The Curriculum at Blaby Stokes

Learn-AT Curriculum Framework - The Learn-AT Curriculum and Pedagogy Framework was published in July 2018. It is an overarching statement of vision and agreed values and principles which informs Blaby Stokes's own bespoke curriculum designs. 

 

The Big Picture Curriculum >

Learn-AT Curriculum Framework Summary >

Learn-AT Curriculum and Pedagogy Framework >

Blaby Stokes Curriculum Overview >

End of Year Expectations in Reading, Writing and Maths >

 

English at Blaby Stokes

Phonics and Early Reading 

At Blaby Stokes, we place the highest importance on providing all children with a structured approach to learning to read from their very first days with us. In Reception and Key Stage 1, we use a linguistic phonics programme called Sounds-Write. The children learn the ways that sounds in our language are represented by spellings: the programme closely links reading and writing.  

Children, in their daily phonics sessions, are taught conceptual knowledge and skills that enable them to say the sounds and read the words. In Reception, the children learn that: 

  • sounds can be represented by spellings with one letter 

  • that some spellings are written with a double consonant 

  • some spellings are written with two different letters 

Once the children are confident with applying this understanding in their reading and spelling, they learn: 

  • a spelling can represent more than one sound 

  • the most common sounds represented by the target spelling 

  • how to manipulate alternative sounds in and out of words 

This second phase lasts into year 2, and the skills they learn will continue to be applied in their reading and spelling well beyond this time. Throughout the programme, close links are made between reading and spelling. 

Read more information about Sounds-Write here: 

 

Reading at School 

We pride ourselves on our strong reading culture. Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum. Our English lessons are centred around a range of high-quality children’s books. We link spoken language, reading and writing in order that children can become more confident in all areas of the curriculum. 

When our children start to read, the books they read independently at school and at home are closely matched to the sounds they are taught to recognise and use, so that they are confidently able to rehearse the skills they have learned.  We have spent considerable time re-organising the reading scheme books we have in school to closely match the reading graphemes they can recognise and use in their reading. 

Our library is organised into genres so that the children can easily find books that they enjoy reading. Once children are confident, fluent readers (towards the end of Key Stage One and into Key Stage Two) they can choose from a range of literature here. Each classroom also has a reading area and its own stock of books for children to read. 

Children have daily opportunities to read and be read to. Over a few days in school the children will read individually, in pairs, in small groups or as a whole class. The reading curriculum focuses on word reading (decoding words) and understanding of texts (comprehension). We teach these skills alongside each other. Opportunities are planned into our lessons for children to discuss what they are reading, share opinions and explore different responses to texts. 

 

Spelling 

We know that supporting children in making automatic choices about the way words are spelled is key to developing automaticity in writing.  Spelling is taught discretely and regularly throughout the school. 

The phonics lessons that the children have in their early years at school feed into more focused spelling lessons, beginning in Year 2.  The children learn to break words down into their constituent sounds and syllables and are able to write these down.  To develop their orthography skills, the children use an approach called Word Study, learning to recognise patterns in spellings and to identify what makes a word unique.  This also involves understanding the meanings behind parts of words: knowing how a word has evolved in our language is an important step towards understanding how it is spelled as well as how it can be used.  Investigating and sorting words also supports children in their vocabulary development. 

Sometimes the children are given some words to rehearse at home using Word Study techniques.  A few regularly occurring but unusually spelled words need learning out of context but, for the most part, we aim to support the children in being aware of the choices they have about ways of spelling different sounds and in feeling confident about how to apply them correctly most of the time. 

 

Writing 

Writing gives children a voice, an ability to share their thoughts and ideas. Children use their writing skills in almost all areas of the curriculum and we want our children to be able to communicate with others confidently and creatively through their writing.  Therefore, we place importance on making writing meaningful and emphasising its purpose – to entertain, to persuade, to inform or to discuss. Children write every day across the curriculum. 

Underpinning our writing curriculum is our reading curriculum: we know children’s reading experiences are closely linked to the progress they make in writing.  Carefully chosen, high-quality and challenging texts support the development of the children’s vocabulary and writing techniques.  They expose children to a breadth of literature and allow them to engage with authors and the way they write. 

Learning to write is complex.  Central to our children’s learning is achieving increasing fluency in the skills of handwriting, grammar and punctuation. Each year group has a specific set of skills to learn in order to ensure a steady progression through school. Grammar and punctuation are taught in context and linked to the texts children are reading in class. 

Children also explore writing through drama and the spoken word.  They are encouraged to articulate their thoughts and experiment with ideas and techniques.  Clear teacher modelling of writing ensures that children are well supported in creating their own compositions before being able to work independently. 

> Writing for a Purpose - Guidance

> Grammar Knowledge

> Learn-AT English Writing Progression

 

Mathematics at Blaby Stokes

Maths at Blaby Stokes

At Blaby Stokes, we strive for our children to be successful and proficient mathematicians. Maths is a life skill – we use it all the time for example when we are baking, when shopping, whilst driving and when solving problems. We use maths when we are drawing, when building, whilst waiting for the bus and when going on holiday. We even use maths when we don’t even realise it.

To be successful in Maths, we recognise that pupils need to develop their conceptual understanding. In other words, pupils don’t only need to be able to recall facts quickly, they also need to be able to apply their knowledge in a range of different contexts, including those that are new and unfamiliar.

Children need to be able to reason and apply the mathematical knowledge they have – this is what makes them mathematicians, rather than maths robots! 

The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
• Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

In a maths lesson at Blaby Stokes you can expect to see:
• Pupils being taught as a whole class on the same content; we do not accelerate children to new content.
• A high-level of teacher-student and student-student interaction where all students in the class are thinking about, working on and discussing the same mathematical content. We highly value mathematical talk and precise mathematical vocabulary, during both conversations and written work, and the expectation is that children answer in full sentences.
• Challenge and the opportunity to deepen understanding of the key mathematical ideas provided for all.
• Differentiation through paying close attention to the levels of support and challenge needed to allow every student to fully grasp the concepts and ideas being studied. Various strategies may include:
• Task/activity – different sort of tasks: visual, hands-on, auditory can all play a part in helping a learner to access the topic
• Outcome – what a pupils’ end product will be, e.g. a model, a picture, written explanation
• Questioning
• Resource – e.g. some may use number lines, other may use mental images
• Adult support
• Peer support – from learning partners
• Challenge for those children who grasp ideas quickly in the form of deeper analysis of the lesson content and/ or by applying the content in new and unfamiliar problem-solving situations.
• Ongoing use of AfL throughout the lesson, often referred to as responsive or diagnostic teaching. This allows us to identify pupils who have not grasped a concept immediately and offer an alternative model/ representation or alternative explanation. This may be during whole class teaching or in a guided group or during intervention outside of the maths lesson.
• Self-marking. Many classes self-mark as a way of allowing pupils to receive instant feedback on their learning and providing ongoing AfL.
• Reasoning opportunities and mathematical thinking embedded throughout the lesson. Children are expected to not only answer the question but also to explain how they came to the answer.
• Ongoing use of our maths working walls. Our working walls provide a scaffold for learning.
• Time to practise a new skill until children become fluent.

Maths at Blaby Stokes follows the Maths No Problem Singapore programme. This allows pupils to develop mathematical fluency solving problems by reasoning rather than resorting to rote learning and memorising procedures.

What else do we offer at Blaby?

Problem solving
We embed our understanding of maths by including additional problem solving, using White Rose and Nrich materials, into our maths lessons, this allows for the children to dig deeper develop their mathematical thinking.

Times Table Rock Stars
Times Table Rockstars is an online game that helps children become fluent in their times tables. Children create their own avatar to become a rock star, navigating their way through a variety of different rockstar battles to build their speed and knowledge of their multiplication facts whilst earning coins to buy themselves items for their character.

Weekly retrieval practice
Every week, your child will be supported in remembering areas of maths they have already covered in that year and in previous years. These opportunities to regularly revisit topics helps the children to recall previous learning and helps make learning ‘stick’.


Blaby Stokes Maths Intent >

Maths No Problem Overview - Year 1 >

Maths No Problem Overview - Year 2 >

Maths No Problem Overview - Year 3 >

Maths No Problem Overview - Year 4 >

Maths No Problem Overview - Year 5 >

Maths No Problem Overview - Year 6 >

Science at Blaby Stokes

Science at Blaby Stokes aims to teach our children the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to question and understand concepts and phenomena that occur in the world around them, equipping them with the motivation to seek explanations for these. Children learn the skills required for scientific enquiry and they will begin to appreciate the way science will affect their future on a personal, national, and global level.

Blaby Stokes Big Ideas >

Big Ideas in the National Curriculum >

Religious Education at Blaby Stokes

As a Church of England Primary School we follow the Leicestershire Agreed Syllabus and the ‘Understanding Christianity’ programme. R.E. at Blaby Stokes Primary School is taught in line with the R.E. statement of Entitlement (see below). Children receive 1 hour of RE teaching per week.  

R.E. Statement of Entitlement for Church Schools >

Blaby Stokes Long Term Plan RE >

Blaby Stokes Subject Intent RE >