At St Peter's Catholic Primary School, English and the teaching of English is the heart of our curriculum. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied English heritage. Staff at St Peter's, feel it is fundamental to highlight and be aware of the differing groups of learners and vulnerable children in their class. We recognise that each child has their own starting point upon entry to every year group and progress is measured in line with these starting points to ensure that every child can celebrate success.
We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and we can use discussion to communicate and further their learning. We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as their advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in English skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they will need to participate fully as a member of society.
With these aims in mind, first and foremost, we implemented discreet lessons for reading into year groups from 2 - 6 (for Year 1: Phonics). This ensures that reading objectives are explicitly taught every day and that every child have quality reading time with the teacher. Vulnerable groups are highlighted and teaching assistant are used to support these groups further to ensure progression and specific year group skills are secure. Resources are used to support and enhance these lessons to make certain that all staff feel proficient and skilled in delivering high quality lessons.
Children are not only learning comprehension skills but also independence, a love of wider reading and exposure to rich vocabulary, making this the backbone of all our lessons. Alongside reading being celebrated in classrooms, you will find displays around the school which celebrate authors, children's favourite books and reading reward schemes (Accelerated Reader "AR" - Achievement Board). In addition throughout the school year reading is enhanced through World Book Day, Millionaire lunches, parent phonic workshops, House Team reading competitions which enrich and complement children's learning. At St Peter's we believe consistency and well taught English is the foundation of a valuable education therefore we ensure that the teaching of writing is purposeful, robust and shows clear progression for all children.
In every year group, the teaching of explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives are taught within the English lesson to ensure that these skills are embedded in the children's writing. The assessment of writing has been produced in line with the Key Stage Assessment Frameworks (published by the Department of Education) to provide the teachers with the necessary guidance to make robust and secure judgements. Writing is taught through the use of high quality text which exposes the children to inference, rich vocabulary, a range of punctuation and characterisation. Each text is carefully selected by the teacher to promote a love of reading, engagement and high quality writing from each child.
Progress, sustained learning and transferable skills is the impact that our teaching has on the children. With our new focus on reading and embedding GPS being well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children are becoming more confident readers and writers. Our 2019 SAT results highlight the results of this new focus. As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have also improved. These skills taught in the English lessons are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives. We hope our children will continue to foster a love of learning as they progress through their education jouney and that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them as they become confident, articulate and competent members of society.
At St Peter’s we have adopted an innovative and child-led approach to spelling. Across the school we have introduced the Spelling Shed and Spelling Frame Programmes across the school. The new National Curriculum outlines very clearly the continuity and progression of spelling for Key Stage 1 & 2. This resource includes termly spelling lists that follows the National Curriculum, spelling games and a programme of study for every year group which can be shared with parents to ensure that full coverage of all spelling rules and exceptions have been offered.
Alongside these programmes, the children of KS2 will also use ‘Spelling Boxes’ to personalise their learning of spelling. They contain words that the child needs to learn. Working with a spelling buddy, a ‘Spuddy’, words are tested daily and progress from being a new word to becoming a learnt word. All learnt words are then tested by an adult and ticked off of the child’s word list. These lists are formulated from each year groups' Programme of study (see National Curriculum document).
The class teacher will set spelling lists to support each child's individual ability.
Weekly spelling assessments will take place in every year group where the teacher will monitor the progress of each child and provide feedback in any areas of weakness.
In addition to this, the teacher will use a range of strategies and resources to enhance the children's learning of spelling.
Discreet spelling lessons will be delivered to the children on a daily basis in order to learn, practice and perfect accurate spelling. From the spelling lists set for homework, a weekly test will take place to identify gaps in learning and to inform teachers' planning. These tests will take place every Friday.