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At Leverstock Green the English curriculum is delivered by using a variety of high quality engaging texts which ensure all pupils have regular experience of speaking and listening, reading, writing, phonics, grammar, handwriting and spelling. English is taught across the curriculum using literacy lessons, topics, themes and the programmes of study in the National Curriculum and EYFS curriculum. Pupils learn to use language effectively for different purposes and different audiences. They are supported in developing and extending their English through visits, projects, competitions, celebration of national events e.g. Roald Dahl Day and Book Week.
All children in EYFS and Key Stage One and others according to need, receive a daily phonic session that is clearly structured following the Letters and Sounds Programme. To ensure maximum progress the children are divided into small groups that address their particular needs and ensures that any misconceptions are addressed early.
Guided Reading is introduced in EYFS and as the children move through the school their skills are developed by effective questioning and discussion of the text. In EYFS children are taught to enjoy books and start to develop their early comprehension skills in small groups. They are encouraged to use their early phonic skills to decode words and sentences. Once entering Key Stage One the children undertake a carousel of reading activities as a group. These include a guided reading session once a week with the teacher using a specially chosen text that teaches phonics skills as well as comprehension skills and the discussion of literary devices and language. Comprehension activities, phonic activities and reading for pleasure as well as a follow up activity based on the text encourage independence and resilience. At the initial entry to Key Stage Two the children continue with the carousel of activities before graduating to a whole class guided reading session. The texts chosen are selected to be challenging and ensure that complex discussions take place.
Reading and Writing
The daily literacy lessons are taught using the following skills
Read and talk the text – reading or telling
Comprehension – deepen understanding through discussion, drama, writing in role,
representing and exploring the text
Analysis – read as a writer
Stimulus – something interesting to write about
Plan and talk the text – gather and organise ideas - talk the text prior to writing - take
feedback, refining and retelling
Writing – draft, polish and publish writing
NB Writing skills (spelling, grammar and handwriting) permeate each stage of the teaching sequence
Children are encouraged to question, discuss, form opinions and justify answers, as well as critically evaluate and edit their work. Emphasis is placed on producing quality work with neat presentation, correctly formed handwriting and the ability to demonstrate correct spelling patterns and rules. Speaking and listening is an essential part of these lessons. Comprehension is taught in a weekly discrete lesson from Year Two to Year Six in which age-appropriate texts are used to teach the skills needed to answer a variety of questions in different formats. The texts used are engaging and varied in genre. EYFS and early Year One comprehension is verbal and part of the daily literacy lessons and guided reading. Year One move to written comprehension as their reading skills improve and it is based on their guided reading book that they have discussed and read with the teacher.
Spelling, punctuation and grammar
All children are taught spelling, punctuation and grammar from EYFS to Year Six. From Year One specific lessons are included in the daily timetabled English lessons. Spelling patterns and key words for Key Stage One form part of the daily phonic sessions. When children enter Key Stage Two they move into exploring spelling patterns and rules as well as the key grammar that follows the National Curriculum expectations. All children have a weekly spelling home learning that is tested the following week.
The school has a handwriting policy that all children and staff follow. In EYFS and Year One children are taught to form letters correctly and write using a consistent size whilst understanding where letters should be placed on the line in the correct positions; upper and lower case letters are taught at the same time. From Year Two a joined script is taught.
Reading at Home
The school expects every child to read at home. Children are provided with a reading record for parents and teachers to communicate and suitable reading material. Teachers carefully monitor the reading at home and provide support where needed.
At Leverstock Green School, we believe it is important to develop basic mathematical skills, concepts, attitudes and knowledge appropriate to each child’s development. As a result, the children are taught skills in mental and written calculation and are provided opportunities to develop skills of problem solving and mathematical reasoning through practical tasks, enquiry, experimentation and creative maths.
By providing purposeful and varied opportunities for children to develop their mathematical skills, we hope to encourage positive attitudes and enjoyment of mathematics and to assist pupils in fostering an understanding of its relevance for life. Mathematics is taught through daily lessons and links with other curriculum areas are made whenever possible. We aim to develop a positive attitude to maths, promoting the ethos of ‘Meaningful Maths’.
In Foundation Stage, the emphasis is in child initiated activities, with Early Learning Goals underpinning the opportunities for learning available. Maths is evident in cross-curricular activities, including outdoor learning. Numicon, a teaching and learning resource, is used extensively in Early Years.
In Key Stage One and Two, the children have five lessons per week which includes an investigation or problem solving session. The children are taught to use and apply their mathematics skills across a range of concepts, building fluency and developing mastery over key skills.
Lessons are planned using the Herts for Learning medium term guidance on ‘Domain’ planning. There are seven different domains; Number and place value, Addition and subtraction, Multiplication and division, Fractions (including decimals), Geometry, Measurement, and Statistics. Each year group has a programme of study that is covered throughout the year and skills are followed progressively to ensure a firm grasp of fundamental concepts. Statements from each domain are assigned to each term to ensure coverage of the maths curriculum.
To support the Teaching and Learning, a variety of manipulatives are used, with a particular emphasis on the use of Numicon. Children are encouraged to learn through the use of appropriate apparatus (e.g. Numicon pieces, bead strings and counters) followed by visual aids (diagrams and pictorial representations, number lines, number squares, fraction walls etc.) leading to an understanding of abstract concepts, such as addition and subtraction written calculations .Children move through these stages at different speeds, appropriate to age and ability. The calculation policy (published separately) shows how this might look in each year group.
There is a whole school timetables reward scheme to encourage children to learn their times tables fluently up to 12 x 12, including related division facts. Certificates and stickers are awarded to children who show impressive attitude, commitment or ability in maths lessons.
In Key Stage 2, the school subscribes to Mathletics, a useful tool that includes online activities and which follows the National Curriculum requirements for each year group. Children are set tasks, both in class and at home, to support their learning. There are a great many opportunities for children to take responsibility for their learning, including completing their own personal challenges at home without prompting.
There is a Mathletics lunchtime club for children who have problems completing tasks at home, or who wish to extend their learning.
An after school maths club is very popular, with children learning through games, songs and varied activities. Maths Ambassadors, appointed after a written application in year five, support the running of the club, as well as periodically setting challenges for the wider community.
We are proud that children in Leverstock Green School find ‘maths fun’ and are enthusiastic about their learning.
Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about the world around them. At Leverstock Green we plan our lessons to inspire our pupils to observe and raise their own questions. We have a strong emphasis on practical investigations and learning first hand, making the most of our outside surroundings where possible.
The Science curriculum is divided into 2 key areas:
Pupils have frequent opportunities to develop their skills in, and take responsibility for, planning investigative work, selecting relevant resources, making decisions about sources of information, carry out activities safely and decide on the best form of communicating their findings.