Through discussions with our children and families we have developed a new curriculum. The 'Woodthorpe' Curriculum is a thematic, creative curriculum. This creative approach to curriculum design enables us to take ownership of our curriculum, to shape it and mould it to the needs of our children. Each half-term our teachers, with the help of the pupils, develop a theme for study - this is based on what the children's interests are and what they 'want' to discover. As well as the national curriculum being covered we also aim to develop core skills that we feel are important for our children in order for them to succeed in modern Britain, things such as teamwork, respect, enthusiasm and self-belief.
As well as this themed approach to learning we also have clear progression systems in place to ensure that children make rapid progress at Woodthorpe Primary. Each half-term pupils progress is tracked closely and teachers assess the areas that each individual pupils need to develop the following half-term.
Early Years Foundation Stage
In conjunction with the school vision, we recognise that children are all individuals and that it is our duty to give each individual an education which helps them to achieve their full potential in all areas of development. These include:
We aim to ensure that each child is given the opportunity to experience the very best possible start to their education through developing a positive self-image, independence and concern for others. At Woodthorpe School, we provide a safe, secure and challenging environment, which will offer a wide range of learning experiences for all individuals. High-quality care and education is provided to promote effective learning and development for each child based on the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. We recognise the vital role that parents continue to play in the education of their children and encourage a working partnership between home and school.
Years 1 to 6
In years 1 to 6 pupils are assessed against a points system in reading, writing and maths. The expectation is that pupils will on average make 4 points progress each year. Our main aim however is that pupils who are able to make more progress than this do not have a glass ceiling put on their learning and they can go beyond these expectations.
At Woodthorpe Primary school we have a consistent approach to the way that we teach writing across the school. All of the teachers in the school teach the same genre at the same time but match the expectations of the writing produced to the age group and ability of the children. The genre is also linked to the year group’s current topic where possible.
Most genres are taught over a period of two weeks. Within this two-week period, teachers follow the same five-part sequence to the writing process:
1.Initially, the staff and children focus on the features of the genre and demonstrate these features through a class working wall.
2.Secondly, the class move on to one or two practical days where the children find out as much information as they possibly can about the topic that they will be writing about. These sessions are usually drama, art, computing or visits and visitors.
3.The next part of the writing process involves the children planning their writing. Teachers then use one of these plans to model a quality piece of writing.
4.Once the plan is complete, the children work on their piece of writing.
5.Finally, the piece of writing will be edited and improved.
For some pieces of work there will be an additional part to this sequence. This is the ‘perfect’ stage where children have the opportunity to write up their work for a class display.
All of the children in our school are expected to write using the pre-cursive and then cursive script. Handwriting sessions take place at least three times a week. Children will gain their pen licence as soon as their teacher judges that they are ready in Key Stage 2.
All children are taught phonics from Nursery to Year 2 (and beyond where needed.) We follow Letters and Sounds which is a resource published by the Department of Education and Skills. The children participate in isolated phonics sessions for 20 minutes every day and work through six overlapping phases.
Our aim at Woodthorpe Primary School is to ensure that all of our children can read, love reading and have begun their journey as lifelong readers. The children all have an individual reading book which is matched to their age and ability.
It is expected that children read at home at least three times a week and this is recorded in their reading record and on a class reward system.
We believe that guided reading is an excellent opportunity to develop children’s skills and understanding. Children have access to a wide range of quality texts and gain pleasure from reading whilst developing their fluency.
In Early Years and KS1 the children participate in guided reading sessions at least twice a week. Small groups are organised according to the reading ability of the children and the children in each group have a copy of the same carefully chosen text. These sessions are led by an adult. Year 2 children also read a whole class text and complete reading activities based on this book.
In KS2 each class has a whole class set of a novel. All of the children follow the text at the same time. During these sessions there are opportunities for both the teacher and children to read the text out loud. Differentiated activities are then completed, based on the whole class text.