Learning at Manor
Learning takes place in a wide range of ways at Manor, both in and out of the classroom. The children frequently go on educational visits to a wide range of places; they regularly visit art galleries; we have visitors, such as authors, theatre companies, professionals, to school provide an additional layer to the children’s experiences. All these give the children a breadth to their learning that you cannot provide purely in a classroom.
Each year group has a unit each half term that the children’s learning is based around. Learning is planned using the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and the Key Stage 1 and 2 National Curriculum 2014.
Each unit makes connections between subject areas so that the children are able to explore and develop the topic in more depth. It provides the children with meaningful opportunities to develop and use their skills in real situations.
The curriculum provides practical approaches and direct experiences. Children are encouraged and taught to talk about and share ideas in order to develop their language and thinking. To reinforce and develop these skills, in class the children have opportunities to debate, to role play and to give presentations. A very important part of the children’s learning is investigating and problem solving, designing and making things, researching and finding out, as well as learning to use the wide range of ICT that is available to them.
Currently, the school works with 5 other Newham schools and the charity Open Futures to help broaden the experiences of the children’s learning. The work has 4 strands – Ask It, Grow It, Cook It and Film It. Each strand provides practical and real opportunities to deepen the children’s experience and help to improve the quality of their thinking and talking. These strands are linked to the units that classes cover throughout the year. It provides plenty of opportunities for the parents and families to get involved! Go to our Open Futures page to find out more.
Learning is not just about what the children know, but about developing good learning attitudes, and a thirst for learning in order to develop an independent approach.
These essential learning attitudes are:
• The ability to work both independently and cooperatively
• Self esteem
In short, we aim to ensure that all learning experiences are:
• Purposeful & challenging
• Differentiated & interesting
• Collaborative and interactive
Teaching of Phonics and Reading
Learning to read is a fundamental part of a child’s early education. Without being able to read fluently and confidently they may then find many other areas of their learning more difficult.
At Manor the teaching of reading is at the heart of all we do. Our aim is to instill into the children not only the skills and expertise to be able to read well, but to foster in them a love of reading and books. Reading is given high status at Manor, and underpins everything that we do.
The first step is developing the children’s oral language, focusing on their speaking and listening, and developing and enhancing their vocabulary. In the nursery these are key priorities – language skills are developed through songs, games, toys, stories and rhymes. There is a lot of imaginative play and role-play to practice and extend language. These elements, and gaining familiarity with high-quality books all happen before the children embark on the more structured and systematic phonics sessions.
In all parts of the school speaking and listening is an integral part of the curriculum, used as a vehicle in lessons to improve the children’s reading and writing.
The next step is establishing the children’s phonic knowledge and skills and supporting them to apply these to their reading and their spelling. Systematic phonics teaching is based on a combination of Letters & Sounds and Jolly Phonics. This is embedded into a 20 minute phonics session for the Reception and KS1 classes each day.
It is really important that we broaden and extend the range of the children’s reading and writing, progressing from simple texts that they can read by themselves to a wider range of books. From Reception onwards children read and write every day. In Key Stages 1 and 2 the class timetable provides a daily literacy hour, guided reading sessions and a longer session for extended writing once a fortnight. Children do not become fluent readers using one skill alone, so they take part in guided reading sessions at least 3 times a week, and more often if needed. In their planning teachers ensure that they are providing a wide range of experiences both in reading and in writing so as to expose the children to high-quality texts that they are able to learn from.
Finally, we consider it vital that all we do around teaching reading fits neatly into the wider curriculum. Children need to read well, and read because they enjoy it. This means providing high-quality texts, both literature and non-fiction, and ensuring that children are introduced to these through cross-curricular projects, story-tellers and authors, and the promotion of books and reading by teachers to children.
PE & Sport at Manor
For more information about what each year group are learning about, click on the year overviews below.
Yearly Overviews 2013-2014