Daily basic skills
Our curriculum has been designed to meet the needs of our pupils. We see that basic skills are an essential element to children’s progress Without the foundations of basic skills it is difficult to build upon and make progress. As a result, all children have a daily basic skills lesson. We have designed medium term plans with bench marks for the children to reach at the end of each year. Basic skills lessons consist of the four operations in maths, phonics, grammar and spelling in literacy, and handwriting.
Daily Guided Reading
The children have a daily guided reading session. At the beginning of this lesson there is a whole class taught skill to support progress in reading. Two groups of children will benefit from adult support each day so that, by the end of the week, all of the class will have had small group support to develop their reading ability. We have invested heavily in reading and have a considerable amount of reading materials as well as Bug Club which the children love.
In EYFS and Key Stage 1, all children have a daily phonics session. Children are ability grouped so that needs can be met. When teaching phonics, we use a scheme of work called Read, Write Inc (RWI) which was developed by a lady called Ruth Miskin. It is a synthetic phonics programme that 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 with the aim of children becoming fluent readers by the age of seven.
In Nursery and Reception (Autumn 1), we teach the children as a whole class, using Letters and Sounds Phase 1 Phonics. However, for those children who have a secure knowledge of Phase 1, they are swiftly moved onto small groups to being the RWI programme. In KS1 and reception (Autumn 2), we teach the children in ability groups, allowing us to focus on the children’s needs in more detail. Groups are delivered in KS2 if necessary.
We offer numerous phonics workshops for parents to support them in helping their child with phonics so that we can work in an effective partnership .
Weekly spelling lessons
We have identified that our pupils need taught spelling lessons on a weekly basis. There are spelling working walls in every classroom so that pupils can refer to them to support their daily lessons. The children have weekly spellings which they are expected to learn at home after having a taught spelling lesson in class. We use Rising Stars to assess spellings each half term.
Each half term every child is given a specific set of targets in Reading, Writing and Maths. These targets are set to enable all children to make progress by addressing their specific areas of need. The targets are known to pupils and they are to concentrate upon them within all lessons. Teachers monitor progress against these targets regularly.
Maths is a key skill for young children and it is essential that they are fully equipped with the basic skills required for this subject. In order to do this, we have daily maths lessons along with a separate basic skills session so that the four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are embedded within the children’s knowledge.
The children at our academy have a daily maths basic skills lesson which lasts around 15 minutes. Here they follow a set of questions based on times tables, arithmetic and fluency which are the main skills needed in maths. Knowing these skills is vital for children to exceed, especially with multiplication facts. Therefore we follow Times Table Rockstars, which allows the children to practise their skills both at school and at home. Your child will be issued with a password and username and we encourage them to log in daily.
To support the children further during the marking process a ‘Steps to Success’ will be given to consolidate their learning or challenge the children further. In Key Stage 2 the children are given a reasoning question of the day to complete before they start their lesson so that they have every opportunity to become fluent in maths.
We believe that practical maths is an essential ingredient in the learning process of children, especially in EYFS and KS1. To support this we use Numicon resources which give children a pictorial representation of numbers before moving onto written form.
At our Academy we are encouraging a mastery approach to maths and so are using the White Rose maths schemes which enable every child to become secure at mastering maths. They are provided with daily challenging activities that support deepening understanding as well as a more investigative approach.
At MBA we use the Dot.com programme to teach the PHSCE curriculum. This is a structured approach and is taught weekly in all classes in KS1 and KS2. Lessons are often practical and are discussion based. The programme covers a wide range of topics that support the development of ‘the whole child’ so that pupils leave MBA equipped to deal with modern day Britain.
The EYFS is made up of seven areas of Learning and Development all with a strong emphasis on learning through play. All areas are interconnected to characteristics of effective learning which are:
- Playing and Exploring
- Active Learning
- Creating and thinking critically
All areas of learning within the Development Matters document are underpinned by four guiding themes and their principles:
The unique child
- Positive Relationships
- Enabling Environments
- Learning and Development
The areas are:
Prime Areas (these work together to support development in all other areas)
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
Specific Areas (essential skills and knowledge)
- Understanding of the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
If you have any questions about our Curriculum please come into school and ask to see Mrs Burford who will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.