To ensure that our pupils can maximise their academic, social and physical development our curriculum will:-
- be relevant, meaningful, engaging and enjoyable, providing pupils with an appropriate ownership and responsibility for their learning and behaviour
- be linked to life beyond the classroom and designed to enable pupils to make a positive contribution to society
- develop the “whole” child and be referenced to the ‘Every Child Matters’ principles
- promote aspiration in pupils, parents and carers
- positively create an ethos and environment to develop pupils as independent, creative and analytical “thinkers”
- be flexible, enabling all pupils’ needs to be acknowledged, responded to appropriately and met
- use first hand practical experiences whenever possible and high quality resources
- be developmentally appropriate, without putting restrictions on a pupil’s ability to achieve at the highest levels, to develop depth of understanding and a secure knowledge base
- promote the acquisition of basic skills in literacy, numeracy, computing and “thinking”
- ensure that pupils can apply and use skills and ideas developed in one area of learning to another
- instill respect for religious and moral values, tolerance of other races, religions and ways of life and help pupils to understand the independence and interdependence of individuals, group and nations in order to create equality of opportunity.
- To read independently, fluently and expressively, with understanding and enjoyment
- To read a wide range of texts, including text on screen both for pleasure and for information
- To engage with and respond to what they read
- To develop a love of reading
We encourage a love of books and of reading by providing a rich reading environment in our classrooms and in our school library. Throughout the school, teachers read aloud to children on a regular basis. We read a wide range of good quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
Word recognition skills are developed systematically in the early years through the teaching of synthetic phonics. We use the Monster Phonics scheme and materials and teach phonics daily in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Key Stage 1 (20-30 minute sessions). Monster Phonics is the whole school approach used to support the children with their phonics learning. This approach uses colour coding, pictures and actions to support children with remembering the sounds.
The children use the monsters to help them with learning and recalling each sound. Children also receive small group teaching for phonics based upon their ability and starting point.
Phonics knowledge is taught as the main strategy for teaching early reading – ‘the route to decode words’ (ref 140130 OFSTED), alongside immersion, word recognition and understanding relating to a pupil’s understanding. Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skillfully. They are taught how to:
- recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
- identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’;
- blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.
Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read. Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read.
Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment.
Guided reading sessions take place daily. In EYFS, as well as a big book approach, children will also work with an adult in small groups looking at ‘book language’ and applying phonic knowledge. In Key Stage One and Two these sessions will be organised following the school’s English Policy. Additional activities will be reading related and will have a learning objective.
Opportunities for reading for purpose across the curriculum are promoted e.g. non-fiction books for theme, use of the internet, atlas/thesaurus/dictionary skills.
Reading is also promoted through the regular reading of stories/novels to the class, as well as a daily story time at the end of the day and assemblies are story led where possible. Opportunities to read stories in PSHE and RE are used where possible.
Library skills are developed through the regular use of the school libraries plus visits to Strood library.
Pearson’s Bug Club is a powerful guided and independent reading programme that is proven to raise attainment in reading and spelling. It combines a library of stunning books with an incredible online reading world that will helps develop confident young readers.
In this section
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