At Timbertree Academy, we aim to provide all children with a broad and balanced reading and writing curriculum using a range of quality texts to give exposure to a range of themes that will prepare them for the wider world. We strive to produce learners who are independent and driven through a stimulating and motivational journey which fosters passionate readers and writers.
We follow a curriculum which is research based and underpinned by key scientific evidence. Our curriculum allows for interleaving across subjects to support cognitive load and enable key connections to be made. We believe that vocabulary is fundamental to unlocking knowledge and understanding and so this is threaded through our entire curriculum.
Thematic Literature Spine
Throughout their time at Timbertree, children will follow our core Literature Spine which explores: heritage texts; BAME authors and protagonists; strong female role models and texts centred around specific social, ethical and moral issues. A range of authors will be explored including famous authors and ‘the Greats’, as well as authors children may be initially unfamiliar with. Children will also be exposed to texts written by experts specifically designed for our programme of study to enhance and support the core texts. This enables children to foster their love of reading and broaden their choice, showcasing that there is a book for everyone.
Writing is taught through the delivery of core skills centred around a written outcome. Skills are revisited across year groups to ensure children are able to confidently recall and manipulate these tools in their own writing.
Reading is taught through the explicit delivery of reading domains from Year 1 onwards where these domains are regularly revisited to secure the skill of comprehension and the tools we use to connect a text to full understanding. This is delivered in small steps and scaffolded using structure strips which reduce cognitive load for the child and act as a prompt to remind them of the journey they have been on throughout the lesson. Each reading session consists of a vocabulary focus; reading focus; explanation; I, we, you question exposure and a challenge for those pupils who are ready.
At Key Stage One, all children receive phonics lessons daily following the Ruth Miskin programme RWi. In addition to this, all children access English which follows a 3/2-day rolling programme for Reading and Writing. This enables all children to be exposed to the full range of texts within our Literature Spine; allows all children to access the interleaving that takes place between subjects and provides all children the opportunity to develop key reading (word reading and comprehension) and writing skills.
At Key Stage Two, all children access whole class reading and a separate writing session daily. Reading enables children access to expert writers and will be taught comprehension skills to secure their understanding. Children are able to make connections between the authorial style and skill they see as a reader, to how they can develop themselves as writers.
We follow the Kinetic Letters approach for handwriting across the school. This allows children to learn through movement and multisensory experiences. It is a physical programme that develops concentration and motor skills whilst learning how to form and join letters correctly.
As a school, we follow the CUSP Spelling Curriculum. This consists of a two-week cycle where spelling concepts are taught to encourage pupils to notice patterns and systems to implement spellings. Each two-week cycle consists of a focus linking to areas including: statutory spellings; prefixes; suffixes; homophones and previously taught rules. During this time, pupils will explore the spelling concept at word level, sentence level through dictation and identify and correct errors through proof-reading and editing. Pupils will also look at the origin of words considering etymology and morphology to develop a deeper understanding of the way we can decode meaning. The key is implementation and pupils are challenged to utilise these spelling concepts in their day-to-day learning to develop automaticity and confidence around spelling.