English - The Curriculum
Whole class reading is taught at least 3 times a week where pupils develop specific reading skills linked to the national curriculum. In addition, teachers listen to the children read individually at least once a week.
At Sutton Valence we use a Book Banding "mixed" scheme in both KS1 and KS2. Pupils are expected to read aloud to an adult at home at least three times a week. A reading challenge is launched every September where pupils move up ‘steps’ and collect rewards along the way.
Discrete phonics lessons are taught in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Some year 3 children receive extra ‘Top Up’ sessions to support them with the transition between Phonics and Spellings. The phonics programme ‘Letters and Sounds’ is the programme we use at Sutton Valence Primary School to ensure coverage. Alongside this, ‘Jolly Phonics’ is used to teach the 42 letter sounds with actions and multi-sensory methods.
From year 3 to year 6, spelling is taught through the use of a program called ‘No Nonsense Spelling’. Teachers follow the program to ensure appropriate coverage and consistency. It is taught every day for at least 15 minutes.
Grammar and Punctuation
The teaching of grammar, punctuation and spelling is planned alongside writing activities so that pupils can apply the skills taught in their writing. Pupils are empowered to apply the skills learnt by evaluating and editing their work.
Grammar and punctuation is taught through the use of colourful semantics in year R and year 1. It is used as an intervention in all other year groups for children who need extra support.
Colourful Semantics is a method of teaching children how to understand and construct sentences. It uses colour coded cue cards to ‘show’ the structure of a sentence.
Class teachers choose up to six themes from the Cornerstones curriculum. For each theme, they use a high-quality and age-appropriate book as the basis for their English planning. Teachers plan a long piece of writing over a certain number of weeks, enabling pupils to build up the skills needed to write independently. Children produce a range of writing including narratives, poetry, adverts, letters, diaries, and non-chronological reports. Class teachers then support pupils in editing their work so they understand how to improve it and move forward with their learning.