- Article 29 Your education should help you use and develop your talents and abilities. It should also help you learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people.
What do we teach?
At Stokeinteignhead Primary School, Pearson Bug Club is used to teach synthetic phonics as this is closely aligned to the Letters and Sounds (DfE approved) programme that we follow.
A graduated approach is used and children begin phonics as soon as they enter Reception class. Phonics is taught daily through a systematic approach. Children are taught within their class and any additional support required is delivered in small groups.
In Reception, children begin by developing an awareness of sounds through stories, rhymes and games. They quickly move on to learn the links between individual letters and their sounds. There are 44 different sounds to be learnt and again these are taught in a systematic way throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1.
How do we teach phonics?
Within Early Years and KS1 classes, phonics is taught discreetly in a daily session. Children then apply their new skills when reading books from the Phonics Bug scheme which match the letters and sounds that they have previously learnt.
Teachers regularly assess children’s progress to check where they are and what they need to learn next.
We adopt a graduated approach to the teaching of reading, using the following steps:
Phonics based approach
A phonics-based approach is used in Ash Class to introduce children to reading. Children learn to decode books that are closely matched to the letters and sounds they are currently learning.
Children are encouraged to read at home on a daily basis. Children keep the same book to allow them to apply their skills to decode the text. They then keep the same book to allow them the opportunity to practise reading for fluency, using the ‘three times for fluency’ rule. A reading record book is used as a communication tool between parents and teachers and allows regular updates on reading progress.
Children are also provided with log in details for Bug Club online reading resource. Here children can practise phonics through appealing games and activities. They also have access to a wide range of additional e-books, arranged by difficulty using the coloured book band system that teachers allocate based on a child’s current stage of learning.
When children move beyond Phase 5 phonics and a predominantly phonics approach to reading, then children are taught a broader range of reading skills to develop their understanding of the texts they read. Books are grouped by the Bug Club coloured book band system and pupils are directed towards the appropriate band for their reading level. When they are confident within a level, the children are assessed using a particular title from the colour band they are reading before moving on to the next colour level. The children received a reading certificate at the end of each colour band.
Children continue to log their home and school reading in their Reading Record book. Regular reading continues to be encouraged.
Lime Plus Bridging Band
By the time that the children are able to read books within the Lime Plus colour band, they will soon be ready to move into the next phase of reading. Books in the Lime Plus colour band act as a bridging band to develop the children’s independent reading skills, confidence and fluency.
When children are able to read fluently and independently they are assessed using the Star Reading system for Accelerated Reader. The assessment provides a standardised score and a reading age for the child. If they achieve the required standard then they are eligible to begin using Accelerated Reader. Teachers monitor children’s reading scores to ensure the system is right for them.
The Accelerated Reader approach moves away from the traditional reading scheme to include books by a range of popular, modern and classic authors and poets. There are also non-fiction texts, graphic novels and play scripts to name a few additional text types.
The system determines the level of readability for this vast range of texts. After assessment, children are allocated a numerical range from which they can choose books. This is closely monitored by teachers.
Independent reading and level of understanding is confirmed through an online retrieval quiz taken on the completion of a book. Children are expected to achieve a minimum of 85% success rate over the term.
Children are rewarded for achieving an average of 85% or above for the books they’ve read and with an engaged time of 25 minutes per day.
We try to provide books that broaden horizons and help learners connect with the world around them with a focus on positive moral values, developing empathy and showing diversity.
Whole Class Reading & Group Reading
At Stokeinteignhead Primary School, we believe that children need to be directly taught the skills required to read, interrogate and understand the different texts that they read. We do this through our Whole Class Reading approach in Key Stage 2 and Group Reading in Key Stage 1.
In our younger year groups (Reception and Year 1), whilst the focus is predominantly on developing the children’s phonological awareness and skills, we also believe in supporting the children to develop their vocabulary and comprehension of texts through the use of Group Reading sessions. These sessions take place every week using group reading texts from the Bug Club scheme; we have closely linked our texts to the same scheme we use to develop the children’s decoding skills for maximum consistency and coherence.
Whole Class Reading
Our Whole Class Reading approach is based on research which supports the idea that reading aloud is the foundation for literacy development, providing children with a demonstration of phrased, fluent reading. Children can listen on a higher language level than they can read, so reading aloud makes complex ideas more accessible and exposes children to vocabulary and language patterns that are not part of everyday speech. This, in turn, helps them understand the structure of books when they read independently (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996). It exposes less able readers to the same rich and engaging books that fluent readers can access independently, and entices them to become better readers. Students of any age benefit from hearing an experienced reading of a wonderful book.
Our children from Year 2 to Year 6 have daily Whole Class Reading sessions throughout the week. These sessions are based on a whole class novel (read daily), as well as a range of shorter texts which enable teachers to ensure that the children experience a wide range of genres. These are linked to other areas of the curriculum wherever possible. During the sessions, the children are given opportunities to work with talk partners, work as a group and develop their independent thinking skills through a wide range of questions, focusing on the following areas across the sessions: vocabulary, inference, prediction, evaluation, retrieval, sequencing and summarising.
Reading for pleasure
At Stokeinteignhead Primary School we feel really passionately that the children develop a lifelong love of reading and books and that they choose to read for pleasure. We encourage the children to read a wide range of genres and authors, including non-fiction books, newspapers and novels.
We have a half-termly book club to encourage children to read new and exciting books, as well as regular reading challenges with rewards. Book displays around the school inspire the children to choose books and authors that they may not have considered before. Additionally, we have also developed reading challenges, such as our Author Island Adventure, which encourages the children to read more widely and broaden their experiences of text types, genres and authors.
We have also worked hard to develop our reading spaces around the school; each class has an appealing reading area for the children to enjoy, as well as the development of our library spaces to inspire the children’s interest and enthusiasm for reading and books.
Our virtual bookshelf on our school website pages is also a useful tool to signpost children to a wide range of video and audio versions of popular titles and authors.
At Stokeinteignhead Primary School, we ensure a clear progression in the teaching of mathematics by using the White Rose Maths mastery scheme of work.
We promote enjoyment of mathematics in a variety of different ways, including: through practical opportunities to explore mathematical concepts, as well as through exploration and discussion. This helps the children to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics from an early age.
We encourage the children to be active participants in maths lessons, in which they work collaboratively. We believe in creating an environment where children feel comfortable to share their thinking, question one another, and agree or disagree by justifying their decisions. Calculations and concepts are represented in different ways moving from concrete representations where children can build their understanding using equipment and manipulatives, to visual representations, before moving on to abstract representations.
Our aim is for pupils at Stokeinteignhead Primary School to display positive attitudes towards mathematics and embrace mathematical challenges. We provide pupils with opportunities to develop their mathematical fluency, building their confidence to carry out a range of problems and solve them by utilising their reasoning and problem-solving skills. As a school we are committed to ensuring that children are able to recognise the importance of mathematics in the wider world and that they are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts. This also extends to how mathematics can be used within other areas of curriculum through rich cross-curricular links.
Learning Challenge Curriculum (LCC)
At Stokeinteignhead Primary School, we aim to provide our pupils with a broad and balanced curriculum, full of rich opportunities for them to develop their skills in many different areas. Our core values of determination, resourcefulness, curiosity, and respect, underpins our curriculum and sit at the heart of teaching and learning throughout the school in all subjects. Children are encouraged to be thoughtful, creative and resilient learners who develop independent learning skills from a young age, as well as a love of learning and an understanding of their role as global citizens in our ever-changing world.
At Stokeinteignhead Primary School, we have adopted the principles of the Learning Challenge Curriculum (LCC). The LCC is built upon the idea of greater learner involvement in their work. It requires deep thinking and encourages curiosity through the use of an interesting and thought-provoking question as the starting point for learning. Subjects are brought together in themes and links between subjects are made wherever possible, including allowing for the children’s application of English and mathematic skills. This imaginative curriculum approach successfully builds upon pupils’ knowledge and skills as they move through the school and is carefully aligned to the locality of the school, making it relevant for the children at our school. Ultimately, the aim of our curriculum is to foster a love of learning for life within our children.
State schools within England are required to cover the National Curriculum (2014) by law. The National Curriculum consists of both core subjects and foundation subjects which are taught to all pupils.
Personal Development & PSHE
At Stokeinteignhead Primary School, whilst ensuring the academic progress of our pupils, our school also places high importance on the personal development of our children to help them become confident, responsible and valuable members of society.
We are a Rights Respecting Accredited School, earning our silver award in April 2021; we are incredibly proud of this achievement, particularly as we continued to strive towards the award throughout the turbulent COVID period. Children’s rights now underpin everything we do at school, from our policies to establishing strong pupil voice in our school. Children undertake the roles of Rights Respecting Champions and Eco-Councillors and help to drive school projects and campaigns that are important to the children and of global significance. We are currently on our journey towards a gold award.
The children’s learning about their rights and their responsibility to the world around them forms a huge part of our Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC) development. Rights, Fundamental British Values (FBV) and SMSC underpins the ethos of our school and curriculum; they are not standalone subjects but taught through many different elements of our curriculum. Links to external agencies (police, magistrates courts, community groups, parents and families) and our local and wider community, enables us to enrich this learning further and ensure that our children have a clear understanding of their social responsibilities as global citizens.
Personal, Social, Health Education
The personal development of the children at Stokeinteignhead Primary School, is further enhanced by our teaching of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). We use a whole-school approach to the teaching of PSHE using the Jigsaw scheme of learning. This provides a well-structured, progression of learning, with the aim of preparing our children for life. We teach them to understand and value themselves as individuals, relate to other people and understand how to stay safe and healthy, both physically and mentally.
Throughout the year, the children learn at age-appropriate levels through the study of, and reflection in, the following topic areas:
- BM(Being Me in My World) – Who am I and how do I fit?
- CD(Celebrating Difference) – Respect for similarity and difference, anti-bullying and being unique.
- DG(Dreams and Goals) – Aspirations, how to achieve goals and understanding the emotions that go with this.
- HM(Healthy Me) – Being and keeping safe and healthy.
- RL(Relationships) – Building positive, healthy relationships.
- CM(Changing Me) – Coping positively with change
This mindful approach to PSHE also further enhances our MindUp Curriculum. More information about our MindUp curriculum, and the ways in which we support our children and families’ emotional health can be found by clicking on the link below.
Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)
RSE is about the emotional, social and cultural development of our pupils, and involves learning about relationships, sexual health, sexuality, healthy lifestyles, diversity and personal identity. It involves a combination of sharing information and exploring issues and values.
At Stokeinteignhead Primary School, our curriculum encompasses many aspects of the Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE) curriculum as well as contributing to promoting the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of our pupils. Our policy on RSE is based on the Department for Education (DfE) Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education (2019).
To deliver our RSE curriculum, we follow the Christopher Winter Project (CWP) ‘Teaching RSE with Confidence in Primary Schools’. Through our Relationships and Sex Education programme, we aim to help and support young people through their physical, emotional and moral development. We believe that a successful programme, firmly embedded in PSHE, will help young people learn to respect themselves and others and move with confidence from childhood, through adolescence into adulthood.
The programme units are as follows:
Reception: Family and Friendships
Year 1: Growing and Caring for Ourselves
Year 2: Differences
Year 3: Valuing Difference and Keeping Safe
Year 4: Growing Up
Year 5: Puberty
Year 6: Puberty, Relationships and Reproduction
Our programme aims to provide the basis for an ongoing programme of RSE that begins in Reception and continues through to Year 6. The aims of relationships and sex education (RSE) in our schools:
- Is a partnership between home and school.
- To prepare pupils for puberty, and give them an understanding of sexual development and the importance of health and hygiene.
- To create a positive culture around issues of sexuality and relationships.
- To teach pupils the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies.
- Starts early and is relevant to pupils at each stage in their development and maturity.
- Includes the acquisition of knowledge, development of life skills and respectful attitudes and values.
- Has sufficient time to cover a wide range of topics with a strong emphasis on relationships, consent, rights, responsibilities to others, negotiation and communication skills, and accessing services.
- Helps pupils understand on and off-line safety, consent, violence and exploitation and how to keep themselves safe.
- Is both medically and factually correct and treats sex as a normal fact of life.
- Is inclusive of difference, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, culture, age, faith or belief, or other life experiences.
- Promotes equality in relationships, recognises the challenges, gender inequality and reflects girls’ and boys’ different experiences and needs.