At the heart of our curriculum is the desire to pursue excellence by meeting the learning needs and interests of every child, thereby enabling them to make great progress. Through the ethos of the school and the curriculum, children are encouraged to develop learning skills and behaviours to build learning powers. Which will enable them to be confident, capable and creative life-long learners who take responsibility for their learning. We believe that creativity is at the heart of successful learning and we aim to ensure high standards of appropriate, stimulating and active learning for every learner. The school uses a cross-curricular approach. This means that skills, knowledge and understanding across a range of subjects are brought together and form a theme of learning. Within the theme, children are able to practise, apply and develop their literacy and numeracy skills in other curriculum areas with the skills taught being differentiated for their year group and the ability of the pupils. Our ‘Long Term Plans’ show each year group’s overview of themes and curriculum learning.
The Learning Challenge Curriculum
At Wibsey Primary School we approach our curriculum through the ‘Learning Challenge Curriculum’. At the heart of this approach is the principle of greater learner involvement which results in a more meaningful curriculum and in turn promotes high standards. The Learning Challenge Curriculum encourages an enquiry based approach to learning which engages learners through promoting curiosity. When designing a unit of thematic learning, teachers and learners use a prime learning challenge, expressed as a question, as the starting point. Using the information gained from pre-learning tasks and the school’s context a series of subsidiary challenges are then planned with each subsidiary learning challenge expressed as a question. The application of basic skills is embedded within the curriculum.
Building learning power is interwoven through the life of our school – more information about how we reflect, are resilient, are resourceful and practice reciprocity are available on the BLP section of the website.
Phonics & Spellings
At Wibsey Primary we have embedded a systematic and rigorous phonics programme across the school – Read, Write, Inc. This programme introduces all 44 speed sounds in a dynamic and fast-paced way, which is taught daily. It uses initial and on-going assessment to monitor progress. The phonics programme also ensures that children are taught to encode unfamiliar words for spelling. Children take a National Screening Check at the end of Year 1 where they were expected to decode and blend real words and pseudo words (nonsense words).
In Years 2 to 6, children follow the RWI Spelling programme to ensure systematic and consistent coverage as required by the National Curriculum’s programme of study.
In the Foundation stage the teacher introduces concepts of print and teaches synthetic phonic skills using the RWI scheme within ability groups on a daily basis.
They take home letter sounds to learn on a weekly basis. Children take non text books home to share with their parents. When the teacher feels the child is ready, he/she begins to take a differentiated printed text book home. Children read individually to an adult on at least a weekly basis (more for children who are reading at a level below age expected level). Group reading also takes place once a week. In Key Stage 1 this practice is continued. In addition to focusing on decoding, there is an emphasis on checking that the children understand what is read, their views on the story and linking this to other experiences.
In Key Stage 2, the progress made in Key Stage 1 is built upon. The focus is on developing higher order reading skills such as inference and deduction, skimming and scanning including the ability to read and compare texts critically. Where necessary, specific phonic support is used to develop children’s reading skills through the use of interventions. Children continue to participate in guided reading sessions regularly.
Across phases topics are delivered through the vehicle of a class text. This text is chosen to challenge the children’s understanding and concepts in order to provide them with rich experiences beyond their reading abilities.
As well as the above, all children are provided with the opportunity to borrow one book each week from the library. Children are encouraged to choose books, which they are interested in and this helps to promote reading for pleasure. The library is also used for story time sessions. Children from upper key stage 2 are chosen to be Junior Librarians, these ambassadors run the library on a daily basis.
Across the school an ethos for reading for pleasure has been introduced to promote a love of reading in children. Some activities include: whole school reading days, reading journals, reviews of poems and books by children and whole class texts that are used as a stimulus for their learning. In each year group children have access to read high quality books that will broaden their vocabulary and deepen their experience of texts.