Curriculum Information

English

Mathematics

New Curriculum Programmes of Study

Homework

Sex Education

Religious Education / Worship

 

 

ENGLISH

At Lady Joanna we integrate all the modes of language into our literacy teaching so that the children are engaged in reading, listening, talking and writing in their literacy lessons. We ensure that our teaching strategies, methods and resources are appropriate for teaching the diversity of learners in our classrooms. The essential direct skills teaching is carefully balanced with more stimulating, contextually-grounded literacy and we make effective use of cross-curricular links.

We ensure that all the children in our care make good and often excellent levels of progress in literacy through quality teaching, high teacher expectation and careful and frequent monitoring of the children’s speaking and listening, reading and writing skills.

Reading

Reading is a priority and we aim for all the children to thrive in reading and have a love for literature. Our school library is an exciting space which is used extensively by the children, as are the well resourced book-corners in every classroom. The children have a weekly allocated library session when they can choose up to three books to take home. These can be books that they want to share with adults at home or books that they really want to read themselves. These sessions are particularly important for our free readers who have progressed from the reading scheme. We encourage the children to recommend books to each other, both books from school and those from home, and to write book reviews. Our Year 6  librarians manage their own weekly  book recommendations,  which they display in the library with helpful notes about the books and authors.

In Key Stage 1, the children receive explicit daily phonics instruction in which the children are taught the strategies for applying phonics to everyday reading. This instruction is delivered to achievement-based groups, where the children have ample time to read and to learn the needed skills and strategies. Progress is monitored regularly, with time allocated to revisit and review.

Reading instruction also takes place in the classrooms, with whole class shared reading, small group guided reading, co-operative paired reading and individual reading. Our school reading scheme, for both Key Stages, contains a wealth of books, including phonic readers and books covering a range of genres, in a variety of formats. The children are monitored regularly, as they progress through the scheme, to ensure that the stage they are on offers appropriate reinforcement as well as a level of challenge.

In Key Stage 2 , the teachers manage to blend the teaching of skills like phonics, spelling and vocabulary with an immersion into literature. Higher order reading skills are taught, such as inference, deduction and critical thinking, along with the development of the children’s background knowledge about language and literature. As with Key Stage 1, the children are taught reading as a whole class, in small guided reading groups or on an individual basis.

We welcome a willing group of parents who regularly give up their time to help children throughout the school to practise their reading skills. Many of our parent helpers have received in-school training in phonics and how to ask effective questions in order to promote comprehension and higher order reading skills.

Writing

Our goal is for the children to not only enjoy writing but to also understand how to become better writers. The understanding of the purposes of writing is of a high priority, and we embed the teaching of the crucial technical and grammatical features of writing in a context where the children can see why they are learning about them. This context regularly involves the use of quality shared texts as starting points, with the fundamental skills and features being systematically taught. The functions of language are emphasised and as the teachers model the processes of reading and writing they also explain the thinking behind these processes .

In the important early years of school, the children are taught to use their oral language and their growing knowledge of phonics to draw letters to match the sounds. From this emergent writing, the children progress through Key Stage 1, learning the mechanics and basic conventions of the written word.

In Key Stage 2 the children are taught higher order composition skills, using planning, drafting, evaluating and revising as important parts of the process. They are actively engaged in learning how language works and are taught how to improve and refine their writing skills.

Writing  instruction takes place in the classrooms, either with the whole class engaged in shared or independent writing activities, or in smaller guided writing groups or as additional individual support.  Strategies, methods and resources are tailored to suit the needs of the particular children in each class. In some cases, groups of children are withdrawn from the classroom to receive their literacy teaching in smaller intervention groups. Here, the teacher is able to focus on the next steps the particular children need to attain in order to become better writers.

We have high expectations regarding the quality and quantity of writing the children are producing and their progress in writing is frequently monitored as part of a whole school process.

We are very proud of the children’s attainment and progress in literacy at Lady Joanna. The children are encouraged to take a pride in their work and to always do their best. Their literacy books are a testament to how hard both the staff and children work at this school.

MATHEMATICS

“Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.” Albert Einstein.

Mathematics is as amazing as it is important. It is always devastating to hear of an adult speaking about the subject in fear, as it is potentially the most fascinating subject to study. We at Lady Joanna Thornhill firmly believe that instilling a positive attitude towards maths is a crucial part of children succeeding in the subject during and beyond their primary school years. As a result our school focusses on providing the children with engaging lessons where they are able to quickly become used to achieving successes independently and view maths as an enjoyable subject. Our teachers appreciate that all children are unique and that some learn most effectively in a very different way to others. They also understand, however, that a considered, flexible and enthusiastic approach to teaching the subject has a hugely positive impact on a child’s attitude and success.

Children of all ages need to be consistently challenged and stretched in order to maximise their potential and experience genuine satisfaction with their own performance. We believe that high expectations and an insistence in terms of standards provides children with the wonderful feeling of earning success and a work ethic that will sustain their performance at secondary school. Children are given a thorough grounding in mental mathematics and the four rules of number, as their speed and accuracy when performing calculations mentally is a hugely important part of securing solid foundations in the subject. We look to constantly deepen children’s understanding of concepts using a wide range of effective and appropriate apparatus and resources. A deep understanding of mathematical concepts is crucial if children are going to successfully enjoy and succeed in the problem solving aspects of the curriculum.

The professionalism of our staff encourages consistent reflection, sharing of expertise and a willingness to improve on past performances. We regularly monitor and review the progress that children make and ensure that carefully tailored interventions are made when appropriate. Mathematics lessons and children’s work books are regularly monitored by senior leaders with feedback being acted upon in order to further improve teaching and learning. Every single response that every single child makes during their end of year tests is analysed in order to carefully consider the teachers’ and children’s performances and how they can be built upon in the forthcoming year.

The entire primary curriculum is currently undergoing hugely significant changes and as always we are eager to adapt to them smoothly and effectively. Regardless of curriculum changes, however, our overall aims at Lady Joanna Thornhill will not change. We will continue to strive to maximise the potential of every single child who walks through the door and whilst doing so helping them to enjoy the wonderful subject that is mathematics.

New Curriculum Programmes of Study:

Click on the links below to open files.

WRITING Programme of Study

READING and SPEAKING & LISTENING Programme of Study

MATHEMATICS Programme of Study

SCIENCE Programme of Study

 

HOMEWORK
Homework is offered to the children regularly from Year 3 onwards.  Whilst this is not compulsory, we do ask parents to ensure that children complete the work satisfactorily and return any books or materials in good condition.

 

SEX EDUCATION
The school has a comprehensive Sex/Health Education Policy which aims to present a curriculum which is both balanced and sensitive and which is set in a clear framework of moral values.  The pupils are encouraged to appreciate the values of a stable family and the responsibility of parenthood.

 

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION/WORSHIP
The school use the Kent, Religious Education, Agreed Syllabus 2006 and is a statutory requirement for all pupils in full time education.  The Syllabus reflects the fact “that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking account of the teaching and practices of other principal religions represented in Great Britain. Religious education is non-denominational and is not designed to convert pupils, or to urge a particular religion or religious belief on pupils (Education Act 1944 – Section 26(2)).  As part of the RE curriculum it promotes the ‘spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life and society’.

Withdrawal from Religious Education – A parent may request that their child be wholly or partly excused from receiving Religious Education and should, in the first instance, speak with their child’s class teacher.