This page provides prospective parents and visitors with a glimpse into our Ivybridge Curriculum.
Ivybridge parents are also given termly planners outlining the learning opportunities provided in each year group every term.
Detailed knowledge organisers are also available on request.
In our language rich school, as a National Curriculum Core subject, Literacy has a key position in the school curriculum. The ability to develop the use of the English language is crucial for each child’s education. It is the main medium through which the rest of the curriculum is learned and taught and the major means by which children interpret the world around them and communicate with other people. Literacy is taught as a discrete subject but cross-curricular links are developed and encouraged, often through the rich text which is leading the Creative Learning Journey for that term.
- articulate children who are able to express their thoughts and feelings both orally and in the written form
- fluent readers with a love of literature and an ability to use books well
- children who write accurately with a sound knowledge of phonics, spelling rules and correct grammar
Ivybridge Reading Programme
Early Reading Books are graded books into different levels of difficulty – based on phonic knowledge at the appropriate level – these are colour coded. The books provide a range of reading – including a mixture of reading scheme and ‘real’ books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Once pupils have reached an appropriate level of independent reading then they move onto the Accelerated Reader programme – based in the School Library. This grades all the books into a step-by-step approach to reading. Pupils take the half-termly assessment (STAR Test) and this guides them to the ZPD which is appropriate for them. Each book builds up their knowledge of phonics, key words and other reading skills and concludes with a quiz. The programme provides ongoing assessments in the way of vocabulary/word counts and reading ages.
We promote a holistic approach to reading here at Ivybridge, heavily reliant upon phonics but also utilizing sight vocabulary and contextual reading clues in order to cater for the needs and learning styles of all pupils. The use of progressively organized ‘real books’ rather than a reading scheme is to encourage a love of reading as well as promoting progressive competence in a systematic and coherent set of steps.
Songs and rhymes
In our language rich environment, the learning of reading begins with a focus on rhymes/rhythms, alliteration, voice sounds and incorporating outdoor learning and the sounds within the environment. This also includes oral blending, segmenting, and vocalizing of initial sounds. The pupils also experience ‘book language’ – turning the pages, discussing the illustrations, making predictions and talking about whole stories.
In our school we begin the pupils’ more formal reading experiences by utilizing the Jolly Phonics scheme, following an initial baseline assessment. This incorporates initial phonemes and the multisensory use of actions. The programme also involves letter formation, blending, identifying sounds in words and tricky words which are learnt by sight.
As the pupils learn the letter/sound correspondence (phonemes) the programme builds on the listening skills learnt in the previous year – each sound is introduced with a story and associated with an action, songs and puppets are used to engage pupils and the multisensory approach is continued with tactile work in sand, playdough and as part of the outdoor curriculum.
The pupils are then initially taught to blend through games, rhymes and opportunities for oral experiences. They listen, repeat and have chances to write in structured and unstructured situations, as part of their indoor and outdoor creative curriculum. Identifing sounds within words is also achieved through a variety of appropriate activities including free access to a range of reading materials and books.
Building on their sound knowledge of phonemes and phoneme blending, at this stage pupils begin the formal, progressive reading programme at Ivybridge Primary School.
The pupils begin the phonics in Year 1 with a significant recap of their Jolly Phonics phases. The phonics sessions are short repetitive daily sessions. The pupils record their work in a variety of different ways – including their Phonics Booklets. Following this consolidation period Letters and Sounds phases 3, 4 and 5 are introduced.
Pupils can select an appropriate level reading book ( red, yellow, blue and green level books – from a variety of reading schemes such as: Oxford Reading Tree and Rigby Star ) and use a reading log to record their own reading – this is also reinforced with home reading. All pupils read 1:1 with a teacher each week. When the pupil is confidently reading at green level then an AR STAR test guides them onto the correct level of books within the AR programme.
The phonics screening test is administered in June for all Year 1 pupils and a few of the returning year 2 pupils.
The pupils begin the year with phase 6 of Letters and Sounds (using suffixes and prefixes – rules/how they change the meanings of words/verb tenses). This is a daily session of about 20 minutes – short and repetitive.
Any pupils who are behind or did not achieve the Phonics Screening Test are taught in intervention groups and previous L & S phases are revised. At this stage pupils have entered the systematic graded system of ‘real’ books in our school Library (Accelerated Reader). A half-termly STAR test will generate each pupils ZPD (and a reading age for tracking purposes) – the pupils are then able to choose from the wealth of quality books in the school library – teachers and trained pupil librarians are on hand to help guide their choices.