Long Term Overview
We hope that homework is an exercise that allows a link to be made with the learning done in school and its development outside of school.
Homework for each year group is set weekly by the class teacher.
This includes on-going activities such as;
- Reading activities
- Numeracy workbooks/worksheets
- Topic based research and projects
- Keeping up-to-date with news events around the world
The list above is not exhaustive. Homework will often be set as a specific task to enhance different areas of the curriculum.
Teaching of Phonics
In school we currently use the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme to teach daily phonics sessions.
As children learn and progress at different rates we set the children according to their ability across reception class, year one and year two. Children are grouped according to their ability and are placed at the corresponding phase.
We offer different ability groups in EYFS and KS1. Twenty minutes of discrete, focussed phonics teaching takes place each day, using a range of interactive resources and activities.
The programme is a six phased scheme.
Phase One – The activities concentrate on developing children’s speaking and listening skills, phonological awareness and oral blending and segmenting. Phase One activities pave the way for children to make a good start in reading and writing.
Phase Two – The purpose of this phase is to teach at least 19 letters, and move children on from oral blending and segmentation to blending and segmenting with letters. By the end of the phase many children should be able to read some VC and CVC words and to spell them either using magnetic letters or by writing the letters on paper or on whiteboards. During the phase children are introduced to reading two-syllable words and simple captions. They also learn to read some high-frequency ‘tricky’ words: the, to, go, no.
Phase Three – The purpose of this phase is to teach another 25 graphemes, most of them comprising two letters (e.g. oa), so the children can represent each of about 42 phonemes by a grapheme. Children continue to practise CVC blending and segmentation and apply their knowledge of blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words and captions. They learn letter names, learn to read some more tricky words and also begin to learn to spell some of these words.
Phase Four – The purpose of this phase is to consolidate children’s knowledge of graphemes in reading and spelling words containing adjacent consonants and polysyllabic words. Children practise blending for reading and segmenting for spelling.
Phase Five – The purpose of this phase is for children to broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know. Children become quicker at recognising graphemes of more than one letter in words and at blending the phonemes they represent. When spelling words they learn to choose the appropriate graphemes to represent phonemes and begin to build word-specific knowledge of the spellings of words.
Phase Six – During this phase, children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers. At this stage many children read longer and less familiar texts independently and with increasing fluency. The shift from learning to read to reading to learn takes place and children read for information and for pleasure.
In school we teach reading through phonics as advised by the National Curriculum. Please read this
useful information as to how parents can help.
In Reception and Key Stage One we mainly use the Oxford Reading Tree reading scheme. Support
materials can be found on the Oxford Reading Tree website and you can access many of the books in
audio form if you follow the link below,
In Key Stage Two as well as reading Key Texts related to the Scholastic Scheme listed below we use a
program, ‘Reading Pro’ to assess progress in reading and as a way of recommending possible texts in
line with each child’s personal preferences and reading ability.
Approaches to Teaching and Learning
At Ss Peter and Paul’s we adopt a variety of approaches to teaching and learning. We are developing our use of many of these approaches and have listed some examples below.
Learning across the Curriculum
This allows teachers and pupils to make links between subjects, drawing on a range of themes and topics and helps pupils to see ‘the bigger picture’ and in doing so makes specific learning experiences more meaningful. This is often taught using a topic based approach.
Co-operative and Collaborative Learning
Pupils learn by working together in small groups, taking an active role in their learning. Often learning occurs best when pupils have opportunities to learn with and from each other, and are shown how to do so effectively.
We believe that all areas of the curriculum can be enriched and developed through active learning. Active learning engages and challenges children’s thinking using real-life and imaginary situations. The main aim of active learning is to enable the pupils to actively engage in their own learning and take responsibility for it rather than be a passive listener whilst the teacher imparts information. Examples of this approach include; Talk Partners – Pupils are provided with information by the teacher. They are then given time to think before discussing their thoughts with a partner, after which their thoughts are shared with the whole class. Also, Brainstorming – Pupils list and share what they already know about a subject.
The schools are well resourced with computer hardware and software. We believe that effective and creative use of ICT, is key to developing some of the necessary skills for learning, life and work needed by young people in today’s world. Alongside the teaching of ICT skills in dedicated lessons, its use enhances learning across all curriculum areas.
This is a means of thinking in which we look at familiar things with a fresh eye, examine a problem with an open mind about how it might be solved, and use our imagination rather than our knowledge to explore new possibilities rather than established approaches.
The rationale behind peer education is that peers can be a trusted and credible source of information. They share similar experiences and social norms and are therefore better placed to provide relevant, meaningful, explicit and honest information.
Teaching and Learning in Reception
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the statutory framework that sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children are ready for school and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life. DFES.’
Reception Class forms part of the EYFS. The EYFS begins in the term after your child’s 3rd birthday when they may start in a pre- school or nursery setting. The EYFS does not end until the end of the first term in Year One.
As a result, the work that we cover in reception class builds a bridge between early learning experiences and the start of the more formal learning of statutory schooling. In essence, through a carefully devised curriculum based on the interests of the child we lay the ‘foundations’ for learning in readiness for the national curriculum. We work towards a set of ‘Early Learning Goals’ but it is important to remember that the work covered in reception class continues into year one.
To this end, your child will enjoy a range of learning experiences that balance aspects of formal learning experiences with play based learning.
On a daily/weekly basis your child will be taught;
Religious Education – As we are a Catholic school this is the core subject at Ss Peter and Paul’s. Priority is given to RE. Your child will receive 10% curriculum time following the new Diocesan Programme – ‘Come and See’. This will take place daily through prayer and circle time activities and two discrete lessons per week. You will receive the termly letters detailing the contents of the topics.
Communication and Language – Speaking and listening opportunities, that are an integral part of daily life. These opportunities will be provided through whole class/small group and individual activities and games that focus on speaking and listening to/in a familiar group, providing relevant detail and asking and answering questions and promoting self confidence in expressing themselves.
Physical Development – Developing coordination and control, the importance of physical activity, healthy lifestyles and the importance of healthy food choices. This area is covered through daily activities, the use of our outdoor environment and additional discrete PE lessons. This is also covered through topic work. Role play areas such as cafes/restaurants also promote this development.
Personal, social and emotional – Developing a sense of self, respect for others, social skills and how to manage their own behaviour in a range of situations. Much of the work in this area is supported through Religious Education. This area is an integral part of life in the classroom and permeates the everyday experiences of living and working together in community.
Literacy – Children engage in daily phonics activities each morning using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme. 20 minutes per day is devoted to the discrete teaching of phonics in small adult led groups which incorporate both reading and writing activities to support development in each of these areas.
Writing opportunities are an integral part of each day. The children are provided with opportunities to write within their play experiences along with daily teaching of handwriting and letter formation and the targets for writing that involve the teaching of linking letters to sounds along with the writing of sentences using capital letters and full stops.
Reading opportunities are provided by weekly individual reading and whole class shared reading activities including big books and flash cards, along with shared reading and small group games and activities.
Mathematics – Developing and improving skills in counting and number recognition, understanding numbers and calculation and describing shapes. These daily activities are provided through practical experiences. A solid foundation of working with numbers to 20 provides the basis for all future learning.
Understanding the World – Children are provided with a range of daily opportunities that help them to make sense of their world. They are encouraged to explore, question and investigate. Much of our topic work covers this area and follows the interest of the child.
Expressive arts and design – Children are encouraged to explore a variety of media through which they can express themselves. Much of the role play experiences cover this area along with working with clay, paint, natural objects and junk modelling. Music and singing activities and dance engaged with through play and direct teaching, supports learning.
Overall our intention is to develop within your child a love of learning and a unique sense of self. We teach that your child is made in the image and likeness of Christ and as a direct result of that comes the responsibility to grow as members of a society that is founded on Gospel values. We know that each child will develop at their own pace, and so their individual achievements should not be judged by that of others.
We hope that your child does come home each day and say that they have been playing. They will have spent about 50% of their time engaged in child initiated activity which is carefully monitored by staff and learning opportunities developed through observation of their play.
We aim to work in partnership with you as parents and appreciate and value your input and support.
Should you require any information on the curriculum please contact SPP@pax-christi.co.uk