Teaching and Learning

Phonics

Phonics is learning about the names and sounds that letters and groups of letters make to facilitate reading and writing.

At Whetley Academy we use the Letterland programme alongside Letters and Sounds to promote achievement in Phonics in Key Stage 1. Please click on the link below to find out more about Letterland. The Letters abd Sounds Progression document at the foot of the page details Age Related Expectations in Phonics, there is also an example of a Year 1 Phonics Teaching Sequence.

Letterland - Parent Guide 

High Frequency Words

As well as Phonics it is important that children learn a sight vocabulary of words that appear frequently in reading, we call these high frequency words. The children will learn these daily in Phonics and Guided Reading. Children will also have a Rainbow Word Book that they will bring home everyday, this will give them the opportunity to practise the words at home for 5 minutes everyday. Our aim is that children will learn High Frequency Word recognition a year ahead of Age Related Expectations; eg at the end of Year 1 children will know all the words expected for Year 2. As children learn the words they will be rewarded with certificates and prizes in class to encourage them. Please click on the document below to see High Frequency Word Progression which details the words children will learn in each year group. 

Reading

Children should bring their book bags into the classroom everyday for younger children the teacher will select a book that is well matched to their phonic ability for them to practise throughout the week.

For older children they will select books for a selection that is matched to their assessed ability using the colour book bands. These books are colour coded according to the level that your child is reading. Children can change their book as often as they like and they can also select as many books as they wish. The books are an opportunity for children to practise their reading at home with you and enjoy sharing a book with their family.

Reading at school consists of small group Guided Reading sessions and whole class Reading Comprehension sessions. Children identified as needing intervention are targetted for Daily Reading. Children are assessed regularly to encouarge them to move up through the colour bands using PM Benchmark, Rising Stars and Reading Plus and rewarded with certificates and prizes.

Writing

At Whetley Academy there a number of approaches we use to make writing fun and give children the skills they need to write to entertain, persuade, inform and discuss; in short, children are learning to write for a purpose.

Children learn how to retell and create texts orally using well structured sentences with a high level vocabulary. At Whetley we have created a specific writing process that we have tailored to suit the needs of our students.

Alan Peat Sentence Types

Alan Peat has designed a range of sentence types that children learn to include in their writing. These sentence types give children a scaffold for structuring their writing.

For more information about recent developments in the teaching of English and how you can support your child at home please visit the National Literacy Trust

Literacy Trust

Maths

The current National curriculum document says: ‘The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.’ (National curriculum page 3) 

Calculation Policy and Powermaths

Working closely with other schools within our trust, Whetley Academy have created a calculation strategy. This strategy enables pupils to have a consistant approach to learning written and mental calculation. As well as this, Whetley Academy use Powermath to teach Maths. Powermaths is a DfE approved scheme that:

  • Provides differentiated work to ensure all students make progress in each lesson
  • Encourages the use of manipulatives
  • Exposes the students to all three components with Mathematics (fluency, problem solving and reasoning)

Homework

At Whetley Academy we have developed homework with key skills in mind. Children will recieve a homework menu with a range of activities that they can select from to complete independently or with a family member.

Reading is a priority our aim is to inspire children to read and love books. Talking about stories that they have read or you have read to them is as important as reading the words. Students can also access their Rising Stars or Reading Plus Accounts from home and results will be automatically sent to the clas teacher.

Students are encouraged to take part in weekly TTRockstars battles. Not only is this really fun, but it also provides students with confident knowledge of all the time table facts.

Students also have access to Education Shed where they can complete Maths and Spelling activities from home.

Foundation Subjects

At Whetley we want to ensure that all students have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. As a result, regular time is given to teaching the foundation subjects. Some of the subjects that your child will take part in are: Art, DT, History, Geography, R.E, Foreign Languages (Spanish), Music, ICT, PSHCE and SRE.

Links to our Long term plans can be find at the bottom of this page.

Enjoyment of learning

We extend our pupils horizons through the curriculum by a variety of enrichment activities and participation in sports, performance and the arts. Visits, visitors are regularly arranged to enthuse pupils’ love of learning.

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