We believe in a creative and inspiring approach to English that meets the statutory requirements of the new curriculum introduced in September 2014.
We are passionate about creating a rich literature diet which will create aspirations and engagement for all our pupils.
“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”
Roald Dahl, Matilda
We achieve this through:
- Quality first teaching and well matched interventions to support all learners.
- A comprehensive curriculum map that ensures high quality, engaging texts are used throughout the school. This is inspired by the Core Knowledge Curriculum published by CIVITAS. We ensure a cross curricular approach is implemented and computing skills are embedded.
- Regular drama and storytelling workshops across the school. This is to create an active and creative literacy diet for our children.
- Visits and real life experiences for the children to create a stimulus for our children’s writing.
- Author celebration days, such as Roald Dahl day and visits from key authors such as Faustin Charles. Such experiences create literacy aspirations for our children.
- Clear learning journeys that are communicated to the children. This is to ensure that previous learning is identified and all learning is given a greater purpose.
Key Stage 1
Phonics Our children are taught phonics through the Letters and sounds guidelines. In year 1 all children complete a phonic screener test. We offer parents a phonic workshop in the autumn term to support the teaching of phonics at home. We adopt a creative and kinaesthetic approach to the teaching of phonics. All our lessons follow the following structure:
- Revisit/review Revise previous learning of the letter/s-sound correspondences from previous or current phase.
- Teach Introduce new learning of ‘next’ letter/s-sound correspondence/tricky words in current phase.
- Practise Practise the three skills of blending, segmenting and letter formation at word level.
- Apply Extend to sentence level and text level
- SPHAG Spelling, punctuation, handwriting and grammar are important parts of the new national curriculum and are tested at the end of year 6. Spelling At Clapham Manor we have introduced a zero tolerance ladder. This is to encourage children to take care when writing high frequency and tricky words.
We have recently introduced an interactive, visual and exciting scheme called Penpals. Improving handwriting skills is a focus in our school as it impacts on pleasure, presentation and speed.
This core curriculum area covers speaking, listening, reading and writing (including handwriting). Children enter school at different stages of development in their English skills. We aim to develop these skills so that each child becomes an increasingly confident and proficient language user. English is taught daily in the literacy hour, as well as at other times of the day and through other areas of the curriculum.
Speaking and Listening
These skills are developed in a variety of settings and throughout all curriculum areas to encourage communication in purposeful, clear and orderly dialogue, that is appropriate for a range of occasions and purposes, and which invites careful, sympathetic and responsive listening.
As children learn to talk by talking, so they learn to read by reading. We aim to give children the opportunity to view reading as an intensely enjoyable and exciting experience. We do this by:
- Making sure that each child has easy access to high quality books that make sense at the appropriate level
- Building confidence and self-esteem
- Encouraging children to talk about their books and share them with others
- Arranging for classes to have shared reading experiences once a week with each other
- Reading stories aloud and encouraging discussion about them
- Using a variety of teaching strategies and approaches to reading
- Encouraging parents to support the development of reading skills at home
- Using the school library as a valuable resource for our teaching and reading
- Setting reading targets to focus learning
- All classes have a variety of books appropriate to their level, and these class libraries are updated as much as possible to allow for a variety of reading materials.
All children are equipped with folders and are encouraged to take books home.
If you would like more detailed information on how your child learns to read and how you can help, we recommend that you refer to our Information to Parents’/Carers’ booklets that are given to parents at the first open evening of the academic year.
We aim to provide children with the understanding and skills they require to become independent writers. We teach children to write in a variety of genre and contexts.
We aim to develop children’s creativity, imagination, vocabulary, spelling and handwriting through the teaching of writing. We do this by:
- Modeling good practice and using good text examples
- Setting writing targets to aid self-improvement
- Encouraging emergent writing in the Early Years and then the confidence to ‘have a go’
- Giving opportunities to discuss and assess own writing and the work of others
- Providing opportunities to review and redraft work
- Teaching phonics, work patterns, punctuation and grammar
All classes are equipped with materials appropriate to the children’s age and interests. The materials available are chosen to motivate and stimulate children.
This is recognised as a skill which can only be improved by constant practice and refinement. At Clapham Manor we pay close attention to the development of children’s handwriting and the use of quality materials to support this.
English as an Additional Language
Approximately 45% of the children in Clapham Manor speak, read, write, understand or are exposed to another language – skills we celebrate and encourage in order to support their acquisition of English.
Spanish, Yoruba, French, Bengali, Portuguese, Tigrinya and Somali are the most commonly spoken languages at Clapham Manor. There is specialist support from one teacher who works three days a week.
We have a good selection of dual language books, as well as books from a wide variety of cultural settings. These offer support to bilingual children learning to read, and also widen all the children’s experiences of other languages and cultures.
Theatre groups, social events and experiences are organised to help increase understanding of cultural diversity within the school. Parents are seen as a valuable resource in helping with translation, reading in their home language and sharing language skills.
Our policy is that all children should learn mathematics with enjoyment and understanding and develop the ability to apply maths in a variety of situations. We aim to make children feel confident about maths by making connections and links between ideas, knowledge and the real world – through investigations, discussions and experiments. Mistakes are seen as a crucial part of the learning process, giving an insight into what has been misunderstand or misinterpreted – these mistakes then act as a vehicle for the new learning to tackle the misconceptions and deepen understanding.
All the children follow the new National Curriculum and therefore have a mathematics lesson every day. The children also have basic skills lessons every day, with a focus on rapid recall and basic number facts and calculation – these lessons contribute towards improving efficiency and fluency of calculation in line with the new national expectations. Teachers use ‘Lancashire planning support’ alongside other resources to provide the children a rich variety of mathematical experiences and opportunities to use and apply their skills, which caters for a wide range of abilities.
Whole school Maths Days and Monthly Newsletter Challenges provide children opportunities to collaborate whist solving mathematical problems, particularly working alongside siblings and families to engage in mathematical activities. These are celebrated around the school, in assemblies and on the Maths Blog.
As one of the three core subjects of the National Curriculum, Science is a highly valued subject at Clapham Manor School. Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. At our school, we strive to contextualise the children’s learning in Science, so that they are encouraged to understand and relate what they are learning in class to their real lives in order to give them a better understanding of the world.
At Clapham Manor, we believe Scientific enquiry is at the heart of science teaching. Through this, we aim to encourage the natural curiosity that children have about themselves and their surroundings. We provide children with the opportunity to develop their own questions and to consider ways of finding out answers, fostering problem solving skills, ownership over their own learning and ultimately a better understanding of scientific concepts. They are encouraged to observe, raise questions, make predictions, experiment and record their findings. This includes developing the ability to examine things systematically, to select and sort information, to understand the features of a fair test and to be able to collect and consider evidence.
Science is taught weekly throughout the school through a variety of topics according to the objectives laid out in the National Curriculum (e.g. Materials, Keeping Healthy, Forces, Electricity, The Earth and Beyond). Work is planned and tailored to each class’ needs using a range of resources. Lesson activities include, amongst other things, practical investigations, observations, exploring the outdoor environment, recording and analysing results and the use of role play and drama to explore concepts. Children are assessed in Science through the Rising Stars Assessment tests alongside teacher observations of their work and discussions during lessons.
Science is also promoted though an annual Science and Engineering Week, exploration of Big Science Questions (questions relating to the wonders of the natural world), a range of Science trips, visitors and workshops and through our school Science Fair. Through all of this, we aim to equip children with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of Science for both today and for the future.