Welcome to this page containing information about how the English curriculum is delivered at Old Buckenham Primary School.
Reading is always a key focus at Old Buckenham Primary School, it is taught from day one and is at the heart of our curriculum. We want to enable all of our children to not only become skilled and confident readers but to enjoy reading for pleasure.
We use Little Wandle, a systematic phonics programme, to teach early reading. Phonic skills are essential for the decoding of and spelling of words. The children are taught to discriminate and produce sounds of speech, to develop their knowledge of spelling patterns and how to apply grammar rules during daily, systematic and enjoyable sessions. It is our aim that by the end of Key Stage 1 the children will have developed fluent word reading skills and have a good foundation in spelling and comprehension.
Comprehension skills are a huge aspect of reading and these skills are developed through one to one reading, whole class story sessions and short sessions planned by class teachers to meet the needs of their classes delivered three times each week. Adults read with all children on a regular basis to help them secure their word reading and comprehension skills.
During whole class reading sessions, pupils are given the opportunity to secure the core elements of the comprehension aspect of reading. At Old Buckenham Primary School and Nursery we teach comprehension skills through Vipers.
VIPERS stands for:
Sequence (KS1) or Summarise (KS2)
The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics, decoding, prosody and fluency. VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that children are asked and are familiar with, a range of questions. They allow the teacher to track the types of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allow for targeted questions afterwards.
All children take home reading books. Children here are encouraged to read at home daily and we ask adults to support their child’s learning by recording the reading that they do at home in the individual online reading record available through GoRead. We want our children to become proficient readers to enable them to access all areas of the curriculum and so that the children can develop a lifelong passion for reading.
Throughout the year we promote reading widely for example by celebrating World Book Day and by sharing a range of exciting, high quality class reads.
Pupils at Old Buckenham Primary School and Nursery will be given creative and engaging contexts to write within, encouraging them to become confident, fluent writers. They will always write for a target audience with a purpose in mind. Our pupils will be given access to high quality texts to read and there will be a balance between teaching the features of specific genres and covering the technical aspects of writing. Our pupils will view mistakes as learning opportunities and use them to edit and improve their writing.
Our writing curriculum is underpinned by the National Curriculum. We teach writing using 'The Write Stuff' approach by Jane Considine. This method allows pupils to improve their oracy and widen their vocabulary in every lesson, whilst deepening their understanding of writerly choices through the use of the shade’o’meter. Pupils love their writing lessons and can’t wait to show what they’ve learnt in their independent extended pieces 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 in order to ensure all writing is effective and engaging for the reader, whilst meeting the intended purpose.
Each half term, each year group focuses on a different fiction and non-fiction genre and a poem in order to create opportunities for cultivating a rich vocabulary and both technical and compositional skills in writing, ensuring that all our children write for a range of different purposes and audiences.
Little Wandle Letters and Sounds
How children learn to read
- Phonics is the only route to decoding.
- Learning to say the phonic sounds.
- By blending phonic sounds to read words.
- Increasing the child's fluency in reading sounds, words and books.
All children in EYFS and Key Stage One have daily phonics lessons based on a systematic phonics programme called 'Little Wandle - Letters and Sounds Revised'. These are government recommended materials that help to improve children's speaking and listening skills, their phonological awareness and oral blending. This teaches children to recognise different letters and their sounds as well as the formation of letters. Phonics is identifying sounds in spoken words, recognising the common spellings of each sound (phoneme), blending the sounds into words for reading and separating words into sounds for spelling.
Little Wandle - Letters and Sounds Revised consists of five learning phases, high frequency words, common words and tricky words. Phase 1 helps the children develop their speaking and listening skills, Phase 4 introduces letter blends such as 'pl, fr, shr', Phases 2,3 and 5 are dedicated to matching sounds to single letters, digraphs and trigraphs.
Please visit the following page for access to a range of resources for you to support your child with learning phonics:
There are a range of useful videos and information available for you to access. The correct pronunciation of the phoenemes is crucial.
Handwriting is a basic skill that influences the quality of work across the curriculum. By the end of Key Stage 2, all pupils should have the ability to produce fluent, legible and eventually speedy, joined up handwriting, and to understand the different forms of handwriting used for different purposes. Our intention is to make handwriting a process that does not interfere with creative and mental thinking.
To develop a neat, legible, speedy handwriting style using continuous cursive letters, which leads to producing letters and words automatically in independent writing.
To establish and maintain high expectations for the presentation of written work.
For pupils to understand, by the end of Year 6, the importance of neat presentation and the need for different letterforms (cursive, printed or capital letters) to help communicate meaning clearly.
All teaching staff are encouraged to model the cursive style in all their handwriting, whether on whiteboards, displays or in pupils’ books. Handwriting is a cross-curricular task and will be taken into consideration during all lessons. Formal teaching of handwriting will be carried out regularly and systematically to ensure Key Stage targets are met.
We use Letterjoin to support with the teaching of handwriting. Every pupil has access to Letterjoin from home. Please see below for useful resources to support including a presentation from our recent Handwriting workshop.
Speaking and Listening
Having good communication skills are an important life skill and enable the children to better access all areas of the curriculum. Speaking and listening skills are taught and integrated into our English lessons where speaking frames are used, when necessary, to help children formulate appropriate and well-structured verbal responses as well as ‘good’ listening skills being referred to and encouraged within lessons. Drama is used across the curriculum to support and encourage the speaking and listening skills our pupils are taught.
This document lists the progression of reading skills taught throughout the school: Reading progression of skillsSimilarly, writing skills are presented here:
Writing progression of skillsAnd speaking and listening skills can be found here: