What does your child learn at school each day? Find information about our curriculum subjects here.
Children, staff, parents and governors are now experiencing the implementation of the new curriculum, introduced in September 2014. This curriculum is taught through a mixture of subject based and an integrated approach, rather than subject based only. This is the case in Year 1 to Year 6. The school is organised into Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, with one class in each year group. The national curriculum is taught in each key stage. Our new curriculum teaching style has elements found in the EYFS curriculum. The EYFS curriculum is planned using the 7 areas of learning and development in equal importance (Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design).
In addition to the curriculum taught in school time and on the school grounds, our curriculum is enriched and enhanced by our after school provision. We offer a variety of different activities, which encompasses the sports, arts and academic disciplines. Provision is varied across the year, taking into account the interests and needs of our children, suggestions from parents and to reflect current government initiatives. The curriculum taught during the day is enriched by our strong focus on business and enterprise skills and outdoor learning. It is also enriched by the many visits, both residential and non-residential and the many visitors specially invited to widen our staff expertise, motivate and inspire our children to learn and achieve. Special curriculum days and weeks provide the final enhancements to the way we deliver the national curriculum to meet the needs of our children. Our strong Christian ethos, core values, spirituality and reflection is threaded seamlessly through our new curriculum and the development of the moral and cultural understanding of our children.
The schools have developed progression documents, derived from the outcomes, skills and knowledge we expect children to gain through our personalised knowledge and skills based curriculum. Teachers will use these documents to strategically plan and assess children’s learning throughout the academic year against age related expectations. Parents will continue to receive termly reports about the achievement and progress made by their child against the end of stage expectations of the new National Curriculum.
The Great Oaks Federation allows a more creative and innovative approach to our children’s education, promoting and encouraging them to use their natural curiosity to lead them onto a lifelong journey of learning. This approach ensures a continuity of approaches and a smoother transition from the Early Years into Year One and the rest of the school. The unique blend of child initiated and adult directed activities used in the Foundation Stage prepares the children for the independent and conscientious studies developed further up in the school.
We at the Great Oaks Federation take great pride to ensure that the little acorns are motivated, nurtured, supported and challenged to reach their full potential in all aspects of their learning journey. This is seen through our school values, life and enterprise skills, residential and non-residential school trips, participation in local and national competitions and the delivery of exciting lessons that take place in and outside of the classroom. We ensure that children develop a love and awe for the outside by using our specialised grounds and resources as well as feeling inspired by the interactive learning environment provided for them within the school building.
The needs and opportunities of experiences for every child is at the root of the Great Oaks Federation and this is why children leave our schools fully prepared to branch out and continue their journey of learning.
It is through our long term topic plans and first quality teaching that we see the children grow from little acorns to great oaks.
Take a look at our Twitter page so that you can view some of our fantastic work: https://twitter.com/greatoaksfed.
We believe that reading is a journey born out of curiosity for the world around us; leading to an understanding and enjoyment of texts, poetry and plays following a carefully structured path. In the National Curriculum, reading is split into the two dimensions of word reading and comprehension.
At St Thomas' Primary School, we use a colour banding scheme which includes a range of fiction and non-fictions texts by a wide range of authors. The scheme is used to develop fluent, confident readers who comprehend the texts that they explore. This scheme allows for children to initially explore books by using pictures to talk about settings and characters. Progression from this stage allows the children the opportunities to apply their learning of phonics to books within the reading scheme. As the children work through the scheme, they will read a range of texts including poetry, play scripts, stories set in different cultures or times and non-fictional texts such as information books or newspapers.
Children will progress through the colour stages depending on their reading ages and abilities. We also have a wide range of books in our libraries for the children to enjoy reading including some of the English classics such as Oliver Twist, Black Beauty or some of the works of Shakespeare.
Throughout our curriculum we provide opportunities for shared reading, guided reading and independent reading. We are very lucky to have links with ‘The Orchards’ and our children love to visit there to read to the residents.
In Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1, children receive daily phonics and Read Write Inctime. Research shows that phonics is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. In phonics sessions they are taught how to:
- recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
- identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’; and
- blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.
Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read. At St Thomas' we use Read Write Inc to promote a systematic approach to learning phonics and spelling throughout the whole school.
In Year One, children take part in a phonics screening check. This check is designed to confirm whether pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. It will identify pupils who need extra help to improve their decoding skills. The check consists of 20 real words and 20 pseudo-words that a pupil reads aloud to the teacher.
Please use the link below to find more information about the Phonics Screening Check and to listen to the 44 sounds spoken aloud and in example words.