How do you organise the English curriculum at SMMA Primary?
We use the National Curriculum objectives as a basis for our English curriculum. These are delivered through a carefully planned curriculum which exposes pupils to a wide range of genres throughout their time in Primary school. Our curriculum overview for Literacy can be seen here. In addition, we use the National Curriculum objectives for vocabulary, grammar and punctuation to ensure progression of knowledge throughout the year groups. These can be seen here.
How do you support and promote reading at SMMA?
All our staff are passionate about supporting and promoting reading for our pupils. So much so that we needed to put together a separate webpage to share all the actions we take to do so. You can read more about reading at SMMA here.
How do you teach phonics?
At SMMA we use Sounds Write as our phonics scheme. All our teachers in Reception, Year 1 and 2 have attended comprehensive training in teaching phonics through Sounds Write. Sounds Write is 'a very highly structured, multi-sensory, incremental and code-oriented, instructional approach to teaching children to read and spell. It teaches all key elements of conceptual understanding, factual knowledge, and the three essential skills of blending, segmenting and phoneme manipulation necessary for learning to read and spell and it does so on a daily basis until all children achieve the automaticity that underlies the fluency of every successful reader.'
You may wish to download the SMMA Primary Phonics statement for further details. Each year, we offer parents and families in Reception, Year 1 and 2 the opportunity to attend a workshop led by teachers on our phonics scheme. The slides from our last workshop are available here.
What are your expectations of handwriting?
Being able to write legibly and fluently is a key objective for our pupils. Like reading, making the process of writing as automatic as possible allows our pupils to be able to express themselves more easily through written word. There are various different styles of cursive writing; here at SMMA we use the style recommended by the British Dyslexia Association. This offers consistent letter formations from Reception up to the end of Key Stage 2. As a resource, we use The Handwriting Rescue Scheme. This demonstrates each letter formation in both upper and lower case and models how to make the joins between the different lower case letters. The scheme does not teach the letters in alphabetical order but is based on letter family groups. Letters with similar formation are introduced in sequence so that handwriting skills develop and progress systematically. Our SMMA Primary Handwriting statement gives more practical detail about how we support handwriting.