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Somerset Bridge

Primary School

Dedicated to Excellence Through Learning Together

Contact Details

Winner - Eileen Brown 98.8%, Nazneen Ahmed Pathak 99.2%
Somerset Bridge Primary School, Stockmoor Drive, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 6AH
01278 422100
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Somerset Bridge Values
Aspire to be the best we can in our behaviour, our learning and our hopes and dreams.
Brave to challenge ourselves and take risks so that we achieve the best we can.
Care for our school environment, so that we maintain a safe, sustainable and healthy community and set an example for life choices both within and outside of school.
Collaborate with all members of the community – pupils, parents, staff, governors, neighbouring schools and organisations in the local area - ensuring that all contributions are encouraged and valued.

English

At Somerset Bridge Primary School, we believe that language and English is fundamental to the overall development of the child and their access to the curriculum in all its aspects. We recognise that the acquisition of English, both spoken and written, will empower our pupils and provide the foundation for all future learning. We promote a culture of reading, not simply as a life skill, but to also develop in pupils a love of books and literature that will not only support their learning across the curriculum, but also enrich their lives.

Statutory requirements for the teaching and learning of English are laid out in the National Curriculum in England: English Programmes of Study – Key Stages 1 and 2 and in the Communication and Language and Literacy sections of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Our curriculum is drawn from these documents. We believe that our children will learn best when given the opportunity to apply their skills across the entire curriculum in rich and varied ways. We acknowledge and celebrate the diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds from which our children are drawn and value and respect children’s expertise in their first language.

 

Reading

Intent: In Reading, we aim to develop pupils’ abilities through a cohesive and creative English Curriculum, which incorporates all the elements of the National Curriculum; spoken language; reading and writing. Promoting a love of reading is essential and a main priority at Somerset Bridge Primary School. We believe that reading feeds imagination, allows curious minds to discover new things and brings enjoyment, therefore we aim to both inspire and provide children with the tools to become motivated and strategic readers, who know more, understand more and remember more.

 ‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.’ Dr. Seuss

Implementation in the Early Years and KS1:

Our English curriculum teaches key knowledge and skills through: discreet phonics lessons, whole class reading lessons and English lessons; as well as embedding these skills across the broader curriculum. Equipping children to engage with, understand and appreciate the spoken and written word underpins all our English teaching. Children are exposed to a wide range of high-quality texts including: stories, poems and non-fiction pieces and given opportunities to respond to these texts in a variety of ways. We emphasise vocabulary throughout the English curriculum, developing understanding of etymology and the manipulation of language, as well as increasing the word-hoard of each child.

Phonics:

  • The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and KS1. A discrete phonics lessons is taught daily to all pupils in EYFS, Y1 and Y2. We deliver phonics through the SSP ‘Rocket Phonics’, following the sequence and progression of this programme, teaching children skills of blending and segmenting.
  • Phonics is delivered in a whole class format because it enables staff to ensure application across subjects embedding the process in a rich literacy environment for early readers.
  • Rapid, same day intervention is planned for those readers who are working below the expected level for their age group to enable them to ‘keep up, not catch up.’
  • Pupils take home books to read matched to the phonics level they are working at so these books are completely decodable for independent reading. We expect the children to apply the skills taught in Phonics lessons in their independent reading at home while building greater fluency, expressive reading and comprehension of the text.
  • All pupils in EYFS and KS1, take part in whole class reading sessions across the week. The focus of these sessions is fluent word and sentence reading and the learning of new vocabulary.
  • Weekly read and relax sessions in class to allow children to choose a book of their choice to take home and be shared with an adult, who will read it to them.

Implementation in KS2:

  • Should children enter KS2 needing further reading support, phonics interventions are put in place to enable children to close the gap. Small group or 1:1 sessions matched to the child’s reading ability will be put in place and provided by support staff. These children will also have small group guided sessions, as delivered in KS1, to enable application of the phonic code.
  • Children in KS2 access the Accelerated Reader Programme. Children carry out a termly Star Test to assess their reading age and books are read at home at this level. Children then take a quiz when they have finished the book which assesses their understanding of what they have read. Adults in the class monitor this carefully and ensure children reach their 85% pass score, with book levels changed accordingly. Where children are progressing slower in reading, they begin with Early Literacy assessment, allowing books to be more closely matched to their decoding ability.

Whole School Implementation:

  • Whole class reading lessons are taught daily across the whole school. Pictures, extracts or whole texts may be used progressively through the year groups. These lessons focus on the teaching of reading skills based on developing children's fluency and comprehension skills. They expose all children to high-quality age appropriate texts and equip them to comprehend meaning and develop understanding of vocabulary.
  •  Pupils throughout school have a reading book and children are encouraged to carry out independent reading both in school and at home to improve fluency and further enjoyment.
  • Our children are exposed to a variety of different reading schemes to offer a range of text types and styles. The schemes included in this reading provision are: Collins Big Cat, Rising Stars, Oxford Reading Tree and Project X. All books are labelled with their Accelerated Reader level to ensure progression and appropriate challenge for all pupils.
  • Across the school, classes have a read aloud session every day where children can develop their enjoyment of hearing stories read aloud. Our School Reading Spine outlines a selection of high-quality texts which are age-appropriate to their year group, and cover a wide range of genres and contexts. This is supplemented by challenging books chosen by class teachers that will inspire and motivate the children in their classes to be enthusiastic readers. 
  • Our school library is used by every class once a week. Classes use the space for story time sessions in EYFS and Year 1. From Year 2, children can choose and borrow books of their choice to read in their own time.
  • We participate in a variety of reading celebrations throughout the year to promote a love and enjoyment of reading. World Book Day is a huge event in our school calendar as well as participating in the Summer Reading Challenge and having visits from our local library and theatre groups.

Writing

Intent: At Somerset Bridge, we believe that the ability to write is fundamental to our children succeeding; enabling them to access the next stage of their education and beyond. We want all children to be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing and reach their full potential. Our curriculum has been designed to ensure that pupils enjoy writing and have passion and enthusiasm for it. Our aim is to ensure that pupils write clearly, accurately and coherently; write in different styles and for different purposes and audiences; develop a wide vocabulary and a solid understanding of the grammar rules and terminology appropriate for their age group. Our curriculum has also been designed to ensure that pupils are able to express themselves creatively and to communicate effectively with others.

Implementation:

Writing is an important part of our curriculum and is an integral part of all of our lessons. While the skills of writing, including spelling, grammar and handwriting, are taught explicitly in lessons, we also provide opportunities for children to apply these skills across the whole curriculum.  At Somerset Bridge, we teach writing through:

  • The Talk for Writing programme. Each writing unit is planned in accordance with the National Curriculum objectives and centred around a core, quality text. Core texts are progressive through the school, allowing children to build on prior knowledge while extending their skills. This process centres around 3 main phases: ‘IMITATE’, ‘INNOVATE’ AND ‘INVENT.’ The use of ‘Talk for Writing’ strategies ensures a consistent and systematic approach to teaching the skills of writing in all classes throughout the school.
  • During each teaching unit, we use pre / post writing sequence tasks (cold and hot writes): these are carried out at the beginning and end of each writing teaching sequence. These tasks help measure the improvement of writing through a sequence of work and help each teacher to carefully match planning to the needs of the class.
  • IMITATE: Children begin with developing their speaking and listening skills by retelling the core text and developing their understanding of new vocabulary and grammar. We use drama and comprehension activities to immerse the children in the text and enable them to have a deep understanding of the core text, as well as using this as context for explicit teaching of new grammar skills. 
  • Shared and guided writing during the ‘INNOVATE’ phase, model to children the technique of using the grammar skills taught which are specific to the text type. Children are explicitly taught how to structure a piece of writing and begin to apply these themselves with small step support.
  • During the final phase, ‘INVENT,’ children are given the opportunity to use their knowledge of the text type to plan, write and publish their own text. They are also supported in ‘polishing’ their writing, developing skills in editing and rewriting.
  • Ensuring writing is purposeful: Where possible writing units will be linked to our learning in the foundation subjects so that children can benefit from the links and deepen their understanding. Where possible ICT will be used, to improve children’s communication skills and to give a different platform to present / perform their work. 
  • A rigorous and consistent spelling approach is used.  In EYFS and Year 1, spelling lessons through the week focus on children applying their phonic knowledge to spell words. Spelling ‘rules’ and strategies are taught in lessons and differentiated spelling lists are taken home to learn for a weekly spelling test. Spelling lessons in Year 2 onwards continue in classes but the focus begins to shift from application of phonic knowledge to the teaching of age appropriate spelling objectives as outlined in the National Curriculum. Alongside these spelling ‘rules’, children are also taught key statutory spellings for their year group throughout the year.
  • Handwriting. As part of the Rocket Phonics programme, correct letter formation is taught in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 and practiced each day. When children reach Year 2, they are taught to use cursive handwriting. In Years 3 and 4, handwriting is taught in explicit lessons three times per week, using the Nelson programme. Children continue to learn letter joins and continued as intervention in Years 5 and 6 where needed.
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