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Teaching at St Matthew's

Teaching Methods
There are two registration groups (classes) in each year group and the teachers involved plan meticulously to meet the needs of your child and to satisfy the requirements of the National Curriculum.  Teachers may work with their own class or they may work with children from the whole year group.  There are times when an individual child or a small group of children may work with a teacher or learning support assistant away from the classroom.
On some days you will find children from one class working on different activities at the same time, equally you will see formal whole class teaching taking place.  The key to which method is used in our school is a combination of the needs of the children and the requirements of the subject being taught.  We will always attempt to match our teaching to the learning styles of our pupils.
Pupils are set by ability in Mathematics and during the daily Maths lesson will be placed in one of two sets. The pupils cover the same syllabus but the work covered is closely matched to the ability of the children.


The National Curriculum and organisation of Learning
At St Matthew’s CE (Aided) Primary School the programmes of study for all the compulsory subjects of the National Curriculum are followed.
The National Curriculum, which was introduced by the 1988 Education Reform Act requires schools to teach four core subjects – English, Mathematics, Science and ICT and six “foundation” subjects – History, Geography, Art, Music, DT and Physical Education, Religious Education, and Modern Foreign Languages. In this school the language taught is Spanish. These subjects are taught in every year group from Year 1 to Year 6
In our curriculum planning we produce schemes of work which identify appropriate content, teaching and learning activities in each subject area to meet the Attainment Targets and the Programmes of Study as laid down in the Statutory Orders for National Curriculum Subjects. We always endeavour to ensure that activities are matched to the individual needs, development and ability of the children.
As far as possible a cross curricular, thematic approach, consistent with recognised good practice, will continue to be used in all year groups. Please see class pages on this website for termly information for each year group.
*Please note our current curriculum is currently under review as there is a new National Curriculum for September 2014.


Literacy and Numeracy
All children have a daily Numeracy and Literacy lesson. Maths and English are also taught through other subjects as part of our cross curricular topics.
Our approach to the teaching of reading is through group guided reading in class but there are also individual programmes for children who have not yet achieved at least an average standard in reading. Phonics is formally taught through class lessons in Reception to Year 3. All children are taught spelling as a weekly activity. The school has an agreed approach to the teaching of writing known as ‘guided writing.’


Information Technology
The school has a computer suite with at least one computer per child for class lessons. In addition there is a trolley of 30 netbooks with a wireless connection which can be used in classrooms. Computers are used to teach computer skills but also to enhance learning across the curriculum. Children have class lessons to be taught computer skills but also apply those skills in other subject areas.
Information technology also facilitates children using many other equipment such as cameras, visualisers, recording equipment and sound equipment


Children’s progress is assessed against attainment targets and will be formally reported to parents in two Parent Consultation meetings per year and one detailed written report. Informal consultations may take place at other times. We also arrange sessions where parents can come and look at their own child’s work with their child acting as a guide.


Enriching and Extending Learning
In addition to the compulsory National Curriculum Programmes of Study, the school has a comprehensive programme of enrichment activities. These include:
·         Residential trips in Year 4 and Year 6
·         A programme of day trips, visits and visitors in every year group
·         Clubs and groups that meet at lunchtimes and after school
·         Small group musical instrument lessons (for which an extra charge is payable
·         Pedestrian and Scooter training has been provided for the whole school.
·         Themed days such as World Book Day
·         Inter school activities with our feeder infant school/ local secondary school
·         Activities linked to topical events such as the Olympics


Children’s Involvement in their Learning
Wherever possible the school looks to involve children in their own learning. We are developing a Growth Mindset philosophy in school this year. The school considers that this motivates and inspires children to achieve their best and to develop positive attitudes to future learning (see Growth Mindset page under the parents heading).


SATS KS1 and KS2
At the end of year 2 a set of tasks and tests are incorporated into the curriculum to assess the children’s level of ability.
At the end of year 6 the children are externally tested in Maths, Reading, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. These SATs allow comparisons to be made against local and national standards.