Curriculum

 At Great Tey:

¨ We believe that our school should be a place of partnership in learning and growing between pupils, parents, teachers, staff and governors.

¨ We aim to give equal opportunities for developing the talents and skills of the whole community, children and adults.

¨ We believe everyone should feel valued and their opinions and needs  respected.

¨ Adults should provide positive role models compatible with those of  Christian care and consideration.

¨ We aim to use our community as a place to develop academically, spiritually, morally and socially, to enable children to take their place in the wider community.

¨ We want our children to develop into well equipped, independent and  responsible learners and thinkers.

¨ We will teach the skills needed to develop a happy, healthy and balanced life style.

¨ We will provide a challenging and well resourced environment.

¨ We will provide a well planned, rich and varied curriculum in keeping with the National Curriculum.

Within our School Improvement Plan we identify key priorities each year to develop in relation to the curriculum.  This year we plan:

  • To promote pupils' independent learning.
  • To ensure all pupils make good or better progress through high quality teaching; interventions to assist children who require more support and challenge for more able pupils.

Literacy:

We want all our pupils by the end of Year Six to be able to:

  • read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding;
  • be able to orchestrate a full range of reading cues (phonic, graphic, syntactic, contextual) to monitor their reading and correct their mistakes;
  • understand the sound and spelling system and use this to read and spell accurately;
  • have fluent and legible handwriting;
  • have an interest in words and their meaning and a growing vocabulary;
  • know, understand and be able to write in a range of genres in fiction and poetry, and understand and be familiar with some of the ways in which narratives are structured through basic literary ideas of setting, character and plot;
  • understand, use and be able to write a range of non-fiction texts;
  • plan, draft, revise and edit their own writing;
  • have a suitable technical vocabulary through which to understand and discuss their reading and writing;
  • be interested in books, read with enjoyment and evaluate and justify their preferences;
  • through reading and writing, develop their powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness.
  • To be able to speak with confidence in different situations

At the beginning of Year 1, the assessments from Foundation Stage will enable the planned work to follow a smooth transition.

The teaching of literacy in KS1 will include:

  • explicitly taught and planned sessions following the guidance and objectives of the New Literacy Framework;
  • Speaking and listening activities, e.g. role play, pair talk, drama and hot seating in order to prepare pupils for the writing process;
  • word level work with explicit teaching of phonics and spelling;
  • sentence level work led by quality texts to develop grammatical awareness and punctuation skills;
  • text level work using a range of genres to develop comprehension and composition skills and the understanding of print;
  • regular sessions for letter formation and handwriting;
  • Immersion in a print rich environment that promotes  a reading culture and develops children’s oral and written communication.

KS2

At the beginning of Year 3, teacher assessments enable the planned work to follow a smooth transition into Key Stage 2.

The teaching of literacy in KS2 will include:

  • explicitly taught and planned sessions following the guidance and objectives of the Primary Literacy Framework;
  • word level work with explicit teaching of spelling strategies and rules and phonics where required;
  • sentence level work led by quality texts to develop grammatical awareness and punctuation skills;
  • text level work involving reading a range of genres to develop comprehension skills and scaffold writing;
  • a range of text types, including cross-curricular writing, modelled to promote sustained composition;
  • handwriting and presentational skills taught and modelled;
  • Immersion in a print rich environment that promotes a reading culture and develops speaking and listening.
  • Opportunities for developing speaking and listening skills.

PHONICS

Phonics is taught explicitly in Foundation Stage and KS1 and where necessary in KS2.

In Acorn Class the children follow the Letters and Sounds phonics programme. Letters and Sounds is a powerful teaching tool which ensures that young children will be well-placed to read and spell words with fluency and confidence by the time they reach the end of KS1. In Year 1 most children begin to read and write one grapheme for each of the 44 phonemes. They blend and segment CVC (consonant – vowel –consonant), CCVC and CVCC words for reading and spelling and use their phonic knowledge when trying to read and write more complex words. Towards the end of year 1 the children are tested on their phonics knowledge to see if they have met the National expectation. In Year 2 children are taught to read 150 of the most frequently occurring words in English and are taught to spell many of them.

READING AT GREAT TEY

Acorn Class (Reception, Year One and Year two)

We recognise that children start school with very differing experiences of reading. Some will already be able to read their names and a range of other words, will know their letter names and sounds, and may be even reading whole texts; others will yet to start upon this journey. We ensure that all children will start from the point at which they come into school, and will continue to make progress from here.

We have a wide range of reading books within Acorn Class, and the children are encouraged to look at these and share them; for example, they are given the opportunity to choose a book at the start of the day. We also ensure that we share a wide range of quality texts with the children, both in literacy lessons and other subject areas. Every opportunity is taken to discuss these with the children, in order to develop their enjoyment of books, in addition to such skills as prediction and the use of inference.

The children regularly read on a one to one basis with an adult. Appropriate levelled books are chosen for each child as they start at school, and the children progress from one level to the next when they are ready. We recognise that it is important for the children to read widely at each level so that they are really confident within a level before progressing to the next: that we need to ensure that the children are developing the use of intonation and expression, recognise key punctuation marks and use these appropriately to inform their reading of a text, etc. Their reading should not simply be an exercise in “barking at print”; parents’ evenings are a good opportunity to communicate this message to the children’s parents as well. The levelled books which the majority of the children in Acorn Class  will be reading are to be found just around the corner from the class so that they are easily accessible. When reading these books, the children are developing both decoding and comprehension skills.

Detailed records are kept by all the adults who hear the children read, and these are to be found in the class reading folder. At least once a week, when the child reads to an adult, a record is made of the date, the title of the book, its level, and then comments are made about how well the child read, their strengths and weaknesses. Thus a detailed record is developed of each child’s reading, providing a very accurate picture of where they are at.

The children’s sight vocabulary and phonic skills are developed through daily ERR and “Letters and Sounds” sessions. Detailed planning ensures that the teaching of these areas is rigorous; the children are in two or more ability groups for these areas in order to aid appropriate differentiation.

Year 3 and 4 (lower KS 2)

During their time in years 3 and 4 the children continue to have access to a range of books which they are invited to read at the start of the day, and at other times. They are also invited to take these books home. The children continue to progress at an appropriate pace through the levelled reading books. The levelled books that the majority of the children are reading are to be found in the resource base, near the ICT suite. The focus here continues to be the development of decoding and comprehension skills.

As in Acorn Class , the children read regularly to an adult; we aim to hear each child at least once a week, and the less able children are heard more regularly than this. A list of which children will be heard on which day ensures that no children “slip through the net”. Again, detailed records are kept in a reading folder, to provide accurate pictures of each child’s strengths and weaknesses in their reading. The focus here continues to be the development of decoding and comprehension skills.

Quality texts are shared and discussed with the children, both in literacy lessons and other areas of the curriculum. The focus here is the development of comprehension skills.

Year 5 and 6 (Upper KS 2)

As in other year groups quality texts are shared with the children and discussed, both in literacy and other subject areas.

The children continue to be heard on a one to one basis as regularly as possible and detailed records are kept. Those children who are still reading the colour coded, levelled books are able to access these on their own. However, the majority of the children in upper key stage 2 are “free readers”, choosing their own books, with adult support when necessary. The children are encouraged to read a wide range of books, fiction, non-fictions and poetry, in order to ensure that they have a rich and diverse reading experience in school. The focus here continues to be the development of both decoding and comprehension skills, as well as reading for pleasure.

Where and when appropriate, additional support is provided for those who need it in the form of “CatchUp” and comprehension exercises.. The focus here is the development of both decoding and comprehension skills.

Guided Group Reading

Guided Group Reading takes place from year 1. The focus here is the development of decoding and comprehension skills. All children need to take part in a group reading session at least once a week. These sessions should, whenever possible, take place outside the  literacy lessons. During these sessions, the children should encounter a range of text types, although there may well be a bias towards a current whole school focus in reading. The text type chosen by the teacher should, where possible, reflect the current focus in his or her class’s literacy lessons. During the guided reading session, the adult makes appropriate comments on a record sheet. Comments should be pertinent to individual children, not blanket statements; ticks and crosses alone are not sufficient. Record sheets should be modified so that they are appropriate for the text type in question, and reflect the children’s reading abilities.

Reading Schemes at Great Tey 

We use a variety of reading schemes, including the internet resource Bug Club which can be accessed from home. Teachers will add appropriately levelled books for your child to this resource at different times during the year.  All pupils have logon details and workshops are run to show parents how to support their children to use this resource effectively.  

Other reading schemes we use a lot in school are -

Oxford Reading Tree (Published by Oxford)

Bug Club Books (Published by Pearson)

Project X (Published by Oxford)

We also have a wide variety of non-scheme free readers which children can choose once they achieve a level of fluency.

 

 

THE CURRICULUM (Please click on blue links to see our planning)

Core subjects:                                            

                   Y3/4   Year A   Year B

                   Y2   Y1     EYFS   

Foundation subjects:

From year 1 through to year 6 we follow the Primary Strategy's for Literacy and Mathematics. For other subjects we follow the  National Curriculum.  The National Curriculum is a framework that as a school we have to follow to  ensure that our teaching and learning is  balanced and consistent. It sets out the subjects taught (e.g. Science, ICT, Design Technology, Art, Music etc); the knowledge, skills and understanding required in each subject and the  standards or attainment targets in each subject, which teachers use to measure your child’s progress and plan the next steps for learning.

Teachers have worked  hard to look for opportunities to link themes and objectives which engage and involve the children in their learning experience and prepare them for the 21st century. We want to offer a curriculum that is not just relevant to the community but to also to the wider world.  Children need to be excited by their learning, be involved in the process and have some anticipation about what might come next. We want to inspire children by drawing on skills from different areas for example dance, drama, the arts and  technology.  A creative curriculum can help children to think for themselves and branch out into areas of curiosity and interest.

A four year rolling programme of themes for Key Stage 2 and three year programme for Key Stage 1 has been devised. Where possible all subjects are linked to this theme. 

If you would like more information on the curriculum we follow at Great Tey, please talk to your child's class teacher or to Mrs Overton.