At SMSJ, we combine our ambition for students to achieve outstanding academic results with an emphasis on children, developing and practicing our core values of Wisdom, Service and Hope alongside the other Christian values including those of friendship, compassion, respect, tolerance, forgiveness, thankfulness, perseverance and humility.
In Reception, we follow the Early Years framework. Lessons are planned based on the children’s needs and interests. At this age your input is essential, therefore we offer an online assessment profile which means you can see exactly what your child has been doing in class and also contribute by describing learning they have been completing at home.
To support the Early Years framework curriculum we teach all the objectives through interesting and inspiring topics. These are evaluated each year and developed as well as changed mid-year depending on children’s individual interests and needs. We run a structured day for Reception children with daily Essential Letters and Sounds phonics lessons and daily Maths sessions, however we also have valued continuous provision time. During the continuous provision, children complete a range of child initiated activities to enable them to apply key skills they have learnt in all areas of learning and practice their Early learning goals. Interventions are set up to support children and every child’s needs are catered for during this time.
Key Stage1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 (KS2)
We aim to make our children’s learning experiences varied and inclusive; achieving high standards, particularly in English and Mathematics, remains our main objective. We place particular emphasis on the acquisition of basic skills, but also provide excellent opportunities for Sport, Languages, Music and Art. SMSJ has the highest expectations for all children and all are provided with opportunities to discover and develop their own unique talents, particularly around a specialism of Performing Arts.
A detailed curriculum has been planned and designed by the Headteacher, Leadership Team and Subject Leaders, with input from the teachers to ensure it extends children’s core skills in reading, writing and Maths but also allows them to master key skills in other areas of the curriculum, such as History, Geography and Science. We have detailed progression of skills documents to ensure that each year group builds upon prior learning. Retrieval practise and precision teaching are key strategies we use to support children’s development. Developing children’s key vocabulary is a priority of ours and is a part of every lesson.
Phonics and Reading
At SMSJ, we follow Essential Letters and Sounds established across Reception and KS1. Children are organised into groups which ensure the teacher can plan for the specific needs in their group. In Reception, we have daily phonics lessons as well as daily writing and reading sessions. Child initiated writing in Reception is promoted and we love seeing the progress the children make so quickly in this area.
We are incredibly passionate about the teaching of reading. The children begin in Reception and KS1 with Essential letters and Sounds learning the basics of fluency, however we focus on bringing those lessons to life with creativity and getting children excited about the text through a scheme called Power of Reading. The Power of Reading puts quality children’s literature at the heart of literacy learning and is built on years of research and best practice. The programme develops teacher subject knowledge and supports your school to raise engagement and attainment in language, vocabulary, reading and writing and meet all the requirements of the National Curriculum. Children take books home which match their reading level through a programme called Accelerated reader and they are assessed which ensure the children truly understand the books they are reading and match their ability accurately. We ask that parents read daily with their children, as we strongly feel this is the most important thing for their development.
In KS2 children have whole class reading sessions based on Reading explorers which are again taught to develop children’s reading comprehension skills. This focusses on teaching children key reading skills such as inference and comprehension. These lessons are creative and active, allowing children to really love to read. Teachers also read 1:1 with children once a fortnight and write in the children's online reading record so parents are aware of their targets.
At SMSJ we use White Rose as a whole school tool for teaching Maths. This enables us to teach the children core mathematical skills alongside a mastery approach where children develop their reasoning, fluency and problem solving skills.
Please read our curriculum Maps below to get an overview of what is being taught across Neale house (Year 1 to Year 4)