The teaching of English is at the heart of our curriculum at Padiham Primary School. Our aim is to create confident and fluent readers and writers. Our teaching of English is split into four parts - reading (including the teaching of phonics), writing, spelling & grammar and spoken language. Children are also taught handwriting – this begins with correct letter formation in KS1 leading to a joined fluent style in KS2. We use the Twinkl cursive handwriting font.
Reading, and the teaching of reading, is a fundamental part of our curriculum at Padiham Primary. Children are exposed to a wide range of quality texts everyday including stories, poems and rhymes. High quality teaching of phonics, following Rocket Phonics, takes place every day in Reception and KS1 (see the phonics section for more information). As children become more confident readers, we move to teaching fluency, accuracy and prosody alongside language comprehension. Classes in KS2 take part in daily reading lessons which are based around a selection of high quality texts. We use the VIPERS approach when discussing texts. In the lessons, children are given the opportunity to hear teachers modelling fluent reading & prosody whilst also developing their own fluency through paired & echo reading. Questioning involves lots of class discussion about language & vocabulary, characters and authors’ intentions. Pupils may also take part in comprehension lessons which focus on developing their written responses to texts. All classes have cosy reading corners which are stocked with a wide variety of quality texts. We also have a wonderful library area for children to explore. We are currently in the process of implementing the new government guidance ‘The Reading Framework’ across school. This includes creating reading spines, evaluating our teaching of reading and creating a reading rich environment throughout school.
This year we are launching ‘The Write Stuff’ across school with a view to creating a consistent approach to the teaching of writing across school. This approach focuses on quality not quantity when working and allows even the most reluctant writers to feel proud of their work. Children are taught the features needed to create detailed pieces of writing including poetry, Greek myths, reports and a variety of narratives before moving on to creating independent pieces of work.
Spelling in Foundation Stage and KS1 is taught through phonics. In KS2, we use Spelling Shed to deliver our spelling lessons. An important part of the teaching of spellings is investigating patterns and rules so children take part in weekly investigation lessons. Classes in upper KS2 are currently trialling ‘The Spelling Book’ which features a more phonics based approach to the teaching of spelling in KS2. The aim is to move away from weekly spelling tests and focusses on creating active spellers who are confident in applying the rules of phonemes, graphemes, root words, prefixes, suffixes etc when writing. This approach puts the children in control of their spellings with each child having focus spelling targets which are personalised for them.
The teaching of grammar is embedded in our writing lessons where children are explicitly taught the grammatical features needed as they write. At times, skills are taught discretely using the Spelling Shed grammar resources.
Children are also given lots of opportunities to develop their English work across the curriculum. Staff plan topics carefully to include cross-curricular reading and writing opportunities.
English assessments are carried out at the end of each term. These include a reading comprehension and a writing task. At the end of Y2 and Y6, pupils sit their SATs which include reading, grammar and spelling tests. Writing is teacher assessed and evidence is collected throughout the year by staff - this evidence is then moderated. Assessment data is used by staff to plan and inform future lessons and to identify children who may need more support to keep up with their peers.