The 2014 English National Curriculum is followed from Year1 to Year 6 and the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is followed in Nursery and Reception.
At Galton Valley we are passionate about empowering children to become lifelong readers and therefore, the learning and teaching of reading is embedded in every area of the curriculum. Our curriculum allows the children to have opportunities to apply and continue to develop English skills in a fun, engaging and meaningful manner. Reading skills, such as decoding, word recognition, phonological awareness and fluency are explored explicitly during daily phonics lessons in Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, and continue to be built upon during Key Stage Two. We follow the synthetic phonics programme of ‘Little Wandle’. During regular whole class Big Reading, book talk is used to practise a range of reading strategies to develop phonological awareness, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, grammar, attitude and motivation. In small group guided reading sessions, we focus upon explaining vocabulary, retrieving key information and interpreting the meaning of texts. Children explore a wide range of genres, fiction, non-fiction and poetry, exposing them to a broad and balanced range of text. They are given opportunities to discuss the purpose of texts that they explore as well as consider both the texts’ themes and audience but, above all, they are encouraged to enjoy books in order to develop a love of reading.
Our writing model is taught through a specific writing journey, beginning with sharing a high-quality text. First, we look at what makes the text effective, identify key features, explore the language, and teach age-related grammatical features. This is then followed by giving the children short writing opportunities to rehearse and apply the features identified in the text. By the end of the teaching sequence, the children will have planned and written an independent piece of extended writing which shows evidence that they have applied all of their newly acquired skills. Editing and re-drafting time is given throughout the writing process so that their piece of writing is ready to be shared and reviewed.
We follow Kinetic Letters handwriting scheme, which incorporates exercises to develop the core strength needed for writing. During the sessions, children spend time practising letter formation to develop flow and fluency in their writing as well as revisiting skills such as pencil grip and the correct writing position.
We follow the Spelling Shed spelling programme for Year 1 to Year 6 and teach strategies to help children become independent spellers and confident when applying these rules in their independent writing across all areas of the curriculum.