Approaches to Teaching at Woodthorpe Community Primary School

Woodthorpe's Curriculum

Learning together we will . . .

Understand and accept the rights and responsibilities of being citizens of the future

Be able to adapt to new challenges and offer enterprising solutions

Be active contributors to the wider community

Be ambitious and take pride in our achievements

Achieve high standards in all areas of the curriculum

Develop ourselves as courageous, self motivated, independent and collaborative learners

Value and care for others in the local community and the wider world

Achieve our full potential as well rounded individuals

We will discover, value and enjoy our diverse society

. . . Learning together.


Following extensive research and consultation with a variety of educational consultants and the school community, we have designed a curriculum which will deliver our vision for all Woodthorpe Learners.

For several years we have been working alongside Jane Reed on developing a Learning Centred Community. Up until recently, Jane worked for The Institute of Education. She now works as an independent educational consultant and we are delighted that she has agreed to work directly with our school this year.

We also have the pleasure of working with Will Ryan. Will has worked in schools for over 30 years, both as a head, local authority advisor and independent educational consultant. In recent years Will has written a number of highly regarded books and has been a huge source of inspiration and support for our school. Will has help us create a curriculum which is unique to Woodthorpe and will continue to advise us in the coming years.

Finally we shared our ideas for the curriculum with our stakeholders. A group comprising of governors, parents, local community organisations, teachers and most importantly children have spent time discussing the curriculum. The views of the group were then used to further develop the curriculum.

Approaches to the Curriculum

At Woodthorpe Primary School it is our mission to provide a curriculum which is engaging, exciting and relevant for all learners in the 21st Century. We teach a curriculum based on the skills that the children need to acquire in order to be successful in each subject. Alongside this children are given opportunities to develop learning attributes that will support them throughout their lives.

Each half term the children embark on a journey in which they will be encouraged to choose the direction of the learning. The destination of the journey will be decided upon by the children and be in response to the learning that has taken place during the half term.

An example of your child's curriculum journey planning can be found in their Year Group section on the site.

Here is an example of the Curriculum Journeys your child will be embarking on throughout the year.

Whilst it is our aim to deliver a curriculum that is interesting, relevant and fun, we recognise that on occasions certain skills must be taught within 'stand-alone' lessons. Basic English and Maths skills are essential to all children.

Details of how we approach the teaching of these can be found below.

For more details, please talk to your child's class teacher, or alternatively download the relevant 'Home Learning' booklet.

Reading and Literacy

At Woodthorpe we believe that Reading gives access to imaginary worlds, facts, knowledge and information which gives pupils the chance to develop culturally, emotionally, spiritually and socially. It opens up opportunities, brings enjoyment, inspires, allows ideas to be communicated and is necessary for participation in everyday life.

At Woodthorpe Reading is taught through a structured approach, beginning in Foundation Stage One with immersion in stories, rhymes and information books read by adults who demonstrate and share their own enjoyment of reading. The teaching of Phonics is also introduced in Foundation Stage one and this is taught progressively through school using the Letters and Sounds Programme. Children have daily practise in blending sounds into words in order to develop their fluency so that decoding of words becomes automatic.

Early reading books are carefully matched to next steps in children's learning and are graded using Reading Recovery Levels with the majority being from the Nelson Price Milburn (PM) scheme. Books are organised according to the growing complexity of the grapheme phoneme (letter sound) correspondences within them so that children encounter books at the right level of difficulty and are provided with the opportunity to practise, apply and consolidate the grapheme phoneme correspondences they can read within simple grammatical structures. Alongside this, children learn to quickly recognise by sight the most common words in the English language. Many of these words are not phonically regular so it is important children develop automation in recognising them as they encounter them regularly in their reading books. In this way children are provided with the opportunity to develop their confidence quickly, experience success in reading simple texts and thereby become motivated to read more. Young readers are encouraged to broaden out and choose their own reading books as soon as they are confident to do so, particularly in response to their own areas of enquiry. Pupils are encouraged to share their reading with their parents and take books home to do this.

Teachers use Modelled, Shared and Guided Reading to teach strategies essential for comprehension of a variety of text, both fiction and non-fiction. Parents can play a vital role in reinforcing these skills and consolidating the child's progress.

Progress of reading development is carefully monitored throughout school and timely additional intervention provided to ensure that children do not fall behind in this essential area of their learning.

If you are interested in finding out more about how we teach Reading at Woodthorpe or would like to share your love of reading in school, please contact your child's class teacher or Ruth Mather.


All adults were taught different methods for calculations when they were at school and this can cause confusion when help children with Maths.

Our aim is to cut down on the confusion by informing parents of our school policy for calculation methods.

In the following downloadable documents you will see the progression in strategies that your child will be taught as they move through school.

Children should only move a higher order method when they are ready, regardless of age. If you really want to extend your child's learning, think about using numbers in the 100s and 1000s or using decimal numbers.

If you have any questions, then please don't hesitate to ask your child's teacher.