"The curriculum promotes good progress in basic skills. It is well-balanced and promotes pupils’ learning very successfully by providing them with exciting and engaging activities. Parents commented on the ‘depth and range’ of the curriculum when linked to a topic, saying it helped their children to understand why and what they were learning.
Activities in lessons, clubs, assemblies and visits contribute very well to pupils’ strong spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. The school’s work on teaching tolerance and respect for others is exemplary through its daily work and special occasions, such as assembly themes led by external visitors. Pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain." (OFSTED May 2016)
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. 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. At Watermoor, we believe in adding value to our curriculum by providing experiences that pupils will remember forever.
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. 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 start by writing a 'Have a go' piece which informs targets for the unit and supports the teachers in tailoring their planning. 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 progress 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 through daily class novel sessions and explore texts in whole class reading sessions.
We pride ourselves on our careful approach to teaching and learning maths at Watermoor. We work hard to promote children's independence and thinking skills in maths whilst teaching them to learn to become fluent in key maths facts. 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. 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 GHLL PINK (Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning, People In The Know) 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 active school houses - Hogwarts, Narnia, Neverland and Middle Earth - led by a house captain and vice captain from our year 6 class. They are very active in consulting their house on varies aspects of school life including which charities we support, playground equipment and on fund raising strategies for the school.
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.