“Where learning creates new possibilities”
At St. Thomas Primary we believe in the concept of lifelong learning and the notion that learning should be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for everyone. Our ‘knowledge-engaged’ Curriculum aims to equip children with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to make informed choices about the important things in their lives. It places equal importance on both the accumulation of knowledge and the development of learning skills. We recognise that these go hand in hand and as children’s knowledge increases, so their cognitive abilities also improve and this helps them to aquire further knowledge more smoothly and easily. Good learning takes place throughout the school day, not just in the classroom, and that providing appropriate teaching and learning experiences help children to lead happy and rewarding lives.
We plan children’s learning from the new National Curriculum 2014. Click the following link to download a copy of this document. >> National Curriculum 2014
For children to be effective learners, their wellbeing and mental health are paramount and we use a wide range of strategies in school to support children. Our Behaviour Policy highlights many of the strategies we use. Children with this in place are motivated, enthusiastic and enjoy learning whilst recognising that it can be a struggle with some of our best learning being done through making mistakes and taking risks. The whole school community is encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and good learning skills focus around the five key Learning4Life skills.
Each Learning4Life skill is linked to an action and a lexicon of related words which children and staff use everyday. Our St Thomas Learning4Life song and the displays around school help to remind us of these.
Our Approach to Phonics
At St Thomas Primary School, we follow the Letters and Sounds programme, supplemented by Jolly Phonics.
In Foundation Stage, children are introduced to phonemes (sounds) linked to the letters of the alphabet, as well as one way of spelling each of the other 16 phonemes used in the English language, such as ‘igh’ and ‘ch’. Children are taught to blend or sound out phonics to read a variety of words and segment or break down the sounds in simple words for spelling. Jolly Phonics gives children an action for each sound, which supports children who learn in an active way.
In Year 1, children learn more about the variety of ways in which each phoneme can be spelled and they also learn about the different pronunciations made by different letters or groups of letters, such as ‘a’ in ‘ant’ and ‘was’. At the end of Year 1, children will be tested on their phonics knowledge, using a national test featuring 20 real words and 20 pseudo-words.
From Year 2 onwards, we use No Nonsense Spelling which follows the Pathway to Spelling. Children consolidate their phonics knowledge, learning when to apply different spelling rules as well as how to spell plurals and different verb tenses.
Our Approach to Reading
At St Thomas Primary School, children are encouraged to read at home every day. In Foundation Stage, children begin by taking home wordless books, to allow them to spend time talking to a parent about the book, without being constrained by the necessity to read words. Once children have a good understanding of how books work and have gained some phonics knowledge, they begin to read books containing simple words which can be blended or sounded out.
The reading books are colour banded and, as children become more confident and able readers, they will take home books from different colour bands. The books in the first few colour bands are primarily phonics based, allowing children to apply their phonics knowledge. Once children become fluent readers, a range of books is provided to allow children to engage in more lengthy discussions about the content of the book. From Year 2 onwards, the reading scheme is supplemented with books from our well-stocked library.
The main reading scheme used at St Thomas Primary School is Oxford Reading Tree.
Mathematics is more than just being able to calculate with numbers and at St ThomasPrimary School we aim to create individuals who are numerate, creative, independent, inquisitive, enquiring and confident. We want pupils to be engaging with real problems; guessing, discovering, and making sense of mathematics – many of which will be new to the pupils.
We want children to:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils have conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately to problems
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- 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.
These aims are directly linked to the principles of the new National Curriculum for Maths 2014.
At St Thomas, we have put together a document detailing the key building blocks for calculation as the children progress through the school >> St Thomas Progression in Calculation
Our Year Groups
Every year group plans from the National Curriculum 2014. Each term, teachers send out a newsletter that outlines what their class will be doing that term. Below you will find a link to each year groups long term plan.
- Year 2 – Aut 1 – All around the world
- Year 2 – Aut 2 – Making History
- Year 2 – Spring – Here & There
- Year 3 – Aut 1 – River Exe and River Nile
- Year 3 – Aut 2 – Ancient Egypt
- Year 3 – Spring – Stone Age to Iron Age
- Year 4 – Aut 1 – River Exe and River Nile
- Year 4 – Aut – Ancient Egypt
- Year 4 – Spring 1 – Stone Age to Iron Age
If you would like more information about your child’s curriculum please come in and speak to their class teacher.