Daily Basic Skills
Our curriculum has been designed to meet the needs of our pupils. We see that basic skills are an essential element to children's progress, without the foundations of basic skills it is difficult to build upon and make progress. As a result , all children have a daily basic skills lesson. We have designed medium term plans with bench marks for the children to reach at the end of each year. Basic skills lessons consist of the four operations in maths , phonics, grammar and spelling in literacy and also handwriting.
Daily Guided Reading
The children have a daily guided reading session. At the beginning of this lesson there is a whole class taught skill to support progress in reading. 2 groups of children will benefit from adult support each day so that by the end of the week all of the class will have had small group support to develop their reading ability. We have invested heavily in reading and have a considerable amount of reading materials and also Bug Club which the children love.
In EYFS and Key Stage 1 all children have a daily phonics session. Children are ability grouped so that needs can be met. We offer numerous phonics workshops for parents to support parents in helping their child with phonics so that we can work in an effective partnership .
Weekly spelling lessons
We have identified that our pupils need taught spelling lessons on a weekly basis. There are spelling working walls in every classroom so that pupils can refer to them to support their daily lessons. The children have weekly spellings which they are expected to learn at home after having a taught spelling lesson in class.We use Rising Stars to assess spellings each half term.
Each half term every child is given a specific set of targets in Reading, Writing and Maths. These targets are set to enable all children to make progress by addressing their specific areas of need. The targets are known to pupils and they are to concentrate upon them within all lessons.Teachers monitor progress against these targets regularly.
Reading Buddies and Times-table Buddies
Each week children have the chance to work with another year group to practice reading skills and to learn times tables. This allows older children to act as the tutor which raises self-esteem and also consolidates their own understanding.In addition , the older children develop their questioning skills - and are familiar with using AF(Assessment Focus) to address a specific reading skill. The younger children have chance to read aloud and to discuss their texts with an older child in school and we feel that an increase in these opportunities supports progress in reading. Learning times-tables is a particular focus, especially with the changes to the curriculum so once weekly additional practice time has proved to have impact.
At MBA we use the Dot.com programme to teach the PHSCE curriculum. This is a structured approach and is taught weekly in all classes in KS1 and KS2. Lessons are often practical and are discussion based. The programme covers a wide range of topics that support the development of 'the whole child' so that pupils leave MBA equipped to deal with modern day Britain.
All classes in KS1 and KS2 have the opportunity to learn to swim at Northfield Swimming Baths. The children are taken , by coach, to the local swimming baths.The children have at least 6 swimming lessons every year taught be qualified instructors. We endeavour that pupils have learnt basic swimming strokes by the time they leave MBA. We celebrate swimming successes in Fridays Whole School Assemblies.
Music at MBA
We pride ourselves in providing quality music provision at MBA. In EYFS music is woven into the curriculum and clapping beats forms part of daily practice. Year 2 children have weekly tin whistle lessons in small groups taught by Birmingham Music service . We feel it is important that children have the opportunity , whilst at MBA to be taught music by experts so at least half an hour each week year 2 have expert music tuition. Year 1 and Year 3 are taught music through the Cornerstones curriculum which links to the topics taught within that term. In year 4, 5 and 6 the children are taught to play the Ukulele by Mr Reid from Birmingham Music service. The children thoroughly enjoy learning to play this fun instrument and have performed in a number of fantastic venues such as the Adrian Bolt Hall and at The Symphony Hall.