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Like other state schools in England, we follow the national curriculum which was made mandatory from September 2014. As well as specific content, we ensure our curriculum is tailored to our community as well as providing opportunities for our children to thrive in their learning.
Greenwood Primary school offers a broad, balanced and stimulating curriculum, which is designed to allow children access to learning opportunities that interest and motivate them, and which develops their skills in order to succeed in later life. While prioritising the basic skills of Mathematics and English, the school promotes creativity and cross-curricular knowledge through the foundation subjects. This is achieved through a topic based approach to learning in the Foundation subjects. Spanish is the adopted Modern Foreign Language in KS2.
The school informs parents about the curriculum through newsletters, year group planning on the school website (hard copies available from the school office), class assemblies and regular parent workshops.
The teaching of reading is prioritised throughout the school but particularly in the Infant department. The primary strategy taught is synthetic phonics. The Infant classes are taught phonics daily and much of this is through sets (groups made according to each child’s stage of learning). The school uses the scheme ‘Letters and Sounds’ throughout the Infants but the commercially produced ‘Jolly Phonics scheme’ is used in early Years to assist children through actions and songs.
The children in the Infants are heard to read by an adult twice a week. One occasion is individually, using ‘The Oxford Reading Tree’ and other schemes, used to give variety, including phonetically decodable books. These are arranged into coloured book bands and are sent home weekly with a record book for the parents’ information. The second occasion is guided reading in which small groups of similar ability children read a book together. Separate schemes are used for this, including ‘All Aboard’, ‘Rigby Star’, and Pearson’s ‘Phonic Bug Scheme’ and some non-scheme books which have been colour banded. These books are not sent home but can be seen by parents on request.
The school recognises that good speaking and listening skills are essential for a child to become a proficient reader and in early years communication is given great emphasis.
Reading in KS2 is mainly taught through guided reading but children who require one to one support are given extra reading opportunities. Phonics continues to be taught to children for whom it is a priority through small intervention groups.
Writing is taught weekly over two sessions from Year 1 to 6. One day is a planning session and the other a writing session.
At Greenwood we aim to:
1. Develop a positive attitude to maths as an interesting subject in which all children gain success.
2. Spark curiosity in children’s minds and excitement to help nurture their confidence in maths.
3. Develop an ability in the children to express themselves fluently, to talk about the subject with assurance, using correct mathematical language and vocabulary.
4. Provide the opportunity for all children, regardless of their ability, to work through Fluency, Reasoning AND Problem-Solving activities.
5. Develop mathematical skills and knowledge and quick recall of basic facts.
We want every child to:
This year we are embedding Mastery approach of teaching and learning across the school. We use Power Maths (Scheme of work) which is a Mastery embedded programme. It has been recommended by the Department of Education, to ensure that the aims, of the National Curriculum are achieved. At the heart of Power Maths is the belief that all children can achieve. It rejects the idea that people simply ‘can’t do’ maths. It is built around hard work, practice and a willingness to see mistakes as learning opportunities. Since September we have been using it in Reception, KS1 and KS2 classes.
Our pupils frequently work in pairs and groups to solve problems as we also know that talking about Maths helps children to develop their understanding.
In addition to their regular Maths lessons, we also seek to promote cross-curricular opportunities for Maths learning wherever possible, for example in Science, D.T., Geography and P.E. Pupils also frequently learn Maths outdoors, enabling them to apply their mathematical skills to the real world.
In year 4 we also use daily arithmetic questions to build number fluency & confidence.
One of the main aspects of ‘teaching to mastery’ is the concrete-pictorial-abstract approach (CPA) which insists that children understand key concepts using concrete manipulatives, are exposed to and can record scenarios using pictures and can then apply this understanding in an abstract way. Therefore, we encourage the use of a wide range of manipulatives in Maths lessons, including for example Numicon, Dienes block, part-part whole model, ten frame, number beads and counters.
Steps throughout a lesson are small to ensure that all pupils understand the key concepts before they are exposed to new ones. It is expected that all pupils have the opportunity to apply their understanding of a topic as a result of their exposure to rich and deep mathematical problems. During a lesson, children will be given the opportunity to practise new skills, apply these skills in different ways as a result of variation or within a different concept and reason and explain about the concept.
All maths lessons follow the Power Maths teaching model: The curriculum is broken down into core concepts, taught in units e.g. addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, shape, statistics etc. Each unit is then divided into small learning steps – lessons.
Each lesson is sequenced in the same format: Power Up – Discover – Share – Think Together – Practice – Reflect (see attached letter for more information).
The majority of children in a class move through the scheme of learning at broadly the same pace and are exposed to the same questions during lessons. Children in all classes sit in mixed ability pairings to allow collaborative learning, exposure to different opinions about the same work and regular opportunities for discussion of answers to support pupils’ reasoning skills and check and deepen their understanding. Learners are supported by the structure of the lesson, their peers as well as scaffolds provided by teachers. Children are extended as a result of higher order questioning where conjectures, generalisations and reflections are required and consistent exposure to rich tasks, rather than acceleration to new content. It is expected that all pupils will experience challenge in a lesson.
The Power maths Practice books are marked as per our marking policy (yellow highlighter to highlight the title of work and green pen). All adults in the classroom or children mark during the lesson, in a time efficient manner, to allow an immediate evaluation of understanding to be achieved by the end of the lesson. This allows same day intervention to be put in place for the children that did not understand the key concepts taught with a lesson. Because of the small, progressive steps made within lessons, no individual next steps are given as the next lesson should be designed to take account of the next steps. If there is a common misconception, the whole class is exposed to it within the next lesson. Children use purple pens for self-assessment, marking and corrections.
Same Day Intervention
A daily slot is timetabled for all year groups to allow a small number of pupils (maximum of 6) to receive additional support (by the class teacher where possible) following the lesson to ensure no child falls behind because of a lack of conceptual understanding. If more children require support, then the lesson should be retaught the following day using variation to focus on the areas of misconception.
Research shows that the most effective and beneficial forms of assessment are ones which support learning. Formative assessment forms a crucial part of every lesson and as such is built-in to lesson design. It is therefore important that classroom activities are well structured and involve conceptual and procedural variations and intelligent practice. Regular opportunities for discussion and critiquing of answers form a significant part of this assessment as well as further opportunities for reasoning and explanation skills to be developed. Summative assessment, following our assessment policy, enables teachers to monitor and track pupil’s progress. Where progress is not secure, then detailed monitoring and recording may be justified.
Home learning is given on a weekly basis. It provides the children with an additional opportunity to consolidate the key learning of mathematical concepts.
What you can do as Parents to help your child/children
Tell them – you love Maths
Help them – to have the right Mindset
Ask them – to explain their answer