Phonics and Reading
Phonics and Reading
Phonics (Reading and Spelling)
At Milstead, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach children to read and write through a rigorous and consistent systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programme. Research has proven that teaching phonics is the best way to teach children to read, and reading is fundamental to a child's ability to be successful across all areas of school life and beyond.
We have introduced a programme called Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which draws on the latest research into how children learn best. We start teaching phonics as soon as children start in Catkin Class (reception year) and follow theLittle Wandle Letters and Sounds Revisedprogression,which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school. As a result, our children are able to tackle unfamiliar words as they read. At Milstead, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
Children are taught phonics lessons in year group every day, following the clear progression (link above). Through careful daily and summative assessment, children are identified for additional phonics support if necessary to ensure progress, with the aim of no child falling behind and every child becoming a successful reader. Teaching phonics with fidelity to our chosen programme ensures learning stays in children's long term memory and enables children to apply their learning to become competent readers and writers.
Every teacher and TA in our school has been trained to teach reading, so we have the same expectations of progress. We all use the same language, routines and resources to teach children to read so that we lower children's cognitive load.
We value reading as a crucial life skill and by the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.
Reading as a life skill, reading for pleasure, reading for purpose.
As children move on from Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised, they begin to access Accelerated Reader. This is usually in by the end of year one, however we still continue to teach following Little Wandle for children in year 2 and lower key stage 2, who need to continue practising these reading skills.
More information about the Accelerated Reader program, please follow this linkAccelerated Reader
At Milstead we love reading and highly value readingfor pleasure. We work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure ethos by;
- Reading to children every day, carefully selecting high quality texts that reflect the children at Milstead, our local community and the wider world. We link texts to current learning that demonstrate aspirational language. We choose texts that inspire and enthuse and promote the school's values as well as ensuring personal, social, spiritual and emotional needs are met. - Every classroom has an inviting book area or a way to read books in a comfortable way to entice children into selecting a range of high quality texts.
- Children take home a selection of reading books. this might be their phonetically decodable Little Wandle scheme book which they will have read 3 times in school or an AR book. In addition children will take a selection of books to read for pleasure. These will be from class book corners or the school library.
- We have a well stocked and utilised libraryon the school grounds which is managed by 2 volunteer librarians who provide library time for every child once a week. The librarians promote an author of the term, with research provided from classes.
Phonics screening check.
Children in year 1 sit the phonics screening check. Those who do not pass can resit in year 2.
Writing and Oracy
Writing and Oracy
At Milstead we are passionate about our curriculum and believe English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching across all subjects. For our pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. We believe that fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects and our teachers develop pupils' Oracy, Writing and Vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. Children are exposed to a language rich, creative and continuous English curriculum which not only enables them to learn successfully but also develop a love of creative writing and purposeful speaking and listening. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We have high standards for listening, which we take time to develop. Speaking and Listening is core to our curriculum and embeds all learning through discussion; talk partners play an integral role in learning within our school.
Writing skills are clearly outlined in an age appropriate and progressive format so that the children's writing is extended as they progress from EYFS to KS1 and KS2. These skills are promoted in all subject areas to support the understanding that writing is important across the curriculum. Throughout their time at Milstead children will regularly explore a variety of writing genres through shared, modelled, guided and independent writing activities.
At Milstead we want children to have the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy art. We believe that to create art and be creative is is a vital part of a child's education. It allows children to develop lifelong skills such as experimenting and exploring, practise, perseverance, evaluating, using their imagination and gaining a sense of pride. In art there is no right or wrong, but a chance for the children to express themselves in a way they chose, using the tools they need. Art offers a unique input to a child's personal development and has a positive impact on their wider achievement, as well as an important means for self-expression, imagination, play and experimentation. Art provides children with opportunities to develop a range of ways in which they can share and express their individual creativity, whilst learning about and making links with a wide spectrum of different types of art in our society.
Through the teaching of progressive art skills, the children explore different ideas and techniques that will inspire their future creations. These skills are developed across each year and built upon from prior learning.
At Milstead our Science curriculum covers the key science learning of physics, chemistry and biology. The teaching emphasises how science has impacted on our world both positively and negatively and consider how scientific knowledge is important in assisting future generations and the planet.
In science we aim to develop children's natural curiosity about the world around them to practice key scientific skills such as researching, working methodically, recording, categorising and considering the implications of their scientific skills and knowledge. We want our lessons to be practical and investigative, allowing the children to explore, observe, question, hypothesise, test and evaluate. Children are enriched with increasing confidence in their own learning, the embedding of meta-cognitive techniques for deeper consideration of the subject, and an understanding of the importance of working together independently and collaboratively.
We teach children to carry out systematic investigations, working on their own and with others. Children are encouraged to talk about their work and its significance, and communicate ideas using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts and graphs. We teach children to draw meaningful conclusions through reasoning and the evaluation of evidence.
Religious Education (RE) is a core subject at our school and is taught weekly. Children and their families can expect a high quality RE curriculum that is rich and varied, enabling learners to acquire a thorough knowledge and understanding of a range of faiths and world views.
As a church school, the teaching of Christianity is at the heart of our RE curriculum. Through the Understanding Christianity resource, the use of an enquiry approach engages with significant theological concepts and the pupil's own understanding of the world as part of their wider religious literacy. Using The Kent Agreed Syllabus and the Understanding Christianity resources in line with Canterbury Diocese to learn about other religions and worldviews, fostering reverence and respect for them. Our curriculum includes study of religious traditions learning from Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish people. Through using a variety of teaching techniques such as drama, art, discussion, use of artefacts, stories, pictures, periods of stillness and reflection, children have opportunities to learn both about religion and from religion. Our working walls/journals show the journey of learning throughout a whole unit of work and enable children to interact and respond to key questions, ideas and beliefs.
Understanding Christianity is a spiral curriculum where units of work are revisited in subsequent years. 70% of our curriculum is based on Christianity; the remaining 30% is focused on other world faiths and non-religious worldviews. It is our aim that RE is delivered in an objective and critical manner, which challenges children to enquire and question, enabling all children to develop a rich religious literacy.
Links with our Christian values and support for pupil's spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development and to their understanding of British Values are intrinsic to our RE curriculum. We aim to provide a wide range of opportunities for learners to understand and to make links between the beliefs, practices and value systems of the range of faiths and worldviews studied.
Parents have had the right to withdraw their children from religious education. However, in view of the Christian ethos and distinctive Christian character of our school, we would hope that all children admitted will participate fully in RE, and that anyone wishing to withdraw their child would discuss this with the headteacher before making this decision.
At Milstead we aim to provide a practical broadly balanced mathematics curriculum which will suit the individual needs of our children and show them the usefulness and relevance of maths in everyday life. We consider first hand experiences important and aim to provide our children with varied opportunities to use their mathematical skills in tackling genuine practical problems and 'open ended' investigations across the whole curriculum. For example weighing ingredients to cook with, working out averages for team points or teaching other children a concept they have already mastered themselves.
Children are introduced to a wide variety of basic mathematical concepts and opportunities to develop mathematical language.
To support the mental dexterity with numbers we learn number facts, such as number bonds and times tables. These are regularly practised and tested - often in fun ways like times table bingo,Timestables Rockstarsand weekly 'Big Maths Beat That'. Key Instant Recall Facts are sent home termly to be learnt to support the children's fluency in number recall.
Outside of the daily Maths lessons, children complete their daily 'Fluent in 5' which is where they develop, practise and apply their methods for and understanding of the four operations - addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. This enables children to constantly refine their fluency skills and frequently revisit concepts taught in lessons.
We understand the immense value technology plays not only in supporting the Computing and whole school curriculum but overall in the day-to-day life of our school.
We believe that technology can provide enhanced collaborative learning opportunities and support understanding of new concepts. Coverage of the Computing curriculum in our school ensures children get to experience a range of software along with termly E Safety lessons to help all our pupils use the Internet safely, sensibly and gain an understanding of what to do if they come across something that makes them feel uncomfortable.
We aim to make lessons creative, diverse and fun! Computing does not only happen when using a laptop, but will also include the use of tablets, cameras and cross curricular writing and games. Throughout each lesson, children also learn various skills that they can use not only during their time at school, but throughout life.
Design and Technology
Design and Technology
At Milstead, we believe that creativity and imagination are both vital in a child's education. Design technology provides all children with a broad and balanced curriculum which prepares them for life beyond primary education. Our curriculum will enable pupils to use their creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. The lessons taught across the school are designed to develop skills and to draw on disciplines such as maths, science, engineering, computing and art. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, children develop a critical understanding of how aspects of DT have an impact on daily life both now and throughout history.
Our Design Technology curriculum combines skills, knowledge and concepts to enable children to tackle real problems which are built on every year. It can improve analysis, practical capability, problem solving, imagination, and evaluation skills not only of their own products/designs but of the designs of others.
We believe in a plan, do, and review structure to DT where children will use research and inspiration to plan their final products, often learning techniques, before creating. After they have produced their piece they will have the chance to review and assess what they have done focusing on what they like, what went well and evaluating what they could change next time.
Click here to view our DT Curriculum Overview
At Milstead we aim to deliver a high quality Geography curriculum that inspires children's curiosity and fascination about the world in which they live. We believe that Geography is crucial in developing children's understanding of not only their local environment and community but also the wider world, comparing and contrasting to develop an awareness and respect for different cultures and the physical world around them.
We aim to equip our children with skills in recognising, describing, explaining, comparing and evaluating human and physical geographical elements, encouraging them to accurately use the appropriate technical vocabulary. Geography is taught through carefully selected topics that are designed to develop our children's interests in an engaging and motivating approach with cross-curricular opportunities. We follow an enquiry based approach to Geography, encouraging children to ask questions and discover the world around them though first hand experiences, providing opportunities to explore our local environment as much as possible. We follow a planned progression of skills and knowledge, which relate to the objectives set out in the National Curriculum and EYFS Development Matters (Understanding the World), to ensure that children are embedding and building upon their learning as they move through each year group.
Click here to view our Geography Curriculum Overview
At Milstead we aim to deliver a high quality history curriculum that ignites children's curiosity about exploring the past, including their own history, British history and history of the wider world. We aim to inspire children to find out more about people and events from the past and equip them with the skills they need to ask questions, think critically, weigh evidence, and develop their historical perspective and judgment. As well as developing children's historical knowledge there is also a strong emphasis on developing age appropriate understanding of chronology, historical interpretation and the skills of historical enquiry using a variety of sources.
We aim to provide children with hands on experiences and opportunities to explore the History of their local environment and community as much as possible. History is taught through carefully selected topics that are designed to develop our children's interests in an engaging and motivating approach with cross-curricular opportunities. We follow a planned progression of skills and knowledge, which relate to the objectives set out in the National Curriculum and EYFS Development Matters (Understanding the World), to ensure that children are embedding and building upon their learning as they move through each year group.
Click here to view our History Curriculum Overview
At Milstead we want our children to develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages. Learning a second language will offer pupils the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them with a better awareness of self, key individuals and cultural differences. The intention is that pupils will feel able and encouraged to continue studying languages beyond key stage 2 and ultimately be working towards becoming life-long language learners.
At Milstead children learn about the different cultures and languages across the world in a variety of ways. As well as learning songs and vocabulary we also learn aboutcultural days such as Chinese New Year and Diwali. Special events such as the Olympics and events in British and world history are also used as a way to immerse the children in a rich cultural curriculum and environment. Children are given opportunities to explore dances, music, food and art work from across the world. They are given time to talk about their own family traditions and parents who speak other languages are warmly welcomed into school.
At Milstead we believe that music is an integral part of our children's education and that every child should actively take part in making music. Our curriculum aim is to enable an enjoyment of music and a lifelong participation in the subject. Our fun and engaging curriculum has been designed to allow children the opportunity to learn to play a variety of instruments and to progress in the four main areas: Performance, Composition, Listening and Appraising.
Children are also taught many songs and hymns and experience the pleasure of singing together.
At Milstead we aim to inspire an enjoyment of physical activity and an appreciation of the importance of mental wellbeing in all children.
We are extremely fortunate to have specialist sports coaches, who provide quality lessons to our children and enhances our CPD training for all teaching staff. We are also Forest School accredited and outdoor physical activity is a large part of our school life..
We teach individual skills, such as throwing, catching, bowling and rolling. Children apply these skills in small game situations or short sequence. Children are encouraged to consider why exercise is a necessity of everyday life and to evaluate their own and others performances.
We have multiple cross curricular links which provide our children with a strong understanding of the importance of being both physically and mentally healthy.
We encourage the children to both compete with themselves and each other and to co-operate as part of a team. Our annual sports day has a traditional, competitive nature together with a series of activities that all children can enjoy.
RSHE stands for relationships, sex and health education. Teaching this in a developmentally appropriate way enables our children to become independent, confident, healthy and responsible members of society, as well as developing the 'whole child' intellectually, morally, socially and spiritually.
At Milstead, we use a scheme called 'HeartSmart' to deliver our lessons. Its aim is to build character, emotional heath and resilience in children, and its core principle is the importance of loving and accepting ourselves as well as loving and responding well to others. The scheme is split into 6 units which focus on different aspects of the curriculum:
Get HeartSmart: Learn what it is to be HeartSmart and how we can Power On to love ourselves and others well.
Don't Forget to Let Love In: Learning how important, valued and loved we are
Too much Selfie Isn't Healthy: Exploring the importance of others and how to love them well.
Don't Rub It In, Rub It Out: Understanding how to process negative emotion and choose forgiveness to restore relationships.
Fake Is A Mistake: Unpacking how to bravely communicate truth and be proud of who we are.
No Way Through,' Isn't True!: Knowing there is a way through every situation, no matter how impossible it may seem.
Weaving through the heart of our RSHE teaching is a commitment to enhancing and promoting our core Christian Values; perseverance, respect, community, trust and forgiveness.
In addition to Heartsmart, we supplement our scheme with seasonal lessons covering specific and statutory Relationships and Sex Education objectives. Our progression of skills can be found here PHSE and RSE progression.