At Pelham we want all pupils to:
- foster a lifelong love of reading
- through their reading, have the opportunity to explore new ideas, visit new places, meet new characters and develop a better understanding of other cultures
- read for pleasure and with fluency
- be confident, fluent and competent readers
- build up their vocabulary so giving them the word power they need to become successful speakers and writers as well as confident readers
- develop a love of language and a rich vocabulary
- see themselves as 'real writers' from the beginning, able to produce meaningful and useful work in a variety of different situations
- embed their writing skills across the curriculum
- communicate effectively in writing, and enjoy being able to express themselves in this way.
Early Reading is a crucial area of our curriculum, and at Pelham we teach children to read with the use of the 'Little Wandle Revised Letters and Sounds' scheme of work. Please see the 'Phonics' section below for more information.
At Pelham, 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 are constantly updating older material in order to provide quality in these crucial years of literacy and have recently updated our 'class readers' following a book audit across the school.
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 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 their first meaningful mark-making through to drafting and re-drafting in the later stages, as the children seek to improve their work. This approach also allows us to introduce and build rules of spelling, punctuation and grammar progressively, according to the child's level of understanding and readiness. Concepts are revisited to ensure the children are supported in understanding and mastering them.
Writing is taught across the curriculum through a range of inspiring stimuli, including high quality texts and films that reflect our school community, as well as the children’s real life experiences. We encourage children to view themselves as 'real writers' from the outset, able to produce meaningful and useful work across a variety of different genres. We provide opportunities for the children to write purposefully for different audiences (both internal and external), so that they develop a passion for writing.
In each unit of work, the children investigate a series of ‘WAGOLLs’ (what a good one looks like), so that they understand what they need to do to be outstanding writers. Writing is ‘chunked’ across a series of lessons, which ensures the children have sufficient time to produce a quality piece of writing. This approach also helps the children further develop their writing stamina.
Shared writing, where the teacher models writing (using the class flipchart/ interactive whiteboard), is informed by contributions from the children and forms part of classroom practice throughout the school. The children also have access to scaffolded resources and displays to support them in their learning.
Writing is celebrated through Pelham’s 'Pulitzer Prize for Progress’, where we have termly nominees and winners, rewarded in front of their peers for fantastic progress in their writing.
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 accurately, starting in the correct place and continuing in the right direction. Every class has formal handwriting practice on a weekly basis. In Key Stage 2, ‘Pen Licences’ are awarded to those children with a neat, cursive script.
We teach phonics by following the accredited scheme of work, 'Little Wandle Revised Letters and Sounds:' https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/
We teach the children how to recognise individual sounds in words, and then use these sounds to segment and blend the sounds together to read words. The teaching of phonics is broken down into 5 separate phases of learning. In Reception we start our Little Wandle phonics teaching with daily lessons, and daily 'keep-up' groups on top of this, for any children who need additional support. We also teach our reading through the scheme, and crucially, all pupils are heard at least three times a week in small groups. This model of teaching early reading continues into year one, with regular 'placement assessments' conducted, to assess where the children are with their learning. In year two, pupils who need to, take part in a daily 'rapid catch up' group to cement their phonics knowledge. If needed, some KS2 pupils also take part in Little Wandle groups until fully secure with their grapheme-phoneme correspondence.
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 are given spellings appropriate to each child’s phase of phonics. Year 2 are set spellings based on the 'Little Wandle Revised Letters and Sounds' phonics curriculum in Autumn term, before moving on to the 'No-Nonsense Spelling' programme in Spring and beyond. Years 3 – 6 use the spelling word lists in the National Curriculum, and the 'No-Nonsense Spelling' scheme of planning 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.
Click on the link below for an overview of the English topics taught across each year group, throughout the year.
Click on any of the links below for English Curriculum guides: