Religious Education (RE).
At Willow Primary School we follow the Doncaster Local Authority agreed syllabus for RE.
RE is provided for all pupils, and is inclusive and broad minded. Parents do have the right to withdraw pupils from RE. If parents wish to do this, they must make an appointment with the Headteacher. The school does not support selective withdrawal from RE and strongly advises against it as we believe all children benefit from having an understanding and respect for all faiths.
At Willow, we teach the children Spanish in Key Stage 2. The change of language from French to Spanish was made in 2019 in response to feedback from our pupils about their interests and life experiences.
We are excited to use a Mastery approach to teaching Maths across our school. We primarily use the White Rose Maths Hub schedule and resources, however, teachers are free to be creative in their approach to bringing Maths to life for our pupils.
We encourage structured approach to how our teachers plan maths so that all Maths lessons include the development of Oracy through 'Talk Tasks', partner work and independent learning are all integral to our Maths lessons. We know this approach enables our children to learn new concepts, practise them and apply them in different contexts to deepen their confidence and understanding.
- Have opportunities to use, extend and test ideas, thinking and reasoning.
- Explore maths and look for patterns, rules and properties, leading to an understanding of mathematical rules.
- Talk about maths to adults and children, and have space and time to think about ideas and methods, or to ask questions.
- Use mathematical vocabulary and use symbols, images, diagrams and models to support problem solving and reasoning.
- Use and apply mathematics in and beyond the classroom, making links to wider contexts.
- Calculate with accuracy and efficiency and be able to check their own solutions.
- Review and take responsibility for their own learning, making suggestions and following their own ideas regularly.
- Use effective feedback from teachers or from other pupils to improve their work.
Our children practise mental maths and arithmetic on a daily basis in our 'Maths Masterclasses' , we use Mathletics and Times Tables Rockstars too. They both support learning in school and at home.
Our teachers take a structured approach to teaching age-related writing skills and children are given opportunities to practise and apply these skills in writing for different purposes. We have based our approach to teaching Writing on the recommendations made by the Education Endowment Foundation in their Literacy Guidance Reports.
Pupils are also supported to develop the skills for self- and peer-assessment of writing and to edit, re-draft and improve their own work and give suggestions for improvements to others. Our teachers have high expectations of handwriting and presentation and the children are encouraged to take pride in their written work. Children who produce their best work will often have it displayed for others to appreciate.
Where possible writing is linked to the theme that the children are studying. Additional skills such as handwriting, spelling or grammar are also be taught discretely, when necessary. From Year 2 to Year 6 we use the Read Write Inc. Spelling programme.
How we teach Reading at Willow.
We aim to develop a passion for reading and literature at Willow Primary School and we encourage all our children to read for pleasure. Our children have whole class reading lessons which incorporate reading skills, grammar, punctuation, spelling and comprehension.
In Foundation Stage, discrete phonics sessions are taught daily, using the 'Read Write Inc' approach.’
In Reception, the children build on these skills and are taught to recognise letter sounds and names. They are taught how to blend and segment words into their individual sound patterns and are given daily opportunities to apply these to their reading and writing. They are also taught to recognise, read and spell some high frequency words.
In Key Stage 1, children have a systematic, discrete phonics and reading lesson each day, using Read Write Inc. We use ‘Phonics’ bug’ which is a web based resource providing engaging and interactive activities to enable children to develop their skills. Children are given daily opportunities to practise and apply their skills and are encouraged to use their phonic knowledge in their reading and writing across the curriculum.
In Foundation Stage, reading skills are taught using a wide range of reading materials. We develop childrens enjoyment of books and aim to ignite a love of reading. They are given opportunities to ‘play’ out the stories they enjoy through role-play, story sacks and small world in the continuous provision.
In Reception, children have the opportunity to read individually with an adult and are introduced to the a range of texts throughout Key Stage 1 and 2. Rooted in reading for pleasure and with systematic phonics at its heart, we introduce the children to well-loved characters, breadth of fiction and non-fiction and provide the resources to develop children into confident readers. Children further develop their enjoyment of reading through use of a reading area within each classroom as well as adult led story sessions and have opportunity to visit the school library areas and borrow a book to share with family at home. Our children also have access to the Bessacarr Local Community Library.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, reading skills continue to be developed using a wide range of new fiction and non-fiction titles to suit their individual reading level. To further promote reading for pleasure, each classroom has its own reading area, with a wide range of books including stories, non-fiction and topic related books, where children can freely enjoy. Children’s comprehension skills are developed through whole class shared reading of texts, daily guided reading sessions, individual reading to an adult and independent reading.
Bug Club Reading
All children also have ‘Bug Club’ accounts, providing access to a wide range of reading material suited to individual reading levels. This can be accessed at both home and school.
Learning beyond the classroom is a vital part of ensuring that our children succeed. It helps teachers to maximise the learning time in class, and gives pupils the opportunity to extend and deepen their understanding. All children are expected to use the Bug Club and read at least 5 times per week at home, this is recorded in their Reading Journal.
We use Mathletics and Timetables Rockstars along with other resources for Maths homework.
Homework activities are linked to the Our World Topic and are set by the class teacher at the start of each half term.