The school is committed to delivering a broad and balanced curriculum to all children whether they are in the Foundation Stage, Key Stage One or Key Stage Two. The curriculum is an entitlement and work is differentiated so that it challenges and stretches the brightest child but can also be understood by a child who may find learning difficult and needs extra help to complete tasks.
We aim to put our children at the centre of their own learning and place great emphasis on nurturing skills and attitudes such as resourcefulness, resilience and co-operation. Our teachers bring the National Curriculum alive by making links between the individual subjects and applying them to topics. Themes have included: Dragon slayer, Rotten Romans, Groovy Greeks and Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!
At St Matthew's we value developing pupils’ key skills including communication, reading and writing. We use a wide variety of texts to help develop our pupils reading skills, including Oxford Reading Tree and Tree Tops.
At St Matthew’s we recognise the importance of secure phonic knowledge and understanding and its direct impact on standards in writing, reading and spelling. Across Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Key Stage One (KS1) we follow the Letters and Sounds scheme which consists of six progressive phases. This scheme ensures consistency in pronunciation and a focus on being able to say, write and read the sounds, and therefore is more easily applicable to other areas of the English curriculum.
In Key Stage One, phonics is set into ability groups which enables pupils to work in small focused groups and work directly on their next steps. Pupils are regrouped regularly and tested every half term in order to inform phonics assessment and planning. An intervention programme called ‘Sound Discovery’ is also used in Key Stage One for children who are not yet able to access letters and sounds. The repetitive nature of these scheme in particular helps to accelerate progress in reading.
The best elements of SALLEY (Structured activities for language and literacy for the early years) are used in Nursery to teach the phonological awareness skills before moving onto Letters and Sounds: it focuses on key language development and the initial and end sounds of words.