An Innovative and Exciting Curriculum
At Stokesay Primary School we believe that children learn best when:
- Learning activities are well planned, ensuring progress in the short, medium and long term.
- Activities are carefully differentiated so that all learners have the opportunity to make progress in English.
- Teaching and learning activities enthuse, engage and motivate children to learn.
- Assessment informs teaching so that there is support, consolidation and extension of learning for every child.
- The learning environment is purposeful and ordered.
- There are strong links between home and school.
Our curriculum is one which generates innovative approaches. We develop every child’s understanding, confidence and courage to take risks along the way, while promoting a developing sense of autonomy and a love of learning. We encourage a growth mindset.
In Reception, there is an investigative, play based approach to learning maximizing the use of both the indoor and outdoor classroom. Our nursery children have an enriched play-based curriculum. Early literacy and numeracy skills are developed through a range of learning activities and carefully planned continuous provision. In both settings we adopt a ‘free flow approach’ which allows children to access both inside and outside throughout the day.
At Stokesay Primary School, we use systematic teaching of phonics to support children in
learning to read and write. High quality texts are used to drive children’s enthusiasm and
motivation for reading and writing. Guided and independent writing give children opportunities to
apply their phonic knowledge. Shared reading and individual reading sessions also allow children
to apply their phonic knowledge.
To ensure that children progress in their phonic knowledge through:
- Daily phonic sessions
- Phonics being promoted as a tool to help children decode words to read and spell
- Children being encouraged to use and apply their phonic knowledge in independent work,
guided writing sessions and individual or group reading where appropriate.
Teachers in Reception and Year 1 follow yearly, medium term and weekly plans to ensure phonics is taught in a systematic way to allow children to make progress. The phonics planning gives opportunity for sounds to be revised, new sounds to be taught, children to read and write words and apply their learning through a game or activity.
Phonics is seen as one aspect of a rich literacy environment. In Reception, a self- access phonics
area helps children immerse themselves in the different sounds as well using it in many aspects of
their play. Outside, children are encouraged to go on sound or letter hunts, practise writing letters
in the sand or making signs using their phonic knowledge for different areas of the provision.
The modelling of writing and reading may be an appropriate time to notice different letter sounds or
non-decodable words all the while ensuring the meaning of a word or story is not lost.
In Year 1 and 2, phonics is linked to literacy through dramatic progress in writing.
Assessment is carried out at the end of each Phonics phase to assess the children’s knowledge.
This information is used to identify areas that need to be revised or repeated as well as any further
support parents could do at home.
At the end of Year 1, children are tested for their phonics knowledge using the phonics screening
Reading in EYFS and Year 1
Literacy unites the life skills of reading, writing and speaking and listening. The three elements
work alongside each other to enable children to make sense of the world around them and
understand the way language is used to communicate. At Stokesay we want every child to be
confident and fluent in expressing themselves through a variety of different means and develop
literacy skills for life.
At Stokesay we aim to produce literate children who:
- Read, write and speak with confidence, fluency and understanding.
- Demonstrate enthusiasm for text and language.
- Believe in themselves as effective communicators, both orally and in writing.
- Achieve their full potential in all aspects of language and literacy to fully prepare them for life after school
- Have had relevant, meaningful literacy experiences in reading, writing and communicating
At Stokesay we strive to create a community of readers and writers who use their literacy skills
confidently and competently. We hope to foster a love of language and text through our integrated
approach to planning and teaching. Staff at Stokesay Primary School work to ensure that all children develop the ability to communicate effectively and that barriers to learning are swiftly identified and steps taken to remove them. Literacy is an integral element of our whole school curriculum. Teachers use creative and purposeful ways to engage pupils in their learning, raising standards and narrowing gaps in attainment.
We encourage children to think of themselves as writers as soon as they enter our school. We
share and celebrate the processes children go through to become successful writers.
Children are encouraged to mark make and write using a variety of writing resources in a
purposeful manner; for example writing a shopping list in a home corner role play setting. Adults
support children in small group, guided writing sessions to develop writing strategies that are
specific to the individual child or small group. Daily, systematic phonics teaching enables children
to learn correct grapheme, phoneme correspondence and key non-decidable words, which they
can then use in their writing.
Children that are identified as needing extra support have extra reads with teaching assistants or other adults working in the class. A dialogue of communication with parents and carers is created with the class teacher in reading records to identify children’s next steps and track their progress. Children are given specific feedback to acquire reading skills.
Parents and carers are invited to attend workshops to inform them of strategies and ways in which
they can further support their child at home with their reading. They are also issued with an
information booklet at the beginning of the year to further support their child’s home learning.
Parents and carers are also invited into read their favourite children’s book with the class in
English, or their home language.
Children’s books are checked daily in KS1 and weekly in KS2 and changed as necessary. The home/school link is essential and children make better progress when they read regularly at home. Reading is taught across the curriculum and is also taught in regular ‘Guided Reading’ sessions. In these sessions, children read a book or a section of the book and discuss it, answering comprehension questions or looking at key grammar, vocabulary or other elements. This is also an opportunity for children to practice reading with expression – using good tone and intonation to make their reading interesting.
Teaching at Stokesay Primary is ‘learning centred.’ This means that the progress of children is at the heart of all that we do. Our literacy teaching is based on speaking and listening, the foundation of successful writing.
Pupils have opportunities to share with and hear the ideas of others in each literacy lesson. Children are taught to plan, edit and reflect on their writing and they are given regular opportunities to carry out a long piece of purposeful writing for an audience. Children are encouraged to develop a love of literature through exposure to a wide range of texts.
Presentation of work is important at our school and children are encouraged to take a pride in their work. Handwriting is taught and children practice letter formation at least once a week.
Once the children move beyond Early Years, they have sets of spellings to learn and they have regular spelling tests. In Years 1 and 2 the spellings are closely linked to the phonics they are learning.
The children learn grammar in literacy lessons but also in daily, discrete ‘basic skills’ sessions. These sessions enable pupils to revise, consolidate and apply grammar knowledge. Year 6 pupils take a SATs SPAG test.
Stokesay Primary School is committed to the lively and engaging delivery of mathematics across the age ranges and curriculum. For children to access the majority of their learning in numeracy, a strong and confident grasp of the four number operations is important, using formal and informal written methods and mental strategies.
We use concrete apparatus such as numicon and pictorial representations to develop deep, conceptual understanding of mathematical ideas as well as using talk maths, which encourages children to discuss their mathematical concepts. In mathematics we ensure there are plenty of opportunities for problem solving and chance to apply logic skills. We often have investigations and work through real life and worded problems.
Problem solving is embedded across the mathematics curriculum and our topic curriculum. Our curriculum is carefully planned and ensures that children are confident, numerate and can apply their skills. The teachers follow the National Curriculum and reasoning, problem solving and fluency are embedded in the teaching of mathematics. There is dedicated teaching of tables as we acknowledge that having a secure knowledge of table facts is crucial.
At Stokesay Primary School, we place value on investigative science and children using their own ideas to explore concepts following the National Curriculum. We have worked hard to ensure that our curriculum reflects the world that we live in. The three key elements to our topic curriculum are:
Local identity: This involves learning about our immediate surroundings. It is important that children are develop a sense of community, a cultural identity and how where they live is similar or different to other locations.
Environmental: This focuses on a variety of environmental issues which encourage the children to learn about their impact on their world and how they can make a positive change.
Global: This is an important part of our curriculum. The children have an opportunity to study different countries and continents around the world. This helps them to develop their global identity and ensures that they develop understanding, respect and tolerance for different cultures, their traditions and views.
Our topic curriculum has clear progression that ensures that the children develop skills, understanding and knowledge. We ensure that our curriculum is enriched by a variety of motivators, this includes trips, visits and visits in school by experts. The staff make use of this outdoor space to enrich all aspects of the curriculum.
Please visit the class pages for more detailed information about the content for each topic.