At Latchmere, the children are given opportunities to talk and listen in a wide variety of creative learning activities. They are encouraged to explore, develop and explain ideas; to discuss and plan stories, poems and reports; to share their observations and opinions and to report and present their work in front of their class and in assemblies. Children are encouraged to listen to each other as well as other adults and to respect, value and learn from opinions which are different from their own. We place great value on oracy and expect the children to answer in full sentences at all times.
The children have access to a very wide variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry all around the school and we help them to become confident readers, using methods which match the material and the purposes for which they are reading. Where relevant, we present them with challenging texts which broaden their perspectives and extend their thinking; becoming confident eager and enthusiastic readers who are engaged in their own learning journey through reading. To teach phonics, we use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds which is a government validated phonics programme. It is robustly taught and the children also receive reading sessions which focus on decoding, prosody (expression and intonation) and comprehension. Please see the separate phonics page on the website for further information.
It is our intention that our children leave with a solid tome of knowledge about literature and authors. We have very carefully selected the texts we use for our core reading spine to ensure this is the case. From Twelfth Night in Year 6 to The Wild Robot in Year 4 to The Fox and the Star in Year 2 to Shark in the Park in Nursery, we have chosen these texts to guarantee an enriching reading experience.
Reading for pleasure is important to us at Latchmere. We have an amazing library where the children can sit on comfy sofas and peruse books organised according to the Dewey Decimal System. We also have reading for pleasure timetabled so that everyone can read books for enjoyment. Our recommended reading lists are a great source of book suggestions and we have focus authors for each year group too.
As writers, we help them to write for a variety of purposes and different audiences. They write in response to a wide range of stimuli, including stories, plays and poems, their interests and experiences and the activities in the classroom. We help them to keep extending their drafting skills, their use of English and their spelling. We also give them practice in developing a good cursive style of handwriting and encourage them to present their work neatly and carefully, using technology when appropriate.
Please see our phonics and reading scheme page and spelling page to find out more specific information on these aspect of the curriculum.
Our teaching helps the children grow into confident and competent mathematicians with a positive attitude. They have regular opportunities to learn collaboratively, discussing and evaluating approaches as they go along, which contributes to developing reasoning skills.
We make use of a variety of resources, including practical and IT-based materials, so that children can access mathematical concepts in ways that are both appropriate and exciting. We follow the National Curriculum to inform our mathematics teaching, developing and extending this creatively to enrich children’s learning. Children progressively build upon their knowledge and understanding of number as they are taught how to perform calculations with efficiency by using both mental and written methods. Please see our calculation policy to find out more about this.
Children in Years 1-2 use the Numbots program to help embed the core maths skills of subitising, number bonds, addition and subtraction. In Years 2-6 children also use the TimesTables Rockstars program to increase their quick recall of multiplication and related division facts.
Our curriculum is based on the White Rose Maths programme. This research-based initiative ensures that the skills and concepts children taught are fully embedded before moving on. The children are taught strategies such as bar modelling and have plenty of opportunities to use ‘manipulatives’ such as counters and dienes all the way through the school.
We aim to provide Latchmere children with a thorough understanding of the world around them and how it works through creative and stimulating themes. The science curriculum is taught in a variety of ways, with the emphasis on first-hand experiences where the children can actively participate in their own learning. We teach the children to observe, predict, record and interpret, and then encourage them to use these skills to hypothesise upon and test new concepts or ideas. Through their own investigations, children gather together important scientific knowledge and skills which they can use to make sense of the world in which they live and to help conserve it for the future.
We explore the different aspects of biology, chemistry and physics. In biology, the children learn about animals and their habitats, plants and even evolution in Year 6. Chemistry focuses on solids, liquids and gases and the properties of materials. Forces, light and electricity provide the beginnings of the children’s experiences of physics.
Our curriculum balances knowledge and enquiry skills and provides the foundation of understanding the children need in order to be successful in the sciences at secondary school.
It is our intention that the RE curriculum inspires, motivates and challenges pupils. We want to engender a sense of curiosity, wonder, excitement and engagement amongst the children. As such, we may address big and sometimes unanswerable questions all within a safe environment. We provide time for reflection opportunities and for the children’s perspectives to be expressed and heard.
Religious Education is taught throughout the school and follows government guidelines and the recommendations of our local Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE). The focus is mainly Christian, however, we also include material from the other major world religions. We seek to give the children a knowledge of and respect for both their own traditions and culture and those of others, through learning about and from religions. As the school is a community school, it has no affiliation with a particular religious denomination. We have a short act of collective worship and assembly each day, in various groupings. Children often take an active role in collective worship and parents (within current guidelines) are invited to special assemblies.
We hope that our assemblies are broad and meaningful enough for everybody to be included. However, pupils may be released from attending Religious Education and assemblies if parents make a specific request to the Head Teacher.