Lethbridge Primary School
Lethbridge Primary School
Lethbridge Primary School
Curriculum Overview for Lethbridge Primary School
Live, Learn, Achieve

Intro Art Computing
DT English EYFS French
Geography History Maths
Music PE PSHE
RE Science Values

English at Lethbridge Primary School
Intent, Implementation, Impact

Writing Skills Overview
Reading Skills Overview

Our intent in English at Lethbridge Primary School, is to equip children with the skills they need to communicate effectively with others through spoken and written language. We also help our children to develop skills to become lifelong learners, engaging in high-quality texts both in and out of school to read for pleasure. We teach English every day in specific reading and writing lessons but also teach these skills through cross-curricular learning in exciting and interesting ways.

Spoken Language

Confident use of language is empowering and we know that the language that the children hear has a direct impact on the vocabulary that they use both in spoken and written language. We are proud that children leave Lethbridge with a wide vocabulary and the ability to express themselves in a variety of situations. In order to achieve this, spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing across all subjects, as does access to ambitious texts. The children also have many opportunities to develop their speaking and listening skills through drama, presentations, debates and speaking language activities. These activities occur throughout the curriculum and in clubs such as Debate Club and through initiatives such as The Oracy Project, widening vocabulary and increasing self-confidence.

Poetry Slam in action focussing on performance skills

Reading

Home Reading Booklet
Reading Information

At Lethbridge Primary School, we are passionate that all children are able to read fluently and have a good understanding of what they have read. Reading allows children to learn more about the world around them and develops their imagination.

Reading comprises of two main elements: word reading and comprehension. Both are equally important and are taught through a variety of ways. High quality phonic teaching is important and all children starting from EYFS follow the 'Story Time Phonic' approach. This enables children to learn to read words quickly and effectively through stories. This also supports children when learning to write the sounds in their work. Children are taught to read the tricky high frequency words and are given books, which are linked to their phonic and word knowledge. This practice at home helps children to consolidate their learning. In addition to this, the children are also given a book to share with an adult at home. This is a book which the adult could read to or alongside the child and have discussions about the vocabulary and the story.

In class, we enjoy daily guided reading, where the children share a text with an adult in a small group and develop both reading and comprehension skills together. These skills are also developed in independent reading. Teachers read to the children daily, providing the children access to a range of complete texts including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Book buddies and peer led reading activities provide enormous fun and support.

We annually hold a 'Poetry Slam' at the beginning of each academic year to help promote the reading, writing and performing of poetry. We have recently renovated our library which now contains a range of books that the children can visit and take books home to read. Our librarians, a selection of year 6 children, look after this space so that all the school can enjoy spending time in this lovely reading area. We also have links with our local library and our Key Stage 1 children enjoy trips to read books and have books read to them.

We celebrate World Book Day annually, encouraging the children to dress up as a character from a book and discussing this with their class. We also have a focus on an author during World Book Day to broaden the diet of reading our children experience. Each class has a book by a selected author to read and discuss, which provides a whole school topic of conversation for richer book talk.

Children are rewarded for reading regularly at home. The children receive recognition for 25, 75, 125 etc reads through a sticker and a chat with Mrs Mayes, Mrs Harmer and Ms Short. The children are rewarded with a prize at 50, 100, 150 etc reads. The prizes were chosen by the children in the school council.

Reading Expectations at Home

Year Group Expectation – at least... Focus
EYFS/Year 1 10-15 minutes
5 x a week with an adult
Read text and discuss it
Year 2, Year 3, Year 4 10-15 minutes
5 x a week with an adult
Discussion: to develop comprehension and inference skills.
Year 5/Year 6 10-15 minutes,
5 x a week with an adult
Discussion: to develop comprehension and inference skills.


Lethbridge Primary SchoolLethbridge Primary School

Comprehension and Inference

In Early Years and KS1, the children are encouraged to discuss what they have read orally as well as the meaning of words and phrases. From year 2 onwards, the children are encouraged to find evidence from the text to support their answers. Children are given the opportunity to look at texts in detail and with support from staff, answer questions about them.

When reading with your child at home, in order to help them understand the text further you can ask the ask them a range of questions that encourages them to retrieve information, infer information or encourages them to give their own thoughts and opinions.

Questions to develop comprehension skills
Can your child find evidence directly and indirectly from the story?
  • What did... do?
  • How many... were/are there?
  • Where did it happen?
  • Who was there?
  • Who are...?
  • How does he describe it?
  • How do you make/do...?
  • What happened when...… did...?
  • What happened to...?
  • How is the character feeling? How do you know?
Can your child answer questions without referring to the story?
  • Have you ever....?
  • If you could....?
  • If you were going to....?
  • In your opinion...?
  • Do you agree with...? Why...?
  • Do you know anyone who...?
  • How do you feel about....?
  • What do you think will happen next...?
Writing

At Lethbridge Primary School, our intent is for children to become enthusiastic, fluent writers who are able to share their ideas and thoughts with others. We provide many cross-curricular opportunities for writing through trips, visits and visitors. We also use high quality texts to inspire the children in their writing. We follow the objectives from the National Curriculum, incorporating them to our cross-curricular writing.

We choose carefully the stimulus for the writing, whether that be a video clip, book, visit or experience. We give the children the opportunity to write for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We feel it is important that children have a good understanding of the different styles of writing and the different genres, so we spend time examining these different text types and we model high quality examples. We analyse the vocabulary used in these examples as well as the grammar and punctuation. We use a range of techniques to teach these skills, such as through model writing or shared writing to demonstrate the process. We encourage the children to edit their work, both independently and with a peer. Teachers model the process of editing to the children so they understand what this involves.

Peer editing in action.

We understand the importance of exposing our children to a wide and varied vocabulary and the impact this has on their learning across the curriculum. We aim to help children increase the number of words they understand but also make links between words to further their understanding. We discuss choosing the best words and make links between synonyms and antonyms. We use a range of texts, both through whole class reads, guided reading books and model texts to teach this new and improved vocabulary. We teach the children to use a thesaurus and encourage them to use this tool in their writing. We support children to be ambitious in their word choices in their writing.

We ensure that we teach the grammar objectives from the national curriculum, and aim to embed them into our writing sessions so the children can see the grammar in action. We model different grammatical structures when model writing and we analyse the grammar when reading texts.

Phonics

At Lethbridge, our phonic teaching is the best it can be; we use the 'StoryTime Phonics' programme which compliments 'Letters and Sounds'. The programme instils a sense of awe and wonder around books by providing the children with memorable experiences which connect learning to reading for pleasure. Every lesson a sound is taught which is contextualised through the use of a real book, written by a well know author. We also use 'Phonics Play' which is a computer based resource which helps the children learn to read and write the different sounds. The children are taught to read tricky high frequency words and are given books to read at home that match their phonic and word knowledge.

All children begin with Phase 1 in EYFS. This phase provides the children with lots of fun activities including sounds walks and games which gives the children time to develop their listening and speaking skills. The children then progress through the phases 2-6 throughout their time in KS1.

The 5 main skills taught during each phase are as follows:
  1. Learning the letter sounds. Children are taught the 44 main sounds. This include alphabet sounds as well as digraphs such as 'sh', 'th', 'ai' and 'ue'.
  2. Learning the letter formation. Using a multi-sensory approach the children will learn how to form and write letters.
  3. Blending. Children are taught how to blend the sounds together to read and write new words e.g. c-a-t becomes cat.
  4. Identifying the sounds in words (segmenting). Children are taught the 44 main letter sounds. This includes the alphabet sounds and the digraphs such as 'th', 'sh', 'ai' and 'ue'.
  5. Tricky words (or Beegu words). These are the words with irregular spellings. Children will learn to read and spell these separately
Spelling

The ability to write down ideas fluently requires a good understanding of spelling. As well as continuing a phonics programme, as required, in KS2, and ensuring that the tricky high frequency words are taught, in KS2 we also follow the Westover Green spelling programme from the Somerset Literacy Network. Spelling is taught in discreet spelling sessions and in small intervention groups, and then spellings are taken home to practise.

We use a range of strategies to support the children when learning their spellings.
  • Phonetic spelling strategies – this involves segmenting the word into individual sounds.
  • Rule-based strategies – through investigations, children are encouraged to find out rules behind the spelling patterns.
  • Word-meaning strategies – Helping children to understand the meaning of words can really help them. Understanding how words are derived, how prefixes and suffixes are added to root words and how to form compound words can help the children become more confident with their spelling.
Children are taught the skills of finding words in dictionaries to help them. We have a range of dictionaries in each classroom, including dyslexia friendly dictionaries, to assist the children in spelling words more accurately.

Spelling bees are held twice a year for each year group. These fun events aim to raise the profile of spelling across the school and encourage the children to learn the statutory words for their year.

Handwriting

In the early years and year 1, children complete fine motor skill activities, such as dough disco, to develop their finger strength, ready to hold a pencil. The children are shown how to correctly hold a pencil and are taught how to form letters correctly. At Lethbridge we use a cursive style.

Once the children are able to correctly form all of their letters, they are taught to join using the correct joins. They are also taught how to keep their letters consistent in size with clear ascenders and descenders.

In Key Stage 2, pupils who demonstrate good handwriting are moved from pencil to handwriting pen. They then work on their fluency and legibility when writing at speed. Interventions are provided for those children who struggle with their handwriting.

Assessment

Assessment and monitoring helps us to evaluate the impact of our teaching on the children and ensure that good progress is being made. This can help us to identify areas of weakness for particular children and set up intervention groups where needed.

Lethbridge Primary SchoolLethbridge Primary School


Lethbridge Primary School
Lethbridge Road
SWINDON
Wilts
SN1 4BY
Telephone: 01793 535033
Email: admin@lethbridgeprimary.co.uk
Lethbridge Primary School is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 7685652.
Registered office:
Lethbridge Primary School
Lethbridge Road
SWINDON
Wilts
SN1 4BY

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