Archbishop Courtenay Primary School

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Archbishop Courtenay Primary School

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Characteristics of Learning

The Characteristics of Learning are key to knowing how best to move each individual child forward in their learning and so, our staff take the time to get to know each child and the ways in which they learn best. Teachers plan through working with the children and assessing their needs; they link their teaching to the current interests of the children. When the children’s interests change and develop, the teachers adapt their planning to reflect this and ensure that the environment is always interesting and challenging.

The Prime Areas

  • Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
  • Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
  • Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

These areas are fundamental to children’s development and work together to support development in all other areas and for that reason, in the Reception Year at Archbishop Courtenay, all learning is underpinned by these three prime areas of learning.

The Specific Areas

  • Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
  • Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
  • Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
  • Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

These areas of learning include many essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society. We ensure that all children receive their key learning for Phonics and Maths in groups that are appropriate to their development level; targeted individual interventions delivered to ensure that all children are able to fulfil their potential.

There are 4 key principles that underpin our practice in the Reception Classes at Griffin Primary.

A Unique Child

We recognise that all children are different. We identify and celebrate their strengths and support their areas for development.

Positive Relationships

Our pupils interact well with each other and with the adults in the school. We encourage parents to be involved with their child’s education.

Enabling Environments

Our indoor and outdoor areas encourage exploration, investigation, and independent learning. Our displays and resources are well maintained and reflect current learning.

Learning and Development

Pupils achieve well and make good progress from their starting points. Learning is playful, practical, and purposeful and builds upon prior attainment. Our children enjoy coming to school.

Our main teaching programme for teaching systematic synthetic phonics at ABC is Little Wandle. Phonics is taught daily using a fun and practical approach, this teaching is reinforced in activities throughout the day. We follow Little Wandle for our guided reading sessions. We begin our first reading session with decoding, our second is prosody and our third is comprehension. The children then bring the book home that they have been reading in class to share with their families, the aim is the children should be able to read this with 95% accuracy by the time they bring it home.