At Woodlands we follow the National Curriculum, which encourages the development of speaking, listening, reading and writing through whole class and group activities.
Talk for Writing underpins our approach to teaching literacy in KS1. Children build on the repertoire of texts that they have learned by heart in the Foundation Stage imitating, innovating and eventually creating their own stories and information texts.
Speaking and listening skills are fostered through discussion, group tasks, paired talk, drama, poetry and role-play Through drama a child is able to express feelings and ideas and learns to co-operate in group situations. Role play helps to develop self-confidence and a sympathetic approach to others and also helps children to develop their ideas, for example by creating their own characters for stories.
At Woodlands, we foster a love of reading through the sharing of a wide range of stimulating and engaging texts. The teaching of reading develops specific basic skills that include the use of phonics, word recognition and reading for meaning, using a range of cues including context punctuation and grammar. This is achieved by shared reading, guided reading and individual reading – all of which help children to develop as readers. These skills are applied and practised using a variety of well-written books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Our children regularly take books home to share with parents. We acknowledge the vital role parents play in encouraging children to become readers, and welcome the contribution that parents make in promoting the love of books and reading. For children whose first language is not English we value parents reading books in their home language or asking questions about what their child is reading in their home language.
We develop children’s writing within a variety of real contexts including making lists, relating events, writing reports and letter writing. Specific skills are developed throughout the school including story writing and poetry. We encourage children to attempt their own spellings, using their developing phonic skills (use of letter sounds, spelling patterns and letter strings in words). At the same time we understand the importance of correct spelling which is taught in a formal and systematic manner.
Children are taught to use a cursive script, for handwriting, which encourages proper letter formation, correct spelling and an easy flowing style.
The development of drafting and editing skills is encouraged and children use computers to develop their word-processing skills.
Our aim is for all pupils to enjoy maths and become confident mathematicians. In Key Stage 1 we focus on developing mental calculation skills in order to ensure children have a firm understanding of the number system and a strong foundation on which they can build.
In school mathematics teaching is done in a number of ways; we regularly use practical applications and teach a variety of strategies, using models and images. Children use and apply their mathematical knowledge and skills in a wide variety of contexts, within the maths lesson and throughout the curriculum. We make links and contextualise the concepts in order to support the children to transfer and embed their learning.
The maths curriculum in school is based on the National Curriculum and covers:
- The number system
- Handling data
- Space and measurement
Parents are encouraged to support their child’s learning by playing games, asking their child to help with daily activities such as laying the table, paying for items when shopping, identifying numbers and encouraging the use of mathematical vocabulary.
It is vital for all adults to have a positive attitude towards maths and to inspire their children to feel that maths is a fun, enjoyable and important part of everyday life. We ensure that there are regular opportunities for parents to find out how they can support their child in mathematics throughout the school year.
At Woodlands Academy, we aim to provide the children with many experiences of the world around them, including how and why things work, grow and change. We try to instil awe and wonder into their learning. Science needs to be practical – a subject based on investigation and discovery. Science is about children developing a sense of enquiry and extending their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. We have a hands- on, practical approach to Science, encouraging the children to make simple observations and to identify similarities and differences in what they see.
In Year 1, the children cover a wide variety of topics and will begin to learn to record their observations and findings. There are three strands in Science that include Life Processes, Physical processes and Materials. The topics covered are ‘Ourselves and Healthy Food’, ‘Light and Dark’,’ ‘Materials and their properties’, ‘Plants’ and ‘Forces’. We ensure that there is sufficient progress from similar topics covered in reception.
In Year 2, the children learn about ‘fair testing’ and explain why their test is fair. They learn about cause and effect by giving evidence for their findings. The four strands of Science are Scientific enquiry, Life processes and living things, Materials and their properties and Physical processes. The topics covered are ‘Forces’, Electricity’, ‘Grouping Materials’, ‘Changing Materials,’ ‘Plants and Animals, ‘and ‘Variation and Classification’
Children begin to learn geographical skills such as observation and recording, by studying their immediate environment. This includes drawing pictures and plans of the school and their home and investigating aspects of the local area.
Knowledge of the British Isles and other countries will initially be linked to the children’s own experiences, where they were born, where their families come from and holidays. Through topics studied, they compare and contrast features of different localities and countries to their own and begin to appreciate the world we all share.
Children become aware of how to look after our environment by recycling, re-using materials, and saving resources.
Children are encouraged to express themselves in a variety of art forms to communicate their ideas and feelings, and respond to and appreciate the work of artists.
They are taught a variety of different techniques and skills, through the use of a variety of media such as paint, clay and collage. There are opportunities for all children to achieve success and personal satisfaction from their work.
Design & Technology
Design & Technology offers opportunities for children to understand more fully the world they live in. It provides children with a set of skills they can use to solve real life problems.
Children take part in activities that develop a range of different skills. These include designing, constructing, cooking and working with a variety of materials. Once a task has been completed the children evaluate the piece they have produced and the way in which they made it.
Experimenting is an important aspect of Design & Technology. Children plan an investigation, estimate what is going to happen and then discover whether they were right or not. They find out what materials can and cannot do, discuss and share ideas and designs before measuring, making, testing and where necessary adapting their plans.
In Year 1, children progress through three main Design & Technology units, where they use construction and joining skills to build castles; a range of cooking and preparation skills to produce foods from around the world; and designing and cutting skills to create moving pictures on themes from different stories.
In Year 2, children have the opportunity to build upon and refine the skills learnt in Year 1: designing and producing a healthy meal, making masks and puppets. They also begin to use more sophisticated tools, including saws and clamps when they design, build and evaluate their own working vehicle as part of a unit on transport.
Knowledge of the way of life and conditions that existed in past years enables children to appreciate and understand changes that occur in their own life time.
Children all have their own past and this is explored in history. With the help of parents and friends, events within living memory are re-called and described.
References and comparisons are also made with the help of books, photographs, television programmes, family memorabilia, artefacts and through role play and drama.
Information & Communication Technology (I.C.T.)
We live in a world where technology is rapidly changing and developing. Children use computers and other ICT equipment across the curriculum, as well as during specific ICT classes. They explore ICT. and learn to use it confidently and with purpose to achieve specific outcomes.
In Key Stage 1 children have access to computers, interactive white boards, cameras, CD players, programmable toys. This wide array of equipment gives children the opportunities to develop their ICT. skills and confidence to use these technologies.
In Year 1 they are taught to develop skills such as: mouse control, selecting drawing tools, basic word processing, using the keyboard, creating simple graphs and data handling.
As the children move to Year 2 they begin to really develop their keyboard and mouse skills by using a more complex word processor such as Microsoft Word. They become confident to use the shift and enter keys and also to highlight texts and delete texts too. They explore changing font styles, font colours and font sizes
Year 1 and Year 2 have music lessons in their classrooms, following a scheme of work. They learn about pitch, dynamics and tempo, as well as about the many styles of music and how to play a variety of percussion instruments. They also sing regularly, learning topical songs for Assemblies and for end of term performances and singing for the enjoyment of it.
Physical Education / Sporting Aims
We believe that physical education, experienced in a safe and supportive environment, is vital and unique in its’ contribution to a child’s physical and emotional development and health.
P.E aims to increase self-confidence through the children being able to manage themselves successfully in a variety of situations. A balance of individual, team, co-operative and competitive activities aim to cater for individual children’s needs and abilities.
We endeavour to provide appropriate, stimulating, challenging and enjoyable learning situations for all pupils. Physical education is considered as a vehicle to facilitate access to cross-curricular themes, skills and dimensions, rather than a subject concerned exclusively with the acquisition of motor skills and techniques.
In Key Stage 1 pupils have two 60 minute lessons each week either in the main hall or in the school grounds. The four areas in P.E are: Gymnastics, dance, athletics and games.
A wide variety of apparatus is available during lessons and each child is encouraged to develop skills, co-operation and self-confidence by working individually, with a partner or as a member of a team. Children are encouraged to evaluate their own performance and those of their peers to enable them to improve and progress and explore the effects that exercise has on their bodies.
Aesthetic awareness and the expression of ideas and feelings are encouraged through dance and movement lessons. We also teach the conventions of fair play and good sporting behaviour.
The school has attained its Bronze Quality Mark from the Youth Sports Trust and we work closely with The Featherstone Sports Partnership, training teachers and delivering lessons. In this way, the children benefit from the expertise of specialist teachers of sport.
Religious Education / Collective Worship
R.E. is taught in a manner appropriate to the age and needs of the children. The curriculum is delivered through themes that run alongside a main topic and explore aspects of religion such as Myself, Celebrations, Belonging and Beliefs.
In line with the Ealing Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, we focus on three principal religions, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. Collective Worship is organised on a class, Key Stage and whole school basis. These acts are valuable as ‘family’ occasions, to foster mutual caring, responsibility, interest in and appreciation of the world about us as well as religious reflection.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from religious education and worship after consultation with the Headteacher
Spiritual, Moral, Cultural, Personal, Social & Health Education (including sex education) & Citizenship
Spiritual, Moral, Cultural, Personal, Social & Health Education and Citizenship are all cross-curricular themes that are integrated into the curriculum. Through discussions, reflection and circle time, we aim to encourage children to have respect for themselves, each other and the environment. Our programme aims to prepare children for growing independence, personal and social responsibility and healthy life-styles. The 5 keys areas that we teach are:
- Observing myself
- Recognising feelings
- Building vocabulary
- Relationship between feelings & actions
- Recognition of patterns of feelings
- Self appraisal
- Knowing my strengths & weaknesses
- Handling feelings
- What’s behind a feeling
- Calming myself down
- Responding to others
- Finding ways to handle fears & anxieties
- Managing stress
- Managing energy
- Understanding goals
- Choosing goals
- Planning steps to target
- Deferred gratification
- Observe & recognising feelings in others
- Understanding other’s feelings
- Respecting different perspectives
- Appreciating difference
- Using intuition
- Communicating warmth & support
- Talking about feelings effectively
- Being a good listener
- Negotiating with others
- Respectful confrontation
- Being assertive
- Working and playing co-operatively and competing fairly