Reading, Writing and Maths

Reading

At Lion Academy Trust our focus on a language-rich curriculum means that Reading is never just limited to Reading lessons. It is essential in every subject we teach and is always about inspiring children to develop a love of Reading. 

It starts with word reading, phonics and early language acquisition when children are just starting to develop reading ability. More complex comprehension skills are then developed through the key stages. 

As always, our key focus on Assessment Proficiency enables children to discuss, debate and engage with texts in a range of meaningful ways. 

How do we teach Reading?

Both in school at home, we want to build a culture of reading for pleasure and purpose. Our approach to reading involves daily sessions incorporating clear adult modelling prior to the children applying these skills through partner work and independent reading. Children deepen their understanding of the challenging texts they read through the systematic use of a series of strategies and language stems. Our approach encompasses the key principles of effective reading provision and fully meets the requirements of the National Curriculum by creating a deep understanding of texts, developing oracy around reading and increasing children’s breadth of reading.

We deliver our reading programme through the Lion Academy Trust reading strategy which is a tried and tested programme that has led to the best outcomes across our schools irrespective of context.

How do we teach Phonics?

For children in the early stages of reading, the school follows the 'Letters and Sounds' Programme.  Click here for more information on the programme. Writing

English is at the heart of all our learning at Lion Academy Trust. A language-rich curriculum is the key to learning in every subject we teach. This belief in the importance of our subject creates a sense of subject identity and a drive to be consistent and collaborative in the way we teach it across our schools. In writing we focus on;

  • Developing basic skills and delivering those through a range of genres.
  • Structuring and sequencing learning so children make rapid progress.
  • Building stamina for writing with regular and meaningful opportunities to write.
  • Making sure children are clear about the purpose of their writing and audiences they are addressing.
  • Giving children Assessment Proficiency which helps them eidt, evaluate and improve their work.

Writing

English is at the heart of all our learning at Lion Academy Trust. A language-rich curriculum is the key to learning in every subject we teach. This belief in the importance of our subject creates a sense of subject identity and a drive to be consistent and collaborative in the way we teach it across our schools. In writing we focus on;

  • Developing basic skills and delivering those through a range of genres.
  • Structuring and sequencing learning so children make rapid progress.
  • Building stamina for writing with regular and meaningful opportunities to write.
  • Making sure children are clear about the purpose of their writing and audiences they are addressing.
  • Giving children Assessment Proficiency which helps them eidt, evaluate and improve their work.

How do we teach writing?

The teaching of English is at the heart of curriculum provision at Thomas Gamuel Primary. Children learn how to read, write and spell in Literacy and Phonics lessons every morning. If required, extra support is provided to pupils through intervention groups in the afternoons.

Our writing lessons are 'skills-based' and are carefully differentiated to meet the needs of all learners. A love of writing is encouraged through engaging and lively texts and stories. We aim to provide our pupils with opportunities to develop core communication skills in every lesson, regardless of the subject. Progress and attainment in writing at Thomas Gamuel is achieved through carefully tailored, high-quality lessons and resources.

We deliver our writing programme through the Lion Academy Trust writing strategy which again is a tried and tested programme that has led to the best outcomes across our schools irrespective of context.

Maths

At Lion Academy Trust our success in Maths is largely down to two things. We use the concrete, pictorial, abstract (CPA) approach that develops a deep understanding of mathematics skills through building on existing knowledge and concentrating our efforts on developing a focused number of key skills. We then owe a great deal to our own Assessment Proficiency concept. Children are encouraged to explain their reasoning, question things they don't understand or agree with and present their views in a structured and logical way. 

The subject really comes alive when they can externalise their thinning in this way and work collaboratively to apply those key skills creatively to real life problems.  

How do we teach Maths?

Children at Thomas Gamuel learn Maths as a discrete subject for an hour a day, as well as in a cross-curricular way, such as during Maths Week when we use Maths in PE, art and other subjects.

We use the Primary Advantage Maths approach in which children learn to use concrete resources, such as counters, blocks, plastic money and number lines, to develop a strong understanding of maths concepts. They then move on to using pictures to help them visualise a concept, before learning to handle numbers in abstract.         

Our aim is that all children enjoy maths and see its value in the real world. As such we focus on maths in a real-life context and fun, problem-solving activities. When children have shown a good understanding of the basic concepts, we stretch their learning by challenging them to explain their reasoning and show a depth of understanding, leading to mastery.

Mental maths is an important skill, taught in short bursts every day. Children are taught strategies to improve the speed of their mental calculations. We emphasise the importance of learning times tables and number bonds.

Homework for Maths is usually set once every fortnight (alternating with literacy), either in homework books or through online resources, such as My Maths. We also encourage parents to spend time every day helping their children learn the times tables and number bonds.