At Sutton Green we understand how important it is for children to be able to write confidently and with enjoyment. Our provision is to provide a wealth of opportunities for children to write about and to ensure that we are providing stimuli that are both engaging and inspiring. We recognise the importance of a culture where children take pride in their work and also want our children to be excited about their writing, finding opportunities both inside and outside of school to discuss and share.
We follow a Mastery approach to the teaching and learning of English through the programme Pathways to Write. Units of work are delivered using high quality texts and children in all year groups are given varied opportunities for writing. Skills are built up through repetition within the units, and children apply these skills in the writing activities provided. Many opportunities for widening children’s vocabulary are given through the Pathways to Write approach and this builds on the work we do in school to provide our children with a rich and varied vocabulary.
Children are expected to apply their writing skills and knowledge in cross curricular lessons; teachers provide extended writing opportunities to ensure children can write for sustained periods of time and at length. During all writing activities, high expectations and standards of writing in terms of composition, word selection, spelling and punctuation are expected.
We recognise the importance of fostering a culture where pupils take pride in their writing; write clearly and accurately; and modify their structure and language choices to suit a variety of audiences, purposes and contexts. At Sutton Green Primary School, we want writing to equip our pupils with the necessary tools to communicate effectively and to understand the importance of writing as a life-long skill.
Children will develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation. They will be taught the correct use of grammar and build on what they have been taught to expand the range of their writing and the variety of the grammar they use. We take pride in all our written work including handwriting, content and presentation throughout the school year and this hard work is reflected in our books.
Marking is thorough in our written work, with regular opportunities for feedback. Our children understand the markng in their books and can use it as an opportunity to learn and develop.
Spelling is taught daily in Years 3 to 6 for children who can read accurately, with increasing speed. Using an approach underpinned by phonics, Read Write Inc. Spelling develops children’s knowledge of word families, how suffixes impact upon root words, and provides mnemonics to remember the trickiest spellings. It is an interactive programme which teaches spellings in a fun and engaging way and helps children to learn spellings with common patterns and uses rules in order to help them recall spellings as well as teaching exceptions to these rules. The teaching revolves around instruction (with the help of online alien characters), partner and group practice, and competitive group challenges that help children commit new words to memory. Individual workbooks allow children to practise their spellings and the teaching naturally follows on from the Spell Review part of the RWI phonics programme taught as soon as the children enter Reception. There is no formal spelling homework, but you can support your child with their spelling by practising their year group specific spellings ('orange words') which can be found and downloaded below.
Children’s command of vocabulary is key to their learning and progress across the whole curriculum, and at Sutton Green we aim to enhance children's vocabulary. Teachers therefore develop vocabulary actively, building systematically on children’s current knowledge. They will increase pupils’ store of words in general; simultaneously, they make links between known and new vocabulary and discuss the shades of meaning in similar words. In this way, children will expand the vocabulary choices that are available to them when they write.
Children leave our school having grown in ability and confidence with their writing through their time here. Our pupils have experienced a wealth of authors and genres which has opened up their imaginations. They have developed their transferable skills, so that by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and we can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
As all aspects of Literacy are an integral part of the curriculum, cross-curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the Literacy lessons are being transferred into other subjects. This shows skills being consolidated and a deeper understanding of punctuation and grammar objectives.
At Sutton Green we believe that reading is an essential life skill and we are committed to enabling our children to become lifelong readers. It is our intention to provide pupils with a high-quality education in reading, which will feed imagination and curiosity; develop knowledge of the world and instil the skills and love of reading necessary to succeed in school and later on in life.
Teaching in EYFS concentrates on language development, developing phonological awareness and the teaching of phonics. Key stage 1 builds upon the work from the EYFS, introducing new GPCs as well as working towards recognising words on sight in order to build fluency. Alongside this, comprehension is broken down into small steps and develops throughout KS1 and KS2.
At Sutton Green, we value discussion and make time for it in reading lessons, recognising that it is essential in promoting the acquisition of vocabulary and grammar knowledge, as well as knowledge and understanding of the world. Through our curriculum, children learn the skills necessary to read, discuss and understand a range of texts, as well have opportunities to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.
Promoting the enjoyment of reading plays an important role in our curriculum. We want children to be confident readers, able to tackle a range of unfamiliar and increasingly demanding texts. Most of all, we want to inspire a love for reading that will stay with children long after they have left primary school.
We follow a Mastery approach to Reading through the programme Pathways to Read. Units of work are delivered using high quality texts and children are given varied opportunities for reading. Skills are built up through repetition within the units, and children apply these skills in the reading activities provided.
We deliver one whole class shared reading lesson per week from years 2-6 with bespoke grouped reading for every pupil at least once a week. In our shared and grouped reads, there is a clear teaching focus with the opportunity to master key reading skills in each session. There are follow on reading tasks to enable pupils to evidence the skills they have mastered independently.
Many opportunities for widening children’s vocabulary are given through the Pathways to Read approach and this builds on the extensive work we do in school to provide our children with a rich and varied vocabulary.
As we believe that reading is key to all learning, the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the result of statutory assessments. Children have the opportunity to enter the wide and varied magical worlds that reading opens up to them. As they develop their own interest in books, a deep love of literature across a range of genres cultures and styles is enhanced.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics and reading enquiry, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident readers who can apply their knowledge and experience to a range of texts through the Key Stage 2 curriculum.
Children leave our school as fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.
You will find the end of year expectations for reading for each of our year groups in the attached documents. For further detail on the skills that your children are learning on a termly basis, please contact your class teacher.
All children across school have two reading books which go home. The first is a book based on their reading level, aimed to build reading confidence and develop reading skills. The second is a free choice library book chosen for enjoyment. This may be a book that they will share with an adult at home, or read alone.
More able readers will be given a challenge book, chosen by their teacher to enrich their reading experiences and encourage them to try different genres and authors. As other confident readers may also have been given the same text, it also opens up opportunities for book talk within class.
There is space in childrens' reading journals to record 5 reads per week, as well as a space for parent/teacher comment section for home/school communication. Please encourage your child to read at least 3 times per week. It is important that you spend time listening to your child read and asking them questions about what they have read. Reading stories to your child provides them with a love of books, an understanding of language and a deeper understanding of the world around them.
Below are some links for a list of recommended books for each year group.
At the bottom of the page are documents with QR codes and links to some of the best online storytimes for children to access freely at home. The story readings on Youtube and all of the books chosen are read aloud by their fabulous authors and illustrators.
Whole School Text and Display
As a school we choose a text or event around which to focus our writing. This work is then collated to form a whole school display where children, staff, parents and visitors can enjoy the published work. Please take a look at the photos below that illustrate these topics.
Over the past few years we have created displays on the following:
'Where My Wellies Take Me' by Michael Morpurgo
'Sutton Green Explorers'
'The Story of Life' learning about how the World began
Our Great Britons
‘We're Going on a Bear Hunt’ - A narrative and non-fiction focus around bears.
Current environmental issues e.g. plastic pollution
We also 'revamp' our school library with each class focusing on a book linked to their first Cornerstones topic and discover it cross curricularly through English, Art and DT.