At St Michael’s Junior School we believe English is central to the curriculum, allowing children to access the wider curriculum, and develop skills essential for them to become successful learners at school and in the world beyond.
Our aim, through the school’s enthusiastic reading culture, is to promote children’s love of books and reading for pleasure. By reading a wide range of rich texts and different genres, which provoke a sense of curiosity, fantasy and exploration, and, by exploring texts that allow children to see the world through someone else’s eyes, our goal is for children to become confident readers, effective communicators, and inspired and creative writers.
Reading in school and support at home develops the reading skills which are essential for children to be fluent readers: decoding, word recognition, and an understanding of what has been read. In the classroom, daily opportunities to interact with inspiring texts through either shared, paired, independent or guided reading, enrich the children’s vocabulary, and improves communication, grammar and writing skills. Children have opportunities each week to visit our school library and, either with the support of an adult, or independently, select books to read in class and at home. Within our classrooms there are reading corners, where there are a wealth of books to choose from, and children are encouraged to select books from them to enjoy during the school day. We organise a range of events and activities to promote reading. This autumn, to celebrate National Poetry Day, we have invited the poet P. Lyall to visit our school.
At St Michael’s Junior School, we believe writing is an essential life skill, which provides children with a voice to communicate their own ideas. We aim to give our children a writing curriculum which enables them to become confident, creative and independent writers, and develop writing skills which can be used in learning across the curriculum.
We understand the importance of inspiring children to write; we provide a wide range of quality rich texts to stimulate and cultivate ideas for writing. Our writing journeys incorporate first hand experiences, drama opportunities, vocabulary development, spelling and handwriting skills and, teaching of grammar in context. Children develop the craft of writing, through the rehearsal of writing skills and planning, drafting, refining and evaluating their work. They learn about the styles of a wide variety of established and new authors, identifying and evaluating the choices that authors make to create an effect or response in the reader. Writing for a clear purpose and audience, children generate rich written outcomes in a wide range of styles.
Please see the Year Group Sections below for more information on English
At St Michael’s CE Junior School, we believe that a deep understanding of key mathematical concepts is essential for our children’s future progress. In order to embed this, we provide rich opportunities for our children to use, apply and problem solve using mathematical knowledge and understanding. The National Curriculum programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into distinct areas, but children will make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They will also use and apply their mathematical knowledge within the broader curriculum.
The expectation is that the majority of children will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of a child’s understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Children who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.
“Mathematics is a creative and highly interconnected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.” The National Curriculum 2014
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions
We have been developing our teaching and learning in line with the Mastery Approach and work closely with Talavera Junior School’s Lead Maths Mastery Research Hub ( NCTEM).
What does mastering maths mean?
‘A mathematical concept or skill has been mastered when … a person can represent it in multiple ways, has the mathematical language to be able to communicate related ideas, and can think mathematically with the concept so that they can independently apply it’
We use a Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) progressive approach to teaching new concepts. The Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) is a highly effective way of teaching that develops a deep and sustainable understanding of maths. Whenever a new mathematical concept is introduced, it is done so first through the use of concrete materials, which can be real objects or ‘manipulatives’ such as counters, Numicon or Dienes. This will then progress to be represented by pictures and finally by a number sentence.