Our Curriculum:

The curriculum for each year group is based on the National Curriculum. Our curriculum maps for each year group give the detail for which; English units; mathematics units; thematic units and other subjects are being taught during each half term. Where appropriate the English units have been planned to complement the learning taking place in themed work each half term so that reading and writing skills can be consolidated.

Experiences at Windmill Academy

The learning and teaching of the curriculum in school is underpinned by a range of visits, workshops, projects and visitors, as we recognise the immense value that ‘broader experiences’ have on our children’s learning. As a school we are committed to ensuring that our curriculum upholds the Windmill vision and values which aims to provide the children with experiences that we believe are essential for an excellent primary education.

Teaching Approaches

In school we use a variety of teaching approaches including whole class teaching, support for individual learners and small groups. We adapt and change the support each child receives according to their needs. Pupils with special educational needs receive their own provision plans and support in a variety of ways. We are committed to using these approaches to deliver the curriculum as we believe that the children’s learning experience is enhanced as they develop their ability to: ask and answer challenging questions effectively; listen, speak and respond with greater confidence in classwork/discussion; work effectively both as an independent and collaborative learner; lead and take greater ownership and responsibility for their own learning.

The Curriculum Thematic Map for Early Years - Year 6

‘How We Teach Reading.’

At Windmill, we believe that reading is fundamental to the development of children’s language and imagination. There is lots of research to demonstrate the links between good reading skills from an early age and future success in life. That is why we want all our children to be readers, be passionate about reading and develop a love of books.

We hold themed book events; including Scholastic Book Fairs, World Book Days and we are developing our links with our local authority library – The Dales Library. We also have authors and story-tellers in for workshops and we are developing Buddy Reading sessions across our school. Children are innovative when developing their own passions for reading including organising and running their own successful daily lunchtime Reading Hut (run by our Year 5/6 Reading Role Models).

Read Write Inc. at Windmill.

Read Write Inc. is the programme we use to teach children to read. At the heart of Read Write Inc. is the systematic teaching of all the common sounds in the English language (RWI calls these the Speed Sounds). Children are taught to recognise the sounds and to put them together (‘sound blend’ them) into words for reading. This is our first year of using the programme and it has had a rapid impact upon children’s reading fluency. The principles of RWI Inc. are rooted in the New Curriculum (2014).

Reading opens the door to learning and our aim is to make every child a reader. Using Read Write, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. Your child will be put into a small literacy group appropriate to their level. This group may change often as your child progresses and they will often be taught by teachers and staff that are not their class teachers. Throughout the day your child will be exposed to a rich variety of quality texts and stories to develop their love of stories and storytelling.

When using Read Write Inc. to read the children will:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts.
  • learn to read words using Fred Talk.
  • read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out.
  • show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.

When using Read Write Inc. to write the children will:

  • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds.
  • learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk.
  • write simple sentences.
  • compose stories based on picture strips (where appropriate).
  • compose a range of stories based on writing frames (where appropriate).

Read Write Inc. introduces the simple Speed Sounds (one sound, one grapheme) with Speed Sounds Set 1 and Set 2. Children then learn more ways of writing the same sounds with the complex Speed Sounds Set 3. Children are taught letter names before moving on to Speed Sounds Set 3.

Below is the list of sounds your child should know by around the end of the first term in Year 2. You can practice them at home with your child.

Speed Sounds Set 1

m - a - s - d - t - i - n - p - g - o - c - k - u - b - f - e - l - h - sh - r - j - v - y - w - th - z - ch - qu - x - ng – nk

Speed Sounds Set 2

ay – ee – igh – ow – oo – oo – ar – or – air – ir – ou – oy

Speed Sounds Set 3

a-e – ea – i-e – o-e – u-e – aw – are – ur – er – ow – ai – oa – ew – ire – ear – ure – tious – tion

How you can support your child with their reading at home:

Read with your child and to your child every day.

Take them to the library and expose them to a rich variety of quality books.

Tell them stories and help them make up stories.

Practice their Speed Sounds with them and tell them to ‘Fred Talk’ new words that they find hard to read.

Here is a RWI Inc. link to help you learn the correct pronunciation of the sounds to support your child at home: http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/resources/sound-pronunciation-guide/

Mathematics

In mathematics at Windmill we believe strongly in ensuring that all children have the opportunity to achieve their full potential. We use concrete resources, such as Numicon, as well as pictorial representations to help children to understand mathematical concepts. Children then apply their knowledge of key skills in problem solving and reasoning tasks. We use the White Rose Maths Hub to support in preparing a rich and deep maths curriculum for our children. We encourage our children to work together to discuss their methods for solving calculations and problems.

SMSC Policy

Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is fundamental to our work if we are to prepare our children to become responsible citizens in their communities and make meaningful positive contributions. Please read our policy to find out how we enrich children’s experiences at school. Click here to read the SMSC policy.

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