OPEN DAY: Friday 17th November 2023.
Beetham CE Primary School
Stanley Street, Milnthorpe, Cumbria LA7 7AS
Our reading scheme is Little Wandle, using Big Cats reading books. All children in Reception and Key Stage 1 have daily phonics lessons. The core scheme that we follow is Little Wandle. There are lots of resources under the ‘parent’ section of the site to help you support your child’s learning. In addition, we enrich the curriculum through using interactive resources online.
At Beetham C.E. Primary School we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s ability and confidence to communicate effectively through language whether written or verbal. We aim to encourage a love of reading, writing, speaking and listening. One of our priorities is helping children read and develop comprehension skills in order to fully understand, appreciate and utilise the power of the written word. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts and purposes. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and to be able to use discussion to articulate and explore different opinions and viewpoints to further their learning.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
At Beetham C.E. Primary School our intent is for every child to become a fluent reader who can use reading to find things out, to develop a love of reading and to read for pleasure on a regular basis.
This intent can be broken down into the following aims of teaching reading in our school. We aim to develop pupils who:
These aims are embedded across our English lessons and the wider curriculum. We provide many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing, speaking and listening. We use a wide variety of high-quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. Teachers also ensure that cross-curricular links with concurrent topic work are woven into their teaching programmes and actively use children’s own experiences as learning opportunities such as visits, experience days, events in school and out of school. English skills for a purpose being at the heart of our teaching.
The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
Writing is taught using a mix of approaches where Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar within all lessons. Texts are carefully selected to ensure high quality reading and vocabulary choices as well as motivate children to read and develop starting points for writing. Whole school and inter-school moderation are used as a regular tool alongside observations to ensure all teaching staff have a consistent and high-level expectation of what effective English teaching and learning looks like.
At Beetham C E Primary, we identify children who need support in English at an early stage and provide intervention in the most effective and efficient way that we can. This begins with the provision of high quality Caring for Everyone, Learning Together, Achievement for All. ‘Love one another with genuine affection; delight in honouring each other with mutual respect’ (Romans 12.10) teaching in the classroom and support from trained teaching assistants to scaffold and support in class. We have intervention reading support and are fortunate to have parents, governors and friends of the school who come in to hear children read. Children with specific Literacy difficulties have specific Support Programmes that often include structured 1:1 sessions with an adult to cater for these particular needs as well as access to the online programmes that can be used both in school and at home.
We run parent information sessions to support parents with English. These include sessions on phonics and reading and preparing for SATs so that they understand age-related expectations. These sessions are well attended by parents and carers who often comment about how helpful the sessions have been for them. We ensure childcare is provided for after school/evening meetings so no family is disadvantaged due to childcare needs. In addition, we hold twice-yearly meetings with parents on a 1:1 basis with their child’s teacher(s). These meetings are extremely well attended and provide useful dialogue.
Whilst following our school marking and feedback policy, marking in English is designed to be a vehicle to move the child’s learning in an age-appropriate way. It may take many forms such as more verbal immediate feedback and written summative statements in EYFS all the way through to longer feedback involving written comments. Children are encouraged wherever possible to respond independently to feedback in order to make improvements to their work/understanding.
We love to celebrate success of all learners and strive to help all children achieve their goals. English is celebrated in classrooms, in Celebration Worship and around school at Beetham CE Primary, where our bright and colourful displays celebrate children’s English achievements and love of books. In addition, throughout the school year our English curriculum is enhanced through World Book Day, drama opportunities though clubs and nativities as well as an annual school performance written by staff, to a range of trips and visits which enrich and complement children’s learning. Every child has a reading record book to encourage children to read regularly at home and share their successes and thoughts about reading.
Our implementation is developed through secure understanding of the curriculum and subject area. In EYFS and KS1 planning is taken from the Little Wandle Synthetic Phonics Scheme alongside the National Curriculum and Development Matters. Planning is KS2 is also devised using the National Curriculum with support from Literacy Shed Plus and VIPERS.
Reading and phonics is taught daily in EYFS and KS1. In KS2 reading is promoted through English lessons with the use of key texts as writing starting points. There are also two lessons each week dedicated to the teaching and learning of reading.
Every child has a reading record book and is encouraged to read regularly at home and share their successes and thoughts about reading. There is a focus on providing children with a reading experience rich in high-level vocabulary and through the genres of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
Termly assessment is showing that most children at Beetham CE Primary are making good progress and achieving in English at age-related expectations. Some children achieve at a greater depth in reading and writing at the end of both KS1 and KS2.
All aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation ofskills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives.
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly in EYFS and in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and by the time they leave Key Stage 2 they show the ability to write effectively for a wide range of purposes.
They show confidence during speaking and listening activities whether this is presenting a performance, debating at Pupil Parliament or standing up at an early age to tell parents and carers what they have enjoyed learning that week in our weekly Celebration Worship.
We hope that as children move on from Beetham CE Primary to further their education and learning, that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.