At Colehill First School, children are taught an English curriculum comprising of several combined elements:
Speaking and Listening
Formal and informal opportunities are provided for children to develop the skills of speaking and listening, through class and group discussions, question and answer sessions, Circle Time, sharing time, reading and performing aloud, active listening to a range of texts including classic and contemporary children’s fiction, poetry, playscripts and media presentations.
Appropriate emphasis is placed on the development of children’s phonic skills from the very beginning, enabling them to secure a firm foundation in the knowledge of letters and sounds and apply this knowledge to reading and in turn also to writing. We follow the Department for Education’s Letters and Sounds phonics programme, full details of which can be found by clicking on the link below:
Alongside phonics, pupils learn a range of complementary strategies to help them decode tricky and / or high frequency words and to get a strong sense of meaning from the text they are reading. They are encouraged to make predictions and used contextual clues to support and enhance their understanding.
Children are taught, and their reading skills assessed, through Guided Group reading sessions which take place for all children at least once per week. Individual reading support is provided to pupils in addition to the guided taught sessions.
Children are taught the skills of writing through a range of tasks, all of which have a clear purpose to the children. These include narrative accounts, diary entries, reports, explanations, letters, stories, playscripts, poetry and more! The skills of composition, including the choice of vocabulary and the use of punctuation, spelling and grammar are given due emphasis as appropriate to the purpose of each task. Children are encouraged to consider how each piece of writing might be improved, and are often given opportunity to redraft and enhance their work.
Alongside literacy, numeracy is a key skill for life, and at Colehill First School we aim to develop in our children:
- A positive attitude towards mathematics
- A sense of enjoyment in working with number
- A confidence in their abilities to use and apply mathematical skills to answer questions and to solve problems
- Understanding of, and familiarity with, number and calculation
- Efficient and effective mental arithmetic skills, enabling children to progress appropriately from informal written methods to formal written ‘algorithms
The new mathematics national curriculum has a clear emphasis on developing pupils’ ability to learn, recall use and apply key facts such as number bonds and multiplication tables knowledge to solve a range of problems in different contexts.
Above all else, we want our pupils to develop expertise in problem solving and also to develop flexibility of thinking and resilience, so that if the first chosen approach is not fruitful, learners rise to the challenge of finding an alternative approach.