At Dedworth Green First School we provide a creative curriculum based around the Cornerstones Curriculum, a nationally recognised approach for delivering outstanding learning opportunities for children.
What is the Cornerstones Curriculum?
The Cornerstones Curriculum is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the 2014 Primary National Curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. Our new curriculum will be delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) which will provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of our children’s learning.
We believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our new curriculum will provide lots of learning challenges throughout the academic year that will require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively across the curriculum.
Cornerstones also provide a rigorous essential skills framework that outlines the end of year expectations in all subjects. These essential skills are tied to activities and are age related so that staff can track children’s progress and identify their individual learning needs.
How it Works?
Children will progress through four stages of learning in each ILP – Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express. To find out more about these stages please click here
At Dedworth Green we want the children to see maths as enjoyable and make all of the children’s experiences positive ones. Mathematics is a core subject in the National Curriculum and is taught every day to help children make sense of the world around them.
Our aims at Dedworth are for children to:
* Become fluent in their recall of mathematic facts
* Be fluent in mental math strategies
* Have a rich mathematic vocabulary
* Have secure knowledge of mathematical concepts
* Be able to reason and solve problems
* Enjoy maths and develop a positive attitude
How maths is taught at Dedworth
At Dedworth Green we teach maths in a variety of ways to suit all learning styles. All lessons are carefully planned and implemented to ensure the potential of all children is reached and individual needs are catered for. The children will have the opportunity to use a variety of practical resources to support their learning as well as take part in many hands-on lessons to help support their understanding. The children are encouraged to ‘have a go’ and work things out for themselves knowing that mistakes can happen and that this is all part of how we learn. Maths workshops are also booked in for the children to take part in as well as maths days where the children can explore, experiment and challenge themselves.
The parents are invited in each year to gain an idea of how maths is taught in each year group. This helps parents to have an understanding of expectation as well as strategies used to enable them to support their children at home. The teachers will teach as they do on a daily basis and model to parents how the main operations are taught in school.
Our aim is for every child to learn the love of reading through the teaching of a variety of texts and genres. The teaching of reading is given high priority on a daily basis. Our reading programme starts with Floppy Phonics books and moves through to the Oxford Reading Tree and up to the Big Cat texts. We have a range of fiction and non-fiction books as well as texts from other sources that complement the reading scheme, such as First News, a weekly child friendly newspaper.
Every day children are given the opportunity to read through a variety of ways. This includes individual reading with an adult, group reading in guided reading sessions and across the curriculum in all lessons. Reading books are sent home daily and changed on a regular basis. Teachers recognise the importance of reading and model this through reading a class book to the children regularly throughout the week. This supports their topic and is chosen through the Power of Reading scheme of work. We celebrate reading on special days such as World Book Day and Roald Dahl Day.
Our children experience phonics and grammar teaching on a daily basis. This starts in our Early Years Foundation Stage through to year 4. We use a whole school approach to the teaching and follow the Letters and Sounds programme of study for phonics. All staff are included in this approach and know the importance it has for the children’s learning in order to confidently decode new words.
We have a high pass rate for our year 1 children passing their phonics screening, with 96% in 2016 and 93% in 2017, which is well above the national and local average.
Writing is a high focus for Dedworth Green First School across all subject areas of the curriculum. Children are taught the structure of writing for many difference purposes e.g. poetry, newspaper articles, stories and letters. Children are taught to write in pencil in a cursive style and this is encouraged across all writing. Teachers model this writing during lessons, in books when marking and around the classrooms on displays. Spellings are sent home on a weekly basis for children to learn and practice using the look, say, cover, write, check method.
Our literacy teaching is topic based and follows the Cornerstones planning. Teachers use a wide variety of stimuli to engage children’s interest before starting writing. Children are given the opportunity to work in pairs, small groups and independently.
All teaching staff are trained in Big Write. This allows children to write independently for a set amount of time, dependent on their year group. We understand the importance of VCOP (Vocabulary, connectives, openers and punctuation) and this is
integrated into our lessons on a daily basis with the children having a focus for their writing at the time.
Speaking and Listening
Through the use of drama, role play, discussions and performances children are given the opportunity to express themselves orally. This ensures children learn to communicate effectively using both speaking and listening skills. It also builds confidence in order to ensure our children become articulate, confident speakers.