At Thameside Primary School, we understand that communication is a key aspect in every child’s learning so that they develop the knowledge, skills, self-belief and motivation to be successful in both their current learning and throughout their lives. We provide opportunities for all of our pupils to develop their use and understanding of Standard English to their full potential in all aspects of speaking, listening, reading and writing, including spelling and handwriting.
English is taught on a daily basis through specific lessons in writing and reading but is also prominent in the school’s enquiry based curriculum, where pupils can apply and enhance their English skills in a range of different ways across a broad range of subjects. Our aim is to develop the pupils’ abilities and confidence in communicating for different purposes and this often allows them to express themselves using their key strengths.
A major focus at Thameside Primary School is on grammatically accurate and fluent writing. All children write daily. Teachers model the writing and planning process through shared writing sessions where ideas are collected and developed. Children work individually, or in pairs, to write narrative and non-narrative texts. Objectives taught within Literacy are used to develop writing across the curriculum.
There are often exciting Literacy events throughout the year, where everyone can enjoy reading and writing together. They are exciting events for all children and staff.
In Reading, we teach a guided reading curriculum that covers key skills needed to become a great reader - understanding inference, retrieval of information, authorial intent, understanding of text layout to name a few. We teach using many of the resources from the Literacy tree across the academy. Children access author based book collections, the school library, have high quality reading experiences such Senior Leadership Recommended Read assemblies and teachers ensure that children regularly read at home and in school.
The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Phonics is taught daily to all children in Foundation Stage, Year 1 and those in Year 2 who have not passed phonics screening in Year 1. Letters and Sounds is used as the spine for delivery of the phonics sessions. Staff systematically teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. Phonics is delivered in a whole class format because it enables staff to ensure application across subjects embedding the process in a rich literacy environment for early readers. Intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels.
Grammar is taught on a daily basis through fun and engaging activities, following the Nelson scheme of work. Each day a short session is taught to recap prior learning through a range of activities, including games and creative tasks. Each week, a standalone Grammar session is taught during a timetabled English lesson. Throughout the entire curriculum, Grammar terms are referred to regularly, whether that is during teacher input or through marking and feedback. Every term, children are assessed on their learning and understanding by completing a test based on the Grammar areas that they have been taught.