The school provides a broad and balanced curriculum planned in accordance with the National Curriculum which teaches all children key skills, concepts and attitudes and develops their knowledge and understanding across all curriculum areas.
Please refer to the links below and to the 'Key Information' page for further details about our curriculum.
How we teach Phonics
The staff plan fun, interactive phonics lessons using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme, supported by other resources like ‘Jolly Phonics’ where appropriate. Assessments are carried out regularly to ensure children are taught the appropriate “phase” according to their learning needs and not just their age.
There are 6 ‘Letters and Sounds’ phases:
- Phase 1 starts at pre-school
- Phases 2 and 3 are taught in Reception
- Phases 4 and 5 in Year 1
- Phase 6 in Year 2.
However we all know that children are all different and some may need additional time and/or extra support to apply their knowledge and secure their learning.
Phonics and Reading
In Reception and Key Stage 1 classes, reading is taught through daily phonics lessons with differentiated activities to cater for all levels of learning. Planned guided reading sessions take place regularly, so children can apply their phonic knowledge and have the opportunity to learn other reading skills by means of the ‘reading detectives’ e.g. feeling finder, where simple inferences are made.
Children in Year 3 to Year 4 generally have several differentiated phonic sessions during a week. Each child has planned guided reading sessions twice a week with levelled books and independent follow up work, where they can apply their phonic knowledge, and develop their reading detective skills. Additional resources are used to give extra support to pupils when needed.
Children in upper Key Stage 2 participate in phonic sessions as needed. There are guided reading sessions for pupils, two or three times a week, depending on pupils’ needs. They use levelled materials, books and comprehensions.
In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, each child is provided with a Home-School Reading Diary to enable teachers to monitor reading at home and to communicate with parents about reading in school.
It is important, as well as being able to read a text, that children understand what has been read. Staff use a variety of comprehension materials to teach the skills needed.
The school uses assessing pupils progress (APP) reading materials to track progress and plan next steps in learning.
Children develop their writing skills in daily Literacy lessons but they also practice these during a variety of activities across many subjects within the curriculum. Drawing upon the context of the creative curriculum theme (topic), teachers carefully construct sequences of writing lessons (Literacy "Unit"s) during which children learn and develop their writing skills. Each term children will learn through a combination of narrative (story writing), poetry and non-fiction literacy units, experiencing genres such as:
- Information Texts
- Explanation Texts
- Report Texts
- Persuasive Texts
Whilst Literacy lessons focus on learning new Literacy skills (eg. spelling, grammar, particular text features of a report), children are also presented with other opportunites to practice and apply the writing skills they have already learned for example, by writing:
- a letter to the Prime Minister
- a recount of a recent school trip
- an explanation of the Water Cycle
- a set of instructions to play a board game.
These writing opportunities are fuelled directly by the topic work, hands-on activities and/or real life events so children are excited and enthusiastic about writing.
In Reception class children are given opportunities to develop their gross motor skill by making shapes with a variety of equipment e.g. cars, paint brushes and scarves, and their fine motor control by manipulating smaller equipment e.g. threading beads, picking up small items with tweezers and drawing. Children are shown how to hold a pencil correctly. During phonics lessons the accurate formation of each letter is taught, and continually practised and reinforced throughout the year. When 2 or more letters are used to make one sound e.g. ai, this is taught joined, as one unit.
In KS1, children are taught horizontal and diagonal joins, and to make lower-case letters the correct size relative to one another.
In lower KS2 children are taught to make ascenders (l t h k d b f) and descenders (q y p g j) parallel, and make the size, proportion and spacing of letters consistent.
In upper KS2 children are taught alternative joins and are given choices to develop their own personal, neat handwriting style, and the type of writing implement that is best suited for a task.