At Bitterne Manor Primary School we strive to provide 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.
We teach skills through the following areas:
- Spoken language
- Spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
These skills are taught in a variety of ways. We cover fiction, non-fiction and poetry in every year group; building on the skills they have been previously taught. Our 'topic' for each half term helps to immerse children through a quality rich text which becomes part of our English learning journey. Areas such as: speaking and listening, spelling, phonics and handwriting are taught discretely ensuring children develop these skills.
The intent of our curriculum is to:
- increase children’s confidence, enjoyment and ability in reading, writing and communication.
- provide all children with depth, breadth and ambition in their learning – ensuring that our curriculum is well sequenced and building on knowledge and skills gained as children progress through school.
- promote a love of reading and writing whereby children want to read and write spontaneously with enjoyment.
- strive for our children to develop a passion for English to aid them in later life and to enable them to become lifelong learners.
We aim to teach the skills of writing and a love of writing so that our children:
- develop enjoyment and pleasure in writing
- have opportunities to write for a range of real purposes and audiences
- understand the skills and processes that are essential for writing: thinking aloud and re-reading their writing to check their meaning is clear
- when spelling, have opportunities to practise using both their phonics knowledge and develop independent spelling strategies
- when writing, form their letters correctly and confidently, writing with a joined fluent style
- know and use grammar terminology to talk about their writing and how it helps a reader to understand and enjoy what they have written.
English is taught in a carefully developed sequence of learning; ensuring that a range of genres are covered over the course of the year. Teachers decide on the skills that they want to teach the children based on formative assessments. From this, a clear sequence of learning is mapped out using our 'A2B' document which helps teach all aspects of writing in a clear and concise way.
Writing at BMPS
We teach children to decode words using phonic skills as our sole approach. “Synthetic Phonics' is taught using the Letters and Sounds programme. Children are introduced to synthetic phonics in our Reception Class and children progress through the phases during Reception and Key Stage 1 (Year 1 & 2). Sight reading and tricky words are introduced in Phase 2. Pupils are put into groups for phonics lessons based on the phase that they are ready to access.
We use a wide range of teaching techniques and resources in our daily phonics lessons and aim to make lessons fun and interactive whilst building on previous knowledge each session. Phonics intervention is implemented in KS2 for those pupils who still need to access the phonics curriculum. This is a targeted intervention based on the individual need of the child. Phonics assessments continue across KS2 until staff are confident that children are secure in their phonics knowledge.
Once children progress from phonics, they follow a spelling scheme called 'No Nonsense' spelling. The focus of the programme is on the teaching of spelling, which embraces knowledge of spell- ing conventions – patterns and rules; but integral to the teaching is the opportunity to promote the learning of spellings, including statutory words, common exceptions and personal spellings.
- delivers a manageable tool for meeting the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum
- has a clear progression through blocks of teaching units across the year
- comprehensively explains how to teach spelling effectively.
A 'BugClub' Reading Scheme has been adopted in our school which ensures that each child is given a reading book with the relevant sounds or phase that they are learning at that time. As children progress through the banded levels, the books are varied in their genres which encourages a love of different texts. Children are assessed regularly and progress through the banded books appropriately. The online 'BugClub' platform allows children to access books online, read these and answer questions. The link to this can be found here - https://www.activelearnprimary.co.uk/login?e=-1&c=0 Each child has access to their own login and can access this at school or at home. Teachers can track pupils progress and allocate books appropriately.
Guided reading is taught in small groups across KS1 and builds on the phonics knowledge. Once decoding is grasped, our focus for developing reading is understanding and comprehension. In KS2 this is done through Guided Reading which is taught as a whole class. Children develop further reading skills through comprehension lessons, during 'ERIC' time (reading independently) reading with an adult and by enjoying a class text. Books and texts are carefully chosen for each class ensuring that progress is built on and so that a range of genres and authors are covered.
We want children to enjoy reading at both home and school and for parents to be on board with reading with their children. Reading diaries are sent home regularly which helps with the communication between home and school. Children are encouraged to read for pleasure by choosing a book that engages them and that they can share with an adult. By visiting the school library and exploring their class book corners, children develop their love of books, talk with their peers and discuss the books once read, making decisions if to recommend to a friend or not.
Reading at BMPS
Through our high quality teaching of English, we aspire for all children to reach age related expectations or above by the end of each year group.
Teachers assess pupils understanding through marking and feedback and verbal communication. Teachers then assess if pupils have met the objective and then act appropriately through small group interventions, 1:1 support or an additional lesson on a skill. There are also opportunities to share good practice and moderate across different year teams during planned in CPD sessions.
English is assessed half termly and data is recorded on to our tracking system. Reading is assessed through running reading records, fluency trackers and through teacher knowledge gained during reading sessions. Writing is assessed regularly and based on pieces of writing that have been taught over the course of the half term. Phonics assessments are done for all children in EYFS and KS1 at the end of each phase. The same happens within KS2 with specific children who are involved in interventions. Children in EYFS are assessed through adult led activities and observations. In addition to formative and summative assessment, the English lead and SLT team completes work scrutiny in English and engage in pupil discussions about their learning.
At Bitterne Manor Primary School, we aim to make our learning environment purposeful and engaging for all children.
- regularly change depending on the topic
- show a clear learning journey
- provide children with key vocabulary and learning aims which will support their learning
- celebrate children's learning.
Ways to help your child at home...