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How We Teach

Maths

Our aim is that all children should become fluent mathematicians who are able to reason and solve a variety of problems by applying what they have learned in a range of contexts. 

In EYFS, direct inputs and continuous provision provide the basis for the teaching and learning of Mathematics. Observations are made and recorded regarding the children’s understanding. To ensure that the children are prepared for the whole school approach to maths, questions are carefully crafted to ensure that the children who are ready are given opportunities to secure and deepen their understanding through verbal questioning and specific activities. These questions use similar wording to those used in Key Stage One to expose pupils to the question language.

Throughout KS1 and KS2, lessons are structured so that each year group has a separate targeted input from the class teacher. During the maths lesson, the children are given the opportunity to apply the new skills learned or practise their fluency skills daily which enable the children to practise, embed and therefore become fluent in working with number and the four operations.  Their conceptual understanding is developed through concrete and visual representations and children are given opportunity to explain their reasoning as part of our daily maths lessons.  Children are supported through specific planned interventions and are challenged by being exposed to a range of rich and sophisticated problems from a variety of sources including White Rose and NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics).   We encourage pupils to have a positive mindset and advocate that all children are able to succeed in Mathematics.

All children in school have access to the online learning platform Mangahigh and from Year 2 to Year 6 they use Times Table Rockstars to secure their multiplication and division fact recall.

Reading

We use the Department of Education’s (DfE) Letters and Sounds to teach phonics, with daily phonics lessons in EYFS and KS1.  These lessons are taught in year groups.  We use the actions from Jolly Phonics to support children’s learning until they are sufficiently confident with their phonic knowledge to stop using them and a pictorial reminder of these is displayed on the EYFS and Year 1 phoneme charts.  In EYFS and KS1, the children choose books from the appropriate book band level, which is matched to the phase they are working at in phonics, as their home reading book and this is monitored by the teacher.  Guided reading takes place daily in KS1 and the children are organised into groups according to current reading attainment.  In addition to this, reading lessons are included during the English Learning Journey.

In KS2, we teach comprehension strategies using texts that will inform children’s writing during the English Learning Journey. We also teach discrete reading lessons during the week. Texts used here are usually separate to the English Learning Journey and are chosen by children’s interests and their appropriateness to the skill being taught.  In lower KS2, lessons focus on developing fluency using the ‘echo reading’ approach, the teaching of vocabulary, and specific reading skills.  In upper KS2, lessons focus on specific reading skills (such as retrieval and inference) according to class need and assessment information, and include vocabulary teaching.  The children choose home reading books from their class reading corners and the school library.

Across the school we develop a culture of reading for pleasure by reading aloud to the children daily and encouraging them to participate in discussions about books.  The children are able to borrow books from our recently refurbished library to widen their reading opportunities.

Writing

Our daily phonics lessons in EYFS and KS1 (based on the DfE’s Letters and Sounds) teach early spelling.  The children use the EYFS, Year 1, Year 2 and KS2 phoneme charts to support their spelling.  In KS1 and KS2, explicit spelling lessons focus on teaching spellings rules.  The children have regular spelling tests to assess their progress and to ensure that gaps can be addressed.

As a school, we adopt a continuous cursive style of writing.  In EYFS, early writing skills are developed through the exploration of mark making and the development of fine motor skills which evolve into letter formation.  The children are introduced to pre-cursive and cursive script at the earliest stages of writing.  Throughout the school, explicit handwriting lessons take place to teach the children how to correctly form each letter in the continuous cursive script and then how to join them with increasing fluency and speed.  When a child is ready within KS2, they will be provided with a handwriting pen to use.

In EYFS, English lessons develop communication skills, enhance the children’s ability to story-tell and create a bank of ideas to stimulate writing.  High quality stimuli in English lessons and as part of continuous provision give the children the opportunity to develop their writing.  Sentence structure is a daily focus.

In KS1 and KS2, writing is taught as part of the English Learning Journey.  The children are taught to write in a range of forms for four key purposes.  These purposes are introduced and revisited at stages across the school: writing to entertain and inform in KS1; writing to persuade in Lower KS2; and writing to discuss in Upper KS2.  Within each unit, the children are taught comprehension skills, engage in text analysis, gather ideas, plan and apply their learning to their writing.  Grammar and punctuation is taught within the Learning Journey or in stand-alone lessons.  Modelling, guided writing and shared writing are all used within the Learning Journey as appropriate.  Proof reading is taught as an explicit skill and the children are encouraged to take a more independent approach to this as they move through the school.  Each unit is taught according to the needs of the class. 

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