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The Foundation Stage
Children are admitted to St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in the September before their fifth birthday. Home-school links are made prior to this as we wish to allay any worries and problems as early as possible. On entry the children are supported by a very experienced teaching assistant. The children experience all areas of learning, giving a sound foundation for school life.
The six Main Areas of Learning Are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Mathematical Development
- Knowledge and Understanding of the world
- Creative Development
- Communication, language and Literacy
- Physical Development
Although the fundamental principle of a young child’s learning is through play, it is essential that these activities are purposeful. All pupils are assessed throughout the school year using the Foundation Profile.
Reading and Phonics at St Joseph’s
At St Joseph’s we follow the Letters and Sounds scheme for Phonics, supplemented by Jolly Phonics. This is used throughout the EYFS (Reception class) and Key Stage One (Years 1 and 2).
Each class has a daily Phonics lesson where the children learn new phonemes (sounds) and which grapheme (written letter) matches it. They practise the Phonics they know in a variety of ways including games, ICT and also in their reading.
Over the last couple of years our Phonics results have increased to above National expectation.
The main Reading scheme we follow is Pearson Phonics Bug. This supports the Phonics that the children are learning in their daily lessons. We also have the Oxford Reading Tree scheme.
We teach early reading skills through a love of books, listening to and talking about stories.
We teach word reading through a synthetic phonics approach with some whole word and comprehension work to aid decoding. We use a range of schemes and resources from Letters and Sounds and Phonics Bug. We use games and multi-sensory activities to appeal to a wide range of learners and phonic sessions happen daily throughout Foundation Stage and KS1. Children take part in a phonics screening check to assess their decoding skills at the end of year 1 and anyone still needing support in this area receives targeted support in year 2 and is assessed again for decoding at the end of year 2.
All year groups have regular guided reading sessions where children are encouraged to take part in a number of activities which further their confidence, enjoyment and skill in reading. Children use a series of levelled reading scheme books (Bug Club, Oxford Reading Tree, Treetops) to give opportunities to apply their reading skills (90-94% fluent) and to address wider reading skills with the teacher. Children have access to a wide range of good quality reading books which are available for them to take home throughout the week encouraging them to make their own choices as readers. We endeavour to model ourselves as readers and show children that reading is a lifelong skill and one to be cherished and enjoyed.
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
The rest of the school is organised in two Key Stage areas; Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Each class teacher is responsible for the education and welfare of all pupils in their class. Key Stage One consists of Year 1 and Year 2. Key Stage Two consists of Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6. Children in Year 2 and year 6 are given Standard Assessments Tests in the Summer term.
The curriculum addressed in our school includes Religious Education and the statutory National Curriculum for Core and Non-Core subjects.
- Design Technology
- Physical Education
All of the above are taught following a creative curriculum. Whenever possible subjects are taught cross curricular in order to develop transferable academic, social and life skills.
This curriculum area covers the key communication skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing (including handwriting). Children enter school at different stages of development in the English skills. We aim to develop these skills so that each child becomes an increasingly confident and proficient language user.
Our aim is that all children acquire mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding, in a way that has relevance for them in the world outside school, as well as throughout the curriculum.
We work within the National Numeracy Strategy, which covers five strands:
- Number and the number system
- Solving problems
- Measures, shape and space
- Handling data
We aim to help children understand the processes involved in mathematics by presenting a range of experiences. Children need to practise mathematical skills regularly and to facilitate this, supplementary materials are used to provide children with investigative experiences through class, group, paired and individual activities.
In both Key Stages children follow programmes of scientific study which cover four main aspects:
- Scientific Enquiry
- Life Processes and living things
- Materials and their properties
- Physical processes
The school has a homework policy; the timetable and the setting of homework varies according to the age and needs of the child or class. The class teacher is responsible for the setting of homework.
KEY STAGE 2