At Ark Victoria Academy, children are taught core skills and knowledge through topics. Each topic is typically studied for a half term, allowing children to fully immerse themselves in their learning. These topics are taught through different subjects, which means that all day, every day, through a variety of activities and enrichment opportunities, learning is purposeful and connections are made.
Research shows that children have a better understanding of what they are learning if they commit core knowledge to memory. Each half term, pupils and parents/carers will be given a Knowledge Organiser. This is a document that contains all the key facts and figures that children need to learn for that topic. We encourage pupils to learn this knowledge off-by-heart. This will allow them to grapple with more complex ideas and questions in lessons. Knowledge Organisers can be downloaded here:
Spring 1 Knowledge Organisers 2018/19:
Spring 2 Knowledge Organisers 2018/19:
At Ark Victoria Academy, English lessons are taught through ‘Talk for Writing’. At the start of each new unit, children commit a new text to memory using story maps, chanting and actions. This enables them to focus their working memory on unpicking the grammar and features of a text that the author has specifically chosen to have the greatest impact on the reader. Pupils have lots of opportunities for ‘short burst writing’ as well as the chance to write independently at length. Pupils’ writing is often influenced by the books and texts they encounter in reading lessons.
Read Write Inc
Read Write Inc. is a literacy programme designed and developed by Ruth Miskin, one of the country’s leading authorities on teaching children to read. The programme aims to create fluent readers and confident speakers.
At the start of the new academic year, each child in Reception and Key Stage 1 is assessed on their letter recognition and reading within the first few weeks. After the assessment; any gaps in phonic knowledge, comprehension, or reading fluency will be used to assign each child to their own small, exclusive group for regular sessions with a trained member of staff using Read Write Inc. methods. These groups are organised according to the children’s specific needs, and the specific sounds, letters and comprehension skills needed are taught in a secure and engaging way. The Read Write Inc sessions include a variety of activities delivered with pace and rigour. Children have the opportunity to learn sounds which are reinforced during the session with reading activities and spelling games.
Reading for Pleasure
We are a reading school where all children and adults read for pleasure and can share in the joy of books. All children will take books home to read for pleasure. These books are to be read aloud to family members and quietly to themselves. We encourage all family members to talk to their children about what they are reading using question stems provided by teachers. In school, we teach discrete reading lessons and high quality texts are used as a stimulus in all other aspects of the curriculum.
Spelling and Handwriting
Spelling and handwriting are taught throughout all aspects of the curriculum, as well as during isolated lessons. This enables pupils to practise the words and handwriting techniques expected of children of their age, as well as applying what they have learnt in all their work. Spellings are grouped into rules and sent home each week for pupils to learn. Spelling rules and example words can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/Spelling.pdf