At Woodham Walter we strive for excellence for everyone. We believe that children learn best through stimulating, theme-driven education. We bring together a number of subjects from the National Curriculum into our creative teaching and learning: History, Geography, Art, Music and Design and Technology. As well as this we plan the teaching and learning of Science to closely link with the creative curriculum.
Please find below our whole school curriculum map. To see what each class is focusing on this term, in more detail, have a look at the individual class pages.
Information for parents - 2017 national curriculum tests, please click on the link below:
Our approach to Literacy
Our approach to reading
Reading takes place in a variety of contexts: guided reading, shared reading, paired and individual reading, both in literacy lessons and across the wider curriculum. Throughout the school, children participate in activities that develop confidence and motivation so that they will want to read. They are taught through a range of activities that reading is enjoyable and communicates meaning. Early Years and Key Stage One children are taught to read using phonics. Children are encouraged to read with pace, introducing captions and sentences for even our youngest children.
Please view the following link: Reading For Parents
Details of our reading schemes
Children read individually to an adult at school and take their books home to read. Our early reading books are colour banded to ensure that the book they select is at about the right reading level for them. Parents/carers are encouraged to fill in a reading record sheet on a daily basis. During guided reading children working in a small group with the teacher or learning support assistant, to read text and develop comprehension strategies. Our school reference library holds a range of books and children have free access to it. As our children progress through the school they have more opportunities to read a widening range of texts so as to broaden their knowledge and understanding. The art of skimming and scanning is introduced when appropriate to further the ability of the children to do their own research.
- A reading programme that the school uses to help teach reading
- Carefully graded eBooks and online games
- Children access eBooks via a personalised website
- The book content features some well-known characters and brands
- There are lots of different types of books, including story, information, comics, thrillers, plays and fantasy
Children throughout the school are given opportunities to write independently. Early Years and Key Stage One write diaries, lists, labels, captions and stories from first hand experiences. As our children develop their writing skills they are taught to plan their work and to draft, amend and self-correct whenever possible.
Children are given a variety of opportunities to select a range of writing forms to suit the context, for example a script, recipe or instructions. They learn about grammar and punctuation within the context of their own writing and use drama to work out and discuss story line and characterisation. As they progress through the school children will study the following text areas: narrative writing, persuasive, instructional, explanation, discussion and report amongst others.
For information regarding availability of Grammar Punctuation and Spelling homework books please follow the following link:
Letters and Sounds is taught in Key Stage One. Spellings are learnt on a regular basis in Key Stage Two and we use the Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check method when recording. The Single Word Spelling Test lists, words written incorrectly in writing and National Literacy Strategy Spelling Bank are used to formulate differentiated spelling lists. Spelling is taught through an investigative style which enables children to think about the rules for different spelling patterns. Children are encouraged to use dictionaries and Thesauri whenever appropriate.
Children are taught joined up writing as soon as they can form all the letters accurately. This enables them to develop a fluent, cursive style. As they move through the school the children are encouraged to select and use an appropriate range of handwriting styles for various tasks. All pupils are supported to work through a series of stages to develop cursive handwriting and to use their new skills in all their written work.
Certificates are given as each pupil reaches a new stage in the scheme.
In addition, a Governor’s Award is given for the most improved handwriting.
Pupils who achieve correctly and consistently joined handwriting with correct placement of capitals will receive a blue pen. When they progress to a fluent sloping style, they will receive a black pen.
This Handwriting Skills Summary shows the different stages. You can help your child at home, by encouraging them to practice forming their letter correctly in all their writing.
For your information, these are the progressive strategies that your child will be learning as they move through the school. Please remember that all children develop at different rates in different areas of the curriculum. If you are unsure of any of the strategies, please do not hesitate to ask us.
Science subject attitude.
At Woodham Walter we encourage the development of positive attitudes to the subject of Science by building on children's natural curiosity and developing a scientific approach to solve problems and questions. We encourage open-mindedness, self assessment, perseverance and responsibility by building our children's self confidence to enable them to work independently and develop their social skills to work co-operatively with others. Teachers aim to make Science an enjoyable experience, so that they will develop and may be motivated to study Science further.
Please see our Science Policy:
Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Curriculum
The Personal, Social, Health and Economic education of our children is of paramount importance to us here at Woodham Walter. We work hard to encourage our children to be confident, respectful and responsible and allow them to have a voice and make a positive contribution. We achieve this through regular Class and School Council Meetings where children can express their worries, ideas or just make suggestions of how to improve our school. From the start of Foundation Stage all children are given responsibilities like delivering the registers to the office or messages to other members of staff, in order that they familiarize themselves with their surroundings and build their confidence. As they get older they are given tasks like collecting the food bins for the compost or looking after the younger children at playtime to ensure the smooth running of the school as a whole and giving them a sense of ownership and self-worth. The children’s work is always celebrated by our hard working and dedicated teachers and TAs through fantastic wall displays in classrooms and throughout the school, and children’s achievements are recognised through the fortnightly ‘Celebration Assemblies’. PSHE is embedded in all areas of learning in our school but is also taught discretely through ‘Circle Time’ sessions and class discussions. As part of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum children are taught about the importance of good health, of physical exercise, a healthy diet and ways to keep healthy and safe. This continues throughout the other Key Stages and as a whole school we hold Healthy School status.
The overarching aim for PSHE education is to provide pupils with:
- accurate and relevant knowledge
- opportunities to turn that knowledge into personal understanding
- opportunities to explore, clarify and if necessary challenge, their own and others’ values, attitudes, beliefs, rights and responsibilities
- the skills and strategies they need in order to live healthy, safe, fulfilling, responsible and balanced lives
This programme of study covers Key Stages 1 to 4 and is based on three core themes within which there will be broad overlap and flexibility:
- Health and Wellbeing
- Living in the Wider World
As part of the children’s PSHE education we have introduced a Life Skills ethos, which will eventually be embedded into every curriculum area to ensure that our children start developing skills they will use for the rest of their lives. The skills we will practise through our everyday learning are RESILIENCE, RESOURCEFULNESS, RISKTAKING, RELATIONSHIPS and REFLECTIVENESS, and the children will be encouraged to identify the Life Skills they are using on a daily basis. We have selected different animals to represent each skill to enable the younger children to relate to them, and all classes will display them on a working wall. This will be added to throughout the year with the children’s examples that demonstrate them.
These skills are also reflected in our Christian values:
RELATIONSHIPS, RESOURCEFULNESS, RISKTAKING Friendship Compassion Forgiveness Justice RESILIENCE Endurance REFLECTIVENESS Thankfulness We will work together to provide an environment where all are guided towards a confident, positive and self-sufficient future.
British Values at Woodham Walter
Through our whole school values, life skills, PSHE and RE teaching we also uphold and promote British Values. These values include:
Our children have a voice through the School Council Representatives who are elected and voted for by the children. Issues may be raised by pupils in assemblies and in Class Council meetings which are then discussed and resolved at regular School Council meetings.
Rule of law
Classroom rules are decided and agreed upon by the children and the importance of them are consistently reinforced throughout the school day. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws and rules, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws and rules are broken.
Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices at our school, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, such as through our e-Safety teaching and PSHE lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, like signing up for extra-curricular clubs, choosing the level of challenge in some lessons and leading the subject matter of assemblies.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy are based around core Christian Values such as ‘friendship’, ‘compassion’ and ‘fairness’ and these values determine how we live as a community at Woodham Walter Primary School. Assemblies are based on both the Christian Values and interconnected ‘Life Skills’ and are central to how we expect everyone to go about their life at our school, demonstrating mutual respect at all times. Both the values and life skills that we promote are visually represented around the school, with examples of how we demonstrate them in every classroom.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society. We learn about celebrations outside of our own culture, such as Diwali, Chinese New Year and Wesak. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. We are very proud to be linked to Mutiria Primary School in Kenya. Linked projects encourage children to consider similarities and differences between our schools and we actively encourage staff visits between the two.