Literacy at Ark Tindal Primary Academy
|Depth before breadth: Our first priority is to build a secure foundation in literacy and numeracy as the basis for all other learning. Pupils are taught to read, write and work with numbers fluently and confidently. Where pupils need extra support it is provided to ensure that every child reaches and exceeds nationally expected standards. Our English teaching focuses on speaking and listening, reading and writing using synthetic phonics and other reading strategies. We use the Read Write Inc. reading programme which is based on synthetic phonics that is, children learn what combinations of letters make all the different sounds in English and to blend these to make words and how to decode words when they see these combinations. You can find more details of how the scheme works and material to use helping your child at home here: http://www.oup.com/oxed/primary/rwi/forparents/|
Read Write Inc
All children at Ark Tindal are initially taught to read via the Read Write Inc Phonics programme. The programme is a complete literacy resource for beginner and emergent readers. It is proven to develop fluent and enthusiastic readers who quickly develop an in-depth comprehension of texts. Through the programme children learn to read and write letter-sound correspondences, decode effortlessly and spell and handwrite systematically. The programme also helps our children write confidently using oral rehearsal. Read Write Inc lessons are exciting and fast paced. Children have responded extremely well to the programme so far and, now in our second year, we are looking forward to continued reading success.
Language and Literacy
Once our children can read fluently they join the Read Write Inc Language and Literacy programme. These lessons develop childrenâ€™s comprehension, vocabulary, writing, grammar, critical thinking and discussion skills. Children learn what it is to be a real reader and to fully engage in the world of fiction and non-fiction books. Through the programme our children have the opportunity to explore powerful complete stories, poems and plays by authors both teachers and children love. The extended reading opportunities that the programme offers are complemented by a range of focussed writing opportunities that lead to all children completing a piece of extended independent writing every week.
Spelling at Ark Tindal is taught via Read Write Inc Phonics for those children who are following that programme and then explicitly in a stand alone ten minute lesson for those children following the Language and Literacy programme. Children are taught the alphabetic code for logical spelling, common root words with prefixes and suffixes, mnemonics and strategies for learning irregular words as well as how to identify quickly any of their own frequently misspelt words.
Power of Reading
To complement their work in phonics and to help develop an early love and understanding of books, children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 take part in Power of Reading lessons. Children explore specific texts in depth to build their understanding of story structure and help develop new vocabulary and ideas. Weekly extended independent writing opportunities are linked to the texts and children are encouraged to use all they have explored to inform their own writing.
Reading for Pleasure
At Ark Tindal we are striving to become a reading school where all children and adults read for pleasure and can share in the joy of books. We follow the Oxford Reading Tree scheme which allows all children to access books to take home at a level suitable for them. These books are to be read aloud to family and quietly to ourselves. We encourage all family members to comment on each reading through home reading journals. Our school library is currently being developed to house beautiful new books and a cataloguing system which will allow our children to take ownership of their reading experience. Every class visits our local council run library each half term and we encourage all children to get a library card which allows them free access to thousands of books.
Mathematics at Ark Tindal Primary Academy
At Ark Tindal Academy we believe in preparing our children for the future.
In the Early Years and Foundation Stage an emphasis on real life experiences means that children have opportunities to develop their understanding of maths in the world around them. There is a strong emphasis on role-play and the use of concrete materials to support their understanding.
Year 1 & 2 are using the principles of Mathematics Mastery in their everyday practice. Mathematics Mastery focuses on identifying characteristics of effective practice in building pupil's secure knowledge, skills and understanding of number so that they demonstrate fluency in calculating, solving problems and reasoning about number. Units are focused around Fairy Tales and Occupations so this enthuses the children and has helped to raise attainment.
Year 3, 4, 5 & 6 have adapted their practice to follow the principles of Mathematics Mastery. An emphasis on following the CPA (concrete, pictorial, abstract) approach has been adopted so that children gain a deeper understanding of the maths that they have covered.
A Mathletics club is run before and after school for children in Year 5 & 6. This enables them to practise, use and apply the skills they have learnt in school using Information Communication Technology.
Year 6 have also got the opportunity to take part in some extra maths activities at the local Secondary school St Alban's.
At ARK Tindal we really value music. All children take part in our music lessons, celebrations and events. Please have a look at our music at the ARK Academy's Fourth Music Gala. ARK Tindal children played their violins beautifully.
From Nursery to Year 2 the children take part in the ARK singing curriculum with a big focus on using our bodies to make music, rhythm, pitch and enjoyment. In Years 3 & 4 all children learn to play djembe and really focus on playing as a team, rhythm and enjoyment. In Years 5 & 6 all children learn to play the ukulele.
In addition to this several children have violin lessons and there is an academy choir. Every term we have a musical celebration where parents are most welcome to attend.
We join in with lots of tournaments put on by local Secondary schools as well as follow the Val Sabin PE curriculum. Throughout the year different after school clubs take place and all children from Years 3 to 6 have the opportunity to go swimming.
Science at ARK Tindal has been brought in line with the new curriculum with the implementation of “Empiribox” for all our Key Stage 2 classes. Empiribox provides planning and resources which are designed for the needs of the new curriculum, with a far greater emphasis on practical investigations by the children. The children will conduct a separate experiment every week of the year with a single focus each term of one aspect of the science method.
In each year, pupils build upon their science knowledge in each term with questions drawn from the previous year in addition to the new knowledge they learn in each new Scheme of Work. Critically the children will get much better at the science methodology as they will have conducted a separate experiment every week of the year with a single focus each term of one aspect of the science method.
This process of assessing pupils will provide real transparency to the rational of levels / grades provided that Ofsted and the government will soon require as it is directly index linked to clearly defined investigations and schemes of work.
Science in KS1 is being developed with a greater focus on practical investigations and on embedding the skills of scientific enquiry.
If you wish to find out any more information about the school curriculum, please ask a class teacher or contact the school office.