Curriculum and Reading Scheme
Bournville Primary school is a larger than average primary school with children aged 2-11. Families within the area access high levels of social support including housing, food banks and health care and as a school we strive to work alongside these partners to meet the needs of our children and their families.
Children entering our 2+ nursery and pre-school start our school well below the national average. Due to this we invests widely in supporting the development of speech and language in order to close gaps between them and their peers nationally. An enhanced curriculum is put in place to ensure that our children have opportunities to broaden their experiences of the world beyond school. Throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1 gaps in reading and writing are identified and specific intervention is put in place to support these children.
At Bournville Primary School our teachers strive to ensure that balance across the curriculum is maintained and that all areas of the curriculum are important and given equal priority. Our curriculum is designed to meet the expectations laid out in the national curriculum. In addition to the national curriculum the school offers a broad PSHE curriculum to support children in their cultural understanding and British values are built into the everyday teaching and underpin the ethos of the school. A specific safe guarding curriculum has been designed based on the risk factors that have been identified through our safeguarding audits and knowledge of children’s experiences outside school.
A rich and diverse curriculum is designed to ensure that children are exposed to experiences that build powerful knowledge and skills. The English curriculum is based on a deep understanding of quality texts that will enrich children’s language and understanding of the books they are reading and the world around them.
Wide ranging writing opportunities are planned, providing purposeful reasons to write and the wider curriculum builds upon these writing experiences and aims to provide children with deep knowledge that will equip them well for the next stages of their education.
The Math’s curriculum follows the White Rose Hub. This scheme or work provides a logical progressive sequence of small steps leading towards achieving age related outcomes. Learning sequences include fluency to ensure prior knowledge is reinforced and retained as long side teaching new skills and concepts. Children will gain the skills and knowledge to achieve in all areas of future life and compete equally alongside their peers, who do not come from the same disadvantaged backgrounds.
When designing our curriculum the teachers identify end points and the key knowledge that children will acquire during a topic. This knowledge is shared with our children and the sequences of learning are designed to ensure that all children achieve these end points.
The school environment is designed to enhance the curriculum. High priority is placed upon outdoor provision for children at all stages of learning as the school is acutely aware that housing for many children restricts their access to outdoor space. Children have access to a well-designed wild life area, quality sport provisions and large amounts of outdoor playground space which includes large playing fields, forest school and large playground equipment. The curriculum is designed to challenge children beyond their own experiences. We aim to prepare children for their next steps in their educational journey by developing all areas of their academic profile alongside building their social and emotional intelligence.
An Inclusive Curriculum
Bournville has a highly inclusive curriculum. Children are given many different adaptations of the curriculum in order that the high levels of special needs children can access the learning. Individual provisions are designed so that children can engage with tasks in class and become independent in their learning. The school has high levels of children with social emotional, mental health needs. As a result we have created a clearly planned and strategic approach to pastoral care, which is not only reactive to the changing needs of our children, but also proactive in anticipating potential support that our children may need. This pastoral support includes, individualised plans for our children, a variety of ways to engage parents, nurture, independence and resilience interventions, as well as mentoring and social skills support.
Bournville Primary school follows the North Somerset programme of Phonics into Early Spelling.
This programme is a nine step approach to the systematic teaching of phonics.
In the Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading carried out by Jim Rose in 2006, he clearly states that quality teaching of early reading, “involves a systematic approach to phonics which adheres to a small number of core principles”.
The core principles involve:
- children having knowledge of the alphabetic code;
- children having the skill to blend to read;
- children having the skill to segment to spell;
- children understanding these as a reversible process.
The knowledge children acquire to support their development of early reading is equally as relevant for their development as a writer. It is important that children are given equal opportunities to practise and apply their phonics skills in writing and reading tasks so that they can understand the relationship between decoding skills for reading and encoding skills for spelling.
These principles are underpinned by the modelling and teaching of good listening skills, combined with frequent opportunities to improve children’s visual and auditory memory and their ability to sequence. These skills are developed through the teaching of activities to promote phonological and phonemic awareness in young children before they embark upon a systematic phonics programme.
Knowledge of the alphabetic code
- A phoneme is a sound in a word. There are approximately 44 phonemes in the English language.
- A grapheme is a letter or sequence of letters that represents a phoneme.
There are approximately 140 different ways that graphemes are used to represent the 44 phonemes in the
These words each have three phonemes (separate sounds). Each of these phonemes is
represented by a grapheme:
- A digraph is a grapheme where two letters represent one sound kn representing /n/.
- A trigraph is a grapheme where three letters represent one sound igh representing /ie/.
Through the Learning Exchange Programme for Phonics into Early Spelling, children learn that:
phonemes are represented by grapheme the same phoneme can be represented by different graphemes:
- /c/ can be represented by c, k, ck, ch. Consider cat, kite, deck, chaos
- the same grapheme can represent different phonemes:
- ch can represent /c/ and /sh/ and /ch/. Consider Christmas, Charlotte and church
The English curriculum at Bournville aims to develop children’s skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening in a robust and responsive way. It also aims to develop a love of reading, writing and language which will last our children a lifetime and enable them to fulfil their potential once they leave us.
A love of reading is encouraged by an ever increasing range of provision such as:
- weekly library slots for all classes and all children able to take a library book home
- home library for nursery and pre-school changed weekly
- regular author visits
- whole school events and celebrations
- reading buddy schemes
- lunchtime story clubs
- school book club
- competitions and class based rewards
- daily reading of a class story for pleasure
Children are exposed to a wide range of high quality texts throughout the school. In the Early Years and KS1 this is supported by the core book list we have developed. These books are read to the children regularly so that they become familiar and the language and vocabulary begins to be embedded in the children’s own language patterns. The core texts also form the basis of play based activities in early years to allow children to use the language patterns in their play. In addition, the core list includes a range of nursery rhymes and poems to ensure that children experience a range of these in their time here.
In KS2 the texts children are exposed to are based on the CLPE Power of Reading range. This forms the basis of their writing by providing hooks into writing using the language from the high quality texts to improve their writing. Children are immersed into the Power of Reading texts through activities such as role play, real life experiences and art, encouraging a greater depth of understanding and engagement in the texts.
It is important for children to access texts that are appropriate for their ability in reading to enable them to apply the skills taught in phonics as well as other reading skills. Books for individual and guided reading are banded according to reading recovery levels for 6-30. Phonically decodable books are also used and these are banded by phonic step. It is vital that early reading is done through the use of phonically decodable texts and therefore we ensure that the first books children receive to read at home are matched to the phonic step they are on and contain graphemes that they will be familiar with at any point in their learning. A variety of reading schemes are used in school including: Bug Club, PM, Oxford Reading Tree, Jelly and Bean, Storyworld, Ginn Pocket reads, Lighthouse, Rigby Star and Big Cat.
Children are regularly assessed to ensure that their reading level is correct for them and this is done using running records and PM Benchmarking.
The important skill of decoding is taught using the North Somerset ‘Phonics into Early Spelling’ programme. Children in Reception and KS1 receive daily interactive phonics lessons to embed the skills of recognising graphemes and blending to read unknown words. There are also additional groups to pre-teach and repeat parts of the programme as needed up to Year 3.
Reading for meaning is embedded in our teaching of reading across the school. This is reinforced during all reading sessions where children are given time to discuss their thoughts about books and guided reading sessions happen daily for year 1-6. Starting from the initial understanding that all children bring to text, teachers facilitate discussion, provide modelling and use book talk to deepen understanding of what is read.
In EYFS and KS1 this discussion is verbal with some recording beginning in Year 2. KS2 use Text Response Booklets to give children the opportunity to write their ideas about what they have read. They also provide a progression in the type of questions that children will answer in line with the National Curriculum requirements for comprehension.
As a school we recognise that it is essential for all children to learn to read and we provide a range of interventions to ensure that no children are left behind. These include Reading Recovery, Bournville Reading Partners, Bournville Reading Partners Plus, additional guided reading pre-reads, Inference Training, Rapid books, book groups and 1;1 reading.
We aim to develop enthusiastic writers who can use their writing skills in a variety of contexts and for a range of purposes. This includes developing language and transcription skills but also we aim to ensure children feel ‘like a writer’ not just someone who can write.
Children are taught spellings in an interactive way through a variety of activities. They begin with learning to spell the ‘non-negotiable’ first spelling list alongside their phonics in reception and KS1. In KS2 children are taught spelling rules according to the programme devised by North Somerset and they receive three discrete spelling sessions a week.
The spellings and rules being taught are displayed clearly in the classrooms and are referred to by adults and children at the point of writing and during shared writing sessions. Feedback given by adults will included spellings and these will be corrected by the child using the resources in the classroom.
The teaching of handwriting skills starts in Nursery and Pre-school where activities are provided to develop the gross and fine motor skills needed later when writing letters begins. Mark making is highly valued and a wide range of tools and contexts encourages children to experiment with it.
In reception and onwards children are taught to write fully cursive script through regular handwriting sessions. Those who need support in developing their motor skills are identified for interventions such as Dough Gym or Write Dance and there are also intervention groups across year groups giving focused support with letter formation.
Grammar is taught in KS1 and 2 during the teaching sequences for the different genres of writing. Once an aspect of grammar is taught it is then modelled through shared writing before being included in the success criteria or writing toolkit for use in independent writing. Any discrete teaching of grammar must be used in context through writing.
All writing in Bournville begins with reading. Whether a core book in EYFS or KS1 or Power of Reading text in KS2 the children are immersed in the language of quality text as a starting point for their own writing. This text then provides hooks, or reasons to write as well as providing new vocabulary, language patterns or text structures which will be used in children’s own writing.
The children are taught to write in a variety of genres both fiction and non-fiction and these are taught using a clear progression through the year groups.
Within years 1 to 6 children will write each non-fiction genre at least once during the year which will then be applied in cross curricular work.
There are 6 basic pure genres:
- Non-chronological report
There are 7 basic narrative plots:
- Overcoming the monster
- Rags to riches
- The quest
- Voyage and return
Early Years and KS1 use Talk for Writing approach to teaching writing. This includes a focus on oral rehearsal of text using actions to reinforce the key language. Once children are able to imitate the text they move onto shared writing where the text is modelled and they innovate to make a new story with similar language patterns. Children will also work on short burst writing which aims to develop strong sentence level skills within the text type. Children are encouraged to invent stories through their play when they can make story maps and use role play to tell their own stories. Invention is also done through shared writing once a week where teachers model the writing process and use children’s ideas to develop class stories.
In KS2 the key features of a text type are constructed by the children through looking at model texts, real life examples of text and work on the text type from previous years. This then forms the success criteria for their own writing. Short burst writing and oral rehearsal of sentence structures is followed by shared writing. Once children have these tools they are ready to write independently, edit and improve and then publish their work.
Speech and Language:
We recognise that communication are crucial to future success for our children and the development of excellent speaking skills underpins our curriculum in all areas at Bournville. Vocabulary is explicitly taught through topic work and in guided and shared reading. Talk for Writing provides a structured platform to developing children’s speaking skills and we have developed a progression of storytelling language to be taught in EYFS and KS1
Opportunities for developing confidence and skills in communication are built into every lesson. At the end of each topic children share their learning and this is used to provide audience and purpose for speaking in increasingly formal contexts - from talking about art they have made, to becoming experts in an exhibition, to delivering motivational speeches to a hall full of people.