Our Approach to Teaching
We teach powerful knowledge so that children can understand, access and influence our society. But we also teach critiques of this knowledge – to give our children an edge and show them that a canon is always up for debate.
We guide learning carefully to ensure that all children can access the curriculum and know it.
We also challenge children to apply their thinking to complex problems to strengthen their intellectual resilience.
In Early Years we teach children to read using the Read Write Inc. system of phonics teaching, providing them with the ability and confidence to sound out both familiar and new words. Children are regularly assessed to ensure they are in the right group for their stage of reading development. When needed, our children are also supported with phonics teaching in Key Stage 1.
In addition to phonics, all children are given the opportunity to learn about literature and poetry; our curriculum is focused on high quality literary texts. We have carefully planned our sequence of core texts to ensure children encounter a range of themes, narrative perspectives and structures, cultures and historical contexts. Texts range from Shakespeare and to Greek myths, to modern classics such as ‘The Railway Children’ or ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’.
Children are directly taught grammar, handwriting and spelling and have regular opportunities for extended writing.
Specific English expertise
Our school is supported in its English curriculum and teaching by our Inspiration Trust English leads, who provide expert advice and guidance to our teachers.
Our maths curriculum is based on the ‘Maths No Problem’ approach and we use their resources and textbooks. The curriculum is based on the evidence-based and highly successful approach developed in Singapore.
We take a mastery approach, where the whole class works through the programme of study together, ensuring enough time on knowledge and concepts before moving on. Ideas are revisited at higher levels as the curriculum progresses through the years, to ensure knowledge is retained.
Features of teaching include:
Access and challenge for all - Tasks and activities are designed to be accessible for children, while still containing challenging components. For advanced learners, the textbooks also contain non-routine questions for pupils to develop their higher-order thinking skills.
Problem solving - Lessons and activities are designed to be taught using problem-solving approaches to encourage children’s higher-level thinking.
Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) approach - Children learn new concepts initially using concrete examples, such as counters, then progress to drawing pictorial representations before finally using more abstract symbols, such as the equals sign.
Variation - The questions and examples are carefully varied by expert authors to encourage pupils to think about the maths. Rather than provide mechanical repetition, the examples are designed to deepen pupils’ understanding and reveal misconceptions.
Our maths expertise
Our school is supported in its maths curriculum and teaching by our Inspiration Trust maths lead, who provides expert advice and guidance to our teachers. We are also fortunate to have the support of the Norfolk and Suffolk Maths Hub (Angles Maths Hub) which is led by Inspiration Trust.
History, geography, religious education and science subjects are taught as individual, weekly lessons. Children benefit from a knowledge-rich curriculum which has been designed by specialist subject leaders and implemented in a thoughtful, coherent way with plenty of embedded opportunities for challenge and creativity.
In order to further enrich children’s learning, staff regularly organise interesting, informative and exciting trips and experiences based on what the children have been learning in class. Further, we regularly invite speakers and experts to share their knowledge with children.