Pelham Primary School


At Pelham we want all pupils to:


Our reading programme closely reflects children's own interests and experiences. At Pelham, the books in the school are organised into levels of difficulty shown by ‘colour bands’. Some of these banded books are from reading schemes; such as ‘Collins Big Cats’, ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ and ‘Rigby Stars’. The class teacher guides the children to select books that reflect both their interest and ability from an appropriate colour level. We are constantly updating older material in order to provide quality in these crucial years of literacy.

We have a beautiful, well stocked library designed by the children, to which all classes have access and we also visit the local library. During the Summer term a librarian comes to promote the Summer Reading Challenge.

  We want to foster a lifelong love of reading   and, as part of their daily routine, the children have opportunities to read for pleasure as well as read as part of a guided session with their teacher. We read stories aloud to children regularly and positively encourage children to take home their reading book daily and to read with their parents. We encourage our pupils to develop the habit of regular private reading so that they can derive the maximum pleasure from books at home as well as in school. Parents and teachers comment on the children's progress and communicate through the 'Home/School Reading Record Book'. Communication between home and school is fundamental in helping each child to develop to their full potential.


In writing, we use a developmental approach which encourages children's independence from the first meaningful 'scribbles' through to making draft copies in the later stages. This approach allows us to introduce and build rules of spelling and punctuation according to the child's level of understanding and readiness.

We provide opportunities for the children to write purposefully for different audiences.

We encourage children to see themselves as 'real writers' from the beginning, able to produce meaningful and useful work in a variety of different situations.

Shared reading and writing on the class easel or interactive whiteboard is a daily part of classroom practice throughout the school.

Presentation is considered to be important and particular attention is paid to handwriting. Children at Pelham are taught to control a pencil and form letters correctly, starting in the right place and continuing in the right direction. Every class has formal handwriting practice on a weekly basis. ‘Pen licences’, in Key Stage 2, are awarded to those children with a neat, cursive script.


We teach phonics by following the DfES' Letters and Sounds’ scheme of work. Using a variety of resources such as ‘Read, Write Inc’ and ‘Jolly Phonics’, we teach the children how to recognise individual sounds in words, links sounds to actions and then use these sounds to segment and then blend the sounds together to read words. The teaching of phonics is broken down into 6 separate phases of either sounds or patterns. As the phases progress so does the expectation of the sound or pattern. It is the expectation at Pelham that pupils will be on phase 6 when they enter Key Stage 2, however some children may still require teaching from phases 2-5. Children have a phonics lesson every day in groups so we can ensure they are making rapid and sustained progress.


At Pelham, children are encouraged to attempt their own spellings when drafting stories and poems, to encourage confidence and independence. Children and teachers proof-read writing, at which stage there is a focus on correct spellings. Children are encouraged to use dictionaries and are asked to learn spellings for a weekly test from Year 1 upwards. Years 1 - 2 are given spellings appropriate to each child’s phase of phonics. Years 3 – 6 use the spelling word lists in the National Curriculum to support the children when learning spelling patterns. These spellings are then differentiated for groups.

Parents are invited to annual Reading, Phonics and Writing workshops to hear in greater detail about how reading, writing and Phonics is taught at Pelham.

Expectations of Parents/Carers

Pelham expects Parents/Carers to be an integral part of their child's learning. Therefore we expect them to listen to reading regularly and help with the learning of letters and sounds along with the learning of weekly spellings.

Curriculum Guidance

Click on the link below for an overview of the English topics taught across each year group, throughout the year.

English Curriculum Overview

Click on any of the links below for English Curriculum guides:

Glossary of Terms

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Year 4 Year 5 Year 6

A Writer at Pelham - Skills progression through the year groups

A Reader at Pelham - Skills progression through the year groups