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Curriculum - The Core Subjects

Phonics and Early Reading

At Great Wakering Primary School we use phonic teaching as a core approach to the teaching of early reading and spelling alongside the development of reading comprehension skills and developing a love of reading in our children.  

At KS1 and Reception phonics is taught daily following the Letters and Sounds document. Progress is tracked regularly through the completion of a phonic tracking grid.  

At KS2 phonics is taught where appropriate and spelling skills are then taught during three  weekly timetabled session. Gaps in phonic skills are addressed through the delivery of targeted interventions by trained LSAs and class teachers.  

All classes from Reception to year 6 have an additional timetabled daily session where reading is taught. All class teachers and LSAs have received training to deliver this effectively.  

We use a combination of decodable texts from a range of accredited schemes in Rec and KS1 to allow children to practice their decoding skills during phonic sessions, guided reading sessions and at home. These are made up from:

  • Songbirds
  • Floppy’s Phonics
  • Rigby Star Phonic Bug Club
  • Collins Big Cat phonics
  • Oxford Reading Tree

Impact of this approach on school’s reading achievement

End of 2016 data

School teacher assessments  2016

National Result (if available)

% of children at age related expectation at the end of Reception year

91%

76%  

% of children at age related expectation at end of year 1

84%

 

% of children making expected progress throughout year 1

95%

 

Year 1 phonic check

82%

81%

% of children at age related expectation at end of year 2

77%

74%

% of children making expected progress through year 2

85%

 

English

Maths

We aim to encourage each child to achieve their full potential in mathematics through an enjoyable balanced, stimulating and creative approach. Mathematics lessons take place daily.  Direct teaching using a variety of styles, such as the interactive whiteboard, is used to introduce and further develop skills and concepts, and the children are encouraged to learn number facts mentally, and use mathematical vocabulary.

They learn how to problem solve in a range of contexts and do mathematical investigations. The children are encouraged to share ideas and strategies with their peers.

Science

We aim to help children understand that Science is a special way of investigating themselves and the ways in which the physical world around them works. In order that we may succeed in our aims, children are taught skills such as fair testing and observation. The teaching of Science in the National Curriculum is organised into four separate areas, called attainment targets:

1. Scientific investigation

2. Life and living processes

3. Materials and their properties

4. Physical processes

Children regularly design and undertake scientific experiments and there is a strong emphasis on the practical element of the subject.

The Foundation Subjects - Computing

There has been an explosion in the use and impact of ICT in everyone's lives and primary education is no exception.   We have a large suite of computers to enable children to be taught as a whole class and this is proving to be an effective way of children learning the basic skills and using these across the curriculum. The children follow the National Curriculum for Computing and are able to access a filtered Internet on a regular basis. Every classroom is connected to the Internet to enable children to access it from the classroom and use ICT as a tool in every subject area.  We have a large bank of wireless laptops which are used within the classrooms to support learning in other areas of the curriculum.  Every class has an interactive Clevertouch TV.

History and Geography

Children cover all aspects of History and Geography as demanded by the National Curriculum.  This is often done through a thematic approach which allows a variety of stimulus, such as historical artefacts and school visits to be used.  This is designed to engage the children in their learning.  We are always looking for artefacts and interesting items and your donations to our resources would be very much appreciated.

Art and Design Technology

We believe that Art in our school is of the highest standard and this can be seen in the many displays around the school and in the way the children take pride in the presentation of their work.   Many of the drawing, painting and printing skills are developed through the work in other subjects, making it extremely relevant to the children's learning in this way. Children are encouraged to evaluate and describe their artistic compositions as well as the compositions of others. Children are given opportunities to use a range of artistic media during their studies and they develop a wide knowledge of different artistic techniques.

Music

Children are encouraged to compose, perform and listen to different kinds of music. All children also participate in weekly Key Stage singing lessons. Throughout the year, they are given opportunities to work towards a large scare performance. We have an active Band and Choir. Children study the work of various modern and classical composers during their music sessions.

PE and Swimming

We must emphasise that it is our policy for children to take part in games in all weathers apart from very extreme conditions.   It is very important that your child comes to school on games days, prepared for outside activity in weather which may be wet, cold, windy or muddy!

Children develop their physical skills through indoor and outdoor games, gymnastics and movement and dance. Some PE lessons are taken in the hall where there is a wide range of gymnastic apparatus for the children to work with.   We are fortunate in having such a large hall which we use to its maximum benefit, two large playgrounds and two extensive fields.   The school's scheme of work allows for progression and continuity.   Games are taken outside on the playground or the field.  Great emphasis is placed on team work, sportsmanship and an understanding of competition.   We take part in inter school competitions including District Sports and the Netball and Football Leagues

Children in Reception through to Year 6 are given swimming lessons during the summer term in the school's own pool.  There is a charge for this which is collected prior to the swimming season commencing.

Religious Education

Religious Education is part of the basic curriculum of the school, as set out in the Education Act 1996 and the Schools Standards and Framework Act 1998, and is recognised as part of the core entitlement.  It must be taught to all pupils enrolled in statutory education from age five.  However, parents have the right to withdraw their child(ren) wholly or partially from the teaching of Religious Education but will need to discuss this with the Headteacher.  The time allocation expected for each key stage should be:
•Key Stage 1 – 36 hours per annum.
•Key Stage 2 – 45 hours per annum

In the Foundation Stage, Religious Education is not taught discreetly but is planned and incorporated into the six main areas of learning in the curriculum.  Positive images in books and displays help to challenge children’s thinking and help them to embrace differences in ethnicity and religion.  Children also learn to form positive relationships in a setting that supports mutual respect, celebrates and acknowledges differences.

Key Stage One and Two pupils are taught following a scheme of work (RE Matters for Every Child 2009) developed by Essex Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE).  In Key Stage One children learn about, and from, religion with the main emphasis being on personal development, stories, festivals and celebrations.

Key Stage Two children develop their knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs and practices with particular reference to all six of the main world religions as well as Humanism in Year Six.  Religious occasions and celebrations are also celebrated during assembly times and special days such as Chinese New Year.

Personal, Social and Health Education

Under the umbrella of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), we develop pupil knowledge and understanding of themselves and the world around them.   We provide them with opportunities to learn about and discuss issues relating to friendships and relationships, healthy lifestyles, growing up, drug education, safety and citizenship and Sex and Relationship Education (SRE).

“Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) is lifelong learning about sex, sexuality, emotions, relationships and sexual health. It involves acquiring information, developing skills and forming positive beliefs, values and attitudes." (Sex Education Forum)

SRE begins with Relationships in Reception and progresses, appropriately, with each year to Year 6.  SRE should empower young people, build self-esteem, offer a positive and open view of sex and support sexual self-acceptance and mutual respect.

Planning for SRE also requires an understanding of young people’s needs. Knowing about aspects of SRE does not, on its own, ensure a young person’s personal safety and sexual health. Good SRE should help pupils to develop the personal skills they will need if they are to establish and maintain relationships and make informed choices and decisions about their health and wellbeing.

Parents have the right to withdraw their child from part or all of sex education that does not form part of the statutory National Curriculum.  Please contact the Headteacher if you would like to discuss this.

French

Children in Years 3 to 6 are taught French as part of the school curriculum.  Weekly sessions are provided for the whole class.  In Key Stage One children are introduced to the subject by their class teachers.