We aim to make our curriculum as interesting, exciting and relevant for the children as possible. The curriculum is taught using a theme that links all of the learning together. Themes may last for just a few weeks or may be for a whole half term or even term. Each theme will start with a ‘Wow Day’ that aims to engage the children in what they are going to be learning. ‘Wow Days’ may take the form of a visitor in school, a trip out or a range of different activities. Each theme also has an end product – this could be an exhibition of children’s work, a dress up day or something else that brings all of the learning together.
Teachers ask children what they would like to find out about a certain theme and this helps to form the content of the learning. They then use this information to plan the skills they are going to teach to ensure that every child makes progress towards their targets.
As far as possible, teachers will link each area of the curriculum to the main theme for learning but where this isn’t possible these aspects will be taught as discreet subjects either weekly or in a block as perhaps a theme day or even week.
As a school we believe that the key skills of Literacy, Numeracy and ICT are vitally important, we endeavour to incorporate these into all aspects of the curriculum and expect the children to use and apply their skills, take pride in their work and always do their best.
We also link Home Learning to our themes and the children will be given ideas for projects they can undertake at home as part of a Home Learning Pack. Teachers will then plan a day when children can bring their projects into school to share with everyone else.
We believe that reading is one of the most important skills a child can learn as it is something they will use every day of their lives for a range of different purposes. We aim to ensure that our learning environment is as language rich as possible so that opportunities for reading are around them all of the time.
Children learn to read (and write) by firstly learning letter sounds through the direct teaching of synthetic phonics – we use a combination of Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics to do this and ask parents to help reinforce these at home. Children very quickly build up a bank of sounds that they know so that they can put them together and read and write simple words. They continue to learn sounds and their different spelling patterns right the way through key Stage 1 and these are revisited and reinforced through Key Stage 2.
The children read in school every day. As early readers, they work their way through our reading scheme which is colour coded according to difficulty. Children don’t have to read every book in a level before moving on, teachers will decide when the time is right according to the number of errors a child makes when they read and how well they understand what they have read (comprehension). Some children may read some books more than once. Eventually children become ‘free readers’ because they are accurate and fluent and able to select from a wide range of texts. Children are actively encouraged to read a range of different materials; fiction of different genres, non-fiction about a variety of topics, magazines, comics, brochures etc.
Reading in school takes the form of ‘Book Worms’ sessions. During these times, all of the children in the class will be working in groups on reading related activities. Teachers and teaching assistants will be guiding some of these activities to support the children to develop a specific skill or strategy.
We ask parents to listen to their child read every day whilst they are on the reading scheme and in school they may be heard read by a volunteer, by the teaching assistant or by the teacher. Each child has a reading log that is completed to say how well they have read and what their next steps might be. Free readers are able to read independently and are expected to complete their reading logs for themselves.
If a child is struggling with reading or acquiring phonic knowledge, we support them through additional ‘intervention’ sessions that reinforce the skills they are learning to help them catch up. These are sometimes small group sessions and sometimes individual.