The national curriculum for England contains all the programmes of study and attainment targets for subjects. All maintained schools in England started teaching these programmes of study from September 2014.
English covers the areas of Spoken Language, Reading, Writing and Spelling, Vocabulary, Punctuation and Grammar. These skills have a high profile as we work to secure the best possible outcomes for all our children. The children have English sessions daily.
The children are read to regularly in English sessions, in reading sessions and daily during our 'Reading @ 3' sessions, in which the children discover a spine of children's literature, encountering a number of key authors, text-types and themes. A balance of fiction, non-fiction and poetry is always incorporated into the learning pathway for each year group. The children are also encouraged to read widely from classroom collections, to use the school and local library and to share their pleasure in reading at home. We offer a modern reading scheme and a variety of reading books and other materials in school that are age appropriate and provide balance, breadth and depth. These ensure that children have opportunities to read texts and spell words that are within the reach of their phonic knowledge and skills, with expectations and standards high. All of our classes have dedicated reading areas. We are keen to develop an appreciation and lifelong enjoyment of reading in all our children.
Our pupils learn to write in a range of styles about a variety of topics and ideas, with the purpose of the writing always evident, whether that be to entertain, to persuade, to inform or to explain. As with reading, a balance of fiction, non-fiction and poetry is always incorporated into the learning pathway for each year group. The children are taught explicitly to use the correct grammar and punctuation that is appropriate to their writing and through reading and other activities, they are encouraged to widen their vocabulary. The children are taught about the writing process through analysing texts and then modelling and sharing ideas together. The structuring of high quality written texts occurs through the planning and editing process, with creativity and imaginative approaches always encouraged. One of the vehicles that we use to embed this process is Talk 4 Writing, which includes techniques such as short-burst writing, story mapping and orally rehearsing stories and non-fiction texts through the steps of imitation, innovation and independent application. The children are encouraged to record their ideas, or write, in many different ways, making sensible and suitable decisions about handwriting, demonstrating particular pride in the presentation of final published pieces of writing. To encourage the development of excellent handwriting habits, the children practise letter formation, joins and pencil control daily for a prescribed amount of time. The children recognise the importance of spelling when writing and pay close attention to it. Our school systematically teaches phonics, mainly using Letters and Sounds, so that children are able to read and spell words confidently by the time they reach the end of Key Stage 1. At our school all the children experience a daily 20 minute phonics/spelling, punctuation and grammar session with opportunities for them to practise and apply their skills.
Children are taught to develop their spoken language through both English sessions and across the wider curriculum. Spoken language is critical for building and maintaining relationships as well as for communicating thoughts and ideas. Peer talk is greatly valued in the learning process, and as such, is incorporated across every curriculum area. The expectation is that the children are ready to use spoken language in all learning situations by answering questions and discussing ideas. Responses to questioning require a range of thinking skills - knowing, remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating, synthesising and creating - and it is through the explicit teaching of such a variety of responses that brings about the deepest and most beneficial learning.
At Tirlebrook our pupils participate in mathematics sessions daily. Mathematics has two key drivers as stated by the National Curriculum - arithmetic and reasoning. We work to ensure that pupils develop understanding, procedural fluency, confidence and coherence in both categories and across a range of mathematical areas. Such areas include when working with whole numbers, counting, number facts, place value and the four operations - addition, subtraction, multiplication and division - and when children learn about fractions (including decimals and percentages), ratio and proportion, algebra, measurement, geometry (the properties of shapes and position and direction) and statistics. Every learning opportunity is underpinned by the tenet that 'the answer may be x but more importantly why?' Children are taught the CPA (concrete, pictorial, abstract) approach in every stage of their mathematical development so that the outcome is of deep understanding that can be applied broadly and at depth in a range of contexts and through a variety of problem solving and reasoning learning tasks. Arithmetic is also supported daily for ten minutes in each class as key areas of learning are rigorously taught following a structure that keeps the mathematical concepts at the forefront of learners' minds.
In science sessions, the children develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. To enable them to do this, the children learn to carry out a range of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them. We endeavour to equip the children with the knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science in the past, today and in the future, as well as expose them to the works and achievements of influential and important scientists. Scientific learning is evidenced through a developing understanding of the nature, methods and processes of science. The language of the subject is evident in the explicit use of scientific vocabulary by both teachers and learners. Natural curiosity is encouraged and the abilities to observe closely, ask questions, investigate, experiment and interpret findings are developed. The children's range of knowledge about the world and the skills required to study it is extended and opportunities to work within a practical context are planned. In each year group, children are given regular opportunities to work scientifically, whilst also learning about plants, animals (including humans), living things and their habitats, evolution and inheritance, rocks, properties of and changes in materials, states of matter, the seasons, Earth and space, light, sound, electricity, forces and magnets across their seven years in primary education.