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English at Northern Saints Primary School is taught through a range of high quality texts that are selected to stimulate and engage learning.
In writing, children will focus on specific genres and text types. Throughout each unit of work the children will be asked to write to entertain by composing story writing or poetry and writing to inform by composing non-fiction text such as newspaper reports, biographies, writing to persuade and non-chronological reports.
Reading for pleasure is at the heart of our reading curriculum and we believe that all children should have access to a wide range of high quality novels, picture books and non-fiction texts from a range of new and significant authors.
We want all of our children to develop the skills required to read for pleasure. To support them with this, our reading curriculum focuses on word reading and comprehension.
Early Years and Key Stage 1 Phonics is undergoing a transformation. From January 2020, we will be launching our new phonics programme, ‘Sounds Write’. Sounds Write is a highly structured, synthetic phonics programme that will give the children the building blocks to learn how to read fluently.
In Key Stage 2 children continue to master word reading and comprehension skills through whole class reading sessions.
Links to Long Term Plans
At Northern Saints Primary CE (VA) School we firmly believe that every child can master an understanding and foster a love of Mathematics with the right kind of teaching and support. So, how do we do this?
At Northern Saints we teach Maths for Mastery. Teaching Maths for mastery is a transformational approach to Maths teaching, which stems from high performing nations such as Singapore. When taught to master Maths, children develop their mathematical fluency without resorting to rote learning. Children are able to solve Maths problems without having to memorise procedures.
In Year 1 to Year 5, we have adopted a new way of thinking about and teaching Mathematics using Maths No Problem. The children in year groups 1-5 are taught using the Maths No Problem Schemes of Work. The key features and positives to teaching in this new way are that:
When teaching Maths for mastery, the whole class moves through topics at broadly the same pace. Each topic is studied in depth and the teacher does not move to the next stage until all children demonstrate that they have a secure understanding of mathematical concepts.
Students are given time to think deeply about the Maths and really understand concepts at a relational level, rather than as a set of rules or procedures. This slower pace leads to greater progress because it ensures that students are secure in their understanding and teachers don’t need to revisit topics once they’ve been covered in depth.
In a traditional primary school Maths lesson, children are put in different groups and given different content based on their anticipated ability. This means that, from an early age, children are classed as those who can and can’t “do Maths”. Teaching Maths for mastery is different because it offers all pupils access to the full Maths curriculum. This inclusive approach, and its emphasis on promoting multiple methods of solving a problem, builds self-confidence and resilience in pupils.
Though the whole class goes through the same content at the same pace, there is still plenty of opportunity for differentiation. Unlike the old model, where advanced learners are accelerated through new content, those pupils who grasp concepts quickly are challenged with rich and sophisticated problems within the topic. Those children who are not sufficiently fluent are provided additional support to consolidate their understanding before moving on.
The Teaching and Learning of Mathematics using Maths No Problem closely follows a tightly structured teaching sequence:
If you are curious to find out more about Maths No Problem then follow this link for everything you need to know.
Unlike the rest of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, Year 6 do not follow the Maths No Problem Scheme for Learning. They are taught a series of clearly structured, maths lessons which follow The White Rose Hub Schemes of Learning. All lessons have a mastery approach, just like to rest of the school, but are tailored to the specific needs of the cohort and individual pupils.
We are the only year group in school, who set the children according to their mathematical ability. This ensures that the children receive a bespoke mathematics curriculum, whilst preparing them for the structure of secondary school, where they will be taught by different teachers across the course of the school day.
The work that is incorporated into Year 6 maths lessons is a mixture of consolidating previously taught topics and strategies along with new concepts and further challenge too. Pupils should be working independently now and be able to work on three-step problems. Topics such as fractions, algebra and investigations are all taught in Year 6, laying the groundwork for Year 7. Topics like ‘Problem Solving’ and ‘Investigations’ are also introduced in the run-up to SATs.
Daily interventions are offered to pupils who do not easily grasp new mathematical concepts. These, high quality, immediate interventions allow all pupils to ‘keep up’ with their peers, enabling them to be fully prepared for the next daily stage of learning. We also offer ‘catch up’ interventions for pupils, who may have larger gaps in their mathematical knowledge from previous programmes of study across Key Stage 2. Such interventions are delivered by our highly skilled teaching staff and teaching assistants.
Early Years Mathematics
In Early years we provide daily opportunities for the children to develop key concepts outlined in the EYFS statutory framework. Our children systematically follow a maths mastery curriculum and our daily sessions begin with a whole class introduction where specific concepts and skills are taught. Adult led smaller groups then provide the children with opportunities to consolidate these skills through the use of concrete resources such as bead strings and tens frames.
The key concepts covered within Reception collectively underpin children’s early mathematical learning in Number and Shape Space and Measures. Within Number, the children are taught to assign one number name to each object counted and to understand that numbers come in a certain order. The children also learn the total number of objects in a group will still be the same despite whichever order the objects are counted. We also introduce addition and subtraction, doubling and halving and encourage the children to see relationships and pattern in numbers within 20.
Within shape, space and measures, the children are taught to identify and name 2D and 3D shapes, sort and describe objects, create and continue patterns and compare different aspects such as length, weight and volume. Measuring and money concepts are also taught through practical activities in sand, water and through role play. Furthermore, ‘Digging Deeper’ tasks are also given during adult led group sessions and as a result of these challenges, opportunities are given to the children to make extended connections in their mathematical understanding.
Links to Long Term Plans
At Northern Saints, we use dual learning objectives to guide our learning. The content objective is a question - linked to the science curriculum – that the children are expected to be able to answer at the end of each lesson. The skill objective is taken from a skills assessment board that covers Explaining Science, Classification, Designing Experiments, Data, Tables and Graphs and Making Conclusions.
We use science models that thread through each topic in our curriculum. They help us to describe and explain difficult scientific concepts, at the same time developing our scientific vocabulary. Northern Saints has six science principles that have been developed by our teachers and pupils. Our teachers use these concepts to help to plan our lessons. We know that our science lessons are great, if the principles are present!
Displays are evident in each classroom across both key stages. These displays include key vocabulary, key questions and our six learning principles Our children use these displays to support and guide their learning.
Northern Saints have recently been awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark,
which has significantly raised the profile of the subject across the school.
At Northern Saints our RE curriculum has been tailored to support and promote the spiritual, moral and cultural development of all of our students, no matter their age or faith. Lessons are designed to equip young people for the challenges and opportunities of modern life; as well as moulding and supporting them to becoming first-rate citizens of our community and beyond. To this end our RE sessions:
Encourage religious literacy and embrace the diversity of the classroom.
Develop reasoning and promote empathy.
Examine some of the world’s major faiths and belief systems.
Promote questioning and thinking philosophically on the `big questions` of life.
We work closely with a number of churches and local communities to encourage our students to a experience a wide diversity of faiths and thus broaden their world view and understanding of their neighbours’ cultural viewpoint.
The success of our curriculum intent was recognised in our most recent SIAMS inspection as `outstanding`. The inspection report recognised that:
“The quality of teaching and learning in RE is excellent… all pupils have a well-developed understanding of both Christianity and other world religious traditions. Pupils demonstrate a palpable excitement and enjoyment for the subject. Indeed, as one pupil remarked, ‘Everyone loves RE, it’s about hopes and dreams and being open in the way you think and behave.’ RE lessons challenge pupils through the breadth and depth of learning activities and the use of stimulating and engaging challenge questions for them to explore.”
The link below shows the RE Long Term plan for the academic Year 2019 -2020. As you can see the our entire school are working on the same topic simultaneously, thus encouraging students to discuss their learning amongst their siblings and friends, prompting further questioning and deeper engagement in learning.