Core Subjects

Early Reading and Phonics 
At Orchard Vale, we want every child to love reading. We aim to provide a wide range of books to appeal to all types of reader. These books are age appropriate and matched to the ability of the child. Please click here to view the current recommended reading list. 

School reading list


Phonics is taught through the delivery of Read Write Inc. and is taught from EYFS. RWI is used throughout the school including the RWI Fresh Start programme.

Read Write Inc.

Read Write Inc. Phonics is a DfE-validated systematic synthetic phonics programme with a whole-school approach to teaching early reading and writing. 

It teaches children to read accurately, fluently and with understanding, to spell, and to write their own compositions. 

Who is it for?

Read Write Inc. is for children learning to read in Reception, Years 1 and 2 and for struggling readers in Years 3 and 4. It is also suitable for pupils with SEND in older year groups,

Direct teaching

Direct teaching underpins Read Write Inc. It is the quickest route to ensuring all children learn to read and write. Every day, children learn new sounds, and review previous sounds and words.

They apply what they’ve been taught by reading words containing the sounds they know in matched decodable books and other texts, and write these sounds in individual words and, later, sentences.

Children learn to read through banded reading books from a wide range of schemes to ensure breadth at every level. We use home school link books to encourage a dialogue between home and school about reading.

Reading for pleasure:

It is important that children have time to read for pleasure. All classes have a well stocked reading area with a range of texts types available. These are all age appropriate matched texts. Classes also have an allocated time of 15 minutes per day to immerse themselves into a whole class novel. Children are also encouraged to read daily and log this. By reading daily this impacts progress in both reading and writing. In KS2 children are able to earn rewards for reading.  Reading is taught in a variety of ways within KS2. This includes comprehension skills and developing stamina. 


Schoolreaders recruits, places and supports volunteers in local primary schools to give children one-to-one reading support on a weekly basis, boosting their literacy skills, confidence, and reading fluency. We’re proud to be a partner school, able to provide our pupils with this valuable extra reading time each week! Find out more at
Throughout the school the teaching of language and grammar is given a high status. It is through the medium of language that much of the children's work takes place. 

We provide children with a broad range of opportunities to read, write, speak and listen. At all times we endeavour to make language lessons enjoyable, meaningful and relevant.

Speaking and listening, paired talk, group debate and questioning are an important part of the work we undertake with pupils. This is to encourage and support them to be articulate and confident participants in learning.
English is delivered through unit plans that have a focus on a specific text type. There are final writes which are formally assessed at the end of each unit of work. The children cover a range of genres to ensure that they can write for purpose and include the correct grammatical features. 


Maths is a core subject in the National Curriculum. It abounds our everyday life and before a child reaches school there will have been plenty of opportunities for you as parents to encourage mathematical thinking.

At Orchard Vale you will find a good balance between whole class work, group teaching and individual practice.

For all pupils the learning of mathematics can be enjoyable and at times an exciting experience. Pupils of all ages are encouraged to be actively involved in mathematics. We encourage experimentation with practical equipment and materials; doing and talking always comes before recording. Increased enjoyment of mathematics comes from active participation.

We use the new National Curriculum objectives for teaching as a basis for all areas we cover in Maths lessons. Using White Rose maths we ensure that our children’s learning is well structured and progressive.

Our teachers use an agreed school calculation policy helping to eliminating any confusion over different teaching methods that can be confusing for the child. We also know that many parents and carers often wish to support the learning of their child at home and are worried that they are using more complicated calculations compared to the method taught at school.


Science provides the foundations for understanding the world.  It has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity.  At Orchard Vale, we provide our pupils with the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science, alongside developing a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. We believe in building our pupils’ ‘science capital’ so that they can see the importance of science in our world and be inspired to choose career paths in STEM subjects in the future.   

Each science topic is designed to provide pupils with key concepts, which are taught practically where possible.  Every lesson incorporates one of the 5 enquiry types so that children are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. 

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