Curriculum and Class Topics
Curriculum and Class Topics
During the Foundation Stage the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is divided into 7 areas of learning and development. These comprise of 3 Prime Areas:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
There are also 4 Specific Areas through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied:
- Understanding of the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
In addition to some short-burst adult led activities, we teach very much through the child’s interests, and it is in that moment of curiosity, puzzlement, effort or interest – the ‘teachable moment’ – that the skilful adult makes a difference. We ensure that we work in partnership with parents to fully understand the children’s interests at home as well as at school and this directs our activities within school. By having a workshop-style environment in the provision, the children are able to build their skills in a way that interests them where the adult goes into the child’s learning rather than the other way around.
Key Stage 1
From Year 1, as the children become ready, they begin to access the National Curriculum. This was introduced following the Education Reform Act 1988 and is for all children aged between 5 and 16 in local authority maintained schools in England and Wales. The National Curriculum consists of eleven subjects and RE, which all children will study at school.
The core National Curriculum Core Subjects are :
The Foundation Subjects are :
- Design and Technology
- Art and Design
- Physical Education
From Year 3 the children will follow the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum. Computing is an integral part of all curriculum areas. We are well resourced in this area with interactive whiteboards in each classroom, a set of IPads and a class set of Learnpads.
French is taught in KS2.
You will be sent information at the start of each term explaining the subject matter of your child’s learning for that term. The curriculum is arranged to follow a theme that is carefully chosen to meet the needs of the pupils, to cover the legal requirements of the National Curriculum and to try to inspire and excite the children and to promote independent learning. The themes are planned through the following six areas:
- Mathematical Development
- Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing
- Geography, History and Science
- Creative Development
- PE, Growth & Health
- Understanding of Faith, Belief and Cultures
The staff at Broadhembury believe that the curriculum should be relevant, fun and exciting for all learners. We know that children learn best when they are actively engaged with activities that are practical and take into account the different ways in which children learn, their individual strengths, talents and ways of thinking.
Great emphasis is placed on the pupils developing basic skills in reading, writing and maths but also on learning those key skills of working with others, problem solving, improving their own performance and communication. We use the imagery and characteristics of animals to encourage and develop children’s learning behaviours. More information can be found in our Learning and Teaching Policy.
Continuity and progression is built into the planning. Differentiated approaches to delivery of the curriculum cater for the varying abilities of children. Teachers use a variety of methods including class lessons, group activities and individual tasks. Whenever possible we try to arrange a visit or visitors to school to help with consolidation of the theme and to allow the children to really enjoy learning.
The teaching of reading and phonics
We follow the recommendations of the Letters and Sounds scheme and teach synthetic phonics in daily sessions. The usual structure for these lessons is short, rigorous and follows a similar pattern as outlined below:
- Review recent learning
- Absorb new learning
- Practise new learning
- Apply skill in wider context
Children read and spell during the course of each lesson.
A number of appealing resources are used in this process, but our main focus is the 'Letters and Sounds' programme as well as using ‘Phonics Play’ and ‘Phonics Bug’. These colourful and stimulating resources takes children from the early stage of learning letter-sound correspondences through to in-depth knowledge of vowel digraphs such as /igh/ and /aw/ to name but a few. The programme encourages multi-sensory active learning strategies.
The following link takes you to the Letters and Sounds website which will give further explanation.
Letters and Sounds aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting in the EYFS, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
What Are Phonics' Phases?
Phases are the way the Letters and Sounds Programme is broken down to teach sounds in a certain order.
At the same time whole words that cannot be broken down easily, (we call ‘tricky words’) are taught to the children.
Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.
(Reception) up to 6 weeks
Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each.
Blending sounds together to make words.
Segmenting words into their separate sounds.
Beginning to read simple captions.
Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks
The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Digraphs such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the ‘simple code’, i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.
(Reception) 4 to 6 weeks
No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.
(Throughout Year 1)
Now we move on to the ‘complex code’. Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.
(Throughout Year 2 and beyond)
Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.
In Class 1 we use a spelling scheme in Year 2 known as’ No Nonsense Spelling’, which carries the children forward, working on spelling strategies including prefixes, suffixes, doubling and dropping letters, spelling patterns and more.
What are ‘Tricky words’?
Tricky words are words that cannot be ‘sounded-out’ but need to be learned by heart. They do not fit into the usual spelling patterns. In order to read simple sentences, it is necessary for children to know some words that have unusual or untaught spellings. It should be noted that, when teaching these words, it is important to always begin with known sounds in the word, and only then focus on the 'tricky' part.
What are High Frequency words?
High frequency words are words that occur frequently in much of the written material that young children read. They are also words that children will need to become cohesive writers.
What do the Phonics terms mean?
Phoneme: The smallest unit of sound in a word, e.g. c/a/t, sh/o/p, t/ea/ch/er.
Grapheme: A letter or group of letter representing one sound, e.g. sh, igh, t.
Clip Phonemes: when teaching sounds, always clip them short ‘mmmm’ not ‘muh’
Digraph: Two letters which together make one sound, e.g. sh, ch, ee, ph, oa.
Split digraph: Two letters, which work as a pair, split, to represent one sound, e.g. a-e as in cake, or i-e as in kite. Often turn a short vowel into a long one eg S-a-m to same
Trigraph: three letters which together make one sound but cannot be separated into smaller phonemes, e.g. igh as in light, ear as in heard, tch as in watch.
Segmentation: means hearing the individual phonemes within a word – for instance the word ‘crash’ consists of four phonemes: ‘c – r – a – sh’. In order to spell this word, a child must segment it into its component phonemes and choose a grapheme to represent each phoneme.
Blending: means merging the individual phonemes together to pronounce a word. In order to read an unfamiliar word, a child must recognise (‘sound out’) each grapheme, not each letter (e.g. ‘th-i-n’ not ‘t-h-i-n’), and then mergethe phonemes together to make the word.
Mnemonics: a device for memorising and recalling something, such as a hand action of a drill to remember the phoneme /d/.
Adjacent consonants: two or three letters with discrete sounds, which are blended together e.g. str, cr, tr, gr. (previously consonant clusters).
Comprehension: understanding of language whether it is spoken or written.
In addition to phonic teaching, we teach whole word recognition of common words, significant names and the phonically irregular ‘tricky words’ identified in the Letters and Sounds programme. We also consolidate children’s phonological skills through word play etc with the aim that they are confident at hearing patterns like alliteration, rhyme and rhythm and are able to identify the number of syllables they hear in words.
Children practise their developing reading skills in a variety of contexts including:
- Sharing a story – we read to the children in large and small groups, moving onto chapter stories for our KS1 children.
- Guided Reading – this is an opportunity for the children to really develop their reading skills. It is a time when we work less on the mechanics of reading and more on the comprehension of a book. There are several areas that the children cover here. These include:
- Inference skills – taking what you have read alongside your own knowledge to make an educated guess about something in the text that is not written down.
- Summarising – taking the main points of a text and summing up succinctly what the text is about
- Predicting – similar to inference in that you need to have used your own understanding of what is happening to predict what might happen next or what might have already happened.
- Sequencing – talking about the order in which things happen.
- Individual reading - children have individual reading books changed weekly for home reading and are listened to individually at least weekly. Books are selected with the help of teaching staff from our graded reading scheme, each stage of which includes fiction and non-fiction titles from a variety of publishers including Oxford Reading Tree and Bug Club. Bug Club books are also available online as e-books for your children to work through and include simple quizzes to support them in developing their skills of comprehension. The link to Bug Club can be found below and your child will bring home a username and password to access their account. A letter about Bug Club that was sent to parents is included below.
For more information relating to the Curriculum please speak to Mrs Katie Gray, Executive Headteacher.