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.
At Greenwood Primary school, our English curriculum has been designed to ensure coverage of a range of text types from Nursery to Year Six, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Through the use of high-quality children’s books, pupils are taught to compose a variety of texts, focusing on audience and purpose whilst developing text, sentence and word level skills. Our curriculum provides opportunities for children to write for meaning across a range of subjects, with written outcomes having real purpose and a real audience. This increases pupil engagement and enjoyment and subsequently building stamina for writing.
Children will have many opportunities to write week. Every two weeks children will write an extended piece of writing. We also focus weekly on editing skills to improve our writing.
At Greenwood Primary School, learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
At Greenwood, we follow the Read, Write Inc program in order to give all children the best opportunity when learning to read. All the staff have been trained to teach reading in the way we do it in this school. We believe that it is very important that all the teachers and teaching assistants work in the same way. Senior leaders observe other teachers to make sure that the children are learning in the way we want them to learn.
When supporting your child throughout their reading journey, it is important to ensure your child is at school everyday! The way we teach children to read is very well organised, so even one missed lesson means that your child has not learnt something that they need to know to be a good reader.
VIPERS cover the key comprehension skills in line with the 'new' content domains.
Whole class reading will be taught across KS2 at least four times a week and covering the reading domains from the national curriculum. Children will look at a range of text types such as stories, newspaper reports, magazines, non-fiction books and many more.
We encourage you to continue reading with your child at least 5 times a week at home and to visit our local library – Wood End Library.
Our main focus is on promoting a love of books, songs and rhymes. We link stories to other areas of the curriculum to ensure we engage all our learners. We repeat songs and stories so that children feel confident retelling them and making up their own. All our learning experiences focus on providing and extending talk opportunities, and building sentences using modelled grammar and introducing new vocabulary.
In the summer term, we practice using ‘pure sounds’ and once children are familiar with the sounds we use ‘Fred talk’ to teach oral blending in small groups. We teach children to form letters in the air as well as supporting their pencil control and sitting position whilst taking part in writing activities.
We start by teaching phonics to the children in Reception. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. Ask them to show you what these are.
The children also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’.
The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
The teachers read to the children, too, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing.
All reception children have a daily RWI session for 20-25 mins, which increases to 45 mins in the summer term. The children will receive weekly words or a book to take home each week, which matches what they have been learning in school.
KS1/ Year 3
All KS1 children have a daily RWI session for 1 hour. The children will continue to receive weekly words or a book to take home each week, which match what they have been learning in school.
As your children grow and progress into Year 1 and 2, we will continue to assess your child every term and let you know how well your child is doing. We use various ways to find out how the children are getting on in reading. We use the information to decide what reading group they should be in. Your child will work with children who are at the same reading level as him or her. Children will move to a different group if they are making faster progress than the others. Your child will have one-to-one support if we think he or she needs some extra help to keep up.
We also use a reading test so that we can make sure that all our children are at the level that they should be for their age compared to all the children across the country. In the summer term, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the Year 1 children. That gives us extra information about their progress. We will talk to you about how well your child has done, and especially if we have any worries at all. By the end of Year 2, your child should be able to read aloud books that are at the right level for his or her age. In Year 3 we concentrate more on helping children to understand what they are reading, although this work begins very early on. This happens when the teacher reads to the children and also when the children read their own storybook.
We want children to learn to read, however long it takes us to teach them. We will find out very quickly if your child is finding reading difficult. First, we move children to a different group, so that we can make sure that they have learnt what they need to know. If they still struggle, we give them extra time with an adult, on their own. These adults are specially trained to support these children. Your child will still be in the same group with the other children and won’t miss out on any of the class lessons.
Book Bag Books
Your child will bring different sorts of books home from school. It helps if you know whether this is a book that your child can read on their own or whether this is a book that you should read to them. The teacher will have explained which is which. Please trust your child’s teacher to choose the book(s) that will help your child the most.
Help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘push’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds.
Sometimes, your child might bring home a picture book that they know well. Please don’t say, ‘This is too easy.’ Instead, encourage your child to tell you the story out loud; ask them questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story. We know parents and carers are very busy people. But if you can find time to read to your child as much as possible, it helps him or her to learn about books and stories. They also learn new words and what they mean. Show that you are interested in reading yourself and talk about reading as a family.
Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress is an online resource where Pupils learn a range of comprehension strategies that enable them to access increasingly difficult and challenging literature and nonfiction texts.
Reception – Year 2 will use Reading Eggs
Year 3 – 6 will use Reading Eggspress
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
Year 1 Curriculum Plans
For further information about Greenwood's curriculum, please contact Mr R Butler, Assistant Headteacher for Teaching & Learning.