Dear Parents and Carers,
I am writing to inform you about how spelling will be taught and what the spelling homework will look like this year at South Benfleet Primary School. We acknowledge that spelling is a particular weakness for many children and we feel this is, in part, due to the ever increasing informal use of spelling on social media, texting, advertising, abbreviations etc. Therefore, we have worked hard to change how we deliver spelling lessons, increase the effectiveness of spelling homework and ultimately improve understanding of the spelling rules.
We have decided to move away from using ‘look, cover, write, check’ as we felt it had become stale and it wasn’t valued by all children. In its place, we aim to move forward with a website called spellingframe. Spellingframe is an innovative and easy-to-use website that enables the children to learn specific spelling rules in a fun and enjoyable way.
What the homework will look like
Over a two week cycle, children will be required to complete a minimum of two ‘tests’ on spellingframe. Although called ‘tests’ this aspect of the website gives children the opportunity to practise the spelling words. They will also be required to complete a minimum of one spelling game and earn spelling points. Please note that children can play as many games and complete as many ‘tests’ as they like! Children will also receive written homework, as well as the list of spellings in their homework books, to give them the opportunity to write out the words which are crucial to embed the rule.
We will continue to teach spellings over a two week cycle.
Start of first week Monday - New spelling rule set on spellingframe and spelling list given out
Start of second week Monday - written homework set in homework books. Please ensure your child has their homework on this day.
End of second week - Test of spellings at school and all homework due in.
Thank you for your understanding. We are really excited to launch our new-look spelling homework and we feel that it will be a real difference to your child’s spelling skills.
For further guidance and information, please watch the video that can be found on our website:
Please feel free to contact us if there are any questions.
At South Benfleet Primary School, we teach a broad and balanced curriculum through carefully planned themes. Our curriculum incorporates the National Curriculum as well as the teaching of Religious Education.
As stated in our mission statement, our aim is always to make learning ‘fun, real, relevant and memorable’ so that:
To help us plan clear progression from year to year we use the Chris Quigley ‘Essentials Curriculum’ to support our planning. Our planning is detailed, inclusive and differentiated to meet and challenge the needs of all pupils.
Please click on the link below for the National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2
Phonics and Spelling
We believe that learning to read and write well is a vital foundation to any child’s education and that the development of good literacy skills is essential to academic success.
The teaching of phonics aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonics knowledge. In Reception and Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) we teach phonics daily, using a structured phonics programme called ‘Active Learn Phonic Bug’. We make use of a variety of other resources to support our teaching, such as ‘Phonics Play’ and ‘Spellzone’ which are online. Daily phonic activities help children to know letter sounds and build a bank of recognised common words for reading and writing. Children are taught and progress through 6 phonics phases, 1 - 6.
After Phase 6, which is taught in Year 2, we work through the National Curriculum, Appendix 1 Spelling document and activities are tailored to the individual needs of pupils within each class.
At the end of Year 1, children have to take a statutory phonics screening to assess their progress and understanding of phonics.
It is our aim to help children to find a love of reading. We want to develop reading skills with our pupils in order to improve life chances and provide them with life skills. We believe that reading improves language and vocabulary skills and stimulates imagination which all help to make good writers.
We use a variety of reading materials in school, including at least one reading scheme, ‘Oxford Reading Tree’, to help ensure progression. We also have a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books outside of published reading schemes in classrooms and in our school library which encourage children to enjoy ‘real books’.
It is our expectation that children should read a minimum of four times at home, with an adult every week and children are rewarded for achieving this expectation. To support reading at home, we have developed and provide our own detailed home school reading record book which has useful sections to explain different aspects of reading e.g. phonics and grammatical terms as well as ideas of questions to help gauge understanding of texts and develop comprehension skills. We ask parents to record in the reading record book each time they read with their child and this is monitored by the class teacher.
We teach reading through our literacy curriculum but also specifically through ‘Guided Reading’ sessions. Guided Reading is the method used to teach children to become fluent in decoding and confident with comprehension. Children are taught in small groups set according to ability. Guided Reading is principally the class teacher's responsibility and is planned and evaluated for all children by the class teacher. However, other trained adults can also teach guided reading sessions.
RSE (Relationships and Sex Education)
We live in an ever-changing world where many children have 24 hour/365 day access to worldwide, digital and often inappropriate resources and misinformation. The Government has realised how vitally important it is for children to have access to reliable, accurate information about how they grow and change; how to keep themselves clean and safe and how to form and maintain healthy relationships with others.
We will be having RSE lessons from EYFS up to year 6 and will be following the Christopher Winter Project (CWP) resource ‘Teaching SRE with Confidence in Primary Schools’. This programme reflects the recent developments and changes to Government statutory guidance and expectations in RSE as well as the Science National Curriculum and has been quality assured by the PSHE Association.
PSHE Association Training and Development Lead Jenny Barksfield says this about the resource:
“It provides everything a Primary practitioner would need to be confident that the SRE they’re providing is comprehensive, balanced, developmental and in line with best practice in PSHE teaching and learning.”
“Within the resource there is an increased focus on safeguarding/keeping children safe. The resource also encourages children to develop the skills of listening, empathy, talking about feelings and relationships with families and friends.”
“The resources in this scheme are age and developmentally appropriate, for example, in EYFS the focus is on daily routines, keeping clean and families. From year 1, children will learn the names of the body parts, the differences between males and females and the ways in which they will develop and grow. Importantly, they will recognise unsafe and risky situations and know who to ask for help.”
“The curriculum continues to develop our pupil’s knowledge and skills as they learn about the physical and emotional changes of puberty and about reproduction.”
Please remember that we do have an ‘open door’ policy and if you have any queries or questions, please speak, in the first instance, to your child’s class teacher who will hopefully be able to help you.