Curriculum overview statement:

Our philosophy of learning, delivered through our broad and rich Grove Road Curriculum, creatively embraces the essence of our vision to instil in our children the knowledge, skills and values to be happy, confident, independent and successful life-long learners.

Reading:

Our reading curriculum rests on the foundations of diverse, inclusive books spines that are used as windows for our children to gaze on wonderful new worlds, doors for our children to enter magical new environments and mirrors within which our children can see themselves. Decoding – including the use of phonic skills – is equally weighted with comprehension and as we ensure that our children master the mechanical aspects of reading whilst developing and refining their understanding of what they have read.

Reading Flowchart


Writing:

Writing is a tool with which we can change the world. Our curriculum provides powerful writing opportunities with which our children can see themselves have a real-world impact. Throughout their time at Grove Road, children will write and publish newspaper articles, distribute wanted posters, write appeals to local MPs and write sagas to retell by firelight – all whilst mastering fundamental writing skills and techniques with a clear purpose and context. This is all underpinned with a strong focus on oracy, where we use the mantra “Good writers always say it first”.

Writing Flowchart


Phonics:

At Grove Road, we have high expectations of all children and the aim of our phonics teaching is to ensure they have a firm foundation on which to build reading skills.

Phonics is taught systematically every day in the Early Years and Year 1 classes. From Year 2, the approach is carried on in spelling sessions and also in intervention programmes for children who need extra support.

High-quality phonics teaching helps children develop their reading, writing, spelling and general communication skills. It helps secure the crucial skills of word recognition that enable children to read fluently, allowing them to concentrate on the meaning of the text. Activities are designed to teach word decoding and recognition skills as well as comprehension skills.

Phonics Flowchart


 

At Grove Road, we have high expectations of all children and the aim of our phonics teaching is to ensure they have a firm foundation on which to build reading skills.

Phonics is taught systematically every day in the Early Years and Year 1 classes. From Year 2, the approach is carried on in spelling sessions and also in intervention programmes for children who need extra support.

High-quality phonics teaching helps children develop their reading, writing, spelling and general communication skills. It helps secure the crucial skills of word recognition that enable children to read fluently, allowing them to concentrate on the meaning of the text. Activities are designed to teach word decoding and recognition skills as well as comprehension skills.

Beginner readers are taught:

  • Grapheme-phoneme correspondences in clear stages (linking spellings and sounds).
  • The important skill of blending (synthesising) phonemes.
  • Segmenting words into their constituent phonemes to aid reading and spelling.

The teaching of phonics is systematic. It follows a carefully structured programme building on previous learning to secure children´s progress in line with the guidance given in ‘Letters and Sounds’. It is taught discretely and daily at a brisk pace. There are opportunities to apply phonic knowledge and skills across the curriculum and in activities such as whole class and guided reading, as well as reading independently. The children´s progress in developing and applying their phonic knowledge is carefully assessed and monitored. This systematic sequencing and cycling is reflected in our Phonics Flowcharts, used by teachers to deliver high quality phonics lessons in school.

We have a consistent and rigorous approach to teaching phonics and refer to the key document ‘Letters and Sounds’ to sequence and uplevel phonics sessions – from Phase 1 in Nursery right through to Phase 6 in Key Stage 1 where children start to come away from phonetic plausibility in favour of spelling strategies. Across Early Years and Key Stage 1, we also love using the Bug Club and Phonics Bug software to support our teaching and home-learning. 

There are a wide range of reading books in classrooms and the school library. The principal reading schemes of the school are Oxford Reading Tree, Bug Club and Accelerated Reader (in older year groups), alongside other schemes so that we can cater for the interests and needs of all our children.  We encourage parents to read frequently with their children using their school reading books and books from home.

We have a consistent and rigorous approach to teaching phonics and refer to the key document ‘Letters and Sounds’ to sequence and uplevel phonics sessions – from Phase 1 in Nursery right through to Phase 6 in Key Stage 1 where children start to come away from phonetic plausibility in favour of spelling strategies. Across Early Years and Key Stage 1, we also love using the Bug Club and Phonics Bug software to support our teaching and home-learning. 

There are a wide range of reading books in classrooms and the school library. The principal reading schemes of the school are Oxford Reading Tree, Bug Club and Accelerated Reader (in older year groups), alongside other schemes so that we can cater for the interests and needs of all our children.  We encourage parents to read frequently with their children using their school reading books and books from home.

Our Phonics Scheme

Phonics Screening Check

Towards the end of Year 1, children must sit the Phonics Screening Check. Within this, they must read 20 ‘real’ words and 20 ‘pseudo’ (made up) words to demonstrate their phonic knowledge and decoding skills. This will always be completed in a safe space with a trusted adult. To find out more about this, please look at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPJ_ZEBh1Bk

In Early Years and Year 1, the children will be learning how to read and spell mainly through learning phonics. From Year 2 upwards, we begin to teach children how to spell using different strategies, through our spelling programme 'No-Nonsense Spelling'.
Our teachers deliver daily spelling lessons and we teach children how to spell using different strategies. We give the children approximately 5 spellings each week to practise during lessons and at home - these are words they have been finding tricky when writing in class. We believe in learning spellings in a practical, specific way, with research indicating that these strategies are much more powerful than traditional methods of learning spellings by rote. 
The learning strategies on the pages below are introduced incrementally throughout our spelling programme and can then be used to support learning spellings at home.

Please look at our No-Nonsense Spelling Pathway for Years 2-6 below.

No Nonsense Spelling Pathway

Our School in Books

Reading diverse, inclusive compilations of books is one of the key foundations of our children’s learning journey here at Grove Road. Children should see books as windows to look through into other worlds, as doors to intrepidly step through into new environments and as mirrors within which they can see their wonderfully unique selves reflected back. Below, we have pulled together a short list of books that we feel represent our school and what we believe we offer to our fabulous children and the wider community. Please speak to your child’s class teacher or our Lead Reader, Mr Harrison, if you would like to borrow any of these to share at home.

Emmett and Caleb by Karen Hottois and Delphine Renon

Love takes many forms and we believe each and every unique relationship should be celebrated. The best relationships are rooted in kindness, empathy and mutual respect, just like Emmett and Caleb’s relationship in this wonderful book. We also believe that every child has their own strengths and passions and that through collaboration we can share these with others whilst discovering more about what makes them awesome.

The Journey by Francesca Sanna:

We are a ‘School of Sanctuary’, meaning that we are committed to “supporting the thousands of young people seeking sanctuary in the UK, creating a culture of welcome, and raising awareness of the issues faced by refugees and asylum seekers” (https://schools.cityofsanctuary.org/). The Journey ends with the family looking into the future with a mixture of trepidation and optimism: we imagine our school lying over the next hill, ready to welcome them into our community with open arms.

I Speak Like the River by Jordan Scott and Sydney Smith:

Everyone, even the quietest individuals, have their own unique voice and we do everything we can to create an environment where they can share it in their own wonderful way. Our specialist on-site unit provides an incredible level of care for very high need, vulnerable children who thrive when they come to us. We understand that, like a river, we often need quieter and louder times and we appreciate that everybody needs to create and travel along their own bespoke path to success.

Yokki and the Parno Gry by Richard O’Neill, Katharine Quarmby and Marieke Nelissen:

Stories are our lifeblood, they’re at the heart of everything we teach, and we love to hear the stories behind our children and their families. Every unit we teach is underpinned by our diverse book spines and we love seeing our children look through books as windows or as mirrors, through which they can see new worlds or begin to understand themselves more deeply.

Maia and What Matters by Tine Mortier and Kaatje Vermiere:

There is so much beauty in the world, but also a lot of sadness – especially at the moment. We don’t shy away from the nitty gritty and those tough conversations, these are the times where children can really open up and discover who they are. We see the greatest levels of beauty and love in the relationships around us, so we put them at the heart of everything we do.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterley, Winifred Conkling and Laura Freeman:

As a school, we genuinely believe that everyone has the capacity to change the world. It is our duty as educators to help children to realise their potential and to thrive, becoming leaders of change and ambassadors of kindness within the community on a local, national and global scale.

Malamander by Thomas Taylor:

Everyone needs to find themselves, but often we need a helping hand: we educators are the Lost and Founders, just like young Herbie. We see beauty in the eye of the storm clouds that can often surround troubled youngsters and we weather those storms together. We also love trying to solve a good mystery!

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson:

Magic and mystery lies at the heart of our experience-led curriculum. We all love surprises, from wooly mammoth stampedes to burning bakeries, and the learning that comes from these experiences is invaluable. We also love exploring the cultures and communities within our diverse school, especially when we get to learn exciting new things! Our school building also has its own weird and wonderful personality, just visit and you will see!

The Midnight Guardians by Ross Montgomery:

Us teachers are so protective of our children. Sometimes we suit up in our armour and fight dragons, sometimes we sniff out challenges and sometimes we grow to our greatest size to give big cuddles when they’re needed (albeit from a distance at present!)

Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston:

This book really celebrates how people can be so much more than they first seem on the surface and how we never give up on each other! Family and friends come first and success comes through hard work and loving what we do. In our school, we believe that every member of our community has an incredible amount of potential and that everyone is an expert in something.

Orion Lost by Alastair Chisholm:

We couldn’t resist including this, simply because we’re immersed in a world of technology that doesn’t always work the first time! Well, that and it shows that children can do so much more when they’re trusted and respected to take on challenges!

     

 

 

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