At Holy Trinity C of E Primary, we recognise the central importance of English as a medium for thought, learning and expression across the curriculum, and as a subject in its own right.
We provide a wide curriculum to enable every child to become as literate and as articulate in thought, speech and written work as possible, within his/her full potential. Within our structured, but varied, programmes of study, we provide experiences to enable every child to become competent, confident users of language with the skill to match style and response to audience and purpose. In addition, we try to ensure that each child derives pleasure and enjoyment from the use of language by providing a language rich environment that promotes a culture of reading and writing.
Phonics is taught daily across EYFS and Key Stage 1, these session focus on the development of the phonetic code, reading and writing. Children are taught to use their knowledge of sounds to support themselves when reading and writing both common and irregular words. At Holy Trinity, the phonics scheme ‘Floppy Phonics’ is taught. This is a highly effective programme that delivers synthetic phonics teaching in a well-structured and systematic way. The children are organised into six sets, which are taught by the three teachers and three teaching assistants.
Children’s phonic understanding is regularly reviewed (6 times a year) and staff take frequent opportunities to discuss the progress of individual children, moving them to alternative sets, as appropriate.
Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation
At Holy Trinity we work hard to ensure that all children acquire a full understanding of age-appropriate grammar, spelling patterns and punctuation rules, all of which play important roles in enabling them to become proficient readers and writers. From Years 2 to 6, the children have lessons in grammar, spelling and punctuation that can be either discrete sessions or that are planned to coincide with text-based lessons.
At Holy Trinity, we firmly believe in the importance and benefit of accurate spelling. As a result, the learning of spelling patterns, through ‘Floppy Phonics’ is consolidated through weekly spelling words. This is introduced at the beginning of Year 1, with weekly spelling words being practised at school, sent home for further consolidation and assessed through a weekly spelling test
The consolidation of spelling patterns continues to be reinforced throughout Key Stage 2, where the children also have weekly spelling words that link to the focus of learning in class. On occasion, these can be topic related words to support their learning further.
In addition, we encourage children – from Year 1 – to learn the spelling of high frequency words. The testing of these words is done through dictation of sentences (from Year 2 to 6) as this is the context in which most of us write, rather than in formal spelling tests. Children’s progression in spelling is tracked using the ‘Single Word Spelling Test’, which is taken every October. (January for Year 1 children)
At Holy Trinity, we teach writing through units of work which can last from one to four weeks per unit. As we have a topic-based curriculum, the units of work link to the particular topic being studied. Each of these focuses on a specific genre of writing, for example, information text, fantasy story, patterned poetry. Before teaching the unit, the teacher identifies the skills required to be able to write in that particular genre. These are then taught throughout the unit, giving the children the tools to write that particular genre successfully. Whilst skills are learned and practised over the course of the unit of work, the ‘written outcome’ is generally a polished piece of work that is placed in the children’s topic books.