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.

In addition, pupils have quality Shared Reading sessions during which they read a book together as a class and explore the different themes, vocabulary and ideas expressed. We have invested heavily in engaging inspiring books to enable our children to have the opportunity to experience a wide range of different authors.

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.

Writing

The skills of writing are taught mainly in genres in each class. Doing so ensures the pupils are aware of the differences between different types of writing. We aim to teach Writing linked to engaging texts, film clips or scripts to enable them to produce work of the highest quality. 

Mathematics

 Mathematics is taught discretely at Montgomery Junior School, unless there is a direct link to a topic being taught or a themed day. 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'.