Teaching and Learning

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We aim to provide a rich, structured and caring environment offering a varied and balanced curriculum with equal opportunities for everyone. All pupils are encouraged to acquire skills and attitudes that will enable them to realise their full social and educational potential. The outcome will be confident, valuable and caring members of society with a continuing thirst for knowledge. 

The teaching and learning at Irchester Community Primary School will ensure that all pupils are:

  • Successful learners
  • Confident individuals
  • Responsible citizens

Our Curriculum

We plan to inspire, enthuse and engage children in their learning by starting any topic with what they already know and what they want to find out. We take their questions and plan the learning together. We bring learning to life through practical experiences, special visits and visitors, STEM activities and using ICT and the creative arts.

We plan units of work based on prior assessment of what the children already know and identify, with them, what they need to learn next.

Every day we teach reading, writing and numeracy skills which are applied across a range of engaging contexts often related to real life experiences.

Early Years Foundation Stage

In the Early Years Foundation Stage the children are taught to develop characteristics for effective learning: playing and exploring, active learning, plus creating and thinking critically.

The curriculum is organised around the three prime areas of learning and four specific areas of learning.

Prime areas of learning:

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Physical development
  • Communication and language

Specific areas of learning:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

The curriculum is delivered both indoors and outdoors.  Opportunities are provided for children to learn in a variety of ways, guided and independent.  We build on children’s prior knowledge, skills and understanding and ensure equality of access to all areas of learning in a high quality learning environment.

Key Stage 1 and 2

In Key Stages 1 and 2 we teach a curriculum based on knowledge, skill and understanding of the essential skills for learning and life: literacy, numeracy, ICT and personal and social skills.

These skills are applied through creative units of work that engage children in the study of the national curriculum subjects: Science, Art, Design Technology, History, Geography, Music, Physical Education, French and Religious Education.

These units of work are linked through an overall topic title incorporating the foundation subjects when appropriate, although some lessons may be taught as discrete units of work. The topics are based on a two year cycle to cover the requirements of the National Curriculum and County RE Policy.

Phonics, Spelling and Reading

From Foundation Stage onwards phonics is taught using the Letters and Sounds synthetic phonics programme. Once completed the children move onto the support for spelling programme in Key Stage 2.

To support reading development we use a range of reading scheme books that are graded according to the book band colour system. In addition to reading regularly with an adult in school the teacher leads guided reading sessions with groups of children to focus on a particular reading skill.

Independent readers in Key Stage 2 move onto the accelerated reader scheme. Where reading scheme and library books are graded and have an on line quiz to be taken once the book has been read. Using information generated by the software, teachers help the children select books that are difficult enough to keep them challenged, but not too difficult to cause frustration. In addition, it helps them to monitor each child’s vocabulary growth, literacy skills development and reading skills.

All classes have a weekly library session with our trained school librarian. In addition to their reading book they take home a library book too.

We regard learning to read as an essential skill for every child, so in Year 1 if a child has not acquired early reading skills they join the Reading Recovery programme. They read for half an hour daily with our specialist Reading Recovery teacher for 20 weeks.

Science specialism

Please refer to our Lab 13 menu option in the Hoem Page.

We are the only primary school in Northamptonshire to have a scientist in residence working in our own Lab_13.

Assessment

Every child’s progress through the national or EYFS curriculum is monitored against age appropriate national standards and expectations. We assess every child’s level of attainment against these standards every term and targets are set for all children to promote good progress. Key Stage 2 children are engaged in regular review of their learning through an assertive mentoring scheme which includes judgements on both academic achievement and attitudes to learning. These are discussed with the child and shared with the parents at consultation evenings.

Regular marking of children’s work identifies areas for improvement and ways children may achieve their learning targets. Children are then expected to work on the suggested improvements.

On line Learning

The school has a secure on line learning platform which can be accessed via this website (DB Primary page) using a password. Every class has a class page which includes additional curriculum information and access to online resources to support learning.

We take e-safety very seriously. At the start of each year children are taught an e-safety unit, sign the e-safety rules and have ‘alert’ buttons on their class pages. Parents can access useful support information using the ‘think you know’ web site.

Click here for the 'ThinkYouKnow' website

My maths is an online maths support programme through which the teacher sets lessons and activities for each child to complete at home or at school outside lesson time.

We make provision in school for those children who do not have the access to the internet at home.

Extra-curricular opportunities

We offer a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities; some provided free by staff, others by private providers.


A range of STEM clubs: e.g. science investigations in Lab 13, code club to learn computing and my maths club.

A diverse range of sports:  e.g. Indoor Bowls, Dance, Cheerleading, Taekwondo, and Badminton.

In year 4 all children have the opportunity to spend a term learning how to play an instrument. Peripatetic music teachers come into school to teach individual and group lessons on a range of instruments. We have a very successful choir with over 50 members.

Home Learning

Children are encouraged right from the start, to do some home learning in partnership with parents.  This may take the form of sharing a book with an adult, learning to do a coat up, or learning new words and sounds.

Later on there will be reading, tables and word or spelling practice to do at home. We ask parents to help each child to have success in home learning by providing encouragement, support if necessary, and a suitable place to work. Children unable to complete work at home are given the opportunity to complete the work in school.


Class pages on the learning platform have a ‘homework help’ button for parents, offering guidance and support.