Learning is a change to long-term memory. To this end, our aim is to ensure that our children experience a wide breadth of study and will have committed to their long-term memory an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge (knowledge and skills).
At Leigh on Mendip School we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where the children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their writing for a range of contexts. We want to inspire the children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening to communicate further their learning. We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum.
Reading and Phonics
Progression and sequence
Through reading, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
read easily, fluently and with good understanding
develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
In Leigh on Mendip School phonics will be emphasised in the early teaching of reading. We prioritise the teaching of phonics and we aim for all children to master the phonetic code as quickly as possible. We teach phonics daily in Reception and Year 1, it is taught through a highly structured synthetic phonic approach. We follow a scheme called Little Wandle and the priority is that children develop their knowledge of the 26 letters in the alphabet, the 44 phonemes and 140 letter combinations.
Click the image for more information about our teaching of phonics:
At the end of Year 1 the children undergo a statutory phonics screening check. Children who have not yet met the expected threshold continue to receive phonics support.
Recommended Apps to support phonics at home:
Rigorous assessment and review throughout the program will ensure that targeted support is given to all.
Once reading, we intend to encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and reading, to gain knowledge across the curriculum and develop their comprehension skills. It is our intention to ensure that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently and with confidence.
Progression and sequence in writing
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language. It is essential that the teaching of writing develops pupils competence in transcription and composition. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
In Leigh on Mendip school these aims are embedded across our literacy lessons and the wider curriculum. We will provide the means for children to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum.
Progression and sequence in Spoken Language
Teachers should develop pupil’s spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
In Leigh on Mendip school we recognise that without effective communication, little achievement can be made. We ensure that English teaching is priority and we recognise that this is necessary cross curricular and a constant throughout school life.
Through the Little Wandle programme, the book a child is expected to read matches the phonemes they are currently being taught. Children read these books during Guided Reading at school and then re-read them at home to develop fluency. Along with these phonetically decodable books, children also take home a book simply to enjoy. It is through sharing books that children’s vocabulary is broadened, cultural capital is built and a love of reading is nurtured.
When a child is ready, they are introduced to other reading books which build upon decoding skills, but also develop a repertoire of further reading strategies such as sight recognition, knowledge of grammar and picture cues.
At Leigh on Mendip children participate in the Reading Raffle. Parents record children’s reading at home in their reading diaries. These reads are then collated for each child and when they hit the milestones they will receive a book of their choice during celebration assembly.
Click on the image below to access the latest booklists for children.
Children across the school have regular handwriting practice and fine motor activities.
Children learn to form letters as part of their phonics following the Little Wandle scheme.
Please see attached handwriting guidance
We develop confidence in our pupils to write creatively and for a purpose. Our overview for writing ensures that writing skills are built upon progressively as children move through the school.
Writing at Leigh on Mendip is taught through The Write Stuff approach. This method allows pupils to improve their oracy and widen their vocabulary in every lesson, whilst deepening their understanding of choices for writing through the use of the shade’o’meter. Pupils make rapid progress in writing and enjoy sharing their independent writing at the end of each unit.
All our writing is taught through the ‘writing rainbow’ which provides a lens for the writer to focus through. This ensures all writing is effective and engaging for the reader, whilst meeting the intended purpose.
The Write Stuff
You can find out more about The Write Stuff and purchase the book by visiting the website:
Primary English Curriculum
Our writing lessons, alongside our reading lessons, are carefully structured to deliver the complete English National Curriculum. You can see this document here:
The breakdown of the spelling curriculum can be viewed from appendix 1 of the National Curriculum:
There is a wealth of amazing websites out there to support writing, both at home and at school. Below is a selection of some of our favourites.
Bitesize has videos, games, guides and lockdown lessons available.
Check out the range of ‘sheds’ in their ‘What’s New?’ section.
There are some great resoures here to help expand vocabulary.
This website is a great place to go for quizzes and games.