Subjects we teach

How do we teach?

Assessment for Learning (AFL)

A variety of strategies are used to teach the children in order to enable all our learners to access the curriculum, however, our over-arching approach is one of Assessment For Learning.

‘Assessment for learning is… the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and the adults they work with, to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there.’

Assessment Reform Group (2002)

This approach to learning has a long history of research providing and identifying a number of classroom strategies that are particularly effective in promoting on going assessment and thereby moving learning forwards more rapidly.

Key Characteristics of AFL

  • It is an essential part of teaching and learning
  • Involves sharing learning goals with pupils
  • Aims to help pupils to know and recognise the standards they are aiming for
  • Involves pupils in [peer and] self-assessment
  • Provides feedback, which leads to pupils recognising their next steps and how to take them
  • Promotes confidence that every pupil can improve involves both teacher and pupils reviewing and reflecting on assessment data [information]
  • Assessment for learning: beyond the black box

What does AFL look like at Loxwood?

We use

Talk partners children are given the opportunity to discuss their learning with a partner. This may be a quick fire question discussion or a longer evaluation of a piece of work.

Next Steps children are given next steps to improve their learning during either immediate feedback with a teacher or TA or within marking. Opportunities to read marking and respond are built into the planning.

Green Pen Editingchildren are taught how to edit their own work for skills they have already learnt, e.g. spellings or punctuation they already know. In this way they are then becoming more responsible for their learning and the focus for the feedback is the new learning rather than repeat reminders of what they have already understood.

Challenge – challenge is provided through planning open ended activities that do not ‘cap learning’ and by involving the children in their next steps.

Children’s response when asked about writing included their comments on what was helpful:

‘A lot of feedback so you know what to include, from talk partners, teachers and people you read to’

The Subjects We Teach

English

We teach all areas of English, following the National Curriculum of 2014, including Writing, Reading, Spelling, Phonics, Speaking and Listening, Drama, Grammar and Punctuation. Much of our English curriculum is taught in a cross-curricular way, combining the skills of writing the English language with other subjects such as History, Geography and Science. At other times, when appropriate, English will be taught discretely, particularly when teaching specific skills such aspects of grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Our Writing curriculum in particular makes good use of cross curricular links. Examples include writing instructions linked to making something in Design and Technology, writing factual accounts of events in History and writing scientific explanations. The children are taught to develop a rich and wide vocabulary and encouraged to use specific vocabulary that is set out in the National Curriculum for individual year groups. The children will be exposed to a rich combination of genres including stories, recounts and poetry, letters and plays. Drama, including hot-seating and story-stepping, is often used to inspire the children’s writing.

Reading

We seek to use a wide variety of rich text for reading, taking advice from different organisations including the National Literacy Trust, in this way we can enjoy old favourites and introduce new authors. We teach the children to read fluently and with good understanding by teaching strategies to the whole class, guided reading with groups of children or hearing individual children read and addressing their specific needs.

Phonics

Phonics is taught throughout the school but intensively in Reception, Year 1 and 2. We use Ruth Miskin’s synthetic phonics materials from ‘Read, Write, Inc’ to introduce the phonemes and then combine this with Phonics Play in Year 1 and 2 to ensure that coverage follows the National Curriculum requirements.  In the Reception and Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2) classes, the children are taught phonics on a daily basis, with lessons lasting between 10 and 30 minutes. In Key Stage 2 (Juniors), phonics are taught twice per week as appropriate to the age and the needs of the children.

Speaking and Listening

Speaking and Listening are vital aspects in the teaching of English. The children are given opportunities to discuss their learning and encouraged to explain and elaborate on their ideas and understanding, make formal presentations and participate in debates.

English language skills such as grammar, punctuation and spelling are usually taught as discrete areas during English lessons. The teaching of these areas includes the learning of the correct grammatical terms in English.

(Please refer to the National Curriculum for detailed information on what the children are taught each year)

Maths

In teaching Maths, we aim for our children to become fluent and competent in all areas of Maths, including number, measurement, shape and statistics. The children are also taught to recognise the connections between all the areas of Maths. It is important that children can see and understand the links between the maths skills that they are taught and everyday life. To encourage this we have a strong emphasis on Reasoning and Problem Solving . The children are encouraged to explain their work and show how they can solve everyday mathematical situations such as money and time. We use the Medium Term plans from White Rose to support our teaching in this area.

We also teach the children strategies for mental arithmetic and plan daily opportunities for them to practise and develop their mental arithmetic skills.

The children are taught Maths every day. In the Infants Maths is often taught as part of an integrated day, with the teaching within small groups a key way of children learning the early mathematical concepts. In Key Stage Two Maths is taught daily, differentiated according to ability with the lower ability receiving more adult support. All children of whatever age are encouraged to use practical, concrete resources to support their learning as appropriate to their needs.

(Please refer to the National Curriculum for detailed information on what the children are taught each year)