At Springbank Primary Academy we believe that lessons should be stimulating, exciting and engaging, allowing the children to gain knowledge and make links between information they know and new, related learning.
Although we are an Academy, we do follow the National Curriculum for England and Wales and have mapped this through and across each year group to ensure the children follow a logical sequence of learning and develop their knowledge year on year. We ensure that throughout we maintain our EPIC vision and values for our children.
At Springbank Primary Academy we use a range of agreed teaching strategies across the school. These are agreed across the Gloucestershire Learning Alliance and all teaching and support staff receive frequent training to review and update their knowledge. We share strategies and resources across the schools to ensure the best possible provision and support for our staff and children.
Reading - Reading is a priority across the school and nursery. We ensure children have the opportunity to learn specific reading strategies as well as engage in activities to promote reading for pleasure. Books are shared daily in Nursery and EYFS with a longer class reader being introduced in EYFS - Fantastic Mr Fox is always popular! The purpose of class readers and shared stories is to model fluent reading and promote the enjoyment of stories.
Children in EYFS also have a reading book linked to their phonic knowledge to take home and to read with the teacher. This book is not changed everyday as we promote repeated reading to first support decoding and then encourage fluency. This is the same throughout Year 1 and Year 2 until the children are able to move onto the Accelerated Reader Programme which guides their free reader choices.
In class group guided reading sessions begin in Year 1 and run through the rest of the school. These are mixed groups with a focus on a specific text which the children explore independently, work on with a teacher and complete follow up activities to develop comprehension skills. We use the Reciprocal Reading strategy to support this element of reading. There are four parts to this strategy: Predict, Clarify, Question and Summarise.
We also ensure plenty of reading for pleasure activities to develop fluency and a love of reading. This includes independent reading, 1:1 reading with the teacher, cross curricular reading, buddy reading with children from other classes and whole class reading.
Every class has a reading display with a selection of books which have been read and can be recommended by the teacher. These are displayed face on and there are opportunities for children to make their own recommendations. Mrs White even has a display on her office window.
See our Reading booklet for parents for information, hints and tips.
Phonics - Phonics is our taught strategy to enable children to read. We follow a Systematic, Synthetic Programme - the GLA Sound Families Approach.
At the GLA, our wider phonics teaching is based on the DFE Letters and Sounds programme, but with a few revisions (See Appendix B – GLA Phonics Programme Overview). The Letters and Sounds scheme provides clear information on content and progression, planning, teaching and learning routines and contains a variety of resources to be used for the assessment and teaching of phonics. To complement this, we at the GLA have developed our own GLA Phonics Overview for the teaching of Phase 5 phonics in Year 1, utilising knowledge of phonics sound families (See Appendix C – GLA Year 1 Phonics Overview). We believe this strategy arms children with a wider view of phoneme and grapheme correspondences, and allows opportunity for children to explore and investigate alternative spellings for different sounds, revisiting previous knowledge and extending their current knowledge and skills. For example, when teaching the ‘o-e’ grapheme (Phase 5), children will explore all other graphemes that represent the phoneme /oa/ - oa, ow, oe, o-e and o. This method allows children to recall, use and apply their knowledge from previous phases (oa from Phase 3), cementing skills they already have. This increased level of exposure to all the relevant graphemes, also means that children have more opportunities within the year to re-visit and consolidate this knowledge in the long term. Working together to consider all the graphemes for a particular phoneme, increases a child’s phonemic awareness, and enables them to develop the skills required to make a more informed choice when deciding on a ‘best-fit’ grapheme choice for spelling. We do touch upon this in our teaching and learning approach as early as Reception. For example, if a child suggests ‘day’ as an /ai/ word – the teacher would take the time to explain and explore the reasoning around the variance in grapheme, rather than waiting for the child to learn the ‘ay’ grapheme in Phase 5 during Year 1. Teachers in Reception still follow the Letters and Sounds order of teaching through to the end of Phase 4.
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 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letters-and-sounds
For more information please see our: Phonics_Strategy_Document
Writing -Talk 4 Writing. Writing is taught in 3 phases: Imitation, Innovation and Independent Application. Children learn about fiction and non-fiction text types with vocabulary, grammar and punctuation included throughout. Text types are repeated across the school so that children can activate and build on prior knowledge each year. Poetry is used at the beginning of each learning journey to explore, collect and develop vocabulary in order to support the children when writing more independently.
For more information on Talk 4 Writing see the official website: https://www.talk4writing.co.uk/
We use the text types that the children have already learnt to support cross curricular writing in the foundation subjects too e.g. an Information text in Science or a Warning Story in RE.
Spelling - Spelling is linked to both reading and writing but is taught in discrete sessions. All children learn Phonics from Nursery which supports both reading and spelling. In Year 2 there is a focus on Phase 6 spelling patterns using Letters and Sounds. The Letters and Sounds teaching sequence is then replicated throughout KS2 as the children are taught new spelling patterns. Where there are gaps in knowledge, Letters and Sounds will be used to support phonic knowledge.
We believe that mathematics is an important foundation stone to learning that embraces every part of life. At Springbank 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.
The National Curriculum identifies the foundation subjects as: Science, Art & Design, Computing, Design & Technology, Geography, History, Languages, Music and Physical Education. All schools are also required to teach religious education at all key stages.
At Springbank we deliver all of these areas of the National Curriculum - French was introduced for our KS2 pupils during the Spring of 2022.
Key vocabulary has been taken from the National Curriculum and is sent home on Knowledge Organisers to promote discussion at home and allow children to practice using these terms.
Click the links below to explore our subject overviews and progression throughout the school.
Relationships (Sex) and Health Education (RSHE) is taught using the Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning (GHLL) Curriculum. Its aim is to support the development of the necessary skills and knowledge that our children need to lead a happy, safe, healthy life. This encompasses topics such as Healthy Eating, Emotional Health and Well Being, Financial Capability, Drugs (including Alcohol) and RSE (Relationship and Sex Education). We also have a whole school focus through the year on Anti-bullying and Mindfulness as well as ongoing programmes led by the pastoral team to support individuals and groups.