Summary of Our Approach to Teaching the Core Skills
Reading & Phonics
The nature of reading is that it forms part of many other learning experiences so is a regular part of a child's day.
Reading is directly taught through regular, planned guided reading sessions. During these sessions, groups of children explore a book with the class teacher whilst the remainder of the class undertake reading related tasks.
Pupils have individual reading books which they can change regularly in our well stocked library.
Phonics is assessed on entry to Year 3 and targeted phonic interventions are then planned with teachers building on the learning from key stage 1. The school uses Letters & Sounds as its platform for teaching as this provides continuity from year 2. Pupils with weak phonic understanding in years 3 and 4 may receive intervention support through a programme called Phono-Graphix. Phonics is taught in other year groups as necessary and particularly within the teaching of spelling.
Phonics and reading, as well as handwriting, form part of the basic skills sessions pupils undertake each week.
The skills of writing are taught mainly through the chosen curriculum themes in each class. Doing so makes the writing more relevant to pupils and, therefore, they are less reluctant to write and they produce better quality work.
Pupils are taught the characteristics of different types of writing for example, a newspaper, as well as the grammar and secretarial elements necessary to produce good quality outcomes. The guidance for this is set out in the latest National Curriculum for England. Skills in spelling are taught through regular basic skills sessions as well as within daily writing tasks.
Mathematics is taught discreetly as well as being applied to theme related learning when appropriate. Teachers initially focus on strengthening the children's fluency in basic number skills and then move on to applying this knowledge to reasoning and problem solving type questions. In all classes, maths learning is differentiated to allow children of all abilities to access the learning independently. Children who require additional support to do so are given this. We aim to encourage independent learning and to develop thinking skills. Basic calculation skills are regularly rehearsed through four calculation tasks, set in class and for homework.
As part of our Maths support and challenge programme, we offer booster sessions for our more able mathematicians at different points in the year, as well as support sessions, such as 'First Class At Number', 'Success At Arithmetic' and 'Third Space Learning'.