Parents & Carers’ Guide to the Year Ahead

‘Staff share leaders’ enthusiasm, ambition and unwavering commitment to pupils and their families. Pupils thrive in a culture where the school motto of ‘Believe, Achieve, Shine’ weaves through every aspect of the school.’

Ofsted, February 2019

This guide to the year ahead is designed to give parents and carers an insight into what the school will be focussing on this academic year and what our key priorities are, which form part of our school improvement plan. After an extremely successful year gaining many awards including our outstanding Ofsted Judgement in February 2019, we continue to develop our teaching and learning approaches and plan exciting things for our children to experience ensuring that we give them the best possible start to their education.

Our Curriculum

As always, we aim to provide a rich and diverse curriculum this year which promotes a love of learning, equips pupils with core knowledge and skills and provides them with exciting opportunities to engage and inspire them to become lifelong learners. They include the following:

Our LUNAR Curriculum

Our Lunar Curriculum involves lots of cross-curricular working using exciting topics to engage our pupils and concludes with the pupils creating an end-product to present their learning. We will be continuing it this year and will continue our focus on our ‘Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills’ which we would like the pupils to develop which they will use both in their secondary education and beyond. They are as follows: Independent enquirers, Creative thinkers, Reflective learners, Team workers, Self-managers and Effective participators and communicators. Please talk to your child throughout the year and ask what they’re learning in school and what skills they have been using. There will also be opportunities throughout the year to come into school and find out what your child has been learning and about the different methods and strategies that we use to teach your children through termly stay and play and parent insight mornings. Please look at your weekly newsletter for more information.

Maths

Within early years, our pupils follow a mastery-based curriculum which was written by our very own Maths Hub North West Three. This ensures that our pupils are developing fluency, reasoning mathematically and problem solving (three aims of the maths national curriculum) all whilst making connections which leads to deeper and more meaningful learning. During termly stay and play sessions, you will have the opportunity to look at how we have ensured that pupils have lots of opportunities to practise their maths skills within the provision.

Y1-Y6 follow the Maths Mastery programme which has been developed by Ark Academy and is rolled out nationally. Again, this framework is a great tool to ensure that the three aims of the national curriculum are met. Our highly skilled teachers ensure that the plans and activities are matched to pupil needs which leads to excellent outcomes. There will also be a big focus on times tables as at the end of the academic year Y4 will sit the national times tables test. Please make sure your child is accessing TT rockstars at home and that you are giving your child plenty of opportunities to practise their times tables- journey to and from school are a great time to do this!

English

This year we continue to focus on our reading and writing process. Staff have been trained to think about the most important components of writing such as process, language choices etc and how best to communicate these to the children. We have also spent time thinking about writing for pleasure and how children should be developing their own style and so as a result of this, we have introduced #freewritefriday. During the week, we will be putting into practice our new skills but Friday is a chance for pupils to apply their skills using their own ideas and most importantly to learn that writing is fun. Please ask your child about this and what they have been writing about in #freewritefriday.

Within reading, we are encouraging pupils to develop a pleasure for reading as this is a crucial part of reading but also developing technical accuracy by focussing on ensuring that our pupils understand what they have read, that they can discuss their reading and answer questions based upon the text. We will be using our online programmes (Reading Egss for KS1, Reading Plus for KS2 and our online library), so that pupils can further develop their reading outside of school- pupils particularly enjoy this activity as it is designed to be fun with lots of games and activities.

A Scholastic book fair will take place in school in the Autumn Term. The children will have the opportunity to look at different books and buy one should they wish. This will be in April. We will also be celebrating National Poetry day and World Book day later on in the year.

We will continue to have a whole school focus on spelling and will revisit key spellings from Y1 to Y6 on a termly basis to measure progress. We will have a whole school focus on oracy in all lessons and try to weave as much speaking and listening into them as possible.

We encourage you at home to practise reading with your child on a regular basis, not only will this increase their vocabulary and develop their understanding of texts- it will also help to inspire their writing!

Religious Education

Church services take place throughout the year. More information on this can be found in the Worship section of this website. Children will continue to have worship in class. They will also have the opportunity to evaluate worship and take part in spontaneous prayer. Regular religious education sessions enable the pupils to develop children’s understanding of Christian and other world religions.

Assessment

Children will be assessed during three assessment periods in the school year: autumn, spring and summer. Parent interviews will be held online until further notice. If you are unable to access our online platform, an alternative will be offered.

Modern Foreign Languages & Cultural Education

KS2 children will benefit from specialist Spanish teachers teaching them for 1 hour each week focusing on the development of speaking and listening skills- they also learn about Spanish culture and how it is similar but also different to English culture. Throughout our curriculum, children will develop their understanding of the life children lead across the world through focus days. We will invite visitors from other faiths into school to work with our children. Through our ’50 things you will do before you leave St Mary & St Thomas', children will have the opportunity to develop their social and cultural understanding. Please ask your child about what they have enjoyed taking part in so far.

Personal, Social and Health Education

Y5 will attend Crucial Crew learning about safety. KS2 pupils will have the opportunity to take part in cycling training. Y4, 5 & 6 will take part in SRE lessons. The health and wellbeing of our pupils is paramount and the staff and wellbeing team provide support and intervention through the curriculum and when necessary through targeted interventions.

Music and Performing Arts

Brass band lessons will be available for Y4 and Y5 pupils for one hour each week and Y6 pupils who wish to carry on with Brass. From January onwards there will be a Music and Performing Arts club, run by Mrs Parry to help our children prepare for the Trust Arts Festival which will take place in the Summer Term.

Physical Education

Our specialist PE & Sport coach will work with all our children to raise standards in this area. Sports competitions and swimming lessons have resumed this year.

Extra Curricular Activities

After school clubs have resumed this Academic Year.

Parent/Carers

Events for Parents and Carers, such as Family Learning, Parent Insight Mornings and Stay and Play sessions have now resumed.

Priorities for 2021-22

Build further on our effective emotional, mental health and wellbeing provision to ensure that post-COVID-19 school closure:

  • Pupils are emotionally and mentally well-equipped to learn, addressing any barriers or repercussions of the virus
  • Parents and carers are emotionally and mentally well-equipped to support their child(ren) in their emotional, mental and academic wellbeing

Build further on our effective quality of education for English to improve pupils? achievement in reading, so that:

  • All pupils make strong progress in relation to their prior attainment and capabilities
  • By the end of EYFS, the proportions attaining the expected standard are broadly in line with national averages
  • By the end of KS1, the proportions attaining the expected standard and greater depth are at least in line with national averages
  • By the end of KS2, the proportions attaining the expected standard and greater depth are above national averages

Build further on our effective quality of education for English to improve pupils? achievement in writing, so that:

  • All make strong progress in relation to their prior attainment and capabilities
  • By the end of EYFS, the proportions attaining the expected standard are broadly in line with national averages
  • By the end of KS1, the proportions attaining the expected standard and greater depth are at least in line with national averages
  • By the end of KS2, the proportions attaining the expected standard and greater depth are above national averages

Build further on our effective quality of education for Mathematics to improve pupils? achievement in arithmetic, reasoning and problem solving so that:

  • All pupils make strong progress in relation to their prior attainment and capabilities
  • By the end of EYFS, the proportions attaining the expected standard are broadly in line with national averages
  • By the end of KS1, the proportions attaining the expected standard and greater depth are at least in line with national averages
  • By the end of KS2, the proportions attaining the expected standard and greater depth are above national averages

Build further on our effective quality of education by delivering a broad and balanced curriculum (The Lunar Curriculum) that it is ambitious and designed to give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged and those with SEND, the knowledge, skills and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. Throughout the delivery of this curriculum, we expect that:

  • All pupils make strong progress in relation to their prior attainment and capabilities
  • By the end of KS1, the proportions attaining the expected standard and greater depth are at least in line with national averages
  • By the end of KS2, the proportions attaining the expected standard and greater depth are above national averages

Build further on our effective quality of education for pupils in the EYFS so that:

  • All pupils make strong progress in relation to their prior attainment and capabilities
  • By the end of EYFS, the proportions attaining the expected standard are broadly in line with national averages

Build further on our Christian distinctiveness as an outstanding Church of England Primary School by:

  • Implementing a shared distinctive Christian vision underpinned by bible teaching
  • Opportunities for children to develop their own spirituality by leading acts of worship
  • Demonstrating faith in action (Courageous Advocacy)

To continue to improve attendance and punctuality so that whole school attendance is at least in line with the national average and the % of persistent absence is below the national average