Core Subjects English and Mathematics
The core subjects of our curriculum are Reading, Writing, Phonics & Spelling, Maths and Science.
Core subjects are based heavily on the National Curriculum Programme of Study and the statutory end of key stage frameworks. The school also has a range of tools used to sequence learning opportunities and to monitor pupils’ progress between the key stages, so these are also be used to form learning objectives. Progression maps can be seen in the links below.
Core subjects are tracked very closely with teachers ensuring that there is evidence that the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding have been secured by the pupils in their class. This formative assessment takes place in every lesson when teachers and teaching assistants draw on a range of methods to check for understanding as well as in more formal assessments when children show what they can do independently. At BGPS we value mastery – deep learning that is secure and retained long term. Our progression maps show a desired trajectory for pupils but we treat each child as an individual and support them to secure the appropriate next step of learning for them. For example, in Maths we use the Ready to Progress criteria (link) to identify where pupils are secure in their skills and understanding and what their next step is. In Reading we take a similar approach with a range of Little Wandle assessments to enable us to identify the most appropriate next phase of learning to read for each child.
Below are more details about the teaching in these subjects:
How we teach reading at Borough Green Primary
Early teaching of reading through phonics
At Borough Green Primary School, there is a determination that every child will learn to read for meaning and to develop a love of reading. Teachers and other adults are well trained and the teaching of reading is at the heart of the curriculum. Initially, the teaching of reading is through the systematic teaching of phonics, starting in Early Years with the Little Wandle programme. We aim for all children to become fluent readers who read with expression, stamina and comprehension. This journey begins early on, in the second week of Early Years when we begin to teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. This is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school. In addition to daily phonics lessons, children read three times a week, each time focusing on a different aspect of reading: decoding, prosody and comprehensions. Children have access to e-books enabling them to read the same text at school and at home.
All teaching staff and senior leaders are trained in the programme and its delivery. The scheme has a thorough half termly assessment to track progress. These assessments ensure that children are provided with the appropriate, high quality support as soon as it is required. We also use the Little Wandle Rapid Catch-Up resources to support children who need another period of phonics lessons in Year 3.
Reading in Key Stage 2
As the children progress through the school, the emphasis is on learning to read, the love of reading, and reading to learn. Their daily reading experiences are a key driver in their ongoing development. All pupils are
encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across a language-rich curriculum. Our aim is that reading also feeds pupils’ imaginations and opens up a treasure house of wonder and joy for curious young minds. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Our curriculum prioritises exposing children to a wide range of authors, genres and styles, including texts from our British literary heritage. This further develops vocabulary and appreciation for archaic language forms as well as modern.
Reading Lessons in KS2
Daily class reading lessons follow a similar approach to Little Wandle with a weekly structure starting with a decoding focus and progressing through fluency, prosody and comprehension. Adults model fluent and expressive reading and support children to develop their own fluency through techniques such as whisper reading. Such activities help children to develop confidence and fluency during independent reading.
At the beginning of Key Stage Two, children are assessed using the Accelerated Reader programme. After completing an initial assessment, children are given a ZPD. This is a coding system used in the school library and in book corners in classrooms which allows children to select books of an optimal reading level for them. Children complete quizzes on texts read and as they progress can take Star Reader Tests in order to move up a level.
Continuing the learning at home
We expect children to read daily at home. Books will be changed as the children return them. This is monitored by class teachers to ensure children are reading regularly. Each child should be bringing home a reading book within their reading range and an additional book to share and enjoy with an adult. There is an expectation that children should read to an adult for a minimum of ten minutes each day. Reading at home and individual reading with an adult in school is recorded in Reading Records which become a treasured record of progress and achievement.
The reading environment
Reading is supported by our language rich curriculum and environment. Classroom reading areas and wall displays are an enticement and celebration of the imaginative and real worlds available to children when they read. The well-resourced library is the heart of the school, treasured by pupils, who show ownership and appreciation. Children enjoy listening to the adults in school reading from a range of different literature across all curriculum areas.
The Write Stuff Approach
The Write Stuff approach is a whole school approach from EYFS to Year 6 enabling us to teach writing with consistency and imagination and encouraging children to aim for the highest possible standards of flair, accuracy and technique. Write Stuff lessons ensure that SPaG is taught and applied in an embedded way in the context of texts with a purpose. Lessons have a three-part structure – initiate, model, enable – supporting children to plan, experiment and apply elements of writing in learning conversations with their classmates and teachers.
In EYFS, pupils are introduced to Granny Fantastic who brings new and rich vocabulary in her basket. In Years 1 to 6, pupils collect vocabulary in the chottings (a combination of chatting and jotting) part of the lesson when they chat to each other about ideas and jot down notes in a word collecting activity. Teachers direct and stimulate this collection of ideas and vocabulary by using the Write Stuff lenses to focus on a particular sense, technique or grammar feature. ‘Thesaurus Thinking’ is encouraged to inspire children to collect a relevant range of vocabulary before selecting the perfect word for expressing their idea. In EYFS and Key Stage 1 children focus on the Fantastics (the ideas of writing) – the lenses which represent different senses an author can focus on when writing. Year 1 and 2 children also use a few more lenses as they develop their sense of what a sentence is, begin to use adverbials and take more responsibility for checking their own work. They also use some authorial techniques such as onomatopoeia and similes when describing and writing poetry.
In Key Stage 2, pupils gradually use the full range of lenses – the Fantastics, Grammaristics (the tools of writing) and Boomtastics (the techniques of writing) – and become increasingly independent in their decisions about which lenses to use in different contexts and for different purposes. In both key stages
teachers demonstrate authorial choices by modelling ambitious sentence structures and showing their thinking about word choices and sentence structure. ‘Deepening the Moment’ opportunities encourage more confident writers to develop ideas or sections of writing by choosing alternative lenses through which to describe the same scene or character. In narrative writing, pupils plan the structure of stories by breaking them down into plot points; in non-fiction writing texts are structured like jigsaws with links between ideas and the development of arguments or information made explicit. Link to progression map Link to lens and genre map
At Borough Green Primary School, we aim to develop a love of maths in every pupil and empower them to approach the subject with positivity. We aim to develop a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about maths and provide a carefully planned programme for progression, which will enable pupils to feel successful, stimulated and challenged.
The White Rose Maths Curriculum is followed from Year 1 to Year 6, ensuring a consistent progression of representations, strategies and methods. We believe that children should develop a deep understanding of Mathematical concepts and therefore may spend longer on a concept if this is needed.
In EYFS, we prioritise building a secure number sense and a deep understanding of numbers to 10. We follow NCETM’s Mastering Number scheme, which provides a clear progression and opportunities for children to
explore the composition of numbers. This in-depth knowledge of number will support children as they move onto early calculation strategies.
In KS1, the children build upon the number sense they have developed in EYFS – progressively applying this to mental calculation strategies. Years 1 and 2 follow the White Rose Maths curriculum and they also complete an additional 10 minute Mastering Number session each day.
In KS2, children continue to progress through the White Rose Maths curriculum. There is a focus on formal written methods and the application of these skills to mathematical problems.
The correct use of mathematical vocabulary is essential for developing understanding and reasoning in Maths. Therefore, we begin to introduce this in EYFS and build upon this as the children progress through the curriculum. Ultimately, we want to guide our pupils to become independent and confident mathematicians, with the skills to achieve and continue their success in education and beyond.
At Borough Green, the intention of our curriculum is to implement a mastery approach to teaching and learning in maths which will provide all children with full access to fluency, reasoning and problem-solving. This will enable them to achieve confidence and competence in mathematics. We are committed to all children at all levels developing a curiosity in maths, enabling them to apply maths skills as a fundamental part of our everyday lives. Teaching is underpinned by methodical curriculum design, supported by carefully crafted lessons which are carefully sequenced “small steps” of learning, building on prior knowledge. With this is mind, mathematics is taught to whole classes, where the majority of pupils progress through the curriculum content at the same pace.
Impact and progress is assessed daily by the class teacher in which they will then decide what support or lessons the class or small groups of children will need to ensure all children achieve. Using our mastery approach, all children are exposed to opportunities for reasoning and problem-solving, where they become confident at using mathematical vocabulary and are able to think critically. While we follow the White Rose mathematics curriculum, we also use the Ready to Progress criteria and the NCETM mastery spine material; these ensure that we are supporting all children to progress in appropriate small steps.
Our Science curriculum is supported by Cornerstones.
Please view the wider curriculum page for further information on Science.