Literacy is a fundamental area of the Curriculum and is not only taught as a subject in its own right, but is developed and practised throughout all areas of the curriculum. It includes Speaking and Listening, Phonics, Reading, Writing and Spelling.
Speaking and Listening
The development of speaking and listening skills is at the heart of the teaching and learning of reading and writing. We aim to teach children to communicate effectively. Children need to be able to speak confidently and by doing so their learning is improved. An important way in which we learn is by listening in order to absorb new ideas, and by talking about new experiences and situations. Opportunities are given for all children to join in discussions and to share their opinions and experiences with each other and with their teachers. Activities such as ‘circle time’ and cross-curricular tasks give ideal opportunities to develop these skills. We recognise drama as a valuable teaching method, which can be used across the curriculum to develop imagination and understanding. We use the “Talk for Writing” approach which follows the philosophy that if a “child can’t say it then a child can’t write it”. Prior to some writing activities children will be given a talk task to enable them to develop the vocabulary and sentence structure required for the written activity. Parents can become involved in this through the “Talk Homework” which is provided from time to time. For more information please refer to the “Big Talk Parents Leaflet”, available from school.
One of the greatest gifts we can give a child is the ability to read. We believe that reading should be an enjoyable activity and our approach to reading is based on this. At Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 there is a great emphasis on the teaching of phonics and the 100 most common sight words through a fun and interactive approach. We aim to develop a love of reading at home and school so the children will bring a range of books home on a regular basis with guidance for parents provided by the class teacher. In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, shared and guided reading sessions take place frequently to develop the children’s decoding and comprehension skills.
More information is provided in the “Phonics Information for Parents Leaflet and how to support your child’s reading development”, available from school.
In Key Stage Two, guided and reciprocal reading takes place each week. Children regularly complete comprehension activities based on the text they are reading. A great deal of reading is required by, and developed through, other subjects and daily classroom life.
All classes have a library time, when children can select a book to take home and spend some time browsing and listening to a recorded story. We have fiction and non-fiction library books which children can use to support their work in school.
Children have the opportunity to read a variety of texts such as leaflets, children’s newspapers, comics, advertisements, notices, signs and labels. Reading is promoted wherever possible. World Book Day each year is celebrated and we have author visits and fun activities to promote enjoyment through reading.
Children write to express their emotions, to convey their thoughts and opinions and to present evidence of research. By developing these skills, we can encourage children to use writing across a range of curricular activities in which they are involved. We aim to develop within our children an ability to write effectively in various forms according to purpose and audience. All attempts at writing are valued from early mark making in Reception as we know that all children have the potential to be successful writers. The compositional and transcriptional skills are taught alongside the creative aspects. Immersion in reading and talk as preparation for writing is essential to the writing development process. Through shared, guided and independent writing sessions children are taught to use a range of punctuation, connectives, sentence openers and vocabulary in their writing.
Children follow a personalised spelling programme and cursive handwriting is taught in both Key Stages. More information is provided in the “Big Writing Leaflet”, available from school.
Maths is taught in line with the Jersey Curriculum. However, Early Learning Goals and the National Numeracy Strategy all allow staff to plan, teach and assess maths throughout the school. Essentially, Maths is broken up into the following key areas of learning, namely number, shape, space, data and measures, where skills are taught separately and applied to real life contexts.
Mathematics is taught as a discrete core subject but every effort is made to link maths with other areas of the curriculum. In the Foundation Years, these links are more evident because of the nature and structure of the planned day. St Luke's also aims to draw children’s attention to the links between maths and other curricular work so children see that maths is not an isolated subject.
In preparing children for the real world, we are aware of the role that mental maths skills and calculators play nowadays and accordingly make every effort to ensure that our pupils are proficient at using these. Where mental maths is concerned, we teach these skills on a daily basis.
It remains our ultimate aim to ensure our children not only have the mathematical skills needed for later life but also to promote confidence, competence, enjoyment, enthusiasm and a fascination about maths itself through practical activity, exploration and discussion.
Science is about children asking questions about their world and finding answers through first-hand experience.
Science has been accorded much more importance in the last few years; it currently stands alongside Literacy, Mathematics and I.C.T. as one of the core subjects in the Jersey Curriculum. The following areas of study are set out:
- Science investigation
- Life and living processes
- Earth and environment
- Materials and their behaviour
- Energy and its effects
Within each of these areas there are different levels appropriate to the age of development of the child. Your child will usually experience these areas through the planned programme of learning for his/her age group with an emphasis on practical investigations and observation.
A special aspect of the life and living processes section is sex education. The nature of reproduction is introduced in Key stage 2, usually as part of a biological topic. In Years 5 and 6 the subject is returned to again, helping children prepare for the changes of adolescence. Parents have the option to view all materials before these lessons take place.