Learn more about the school Curriculum in this section.
We have designed our own curriculum. We have called it ‘Learning Layers’. It covers all aspects of the National Curriculum but it a way that we think can be understood by everyone!
Click on the link below to see how it works!
How do we assess pupils’ Learning and Progress?
We instill a love for reading and writing by exposing children to a wide range of rich texts and Visual Literacy. These are used as a stimulus for speaking and listening, reading and writing. We emphasise the importance of using talk for writing in the Early Years Foundation Stage, through to Key Stage 2. Key writing skills (including grammar, punctuation and spelling) are taught in daily English sessions and are consolidated through foundation subjects, every afternoon. Daily opportunities for writing across the curriculum ensure that students develop confidence, fluency and accuracy.
Each unit of work in English usually links in some way to the theme that students are currently studying to enhance their learning and give students opportunities to develop and use new vocabulary in a meaningful context. English skills are further consolidated, applied and developed through foundation subjects, daily starters and SPaG sessions.
CHILDREN WHO READ SUCCEED!
The reading scheme used is Collins Big Cat mainly for EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2 which ensures that the texts provided to the children are closely linked to their phonics levels. The children then move onto Oxford Reading Tree before moving onto Wolf Hill.
Our school uses Reading Logs – their books will be changed regularly to ensure progression. Please hear your child read regularly and write in their Reading Logs. Click on the links below for help with reading at home:
Although many children can read, reading and reading comprehension are two different things. While reading involved translating and decoding text into sounds and spoken words, reading comprehension involves taking what was just read and deriving meaning from those words. In simpler terms, reading comprehension is the ability to read, understand, process and recall what was just read.
Below is a range of reading comprehension question starters. Please feel free to use these when listening to your child read each evening. If you may wish to make a note of the domain/question asked, you can do this in your child’s reading record:
challenges about book they have read
KS2-Guided-Reading-Prompts Question Help
The 5 Ps for book talk
focused reading skills questions
inference question starters
non fiction questions
Reading at School – Guided Reading
We have guided reading sessions in school where the children focus on domains. These are to help the children to have a deep and thorough understanding of texts.
KS1 domains = word reading, predict, retrieve, infer, vocabulary, sequence
KS2 domains = word reading, predict, retrieve, infer, vocabulary, summarise, author’s choice, compare, cohesion
Year 1 have guided reading everyday for 25 minutes focusing on the KS1 domains where they read in a group with the teacher answering questions, read their home reader to the LSA, read for pleasure and complete an independent activity linked to the domains. By the end of the week, all children would have completed all activities.
Year 2 have 3 guided reading sessions that last 1 hour each. The first session is a whole class session where we focus on 2 domains together and read a text together. The children complete an activity based on one of the domains introduced this week. Session 2 and 3 – the children have an independent activity, read for pleasure, read with a teacher and answer questions linked to 2 domains and comprehension practise. By the end of these 2 sessions, all children would have completed all activities.
KS2 (years 3-6) have 4 guided reading sessions that last 1 hour each. The children have 2 whole class sessions where we focus on 2 domains together and read a text together. The children complete an activity based on one of the domains introduced this week. The other 2 sessions – the children have an independent activity, read for pleasure, read with a teacher and answer questions linked to 2 domains and comprehension practise. By the end of these 2 sessions, all children would have completed all activities.
Here are the reading objectives for each year group from the curriculum: literacy-reading-year group objectives
Our children learn phonics using the Letters and Sounds programme. This is a systematic synthetic approach which ensures progress across EYFS and KS1. Phonics is a crucial part of Early Reading so this is a massive focus and is taught daily right from EYFS through KS1.
For phonics help, click the following link: Phonics Help for Parents <—Here you will find phonics explained and help with pronouncing the sounds your child will be taught
Coverage in Phonics:
Nursery = Phase 1 and Phase 2
Reception = Phase 2, 3 and 4
Year 1 = Recap of Phase 3 and 4 and move onto Phase 5
Year 2 = Recap of all phases and move onto Phase 6 and spelling rules
In KS2, we identify children’s phonic gaps and they are addressed through small group interventions.
In Year 1, children will sit a phonics screening test towards the end of the year (June) where they will be expected to read a range of real words and alien words (made up words) using all of the taught knowledge from phases 2-5. Here is a Powerpoint to explain the phonics screening check: Phonics PPT for parents
Spelling helps reading and writing. We use the no nonsense spellings scheme to teach spellings at school providing the children with knowledge of spelling rules and a range of strategies to remember spellings. Below is a list of spellings your child should know for each year group :
National Curriculum Spelling Information and Lists <—-this gives you the spellings for year groups 1 to 6
You can practise these spellings in a number of ways. Use these strategies to help you learn your spellings: Spelling strategies (2017_08_12 12_28_30 UTC)
We take pride in our handwriting at St Martins where we practise this at least 3 times a week. EYFS and Year 1 focus on letter formation and the sizing of their letters using the Ruth Miskin rhymes to help remember how to form the letters. Year 2 onwards focus on joining letters and forming a consistent, neat handwriting style. Once the children have mastered their joined, neat handwriting style they can be awarded with a pen licence where they use a blue pen in their work.
Ruth Miskin rhymes for letter formation – Letter-formation-chart
Children will have Literacy lessons 4 times a week where the focus will be on spelling, punctuation and grammar. They will focus on a range of texts, both fiction and non-fiction exploring important aspects of the text including characters, settings, features and language.
Here are the curriculum objectives covered in each year group: literacy-writing-year group objectives