Please find below our Curriculum Rationale. Our Curriculum Overview details our thematic approach to teaching Science, History, Geography, Art and DT. The Year Group Curriculum Maps show what we are learning in the other Core Subjects (Reading, Writing and Maths), the other foundation subjects (SRE, IT, Music, PE, RE, MfL), and where we can make links across the whole curriculum.
Phonics at Willow Brook
At Willow Brook we deliver a daily reading programme called . It is a well-established programme at our school which allows the children to feel successful and make quick progress on their journey to becoming a fluent reader. The children are placed in small groups matched to their reading ability rather than their age. Each group is led by an experienced adult which allows all children to achieve their potential. Each week the children take home their RWi book to consolidate their reading skills, as well as a home reading book from other reading schemes to complement the sounds they have learnt so far.
The children start on the RWi programme in Term 1 of Reception, starting with introducing a sound each day (grapheme phoneme correspondence GPC), building up to blending the sounds to read words as well as using their GPC knowledge to write simple words. In some cases our Nursery children and introduced to the pure sounds in short session if appropriate to individual children.
All children are individually assessed on a termly basis and then regrouped accordingly. If children need extra support on top of their daily RWi lesson, daily phonics interventions are put in place to fill in any gaps in their sound knowledge.
Once the children complete the RWi phonics programme most children will embark on our Accelerated Reader programme at the start of Year Two and continue in Key Stage Two.
If you would like more information, please speak to any member of teaching staff.
Reading at Willow Brook- Rationale
As part of our Read Write Inc. Phonics programme children read books, in school and at home, that are matched to the sounds they are being taught in class. The learning follows the progression maps from RWi.
Children who have completed the programme move on to Accelerated Reader. Children choose and take home books within their reading zone and then take an online quiz which lets them know how well they understood the book.
We run a daily whole class reading session where children listen to, read and engage with a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books. Every session has planned opportunities to develop vocabulary and fluency and a focus comprehension skill is taught weekly on a rotating half termly programme.
Teachers read class books daily to the children during reading lessons and storytime. We have selected our progression in books thinking about the quality of language, female/male authors, those from other cultures and a mix of classic, older and newer authors.
Writing at Willow Brook- Rationale
At Willow Brook, we write for one of four purposes across KS1 and KS2
To Persuade (KS2 only)
To Discuss (UKS2 only)
We seek to enable children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes by ensuring that they have access to a range of high quality model texts that children can immerse themselves in and use a model for their own writing. We use high quality children’s literature that links to our Connected Curriculum themes.
In Reception and Key Stage 1 children also follow the Read Write Inc Get Writing! activities. This gives each child the knowledge, ability and confidence to write words and sentences in small steps before progressing onto longer, more complex sentences and paragraphs.
Handwriting is taught during the Read Write Inc lessons each morning where the focus is on correct letter formation and size. We then teach a cursive handwriting style from the summer term in Year 2 all the way through to Year 6 where children begin to develop their own style based on the joins learnt from a young age.
We use ‘No more marking‘ to compare our writing to other schools throughout the year. This allows us to compare our children’s independent writing against a national sample of over 150,000 pupils.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
At Willow Brook, we teach grammar, punctuation and spelling in a consistent and structured fashion. Weekly grammar lessons are held covering areas that link to our type of writing. This enables the grammar taught to then be used in context. We ensure that grammatical concepts are revisited and built upon from year to year and that we regularly and accurately assess the progress and attainment of our children.
We follow the Spelling Scheme provided by Spelling Shed to ensure that our children learn to spell words in a way that meets the requirements of the National Curriculum. Teachers set weekly spelling lists and test children each week on them. We record progress by assessing children’s recall of set lists of words, including spelling rules and words from English Appendix One of the National Curriculum, on a termly basis.
Mathematics at Willow Brook
At Willow Brook as part of our Trust TKAT, many of our primary schools are in partnership with Ark Curriculum + to deliver the Mathematics Mastery Programme; we follow the Mathematics Mastery progression maps. These are avialable from your class teacher. Teachers draw on a range of resources we have available to create the best possible learning environment for our pupils, moving the children from the stages of concrete to pictorial and lastly to abstract.
All classes complete daily Early Bird Maths, with Age Related questions that focus on previously taught concepts to enable children to revisit their learning daily.
Each Mathematics Mastery lesson, from R – Y6, is provided in a six-part lesson structure. The Dimensions of Depth underpin the six-part lesson. Each part provides opportunities to focus on conceptual understanding, language and communication and mathematical thinking for the mathematical concept being covered.
• Do Now: This is a quick five-minute task that all pupils can access without any teacher input as an introduction to the mathematics lesson.
• New Learning: The New Learning segment introduces the lesson’s main mathematical concepts.
• Talk Task or Let’s Explore: The Talk Task or Let’s Explore is a chance for all pupils to practise using mathematical vocabulary related to the lesson’s concept.
• Develop Learning: This segment builds on the New Learning and develops a deeper understanding of the maths concepts of that lesson. It also addresses misconceptions or inaccuracies discovered during the preceding segment.
• Independent Task: The Independent Task provides pupils with the opportunity to practise the learning from that lesson. This may be independently and/or in pairs/small groups.
• Plenary: The Plenary segment recaps on the lesson, checking understanding and celebrating success.
In Reception we adapt the six-part lesson model. Instead they follow a gradual approach through a child-initiated model or a focus group model.
Wider Curriculum Documents
We are currently redeveloping our wider curriculum documentation. Please see the documents below and for any further clarification, see the appropriate Subject Leader.