Getting started at Longmeadow
Most children start learning full-time in Reception from the end of the first week in September. We support their transition to school with some "getting to know you" sessions in the summer term, and during the summer holidays so that they are confident to start straight away.
Children in Reception class learn reading, writing and early mathematics daily. PSED (Personal Social and Emotional Development) and CL (Communication and Language) are taught across all lessons. Children learn through a combination of adult-led activities and independent learning through play (continuous provision). We are lucky to have a very large Reception area so that each lesson includes opportunities for children to play outside and engage in creative activities.
In all year groups we have worked hard to develop exciting topics which teach children about the wider world they live in, while also taking advantage of all the things to do and see in Trowbridge.
We have an enquiry approach to our topics which enables children to build skills and understanding before applying them to a challenge a the end of each unit. Wherever it is appropriate we link subjects in cross curricular units.
For example, in our Year 1 Topic "Homes" children will read and retell the story of the Three Little Pigs in their English lessons. In humanities they will learn about the different kinds of buildings and houses in our local area. In science lessons they will investigate different materials and why they are used in buildings. They will apply their learning in a DT project at the end of the unit, to design and build model houses which the wolf can't blow down.
We use a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. We use White Rose Maths and Mathematics Mastery resources. This means that we use concrete and pictorial representation of numbers and concepts to help children understand more deeply and we spend time on each maths topic so that key ideas are thoroughly embedded.
Reading and Phonics
We teach phonics skills twice a day from the start of Reception to Year 2, following progression outlined in Letters and Sounds. Phonics is taught in sets so that children are able to work in groups with others who are at the same stage. Once children have mastered phonics they learn spelling rules and patterns from the National Curriculum. We have 3 short spelling sessions each week in which we teach the spelling pattern or rule, to enable children to practice and then to apply the spelling. Children learn spellings for homework and are tested each week.
We teach reading every day and for early readers use Big Cat phonics books. Once children's knowledge is secure we use Reading Recovery book bands to measure children's progress. Children are taught in guided group work in Key Stage 1 and through whole class reading sessions in Key Stage 2. Teachers hear children read individually and we are lucky to have a number of volunteers from our community to support with hearing readers.
We teach handwriting focusing on correct letter formation from the start of Reception. From the end of Year 2 children begin to learn to join their writing.
We are very proud of how hard our children work. Each term we invite parents to a sharing learning session to see what their children have learned. these will either be an open classroom event, in which children show and talk about their learning, or a class performance assembly.