Learning and Teaching
Trafalgar Infant School offers a rich, varied and exciting curriculum covering academic, creative, personal, social and health education. A balance of adult led and child initiated activities is at the core of our approach to learning and teaching.
Here we provide information on how we teach basic skills. We provide information about our reading scheme, our approach to phonics and our approach to maths. We have also provided information about our curriculum. If you have any questions or would like further information about our curriculum please contact the school office.
Reading at Trafalgar Infant School
At Trafalgar Infant School we encourage children to develop skills and to use the full range of strategies to become successful, fluent readers whilst developing a lifelong love of reading.
As a school we are determined that all children will learn to read, regardless of their background, need or ability and make sufficient progress to meet or exceed age related expectations in preparation for the next stage of their education.
Jolly Phonics is a comprehensive programme, based on the proven, fun and multi-sensory systematic, synthetic phonics method that gets children reading and writing from an early age. This method means that we teach letter sounds as opposed to the alphabet names.
Jolly phonics is systematic as the teaching of the sounds follows a set order and is synthetic as it focuses on synthesising (blending, combining) the sounds.
These 42 letter sounds are phonic building blocks that children, with the right tools, use to decode the English language and subsequently access our full curriculum offer.
In Reception we follow the principles of the Jolly Phonics programme, supported by a range of resources appropriate to the age and needs of our children both at school and at home. Our school phonics programme allows us to deliver an ambitious systematic, synthetic approach to phonics which matches or exceeds the expectations of the Early Years Framework.
In Y1 we continue to use the Jolly Phonics programme and resources in order to embed and build on work from the Early Years Foundation Stage, making sure children can segment and blend unfamiliar words quickly and accurately using the phonics skills that they have already learnt whilst continuing to teach new grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and revising those already learnt.
In Year 2 teachers will continue to focus on developing children’s accurate and fluent word reading skills in order to increase their vocabulary and comprehension skills which will help to develop their knowledge across the wider curriculum.
In addition to our phonics programme we also use a wide range of other resources and strategies across the year groups including small group sessions, 1-1 support and a variety of additional supported reading sessions.
Our Reading Scheme books are organised according to the order in which the phonics phases are taught as well as using National Book Bands in Years 1 & 2. This ensures books are matched to individual children’s ability and are clearly matched to our phonics programme.
Our Reading Scheme books are selected from a range of publishers and contain a mix of genres in order to allow children to access a ‘wide range of high-quality books to develop their love of reading and broaden their vocabulary.’
Phonics at home
Parents are invited to attend an English workshop at the start of the first term which has a phonics focus. Resources from this workshop are also shared via our e-school for parents who are unable to attend.
All of the Jolly Phonics songs and actions are on our e-school which children and parents are encouraged and supported to access from home as are our Tricky Words and sounds of the week. The children also take home a set of sound cards to practise reading and blending and a set of Tricky words.
All children take home 2/3 phonetically decodable books each week along with a reading diary where parents can comment on their child’s reading and phonics practice as well as share other reading activities enjoyed at home.
Year 1 and 2
Parents are invited to a phonics workshop at the start of the year and the presentation from this is available on our e-school.
All of the Jolly Phonics songs, actions and resources remain available to children and parents on our e-school which children and parents are encouraged and supported to access from home. Phonics resources and Common Exception words can also be found in our Y1 Reading Journal and Y2 Reading diary and phonics games and resources are regularly uploaded to our e-school.
All children take home a reading book each day. Books are chosen carefully in order to match the children’s phonic knowledge and to ensure they are reading books at the correct level.
Our Approach to Maths
Lessons are carefully planned to follow the National Curriculum objectives and guidance contained in the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Progress of children’s developing sense of number and calculation strategies is monitored using maths target walls. This ensures that pupils and teachers are aware of the next steps to secure mathematical proficiency. A problem solving approach enables children to recall and apply their developing maths skills.
Alongside the teaching of the basic skills, each year group covers 6 topics throughout the year so they can use and apply all their reading, writing and maths skills.
We have provided more detail about each of the topics below.