Learning to Make a Difference

“Start children off in the way they should go; even when they are old, they won’t turn from it” (Proverbs 22.6)

 We design a diverse and engaging curriculum tailored to the children’s interests, developing in them a lifelong love of learning.

Our academy status gives us the freedom to teach beyond the national curriculum.  We emphasise outward-facing learning. We encourage our children look beyond themselves to the wider world, gaining cultural capital and a breadth of awareness that fosters wellbeing in themselves, others and their surroundings.

Each half term, learning begins with a Big Enquiry, for example ‘Is it better to eat like a Caveman or a Tudor?’ The children research and compare the different periods in history, learn about healthy eating and round off the term with their creative outcome, aTudor banquet!

We also encourage our children to act as agents of change.  For example, as part of our Year 3 Big Enquiry ‘Are the Rainforests worth saving?’ the children visit Esher Common, roll their sleeves up and spend a morning pine pulling.  Whilst this is hard work, they understand that it is helping tackle the issue of invasive species taking over the land and so allowing diverse native ones to flourish.

We know that children learn through play. We also know that children focus better in class after high quality play and plenty of fresh air. Our future engineers and architects are as likely to discover their vocation participating in Loose Parts Play as they are from arithmetic tests.

Building dens and vehicles from safe industrial waste teaches the children skills in physics, maths, D&T, creative and lateral thinking, ecology, team-building and co-operation.

We arrange Stay and Play sessions after school from time to time so that parents and carers can join in the fun.

We are immensely proud and supportive of our academic high-achievers. Our pupils have fantastic levels of success in maths challenges, creative writing competitions, the annual Top of the Form quiz and the many other events we organise for our more able learners.

Approximately half of our children move on from us into selective independent schools at the end of year 6.  To support them, we run an extra-curricular programme offering 11 plus tuition and practice for children in years 4, 5 and 6 who are sitting exams for entrance into selective secondary schools.  This means that our parents do not need to find supplementary out of school tuition for this purpose.

Curriculum Overviews

A curriculum overview shows what we will be learning in each year group across the course academic year. Through it you will be able to see each subject and what we will be aiming to learn through the year. Please select your year group from below to view the appropriate curriculum overview as a PDF file:

Core Subjects

Children use a range of strategies when learning to read. To support their learning in school, they follow a ‘synthetic phonics’ programme called Letters and Sounds.

Synthetic phonics uses sounds of the letters (not the letter names) and teaches children how these sounds can be blended together to read words, or segmented to spell words.

From Year 2  up to Year 6 we are using a system called No Nonsense Spelling. This provides the children with a combination of phonics and spelling skills and strategies that develop them into excellent users of the English language.

Reading with your child is the single most important thing you can do to support your child’s education.  It is important that you read with children of any age and at any level of independence.  Able readers are easily able to skip words they don’t understand yet still follow the story.  If you are reading alongside them you can pick out these words and extend their vocabulary.  It is important to ask your child about the story you are reading together to check they have understood it and can make suggestions and predictions.  Reading should not be a race through colour bands – depth of reading and enjoyment of reading are far more important.

If your child is a reluctant reader, it is really important that we try to turn this around as early as possible.  Strategies that often work are:

  • Read with your child for 10 minutes every day – build it into your routine.  Even if you do all the actual reading your child is tracking the words and taking the story in.
  • Make reading fun – use silly voices, take an interest in the book.  Let your child know you are enjoying reading with them.
  • Take your child to the library regularly (once a fortnight works well).  Let them have plenty of time to select books which interest them.
  • Follow their interests.  Parents may not fully appreciate the finer qualities of ‘Captain Underpants’ but if your child enjoys it then go with it.
  • Ask your child’s friends what they are reading when they visit – maybe their enthusiasm will rub off on your child.
  • If you are struggling to find a suitable book to read with your child once they have moved beyond book band books, speak to their class teacher who will have some great suggestions for you.

Feel free to download or watch some of the resources available below for information:

Phonics Handout – our guide to the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme which gives details of all six phases of the programme

100 High Frequency Words – the 100 High Frequency Words for phases 2-5. Your child will learn these words for reading and spelling

Letters & Sounds Close Up – another video that demonstrates the correct pronunciation of letters and combinations of letter sounds for effective blending and segmenting

 

Mathematics

As one of the core subjects Maths takes up a large proportion of time at Esher Church School. We feel embedding core maths skills is one of the most important things we can do to prepare our children for both Secondary school and for life outside of formal schooling.

Below you will find links for our Calculation Policy (which dictates what we teach in each year group) and the maths ‘Key Performance Indicator’ document (which details what children must achieve in each school year).

Calculation Policy 2015

Maths Key Performance Indicators

The link below takes you to a booklet full of useful ideas about how you can support your child’s learning of mental maths facts at home, with the key aim of making the learning fun – for you and your child.

Supporting Your Child With Mental Maths

On September 29th 2015 we held a maths information meeting for parents.  For those of you that were unable to attend, the slides used are available here.

Thank you for your support in developing your children’s mathematical skills at home.

Home Learning

Beyond the work we do at school we also ask each child to complete some Home Learning each week. The amount and content varies for each year group and is detailed on their class page.

Classes across the school also take advantage of a number of online services listed below:

MyMaths – lessons, activities and home learning. See your child’s Home Learning folder for the login details.

SPaG – a variety of Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar activities. Again login details should be attached to your child’s home learning.

Spellzone – activities that can be tailored to your child’s only unique spelling abilities. Login details in Home Learning folders.

Below are a couple of files that detail some work we expect every child to complete as part of their weekly home learning.

Learning Number Facts – mental maths skills

Learning Spellings – practicing spelling techniques