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Bitterne Manor Primary School

Bitterne Manor

Primary School

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The school provides a broad and balanced curriculum planned in accordance with the National Curriculum which teaches all children key skills, concepts and attitudes and develops their knowledge and understanding across all curriculum areas. 

Please refer to the links below and to the 'Key Information' page for further details about our curriculum. 


Phonics and Reading

How we teach Phonics

The staff plan fun, interactive phonics lessons using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme, supported by other resources like ‘Jolly Phonics’ where appropriate. Assessments are carried out regularly to ensure children are taught the appropriate “phase” according to their learning needs and not just their age.
There are 6 ‘Letters and Sounds’ phases:

  • Phase 1 starts at pre-school
  • Phases 2 and 3 are taught in Reception
  • Phases 4 and 5 in Year 1
  • Phase 6 / No Nonsense spelling in Year 2.

However we all know that children are all different and some may need additional time and/or extra support to apply their knowledge and secure their learning.


To support our phonics provision we use the following websites and children are able to access them too:


Phonics and Reading skills
In Reception and Key Stage 1 classes, reading is taught through daily phonics lessons with differentiated activities to cater for all levels of learning. Planned guided reading sessions take place regularly, so children can apply their phonic knowledge and have the opportunity to learn other reading skills. These sessions are taught within a context of a key book. 

Children in Key Stage 2 classes have phonics interventions during the week to help close gaps and support individual needs. Guided reading sessions are also taught daily so children can develop their word level reading skills along with their comprehension skills. As well as this, children take part in 'ERIC' (Everybody reads in class) daily to help deepen their understanding. This enables children to broaden their knowledge of a range of texts too. 

In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, each child is provided with a Home-School Reading Diary to enable teachers to monitor reading at home and to communicate with parents about reading in school. Reading books that children take home follow the 'BUGCLUB' reading scheme where books are banded. Children are assessed regularly and progress through the banded books appropriately. There is an interactive 'BUGCLUB' scheme too where children can access books online, read these and answer questions. The link to this cane be found here - Each child has their own login and can access this at school and at home.


Reading Comprehension
It is important, as well as being able to read a text, that children understand  what has been read. Staff use a variety of comprehension materials to teach the skills needed. Key reading strategies are taught to help enable children to understand a text.


The school uses a range of assessments to track progress and plan next steps in learning. These include: phonics assessments linked to the letters and sounds scheme, running reading records and the Salford assessment.


Children develop their writing skills in daily Literacy lessons but they also practice these during a variety of activities across many subjects within the curriculum. Drawing upon the context of the creative curriculum theme (topic), teachers carefully construct sequences of writing lessons during which children learn and develop their writing skills. Each term children will learn through a combination of narrative (story writing), poetry and non-fiction literacy units, experiencing genres such as:

  • Instructions
  • Recounts
  • Information Texts
  • Explanation Texts
  • Report Texts
  • Persuasive Texts


Whilst Literacy lessons focus on learning new Literacy skills (eg. spelling, grammar, particular text features of a report), children are also presented with other opportunites to practice and apply the writing skills they have already learned  for example, by writing:
  • a letter to the Prime Minister
  • a recount of a recent school trip
  • an explanation of the Water Cycle
  • a set of instructions to play a board game.


These writing opportunities are fuelled directly by the topic work, hands-on activities and/or real life events so children are excited and enthusiastic about writing. Our 'A-B' writing journey document helps teachers to plan effective skills that children need to know in order to be a successful writer. 


In Reception class children are given opportunities to develop their gross motor skill by making shapes with a variety of equipment e.g. cars, paint brushes and scarves, and their fine motor control by manipulating smaller equipment e.g. threading beads, picking up small items with  tweezers and drawing. Children are shown how to hold a pencil correctly.  During phonics lessons the accurate formation of each letter is taught, and continually practised and reinforced throughout the year. When 2 or more letters are used to make one sound e.g. ai, this is taught joined, as one unit.
In KS1, children are taught horizontal and diagonal joins, and to make lower-case letters the correct size relative to one another.
In lower KS2 children are taught to make ascenders (l t h k d b f) and descenders (q y p g j) parallel, and make the size, proportion and spacing of letters consistent.
In upper KS2 children are taught alternative joins and are given choices to develop their own personal, neat handwriting style, and the type of writing implement that is best suited for a task.