Our curriculum is designed to enable everyone to thrive and achieve their ambitions. It focuses on being accessible for all and develops the whole child, with our school motto, ‘Valuing Everyone, Growing Together’ at the heart. Our broad and balanced curriculum is shaped using Cornerstones, which is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the 2014 Primary National Curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. Our curriculum is delivered through learning projects, that provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities, that foster the children’s love of learning, motivating them to succeed. Our lessons challenge, support, and enable children to overcome barriers and foster a lifelong love of learning. Through our golden threads, Christian values, and school rules, we ensure that our children are responsible citizens. We seek to nurture ambitious individuals that challenge inequalities and injustice and have concern for the world around them.
How will we implement our curriculum?
Our curriculum is designed to balance the national expectations, involving an all-encompassing range of imaginative learning projects allowing our children to be happy and successful. Clear strategic planning allows the curriculum to be adaptable to children’s needs. Age related expectations combine the acquisition of knowledge and development of skills to create a purposeful and exciting learning journey for every child. The curriculum has high expectations to combine transferable skills, demonstrate a breadth of vocabulary and develop strong cross curricular links. The classroom environments stimulate and engage quality thinking and reasoning. Our marking policy is an opportunity for children to reflect on their learning and respond with clarity and understanding of next steps in their feedback.
We believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our curriculum provides lots of learning challenges throughout the academic year that requires children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively across the curriculum.
The curriculum has a rigorous essential skills framework that outlines the end of year expectations in all subjects. These essential skills are tied to activities and are age related so that staff can track children’s progress and identify their individual learning needs.
Supporting our golden threads, the curriculum is also enriched with a Forest School in partnership with Children's Woodland Adventures. Our large woodland is the base for our weekly Forest Schools sessions teaching the children vital learning skills such as teamwork, listening skills and problem solving. This is achieved through activities like shelter building and outdoor cooking which nurtures creativity and develops a sense of awe and wonder. Once inside you feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of school life. With a mature woodland, large pond area, bat boxes and bird boxes the children also learn all about our precious environment and the importance of protecting it. To develop positive attitudes to health and well-being and encourage our children to have a healthier lifestyle, we use our Sports Premium Funding to effectively improve the quality and variety of sport that is offered.As a church school we follow the Lincolnshire Agreed syllabus and support the teaching of this with the Understanding Christianity resource. This delivers an RE curriculum that supports pupils’ religious literacy enabling pupils to hold balanced and informed conversations about religion and belief. Implicit within this, is the study of a range of religions, belief systems and worldviews, including opportunities for pupils to examine and evaluate connections between these ideas and the wider world, developing compassionate and respectful citizens.
How will we monitor the impact of our curriculum?
We strive to ensure that all children’s attainment in core and foundation subjects is in line with or exceeding their potential, based upon their varied starting points. The aim is that by the end of each year, the vast majority of pupils have achieved age related expectations, with some pupils having a greater depth of understanding. We track carefully throughout the year to ensure pupils are aiming to reach the expectations of our curriculum. Teaching staff will reflect on standards achieved against the planned outcomes and shape the onward curriculum accordingly. We monitor behaviours throughout school, ensuring that our children are well rounded individuals who care about others, their school community and take responsibility for their own actions, demonstrating our Christian values. Assessment data is shared with the whole school team and the governing body, providing a monitoring platform which supports challenge and ensures a strong evaluation of our impact.
It is essential that our approach to teaching phonics and reading is accessible to all learners, regardless of background.
Phonics (reading and spelling)
At North Hykeham All Saints Primary Schoolwe believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Little Saints/Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.
As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At North Hykeham All Saints Primary Schoolwe also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
At North Hykeham All Saints Primary Schoolwe value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.
Because we believe teaching every child to read is so important, we have a Reading Leader who drives the early reading programme in our school. This person is highly skilled at teaching phonics and reading, and they monitor and support our reading team, so everyone teaches with fidelity to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.
Foundations for phonics in Little Saints
We provide a balance of child-led and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for ‘Communication and language’ and ‘Literacy’. These include:
sharing high-quality stories and poems
learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes
activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending
attention to high-quality language.
We ensure pre-school children are well prepared to begin learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and blending in Reception.
Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1
We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.
Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 3 of the Autumn term.
We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress:
Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.
Daily Keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read
Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.
We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 or 3 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics screening check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Keep-up resources – at pace.
If any child in Year 3 to 6 has gaps in their phonic knowledge when reading or writing, we plan phonics ‘catch-up’ lessons to address specific reading/writing gaps. These short, sharp lessons last 20 minutes and take place once a week.
Teaching reading: Reading practice sessions three times a week
We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These:
are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children
use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.
are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.
Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:
prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.
In Reception these sessions start in Week 4. Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books.
In Year 2 and 3, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books.
The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family.
Reading for pleasure books go home for parents to share and read to children in Reception and KS1.
Additional reading support for vulnerable children
Children in Reception and Year 1 who are receiving additional phonics Keep-up sessions read their reading practice book to an adult as often as possible.
Ensuring consistency and pace of progress
Every teacher in our school has been trained to teach reading, so we have the same expectations of progress. We all use the same language, routines and resources to teach children to read so that we lower children’s cognitive load.
Weekly content grids map each element of new learning to each day, week and term for the duration of the programme.
Lesson templates, Prompt cards and How to videos ensure teachers all have a consistent approach and structure for each lesson.
The Reading Leader and SLT regularly monitor and observe teaching; they use the summative data to identify children who need additional support and gaps in learning.
Ensuring reading for pleasure
‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)
‘The will influences the skill and vice versa.’ (OECD 2010)
We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy.
We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at North Hykeham All Saints Primary Schooland our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
In Little Saints/Reception, children have access to a reading corner every day in their free flow time and the books are continually refreshed.
Children from Reception onwards have a home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults will write in this on a regular basis to ensure communication between home and school.
The school library is made available for classes to use.
Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.
every six weeks to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need.
by the Reading Leader and scrutinised through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker, to narrow attainment gaps between different groups of children and so that any additional support for teachers can be put into place.
The Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised placement assessment is used:
with any child new to the school to quickly identify any gaps in their phonic knowledge and plan provide appropriate extra teaching.
Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics screening check. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2.
Ongoing assessment for catch-up
Children in Year 2 to 6 are assessed through:
their teacher’s ongoing formative assessment
the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds placement assessment
the appropriate half-termly assessments.
This link will take you to our phonics resources. This page will help you support your child with saying their sounds and writing their letters. There are also some useful videos so you can see how they are taught at school and feel confident about supporting their reading at home. https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/
Little Wandle PowerPoint Presentation for Parents
This video will support your understanding of our Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Programme. The videos can be accessed using the link above.