Our School Vision
Teaching and Learning at Watermoor
"Teachers plan and provide lessons which are typically engaging and build successfully on pupils’ positive attitudes to learning. For example, there are numerous educational visits planned for many classes which have recently included a visit to an arboretum, a farm, a wildlife wetlands centre and the local church. This has resulted in developing pupils’ understanding further and extending their enjoyment of learning.
Reading, writing and mathematics are taught well and are linked with other curriculum areas to develop learning and increase the opportunities for pupils to improve their basic skills across a wide range of subjects." OFSTED May 2016
We believe that pupils should leave our school in Y6 with the relevant skills they need for the next stage of their education. We prioritise the learning and teaching of Reading, Writing, Maths and Personal and Social Development. Our RE curriculum and the teaching of Christian ‘Values for Life’ also supports our aim to develop well rounded, considerate pupils with high aspirations to achieve in everything they choose.
We teach the rest of the curriculum through creative ‘themes’. Pupils are transported for a term into ‘another world’ where they learn an amazing amount of new knowledge and skills in a creative and multi-sensory way. At Watermoor, we believe in adding value to our curriculum by providing experiences that pupils will remember forever. Recent examples include: archery lessons, a visit to the cotswold wildlife park, creating superhero costumes, designing and making toys, working with a local artist to make a roman mosaic, a visit to the Church to learn about baptism, singing, drumming, storytelling and close encounters with birds of prey. And that’s just one term! By teaching in this way, we believe our pupils gain a broad and balanced curriculum as well as a life-long love of learning to support their aspirations for the future.
From September 2014, a new curriculum has been introduced nationally. Details can be found here. Our team will be developing new assessment systems to match this new curriculum and we will be able to update the information on the website soon. We also hope to hold an information session for parents explaining the content of the new curriculum and how we assess the pupils. We are hoping the new system will be much clearer.
Values for Life and RE
As a Church school, the teaching of Christian values underpins all of our work. The pupils take part in a rich and varied provision for Collective Worship which relates to the Christian Values chosen by our pupils, staff and governors as being the most relevant and important to Watermoor C of E Primary School. Most of this curriculum is taken from the Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus and the 'Roots and Fruits' Values for Life programme.
At Watermoor, we actively promote fundamental British Values. These values will sometimes be taught discreetly, but most of the time they are intertwined within our broad and balanced curriculum.
We teach writing through the Talk for Writing approach, developed by Pie Corbett. Pupils learn a story or text off by heart using pictures and symbols on a storymap (or text map if it is non-fiction), and actions. They learn all the writer’s skills and create ‘toolkits’ in order to write their own stories/texts at the end of the unit. In one half term, pupils will complete 1 story unit, 1 non-fiction unit and 1 poetry unit, all wrapped up in the creative theme for the term. In addition to this, pupils play language and sentence games regularly in order to prepare them for the Y6 Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation test (SPAG).
Pupils have targets in writing linked to their current text-type. These targets are set by the teacher based on a piece of writing that the child completes at the beginning of the unit. This is called a 'Have a go' piece. At the end of the unit, pupils write a 'show what you know' piece of writing and this allows the teacher and the pupil to see and celebrate new learning.
Phonics & Reading
In order to meet the needs of all pupils, at 9:05 every day, all pupils receive a short session of spelling or phonics. These sessions are run by our teachers and teaching assistants. We are a 'Soundswrite' school and this 'First Rate Phonics' programme is our primary source of planning and progression in phonics. Teachers and TAs receive 4 full days of training to ensure we have the highest quality teaching and learning in such an important area. This is a new system which we started using in April 2014. So far, we are seeing very pleasing results. Progress in phonics is closely tracked on individual trackers and teaching is adapted according to the needs of the pupils. We use a variety of reading schemes to support early reading but in the main we use Oxford Reading Tree. Pupils are read to and heard reading regularly with daily whole class reading sessions for every class at 3pm and guided reading groups daily after lunch.
We are very proud of our individualised approach to teaching maths at Watermoor. Pupils learn at their own level on a continuum of steps in a specific area of maths. Each step becomes a target that they are working towards. Teaching is adapted daily to meet the needs of the group and ensure that all pupils make good progress in relation to age related expectations. Teachers and senior leaders track the progress of the children every 2 weeks to ensure that no child is left behind. Our pupils tell us that they love maths because they love being in control of their own learning.
Personal, Social, Heath and Citizenship Education
We use the SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) programme to support our pupils with their development in this area. Teachers facilitate weekly circle time in order to address any issues that may arise in class. We have a very active school council who are currently in the process of consulting their class councils to decide on fund raising strategies for the school.
All learning for a term is wrapped up in a creative theme such as ‘Toys in Action!’ or ‘Crossbows and Catapults’. This enables our teachers to teach other areas of the curriculum such as Art, Science, PE, DT, History, Geography and Music in a creative, exciting and relevant way. It also means pupils are given more opportunities to apply their skills in English, Maths and PSHCE to other areas of learning.
Mr. Going for Gold's PRIME TIME
Watermoor's Superheroes help our children to focus on their learning targets and to respond regularly to teachers' marking and feedback. PRIME TIME is used in both Literacy and Maths to assess children against success criteria and enable them to consolidate learning with further practice; improve work with teacher support; reflect on their work and progress within a unit; explain their learning to others; and demonstrate knowledge, understanding and skills and deepen thinking further in Prove-it activities.