Parent Information

Hard copies can be requested from the school office.

Reading

Reading is one of the strongest predictors of both academic and life-long success. To reflect this, reading weaves throughout our curriculum, giving children many opportunities to develop reading in a purposeful and engaging way. At Westvale Park, we believe passionately in the importance of developing a love for reading whilst ensuring that all children develop the skills they need to become confident readers of quality texts, with a deep understanding of the written word. We believe that learning to read enables pupils to read to learn effectively, and supports them in fostering our value of curiosity. Our children’s journey in reading begins in our Early Years and Key Stage One classes where children are taught using the ‘Read, Write, INC’ phonics programme. Children are taught a progression of sounds, their corresponding graphemes and how to blend together with the help of ‘Fred the Frog’. Every child will be regularly assessed in phonics and reading and grouped accordingly, they will be taught to blend sounds together out loud, and then in their heads to allow them to read unfamiliar words. The children will follow a progression through different coloured books that match the phonics sounds and blends they have been learning in class. Children will bring home books to read with parents. The books contain sounds, green words and red words to practise, as well as the story/non-fiction text to read.

We encourage children to read as much as possible, but recognise that sometimes, reading everyday can be tricky. We therefore expect children to read ‘5 out of 7 days’. We will celebrate children who read ‘5 out 7 days’ on a regular basis.

UK research demonstrates that no single pedagogical process suits every child at every stage of development, so we will personalise provision where required, using a multisensory approach to learning prerequisite skills in literacy. Westvale Park Primary Academy and Nursery will ensure that phonological awareness is a strength of all pupils by supporting this from nursery through games, rhymes, singing and the online platform ‘Reading Eggs’ for home learning.

Classroom environments will be rich in high quality children’s literature. Children will be immersed in books and stories, and teachers will model a passion for all types of books. They will read regularly to students so that – whilst ICT will be an important teaching and learning tool – pupils will not lose sight of the printed word. Where ICT can be used to accelerate learning or support pupils at risk of falling behind, teachers will take the required steps in modifying the learning experiences for those pupils to ensure progress is maximised. Careful attention will be paid to ensuring that each classroom is supplied with the best children’s literature, as well as books selected from the best reading programmes. Books will be provided at all appropriate reading levels to ensure that there is the correct level of challenge for all pupils. Assemblies will also offer opportunities to share rich texts. Children will have the opportunity to visit our well-stocked library during the school day. They will be encouraged to borrow books using our electronic library system. We will raise the profile of reading across the school community by offering reading workshops throughout the year. We will take part in World Book Day and children will participate in reading challenges. During their time at school, children will have the opportunity to be transported to magical worlds through reading, and we will devote time in the school day to promote reading for pleasure. Through encouragement, children will read a wide range of texts including fiction, non-fiction, magazines, and children’s newspapers, in order to expand their understanding, vocabulary and knowledge.

Westvale Park will not wait until children are fluent readers to teach comprehension skills; this will be taught alongside phonics. In the early years, this will be achieved predominately through discussion and questioning, when sharing books. Beginning at KS1, children will have daily guided reading sessions to build reading stamina and develop comprehension skills.

Writing

In dedicated English lessons, spelling, punctuation and grammar will be taught in engaging, relevant ways through a variety of genre, which will then be reinforced in a cross-curricular fashion through other subjects, especially through Paragon.

In Nursery and Reception, children focus on pre-writing skills to build their muscle strength and coordination using programmes such as “Dough Disco”. By the end of Reception, they will be starting to form most letter shapes recognisably and will be beginning to understand that we can use writing to convey meaning, possibly in the form of a short sentence or caption. Our Read Write Inc. programme, especially the letter shape rhymes and “Hold a Sentence” strategy, will help them with their earliest sentence writing.

In Key Stage One, children focus on mastering the basics of writing (letter formation, simple sentences and basic punctuation). We will use “Colourful Semantics” which colour code different parts of a sentence so children understand which ingredients a sentence needs. With these building blocks in place, in Key Stage Two, pupils will develop and refine their ‘writing voice’.

By exploring a wide range of genres, studying different authors and being exposed to guided writing, children will develop both their skills and knowledge of writing. Children will also have the opportunity to write for a variety of purposes and in real-life contexts, ensuring they foster an enthusiasm for writing.

Teachers will select texts that may be relevant to our school themes to make learning purposeful and relevant. Most units planned will use Talk for Writing so that children are able to learn a text before applying their skills and knowledge. Using the Talk for Writing approach, children learn a model text and then gradually innovate the text to create their own piece of writing, based on the original one. This allows children to have a scaffold to support their writing and removes ‘blank page’ syndrome. Using this approach, children are able to learn transcription skills and apply stylistic devices to it.

Numeracy

Maths is all around us. Learning to understand the number system is one of the most important things that any child will do at our school. So much learning depends on a secure grasp of number and we will prioritise giving children opportunities to deepen their understanding. Our goal is for all children to be confident mathematicians and resilient problem solvers who can access a wide range of mathematical contexts and clearly articulate their reasoning.

Our pupils will foster a real love of numbers and to establish children as lifelong problem solvers, in an ever-changing world. We promote both individual depth of knowledge and collaborative, problem solving skills. We set a high profile for maths in our school and everyone across the school community will help promote its importance.

Lessons are planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before. Additionally, teachers plan lessons that cater for different styles of learning and abilities. Physical resources (e.g. Numicon, Dienes), pictures and numbers are used alongside each other to support the children’s journey from concrete, to pictorial and then to abstract. Real life contexts will give maths purpose for pupils, as well as ensuring that it is engaging. We will ensure a mastery approach is taught with plenty of variation, so that children embed what they have learnt before moving on.

Staff will refer to the Calculation Policy when teaching formal methods, understanding that sometimes children have their own efficient methods that they employ. Workshops and online tutorials will be offered to parents so that they can support their children at home.

Fluency lesson starters, including times table practice, will be included in every maths lesson, and all children will have access to interactive resources where they can compete against other pupils in school and at home. Problem solving will be evident in weekly plans, in which teachers use ‘low floor, high ceiling’ tasks to cater for all abilities and teach explicit problem-solving skills e.g. working systematically, trial and improvement.

Numicon is an approach to teaching maths that helps children to see connections between numbers. Westvale Park will use Numicon from nursery onwards to support children as they learn early maths skills. It is a multi-sensory way of learning, which means each child will learn by seeing and feeling. We will also use materials from White Rose Maths to assist in sequencing our maths lessons to ensure a strong sense of number from EYFS onwards.

Science

At Westvale Park it is our vision to instil a lifelong love of science within our pupils. From Year 1 up to Year 6 our pupils will build up a body of concepts and knowledge, largely through exploration, where they are encouraged to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about scientific phenomena. They will learn how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and to analyse causes. We will make links to other subjects, which aids children’s knowledge and understanding, not only of the topic they are studying, but also of the world around them.

Students at Westvale Park will follow the ‘Science Programmes of Study’, as laid out in the National Curriculum. Science will be taught weekly, to ensure coverage and progression. Where possible, science will be linked to the Paragon learning theme.

Most Science Knowledge Organisers will include the essential facts about the topic, usually laid out in easy-to-digest chunks; key vocabulary or technical terms and their meanings; images such as maps or diagrams and; famous quotations, if relevant. We will send the Knowledge Organiser home with the children at the start of each unit.

Geography

Children will study geography through Paragon. They will become knowledgeable about the countries (including the United Kingdom) and continents of the world, including their location and context. They will also study their locality at an appropriate level so that they are aware of their surroundings and the context in which they live.

History

Pupils will study history through Paragon. They will learn about chronology, about place and time, cause and effect, and will use a wide range of source materials to build a picture of the past.

RE

Religious Education at Westvale Park will be concerned with the deep meaning that individuals and groups make of their experiences and how this helps them give purpose to their lives. The purpose of RE is to help pupils reflect upon the experiences and the mysteries of life, and the contribution of religious and spiritual dimensions. We believe that Religious Education is an essential component of a broad and balanced education.

At Westvale Park, children learn about religions, including Christianity and other religious traditions represented in Great Britain. In these studies, they will learn about and understand beliefs, teachings and sources, religious practices and ways of life, and ways of expressing meaning.

At Westvale Park, children learn from religion. This includes expressing ideas and insights into questions of identity, diversity and belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, values and commitments. They recognise the right of people to hold diverse beliefs and values, and to develop positive attitudes of respect towards other people.

Curriculum planning reflects a good balance between theology, philosophy and human science. Pupils will be able to engage with religious text and theological ideas. We will follow the ‘Surrey Agreed Syllabus’ that introduces Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. They will develop age appropriate skills of enquiry, critical analysis and interpretation, and benefit from wider opportunities (such as visits from and to religious institutions) to enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

Computing

Westvale Park will feature-rich multimedia to supplement all facets of learning — Maths, Science, English and the Paragon curriculum — and infuse technology into experiential activities. In-class computer usage improves learning in two main ways. Firstly, computer software allows frequent monitoring of pupil progress at individual and class levels. Secondly, it enables children of different abilities to work at levels that both challenge and support them.

We will provide pupils with keyboard and mouse skills so they can make full use of computers for a range of curriculum applications, including English and Mathematics, where Reception level software will support core skills development. Paragon is taught using ICT and the children need to research projects using ICT. There will be an opportunity for pupils to build up their own e-portfolios (Interactive Paragon Journals: IPJs) and we will teach e-safety right from the start to safeguard well-being when pupils are online. Our school ICT solutions will include fast broadband internet access with a tuneable filter.

The computing curriculum sequence pacer will ensure coverage of skills that are progressive and challenging for all children. Teachers will benefit from the 2Simple programme of study on Purple Mash. This resource will enable children to access the computing curriculum at school and at home.

Design Technology

Taught through Paragon, Design Technology (DT) is a fascinating area for students of all ages. We will exploit this interest by ensuring that pupils have opportunities not only to link the subject area with life, which is becoming richer by the day due to technology of all kinds, but also to develop an appropriate level of understanding, for example by linking the characteristics of materials to their common uses. Together with computing, this subject area serves all parts of our curriculum and we will use transferable skills’ development in aspects such as problem solving and collaborative working. Westvale Park will have a specialist room to ensure that children have the space and tools to carry out DT safely and with the right equipment. Opportunities to cook in school will be offered, from Nursery.

Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

From Reception onwards, pupils will study French and the lifestyle of French people, particularly the children of France. The teaching approach will be conversational with the youngest children, leading to reading and writing as pupils’ confidence and knowledge grows.

Physical Education (PE)

Westvale Park will focus on the development of gross and fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and suitable game skills. There will be a keen focus on health and safety, whilst always allowing children to enjoy all aspects of PE to the full. Westvale Park will encourage healthy competition and allow pupils who are gifted in this area be recognised. With our Growth Mindset approach to learning and life, children will know that trying their best will lead to greater enjoyment and performance improvement. We will promote healthy lifestyle choices and community engagement through our teaching of PE. Beginning at KS1, children will learn swimming and water safety.

Arts

Through the Paragon units of study, pupils will have opportunities to develop their creativity, skills and self-expression through, for example, music-making, drama and painting. Westvale Park will follow subject pacers to ensure coverage of skills and rates of progress, always following National Curriculum objectives. For music Westvale Park will follow Charanga, a digital teaching platform, until we grow further and employ a music specialist. Westvale Park will use ‘Sing Up!’ to ensure that good quality singing is part of the everyday life at Westvale and can be used to celebrate different festivals throughout the year. In addition, the arts will be used as a tool to promote community cohesion and wider experiences.

Personal, Social Health Education

At Westvale Park we will follow the Jigsaw scheme of work. Jigsaw is a mindfulness- based approach to delivering PSHE lessons, which is DfE 2020 compliant for delivering effective RSHE. Jigsaw provides a scheme of learning from age 3 and aims to prepare children for life, helping them to value who they are, and understand how they relate to others in an ever-changing world. SMSC and British Values are mapped into each lesson.

Early Years Curriculum

Reception classes will adopt enquiry-based learning approaches throughout the curriculum. The Paragon topics are a fitting vehicle for the application of EYFS areas for learning, both Prime and Specific. We will be early adopters of the new GLD reforms.

Communication and Language

Children’s learning and competence in listening and attention, understanding, and speaking will be developed and extended through a language-rich environment and opportunities to listen, for example, to rhymes and familiar stories, and will be encouraged to use their skills in a range of situations and for a range of purposes. We will place emphasis on parent and carer engagement by providing the home with an appreciation of our approach to developing communication and language skills.

Physical Development

Pupils’ physical development will be encouraged through the provision of opportunities for active and interactive learning, including play. Westvale Park’s Foundation Village will support the development of both fine and gross motor skills. Healthy choices in relation to lifestyle and food will be encouraged.

Personal Social & Emotional Development

Pupils will be provided with experiences and support to help them to develop a positive sense of themselves and others, while improving social skills and emotional literacy. Our curriculum will pay close attention to equipping children with the strategies to self- regulate and build resilience from an early age. As pupils mature physically and emotionally, our focus on pupil leadership will support and inspire the development of character and leadership skills.

Literacy

Children’s learning and competence in reading and writing is essential for underpinning development across all areas of the curriculum in the primary phase, therefore, in the Early Years children will have access to a wide and stimulating range of materials. They will be taught how to link sounds with letters in order to build words and they will be exposed to a broad range of sight vocabulary. They will listen to stories and poems and share non-fiction works. Parents will be encouraged and supported to develop learning further at home.

Mathematics

Pupils will be supported in developing their understanding of maths in a wide range of contexts in which they can explore, enjoy, learn, practise and talk about their increasing understanding. They will be provided with opportunities to practise and extend their skills in these areas and to gain confidence and competence in their use. We recognise that Mathematics and Numeracy can sometimes seem daunting and therefore we will make our approach learner-friendly, memorable and therefore highly effective.

Understanding the World

Pupils will develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to make sense of the world around them. This learning will be heightened through opportunities for pupils to understand and use technology, study organisms, people and objects in their natural environments and in real-life situations, and to undertake practical experiments and investigations, including working with a range of materials.

Expressive Arts and Design

Pupils’ creativity will be nurtured via the provision of support for their curiosity, exploration and play, including opportunities to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of artistic, musical, movement, role-play and discussion activities, also via whole-school productions.

Paragon

At the heart of all Aurora schools is the innovative Paragon curriculum, a highly engaging, interdisciplinary social studies programme that allows students to learn about the history of great ideas and heroes in British and world culture. in a hands-on approach involving integrated art and technology. Paragon provides a multi-media, student-centred, personalised approach to learning that combines constructivism with rich content. The innovative experiential, technology and art-based opportunities encourage many non- traditional learners to participate actively in the learning environment. Experiential-based learning is all-encompassing, and draws students to the excitement of the activity. Paragon’s hands-on, cooperative learning helps to build confidence and problem-solving skills by immersing students in active, fun decision-making environments. This innovative curriculum and academic approach successfully increases student achievement. The school will offer MFL from Reception, continuing through the Primary.

Paragon:

  •  contains teacher overviews with comprehensive support materials
  •  involves web-based lessons utilising the strengths of Touchscreen technology
  •  uses selected high quality appropriate video clips, music and art-history links

and engaging graphics

  •  anchors deep pupil mastery of content with an immersive learning environment
  •  combines cultural literacy with hands-on learning
  •  builds community through Paragon Events
  •  connects across the curriculum
  •  meets National Curriculum requirements
  •  cultivates emotional intelligence and a sense of purpose and passion
  •  inspires pupils to become the conscious architects of tomorrow

In the Primary phase, Paragon enables pupils to take a school wide, activity based, chronological journey through the history of great ideas and heroes in world culture. Children step into the shoes of heroes and everyday people in their total immersion, inter-disciplinary learning experience. Each of the six units culminates in a Paragon Event where all pupils show-case their learning for parents and members of the community.

Reception

Children in Reception follow the normal school day. The teacher and teaching assistant (TA), though, will be mindful of the needs of the young child and will pace the day accordingly. Early Learning Goals from the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, will be used to establish expectations for children to reach and, in some cases to surpass.

During this first school year, children are encouraged to use a range of ways to master basic skills and find solutions to problems, through purposeful play. As the year proceeds and the children get to know each other, they learn to get along effectively, to negotiate the use of shared space and materials, to care for one another, and to ask each other thought-provoking questions. These components – learning by exploration and interaction with materials and the social learning that comes from being a member of a busy engaged classroom community – are the foundation for all future school learning.

The six Paragon themes for this year group, each lasting approximately five/six weeks, are child-centred and ask the following questions:

  •  Who Am I?
  •  What is a Family?
  •  What is a Home?
  •  What do clothes teach us about people?
  •  Why do people create art?
  •  How do people live today?

The enquiry-based learning engendered by the Paragon topics lends itself very well to the application of the EYFS areas for learning.

The prime areas of learning:

  •  communication and language
  •  physical development
  •  personal, social and emotional development

The specific areas of learning:

  •  literacy
  •  mathematics
  •  understanding the world
  •  expressive arts and design