To meet the requirements of the National Curriculum, all classes in Key Stage 1 and 2 follow some pre-planned topics.
The ‘topic-based’ approach to the curriculum which we follow at Sharp Lane Primary means that wherever possible, we group our subjects around a broad theme. The topics we choose depend on three factors:
The National Curriculum sets out the minimum content. At Sharp Lane Primary, we make sure children learn lots of additional skills, knowledge and understanding. For example:
Not all subjects can naturally ‘fit’ within a topic and so these subjects are usually taught in a discrete way. Religious Education does not usually link with a topic and so it’s taught separately. Not everything in Maths links effectively with a topic and so this often runs separately, but links are made whenever possible.
Problem-solving and thinking skills: Another aim of our teaching is to build children’s confidence to investigate and find solutions to problems and to think for themselves. There are many ways to build up skills in this area. For example, we might do this through lots of positive reinforcement and encouragement, teaching step-by-step problem-solving techniques, and indirectly by using role-play or other realistic problems to reach agreement.
If you require further information regarding the curriculum please contact Amy Watkins Curriculum lead on the e-mail below.
Click on the links below to see the 'end of year expectations 'in the core subjects for each year group:
Teaching of Phonics
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read and write. It is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate sounds and understand the link between the sound (phoneme) and the way it is written (grapheme).
At Sharp Lane Primary school, we follow the Letters and Sounds programme. This is a phonics programme in which individual letters or letter sounds are ‘blended’ to form groups of letters or sounds, and those groups are then blended to form complete words. We supplement this teaching with strategies from Jolly Phonics to support the children learn the letter sounds effectively.
Children throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1 take part in daily phonics sessions. These focus on developing reading, writing and speaking and listening skills. The ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning.
Children are also taught to read and spell ‘tricky words’ – words with spellings that are unusual. These include the words ‘to’, ‘was’, ‘said’ and ‘the’. ‘Tricky words’ are ones that we can’t sound out and blend – so these words just need to be remembered.
Here are some of the terms you may come across in our phonics work:
vowels – the open sounds / letters of the alphabet: a,e,i,o and u
consonants – sounds/ letters of the alphabet that are not vowels.
blend – to merge individual sounds together to pronounce a word, e.g. s-n-a-p, blended together, reads snap
cluster – two (or three) letters making two (or three) sounds, e.g. the first three letters of 'straight' are a consonant cluster
digraph – two letters making one sound, e.g. sh, ch, th, ph.
vowel digraphs – two vowels which, together, make one sound, e.g. ai, oo, ow
split digraph – two letters, split, making one sound, e.g. a-e as in make or i-e in site
trigraph – three letters making one sound eg igh, ure, air
grapheme – letter or a group of letters representing one sound, e.g. sh, ch, igh, ough (as in 'though')
mnemonic — a device for memorising and recalling something, such as a snake shaped like the letter 'S'
phoneme — the smallest single identifiable sound, e.g. the letters 'sh' represent just one sound, but 'sp' represents two (/s/ and /p/)
segment (verb) — to split up a word into its individual phonemes in order to spell it, e.g. the word 'cat' has three phonemes: /c/, /a/, /t/
enunciation – articulating words and letter sounds clearly and distinctly
Hints and tips
Try to say the short, pure sound of the letter, not the letter name. This will help children when they come to blend words together. E.g. the letter names dee-oh-gee don’t blend together to make ‘dog’. Please check your class webpage for links to videos demonstrating the correct enunciation of pure letter sounds.
Read regularly with your child - Encourage children to recognise sounds and as they grow more confident, encourage them to blend the sounds together and to read sentences independently.
When you are reading to your child, emphasise the rhyming words and ask what is special about them.
Initial letter sound hunt – Say a sound to your child and see if they can find something in their house that starts with that letter. This also works well with ‘I spy’ but remember to use the letter sound and not its name.