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.
The teaching of reading is prioritised throughout the school but particularly in the Lower School. The primary strategy taught is synthetic phonics. 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’ but the commercially produced ‘Jolly Phonics scheme’ is used in early Years to assist children through actions and songs if needed.
The children in the Lower School 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. See below for further information.
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.
Whole Class Reading
The National Curriculum for English states that, ‘Reading widely and often opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious minds.’ Here at Greenwood, we take the teaching of reading seriously and have the common aim of ensuring children become active, critical readers and to promote reading for enjoyment for all.
We pride ourselves on our children reading for pleasure whilst still developing the skills and stamina needed to become an effective reader in a range of subject areas; the library being a key area to promote this. All children visit our well-resourced and regularly restocked library which gives them access to a range of genres and authors.
To support the teaching and learning of the reading content domains we have, as a school, adopted the reading VIPERS from ‘The Literacy Shed’. VIPERS cover the key comprehension skills that are taught at both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Vipers cover the key comprehension skills in line with the 'new' content domains.
The same mnemonic can be used by both KS1 and KS2 with a little adaptation. The main differences being in the ‘S’ - sequence in KS1 and Summarise in KS2.
In KS1 'Explain' is not one of the content domains; rather it asks children to explain why they have come to a certain conclusion or to explain their preferences, thoughts and opinions about a text. In KS2 the Explain section covers the additional content domains of 2F, 2G and 2H which are not present in KS1. (These domains will be sent home with your children).
Whole class reading will be taught across KS1 and 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.
Reception Guided Reading will begin in the Spring term. It will be held in small groups from two to six children depending on their ability. They will all read the same book taking it in turns then followed with independent reading. It will conclude with a questions and answers about the text.
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. In PPA you will decide which task you will be setting for your class to do as homework each week. It is all marked by the computer therefore you will not have to mark it yourself.
Reception – Year 2 will use Reading Eggs
Year 3 – 6 will use Reading Eggspress
Children from Reception onwards are expected to have their book changed once a week and to read the new book to an adult. Books should be recorded on whole class reading record list and highlighted when read. Class teachers should ensure that that they read with each child at least once every 3 weeks recording which adult reads (class teacher/TA/parent volunteer) using different coloured highlighters. Books are ticked off on individual reading lists and recorded in individual reading records. Within these records there is room for teacher and parent comments. Whilst reading adults should focus on decoding skills, prediction and simple comprehension leading to inference, book layout and opinion as the child progresses. From Green book band onwards there is no need to read the whole book with the child, note in their reading record the page they reached (e.g. ‘Read to pg 12) and the child can complete at home.
Reading Books & Book Bands
From Reception to Year 5 children will follow the reading book band scheme in school.
From Reception to Year 3 teachers, teaching assistants and nursery nurses will listen to a range of children read each week. This ensures that every child has the opportunity to read 1:1 with an adult every week.
It is the teacher’s responsibility to hear the children in their class read to ensure they are reading books at the correct level and give the opportunity for the child to change the level of their book.
In year 6 children will become ‘free readers’. This gives year 6 pupils the opportunity to choose their own reading book. Children will keep a record of what they have read with a book review in their blue book. This will be checked weekly by the class teacher. Some year 5 children will also move on to become ‘free readers’ depending on the child and the class teacher’s assessment.
The Colour Bands progress in the Lower School is as follows:
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