Great Oldbury Primary Academy

Great Oldbury Little Learners

Great Oldbury Little Learners

Core Curriculum

Our Curriculum, in a nutshell, is what we teach our children.  At Great Oldbury Primary Academy we have developed a knowledge-rich Curriculum which is engaging and exciting, and which draws on our locality.  

Our core curriculum focuses on doing the basics well, helping children develop their knowledge of Reading, Writing and Maths through first practising an area of learning, then applying that knowledge and exploring links within and around it, before using this developing knowledge to create something new with it. 

This approach to teaching and learning deepens a child's understanding and is heavily influenced by taxonomies of learning, specifically the Blooms Taxonomy and the SOLO Taxonomy.  Find out more about each below:

Blooms Taxonomy

SOLO Taxonomy

READING

During their first year at school, children are taught to read and write through the 'Letters and Sounds' programme. They are taught all of the sounds and use these to segment for spelling and blend together for reading.

We use a Reciprocal Reading approach to Reading lessons in school.  This method developed in New Zealand in the 1980s is a tried and tested way of supporting children not just in their ability to decode but also to comprehend what they are reading:

Predict -  Before you begin

Before you begin a new text with a child, ask them to predict what they think it will be about.  The prediction can be based on:

  • Knowledge of the author / previous books
  • Pictures & text boxes
  • The blurb
  • Skim-scanning the first sentence or two 

Clarify - Whilst reading

Whilst the child is reading, encourage them to ask you about words they don’t understand.  Help them understand the meaning by reading the sentence back to them and seeing if they recognise it in context.  If they don’t, provide clarification.  Clarification doesn’t just have to be for words, it can also be about phrases, locations, names etc.

Question - Whilst reading

Whilst reading, also find opportunities to ask the child questions about the text.  These can be a range of question types e.g.

Find and retrieve questions - Remind me, on the last page, was it a football or a tennis ball Biff was playing with?

Inference questions - Why do you think Dad was so mad when he saw the boys had smashed the window?

Layout and structure - Why does this page have extra information boxes?

Summary questions - True or false, on page 4, we found out it was Chip’s birthday

Summarise - After reading

When you have finished the session with the child, ensure you summarise what it is you have read.  The summary should be Shorter than the text, Use your own words, and the Main ideas only e.g. In this story it was Chip’s birthday, he received a football as a present from Biff, but unfortunately the boys broke the window and dad was angry.

PHONICS 

Phonics is our taught strategy to enable children to read. We follow Letters and Sounds from Nursery to Year 2 where Phase 6 is completed (although the Letters and Sounds teaching sequence of Introduce, Revisit and Review, Teach, Practise, Apply, Assess is used throughout the school) .

Letters and Sounds sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by the age of seven. We begin with Phase 1 in Nursery and also recap this in Reception to ensure children are ready to move on. Phonics teaching starts at the beginning of Reception with Phase 2, 3 and 4 covered through the year. Year 1 focus predominantly on Phase 5 (with some recapping of the earlier phases as needed) and Year 2 cover Phase 6.

We value embedded knowledge of phonics to support reading so our Year 3 teachers also revisit Phase 6 to ensure effective transition onto the KS2 programme of study. 

The Letters and Sounds publication can be found here

 

WRITING

Throughout our curriculum, we ensure children are given a wide range of opportunities to develop and practise their Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening skills. All of these skills are taught through the 3D curriculum. This thematic approach allows children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, communicating effectively with others.

In English lessons, children are taught to write a wide range of non-fiction texts, as well as narratives, poetry and drama, during their school journey. Throughout the school we use a strategy called 'Talk for Writing' to immerse children in the model texts. It is a process which follows the notion that if you can't say a sentence, you won't be able to write it. Each text type is introduced and explored, looking at its key features and structures as well as its associated vocabulary. The children then learn the text through recital, pictorial prompts, actions, drama or dictation.  They are then supported in the creation of their own innovations of the text.  Talk 4 Writing is a nationally recognised method for teaching children to write, developed by former Children's Laureate Pie Corbett and you can find out more about it here.

Further support is given to children in the use of punctuation and sentence through use of VGPS (vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and spelling sessions). This programme allows children to practise and apply their learning across a range of contexts outside their current text type. It also allows children to explore further areas of the English curriculum such as Spellings, Choral Speaking and Handwriting.

An overview of our Writing Text-Type Coverage can be found here

An example of a Talk 4 Writing Learning Journey can be found here

Y2 National Curriculum Spellings can be found here

 

MATHS

 We believe that mathematics is an important foundation stone to learning that embraces every part of life.  At Great Oldbury Primary Academy we aim to teach for a deep and secure understanding in line with the aims of the National Curriculum. Learning is sequenced to allow all children to develop mathematical fluency, reasoning and problem-solving skills. Key concepts of number and place value, calculation, fractions, geometry, statistics and space are broken into small steps to ensure all children are able to access the learning. Children are challenged appropriately through rich, deep tasks which encourage them to think deeply, reason mathematically and apply their understanding in a range of contexts.

Our vision for all pupils is that they:

  • can recall prior knowledge and use suitable technical vocabulary to articulate their explanations
  • are able to talk effectively about their Maths and the strategies they have used in their mathematical processes
  • are able to use different resources to support their learning and show resilience in their approaches
  • loves Maths and is confident with reasoning, problem solving and thinking in different ways
  • are fully equipped for the mathematical challenges of everyday life, preparing them for the world of work and have economic awareness.

We believe that all children can achieve in Mathematics and encourage all of our pupils to approach their learning in this subject with a positive mindset.

Teachers use a range of resources when teaching and try where possible, to introduce new topics with appropriate concrete and visual resources. These enable children to gain a secure understanding of the mathematical concept so that the learning is sustainable over time. This allows children to build new learning upon prior knowledge whilst always striving to consolidate those key skills they have already learned.

In addition to daily Mathematics lessons, the children in Years 1-6 also receive daily ‘Fluent in Five’ sessions. These sessions provide an opportunity for practising key number and arithmetic skills. The sessions are taught and focused, encouraging children to make connections, see patterns, build their arithmetical fluency and work together to explore mathematical ideas and conjectures.

For more information on how we teach mathematics across all phases, please follow the links to our calculation progression models.

EYFS Calculation Progression Model

KS1 Calculation Progression Model

Lower KS2 Calculation Progression Model

Upper KS2 Calculation Progression Model