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How we teach at Collingwood

Collingwood’s Curriculum Policy and School Aims, detailing subject by subject information on how we teach, can be found on the policies page of this website.  An overview of what is being taught this term to each year group can be found on the each Class Page on this website.

Our Curriculum Intent and Implementation

Our curriculum is designed to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum whilst enabling all pupils to make good progress from their vastly differing starting points.   Our pupils receive broad and balanced sequences of learning that progressively build on knowledge, skills and vocabulary so that pupils of all abilities achieve well. We aim to “Live our Lives with arms and minds wide open” and live with our REACH Values.

In seeking to remove any barriers to learning that might hinder or exclude pupils we:

  • Set appropriate learning outcomes.
  • Prioritise “self-challenge” and “Personal Best” with all pupils.
  • Respond to children’s diverse learning needs
  • Provide other curriculum opportunities outside of the National Curriculum appealing to pupils’ interests.

Our Approach is underpinned by:

  • Staff and Governor’s ambition that all learners will make good progress.
  • Foundational and Conceptual learning
  • Focus on fluency in reading and recalling factual information in maths and spelling.

From their different starting points our learners need:

  • A curriculum that is interesting and enjoyable and includes pupils’ own ideas and local contexts.
  • Targeted intervention based on individual learner’s needs.
  • A range of active learning experiences in and outside school.
  • A “Growth mindset.”
  • Intentionally planned speech and language development including development of a rich and broad vocabulary.
  • Intentionally planned opportunities to enjoy listening to stories.
  • Parent engagement in learning. 
  • Regular Opportunities for all pupils to be leaders and take on responsibilities.

Collingwood’s Curriculum Policy and School Aims, detailing subject by subject information on how we teach, can be found on the policies page of this website.  An overview of what is being taught this term to each year group can be found on the each Class Page on this website.


 pdf  CPA calculation policy Collingwood Primary

pdf  Collingwood’s Math Mastery Statement


pdf  Reading colour bands

 pdf National Curriculum Spelling Lists  (for Years 1-6)

How we teach phonics and reading:

We teach phonics as the main method for children to learn to read.  Phonics is taught daily throughout EYFS and Years 1 and 2 and later if required, in a systematic, multi-sensory way.  our pupils learn sounds (phonics) by singing, moving, listening, writing, repeating, using letters, making shapes in the air, looking at pictures, playing games, using computers and as many other ways as possible using their 5 senses. This is vital because children learn differently.

Close monitoring by staff ensures continual diagnostic assessment.  If children fall behind, they are given intervention (specific small group or 1:1 support).

What will this actually look like?

Collingwood uses a programme, published by the government, available free to all schools, called “Letters and Sounds”. We also use an internet based resource called “Phonics Play” which can be found on our pupil pages for parents and pupils to use at home.

Is this the only way that children are taught to read?

Absolutely not!  Phonics is the first step in helping children to crack the code of reading and writing. However, children also need to be able to recall words that can’t be decoded easily and also to be able to understand and engage with what they read and to be able to do this when reading at speed. (fluency)

Comprehension skills are developed through discussion, with adults, individually and in small groups or as a class.  Adult led “Guided Reading” sessions take place regularly (based on Rigby Star) for younger pupils with more whole class sessions as children get older.

Individual reading, (using our coloured book bands until pupils become fluent readers) Paired Reading and “Reading Buddies” are also used throughout the school where children read the same book with or without an adult.

Our 3 O’Clock Read happens across the school and is specifically aimed at developing pupils vocabulary.

Over the course of each term children read many different genres of text and learn at least one, one off by heart using actions, sound effects and drama.

How we teach writing.

Writing is taught in many lessons other than English.  We use “Cold tasks” at the beginning of a new genre of to assess what children can already do and “hot tasks” at the end to evidence how much progress they have made.   In between, we analyse texts, looking at structure, vocabulary,  grammar, spelling, punctuation, genre specific features and effectiveness.  Children generate then use “success criteria” to self-assess and “purple polish” (improve) their own and each other’s writing noting what is “tickled pink” (good) and “green for growth” (needs developing).

Over the course of each term children write many different genres of text and are often given the opportunities to writing their own text based on what they have read.

How we teach spelling.

Spelling patterns are taught and used in lessons weekly.  (“No Nonsense Spelling” and National Curriculum exception words and age related spelling lists).  Pupils from Yr 1 upwards complete weekly spelling tests containing a number of words relating to both the current pattern and high frequency/exception words. There is an emphasis on pupils ability to recall and retain spellings.

How we teach Handwriting.

Pupils are taught “upstroke” from EYFS, enabling easier joining in later years. “Letterjoin” is used in KS1.

How parents can support their child at home:

We expect all children, right up to Year 6, to read regularly to adults at home, and bring their book bag to and from school.  As children get older it is increasingly important to discuss the exact meaning of new vocabulary and to question children so that they “read between the lines” and make interpretations and predictions rather than simply saying the words on the page correctly. Show your child that you read for different purposes (eg to find directions, instructions, information and for pleasure) and talk about your own likes and dislikes when reading.


 pdf The National Curriculum for Primary Schools in England.