Teaching and Learning
"I reflected on how you foster high expectations and levels of challenge for pupils. Earlier, I referred to your ethos of 'can't do yet'. This is evidenced in lessons where teachers have consistently high expectations for all pupils. In every lesson we observed, there was a high level of challenge, from the Nursery through to Year 2. Pupils are consistently challenged to develop their thinking, reasoning and understanding". (Ofsted July 2019)
At Grange Lane we aim to excite, inspire and motivate children to want to learn through a practical, creative, challenging, fun and child-centred curriculum. We ensure all children have the opportunity to begin to develop their life-long learning and achieve success with an emphasis upon the acquisition of basic skills and positive learning behaviours. A range of teaching styles and approaches are used which ensures that each child has personalised learning and support their individual talents, abilities and needs.
Small, single age-group classes, with a high pupil-adult ratio and a wide range of enhancements and extra-curricular clubs develop skills and creativity.
Much of our work is stimulated by the local community, by visitors to school and by educational visits to places of interest. In recent years visits to York Chocolate factory, Yorkshire Wildlife Park; the local theatre, White Post Farm, Austerfield, the Local church and allotments, have proved to be a successful source of exciting and high quality work in all areas of the curriculum. Places to visit are chosen to cover different areas of learning and every care is taken to ensure the children’s safety.
Visitors to the school have included a theatre companies, road safety training; fire fighters, Pudsey bear and an 18th Century Pirate! Theme days add an extra dimension to children’s learning and each year we have for example, a Pirate Day, a Beach Party, a Teddy Bears Picnic as well as special days to commemorate events such as the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games,
We have strong links with DARTs (Doncaster Arts) and they have led projects in school which are Arts based such as music and Makaton and drama. Linked to this, Mantle of the Expert is used effectively to provide pupils with a purpose and ro motivate pupils in their learning
We are also committed to developing children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness. All children enthusiastically take part in weekly assemblies led by our local pastor; discussions and understanding of morality, fairness and kindness underpins all our curriculum as does the exploration of different religions and festivals. Our PHSCE and safeguarding curriculum is interwoven throughout the curriculum as well as dedicated Jigsaw sessions. Our pupils regularly take part in fundraising events such as donating Harvest baskets to elderly people in our community, donations to fdodbanks and the shoe box appeal, moreover we are beginning links with schools in Jamaica led by one the our governors; Sports/Comic Relief; Children in Need and Poppies for Remembrance. We hatch chicks every year in our special incubators which gives children a real sense of awe and wonder. We have also taken part in the "Race for Life" and the "Big Toddle" events to raise money for Cancer research.
Although we are proud of our achievements we are not complacent and we continue to ‘strive for excellence in all we do’.
Strategies for the teaching of reading
All children in the Foundation Stage (FS) and Key Stage 1 (KS1) follow the Ruth Miskin Read,Write,Inc programme for phonics, where children learn sounds in words and spelling patterns and how to apply their knowledge in reading and writing activities. Children are assessed by the Principal on a half termly basis and tracked through the phonic phases to ensure that progress is being made in line with national expectations. Our aim is to teach pupils to read with fluency and understanding. We want them to develop a lifelong love of reading, both for pleasure and as a means to learn new ideas and information. Children experience a range of authors and styles of texts. As well as choosing and reading books for themselves including home RWInc readers, individual reading books and a library book. Books are carefully selected and organised so children can be successful readers from even the earliest stages.
Throughout KS1 the whole class reader has been introduced as a strategy for ensuring all children have access to high quality texts. These texts are pre-selected by a working party made up of staff within the trust. Reading lessons are daily, usually in an afternoon for 30-40 minutes. We spend half a term in KS1 studying a text and also looking at other literature by the same author and linked fiction and non- fiction texts. Children are expected to have the opportunity to read the text during each session. The children have a reading response book, where on a weekly basis there will be several pieces of written response per week. As a precursor to this, FS 1 and 2 have a daily reading response session, which encourages language development, a love of reading and the extension of vocabulary.
Speaking and listening
Children develop their ability to discuss and express ideas, to speak clearly and confidently, and to respond appropriately to others. Drama and role-play are used to help them develop their communication skills and expressive use of language, as well as to deepen their understanding of other areas of the curriculum. For those children with speech and language difficulties interventions such as “Time to Talk” and “Black Sheep” support their development
Writing is a key life skill as well as an important vehicle for self-expression. At Grange Lane Academy writing takes place across all of the curriculum subjects to ensure that children's skills are embedded and that they are generalised into their everyday writing habits. Our pupils are motivated to see themselves as writers and to take pride in, and ownership of, their written work. They are taught to write for different purposes and in different forms, both factual and creative. They are also taught handwriting on a daily basis.