Our English curriculum at Somerdale Educate Together Primary School is the ‘treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds’ teaching through enquiry.
Our curriculum for English aims to:
- Ensure that every child becomes an avid reader, a passionate writer and a confident speaker with a love of the spoken and written word. As linguists they will explore and should acquire a rich diverse vocabulary knowledge through speaking, listening, discussion and collaboration.
- Immerses and inspires pupils as authors through the exploration and wonder of a range of high-quality text and literature from a variety of cultures that extends challenges and encourages children to have the confidence to explore their imagination, form opinions and which encourages questioning.
- Be purposeful, developmental and sequential, developing knowledge and skills that will ensure our children read and write confidently across all areas of the curriculum, understand different genres, styles of writing, persistence and cohesive writing.
- Ensure children develop a secure phonological awareness, the key to early reading and writing, through our teaching using Letters and Sounds synthetic phonics and linked reading books.
Teachers will provide opportunities for children to build on knowledge and skills through a learning pathway which is linked to the focus texts and the children’s enquiry question.
The teaching of writing will be enriching, purposeful and creative with a focus on both the National Curriculum Objectives and individual or group writing needs within the classroom.
The approach moves from dependence towards independence with the teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully.
Teachers will devise sequenced teaching of literature which follows the writing genre pathway (writing to inform, writing to entertain, writing to persuade, writing to discuss). Learning is sustained so children are able to transfer what they have learnt from each different genre of writing.
Teachers use a creative, sequential approach to the teaching of writing which enables children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes across the curriculum.
A key feature is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘immersion in the text’, rich and varied complementary texts, learning based upon both curriculum objectives but writing need of children.
A whole school approach to the teaching of cursive handwriting will be embedded to ensure high standards of presentation and fluency in writing.
A whole school approach to phonics will be implemented as a foundation to secure strong writing skills.
Phonics for spelling
Spelling will be taught to provide children with a wide range of spelling strategies to enable them to be confident, competent and independent spellers. At Somerdale we follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme.
Pre-School: Phase 1
Reception: Phase 2-Phase 4
Year One: Phase 4-Phase 5
Year Two: Phase 5 reconsolidation-Phase 6 through regular teaching of No-Nonsense Spelling
Year Three: Phase 5 and Phase 6 reconsolidation through regular teaching of No-Nonsense Spelling
Year Four: Regular teaching of No Nonsense Spelling
Year Five: Regular teaching of No Nonsense Spelling
Year Six: Regular teaching of No Nonsense Spelling
Teachers will provide opportunities for children to build on knowledge and skills through a learning pathway which links Guided Reading to the focus texts and the children’s enquiry question.
Small group Guided Reading is regular and purposeful with planned adult led sessions with opportunities for comprehension (VIPERS Year Two onwards).
All teachers use a thematic approach to raise the profile of reading for pleasure and enjoyment; books based on children’s interests and passions but also situated in their lived lives
Children have ownership of building their classroom bookshelves which are linked to their enquiry question. Children have opportunities to browse a ‘Class Canon of Literature,’ and they use books with excitement and are often found reading in their spare time. All teachers will establish a daily shared story time with a class book displayed.
All parents will be confident and actively engaged in supporting the school’s model and culture of reading. Home reading is a priority with children swapping books regularly. A home school reading diary is used for parents to communicate with teachers. Teachers in EYFS and Y1 run a parent phonics workshop. Busy Things home access is updated to include taught sounds.
Teachers plan regular school library sessions in school to explore different genres of books. Priority reading groups read to Reading Project Volunteers and Volunteer readers on a regular basis to support progress. Teachers have established links with the local library in Keynsham.
Phonics for reading
Daily Phonics is taught through the Little Wandle programme from Reception to Year One. From Year Two onwards No-Nonsense Spelling is also used through a reading lens to recap Phase 5/6 sounds.
In EYFS daily Phonics is linked to EYFS provision. Additionally, word boxes are designed for children to practise blending (linked to grapheme progression) where reconsolidation is needed. During Phase 2, alongside pink book bands for children who are blending, captions linked to the current taught sounds are also sent home.
Coloured book banded books are selected, following the banded system which links to Phonics pathways. Somerdale uses a range of different Phonics books schemes to spark the interest and diversify content. Home Reading books are chosen based on the Phonological knowledge progress but chosen by the children.
Resources for parents
Busy Things – Our school subscription to this online resource includes home access. Here you will find lots of activities in the English section from Pre-School all the way to the end of Key Stage Two. There are resources to help you pronounce the sounds too.
Please speak to your class teacher if you need reminding of the Home Access log-in details.
BBC Bitesize English- Key Stage One: guides and fun activities for children in Year One and Two.
BBC Bitesize English-Key Stage Two: guides and fun activities for children in Year Three, Four, Five and Six.
BBC Teach-Key Stage One
Use this website to access free information, games and live lessons for Year One and Year Two.
BBC Teach-Key Stage Two
Use this website to access free information, games and live lessons for Year Three, Year Four, Year Five and Year Six.
Phonics Play : This website has lots of useful Phonics games