Return to School Posted: 6/05/21
We are so excited to have all the children back in school. Read the exciting changes we have made to our timetable to welcome you back.
We have made some important changes to the curriculum so we can spend longer on some of the key skills we feel the children need to practise, but also because we feel that this will help the children to feel positive about their return, as they will see improvements very quickly.
We are relaunching our very successful handwriting programme across Key Stage 1 (KS1) but will also be using it in Key Stage 2 (KS2). This is an area we have identified as an area of concern, because we know how much harder it has been for children to practise their writing and continue to have the stamina of writing required.
From Year 2 upwards we will be launching a new spelling programme which enables children to practise words that they individually struggle with. They will practise 10 words a week, within a 30 minute daily time slot and evaluate if they have learnt them by the end of the week. A range of fun activities have been planned to support children with learning key spelling rules they may have forgotten. For now, they will not be bringing home spellings for a test (as they will be working on their own individual ones) for the next four weeks. Once we have analysed the impact of this programme we will update you with how we will be sending spellings home.
Year 1 and Year 2 students have all been assessed on their phonics knowledge and Reception pupils will be assessed when they return. This means our Read Write Inc lessons will start immediately and children can continue to practise their reading and writing skills. From Year 2 upwards, they will also have a regular whole class reading session. This allows children to really focus on their comprehension skills which we have identified as an area which we can offer children support with.
Children will be having a 30 minute Mental Maths lesson every day to practise some of the key number facts, such as number bonds and times tables. We have ordered special arithmetic books and exercises for children to work through which are differentiated to suit all abilities. We will also be launching Times Tables Rockstars. This is a wonderful online game to help children learn their timetables. We have a display going up in school and children can earn rewards and prizes.
We are going to spend the next four weeks recapping place value and the four main calculation methods. Children will spend a week each on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. This is to ensure children feel confident with these skills. For children who show they know how to solve these calculations they will be given exciting challenges and problems to solve using these basic skills, to ensure they can apply them effectively.
DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) and Story Time
We will be working to promote children’s love of reading. After lunch each day, children will have time for independent reading of books of their choice. This will also give children who have access to Nessy, to use this time to complete their 10-15 minutes on this reading programme. We will also be prioritising story time in class.
We know how much the children have been missing their friends. Therefore, we are adding in Social Skills lessons to focus on their play skills. These will be structured sessions where children will have the chance to play physical games, imaginary games and learn board games. They will also be taught key skills such as taking turns, communication, empathy and managing feelings of frustration. We feel these sessions are going to be integral parts of the week. In EYFS, the focus will also be on the children’s personal, emotion and social development, as well as their communication and language. Exciting role play areas will be prepared for the children to enjoy.