Teaching and Learning
Teaching and Learning is the purpose of our school. It is the method through which we efficiently enable, empower, enhance and enrich the development of children, teaching and non-teaching staff, parents, governors and all others involved with this school. Successful teaching and learning develops self-esteem and confidence. It is about opening minds and learning how to learn and understanding that making mistakes and finding things difficult are an important part of the learning process. A good primary school education forms the basis of a successful future – both in further studies and then onto adult life. At Tany’s Dell, we aim to educate the ‘whole child’ and offer opportunities across all subject areas for individuals to shine.
At Tany's Dell we have developed a creative, knowledge and skills based curriculum to enable children to more deeply engage in their learning and better understand how they can develop in all areas of learning.
The Tany’s Dell curriculum follows the guidance and expectations of the National Curriculum and as such, includes the following subjects: English, Maths, Science, Art & Design, Computing, Design & Technology, Geography, History, Languages, Music and Physical Education. We also follow SACRE, which is the Local Authority’s Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. We strive to achieve purposeful cross-curricular links through carefully chosen topics, so that children feel inspired and engage readily with their learning.
The formal curriculum is underpinned by the school’s values and ethos, communicated via the Reach for the Stars vision, which is known as the Tany’s Dell Way. Our carefully structured Personal, Spiritual, Health, Relationships and Economics Education is evident in assemblies, Tutor Groups, specific PSHE lessons, Philosophy lessons and Online Safety lessons. In these sessions, our children learn specifically about the importance of: keeping themselves safe; promoting health and happiness; caring for others and also for the world around them.
Speaking and Listening
Communication is a vital skill that is developed from the moment our children start with us at Tany’s Dell. We also recognise that in most cases, children who verbalise well find it easier to communicate ideas to enhance their writing. The adults in our school strive to be the best role models in spoken language. We also ensure the school environment is enriched with high quality vocabulary to provide our children with the best tools possible for them to succeed. We give the children as many opportunities as possible to develop speaking and listening skills and build self-confidence. These range from discussing matters with a ‘talk partner’; asking and responding to group or whole class questions, taking part in debates and presenting to others (either formally or informally). Every class plans and presents a class assembly to the rest of the school – their families and friends are also invited to come and watch. The children thoroughly enjoy role play and drama activities. A Drama specialist comes into school once a week to work with Year 3 and Year 4 children. We also ensure each term ends with a Key Stage production, which is enjoyed by the whole school community.
At Tany’s Dell reading is an essential skill that runs through all areas of our curriculum. We aim to develop children’s love of reading so they become lifelong readers. In EY the children are exposed to a range of texts, beginning in Nursery with a range of engaging texts. In Reception, the children begin reading the levelled colour banded books. This continues into KS1. We use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme to support our teaching of reading, using levelled colour bands. We supplement this with a variety of real books that are ability banded to give children experience of a wide range of texts. As they move into KS2 we continue with the Oxford Reading Tree scheme, using the Project X books, Treetops and other motivating texts. Once KS2 pupils reach brown level colour band they move onto ‘real’ books to inspire pleasure in reading. There are 100 books for Years 3 and 4 and 100 books for Year 5 and 6, of age appropriate texts, both classics and new authors for the children to read and discuss.
We use whole class reading as our main strategy to teach reading skills. Using our progression, the children are exposed to a range of high level texts. Each session is sequenced using an introduction/ recap/ review, vocabulary check, modelled reading and lesson focus. Guided reading is used as an intervention to support readers where needed.
All children at Tany’s Dell have weekly access to our library, where they can take books home on a regular basis to share at home. In EY, parents are invited in to read in class with their child and support these early skills. In KS1 Parents and Carers are invited in to help their child choose books and read with them. This allows children to experience a variety of texts that interest them.
Phonics and Spelling
At Tany's Dell we follow Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. We teach daily whole class lessons of Phonics, with opportunities for children to review their learning, learn new phonemes and apply their new learning. The scheme also draws on the latest research into how children learn best; how to ensure learning stays in children’s long-term memory and how best to enable children to apply their learning to become highly competent readers. From Year 2 onwards we use the No Nonsense Spelling scheme.
At Tany’s Dell we understand the importance of writing for a variety of purposes and to give writing meaning. Our writing lessons are linked to our topics where possible. Speaking and listening is an important part of being a good writer. In KS1, Talk for Writing is used to help the children build a range of stories and non-fiction texts that they have internalised, before beginning writing. At the end of a Talk for Writing block the children take part in the Big Write, writing in a relaxed and calm atmosphere. In KS2, the importance of talking and vocabulary continue. We understand the importance of sequencing lessons, to help children build and structure their writing. Lessons are planned using a hook, reading focus, focused tasks, stimulating ideas for writing through talk, modelling, supported writing, independent writing, such as a big write, and finally editing. Alongside this the Alan Peat sentence progression is used, to develop the range of sentences children can draw on to extend their writing.
We use the Penpals Handwriting scheme from FS to Year 6.
All of our mathematical work in school aims to develop within our children, the ability to reason mathematically, solve problems and become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics. Our detailed progression of skills is in line with the National Curriculum, and enables each child to develop a real understanding of mathematics. Number work is considered as most important and is linked with work in measurement, shape and graphical representation.
It is our intention that all children will leave Tany’s Dell having mastered the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to be able to carry out calculations, involving each of the four number operations, accurately and efficiently. Children will develop their skills through a carefully planned progression, which ensures that children make microscopic steps towards standard, compact written methods and that there are no gaps or misconceptions in their learning. While it is our aim that every child is supported to achieve this, we recognise that some children with SEN may not progress to this end point. However, we will ensure that they are able to effectively use a method appropriate to their ability.
We have made the decision as a school to adopt the mastery approach to maths teaching. This is being introduced to the children as they enter Tany’s Dell (ie in Reception) and currently being phased into other year groups as appropriate to their needs. We intend to be a fully mastery approach school by September 2023.
We recognise the importance of ensuring that children experience learning though a concrete, pictorial, abstract approach at all stages of development.
To master maths, children develop their mathematical fluency without resorting to rote learning and are able to solve non-routine maths problems without having to memorise procedures. When teaching maths for mastery, the whole class moves through topics at broadly the same pace. Topics are studied in depth and the teacher does not move to the next stage until all the children are able to demonstrate that they have a secure understanding of mathematical concepts. Those children who grasp concepts more rapidly are provided with opportunities to apply their learning in different contexts and to investigate concepts further in order to achieve a greater depth in their learning.