a mastery goal in learning rather than a performance goal.
  • Encourage children’s actions rather than their character or person, for example we might say “your answer shows thought” rather than “you are a good thinker” focusing on effort rather than their ability.
  • Provide learning goals to the children – if they know what is expected of them, they are more likely to be motivated to do it and feel good about it.
  • Have high expectations so that children are comfortable working just outside of their comfort zone and confident to take risks but not so much that they want to give up; if we believe that something is within our grasp we are more likely to work towards it.

We talk about the process of learning with the children, what happens in their brain when they are learning and more importantly what happens when they make a mistake and learn from it. Our school is a safe haven for our children where they can make mistakes and learn from them.

Formative and summative assessment is used across the school to ensure children are reaching their full potential. As a state-funded school we are required to:

  • Report on the EYFS profile.
  • Administer the year one phonics screening check and report.
  • Report on teacher assessment for year two children in reading, writing, mathematics and science and administer year two national assessment materials.