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Amberley Primary School

Nurturing Innovation & Aspiration

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  • Amberley Primary School,
  • East Bailey,
  • Killingworth,
  • Newcastle-upon-Tyne,
  • Tyne and Wear, NE12 6SQ
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The English Curriculum at Amberley (including our approach to Phonics)

In all areas of our curriculum, we seek to include and promote our core values.

 

Nurturing  Innovation  Aspiration

Nurturing: Working together with care, support and encouragement.

Innovation: Looking for new and exciting way to learn and teach.

Aspiration: Always expecting the very best of our staff and our pupils.

 

Curriculum Intent (Reading)

At Amberley our aim is to equip all of our children with the skills needed to become independent, fluent and passionate readers. As detailed in our overall curriculum intent, the teaching of reading at Amberley embraces all three of our core values: nurturing, innovation and aspiration. By focussing on these three key priorities at the heart of our curriculum we believe our children will be ready to successfully meet the challenges of the next stage of their education. We strive to enable every child regardless of their background, needs or abilities to become a good reader and we aim to provide rich, engaging experiences of reading that inspire the child to become passionate lifelong readers.

 

 

The school has clear expectations of pupils’ phonics progress term-by-term, from Nursery to Year 2, and the school’s phonics programme aligns consistently with these expectations. Regular and accurate assessment continually informs teaching of phonics, comprehension and fluency to ensure all children make rapid progress. The sequence of reading books that we have carefully selected to show a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge, is matched closely to the school’s phonics programme.

 

At Amberley we know how important parental involvement is to a child’s reading education and therefore we aim to regularly engage parents through a variety of reading based workshops including phonics and guided reading. We also endeavour to promote reading to parents through annual reading challenges which involves parents reading regularly with their children and sharing their reading experiences via Twitter and through home-school tasks.

 

 

 

 

Curriculum Implementation

Whole class reading is delivered five times per week in KS2 and is also delivered in Year 2 alongside phonics. These reading sessions centre on vocabulary rich and engaging texts from a variety of genres. Children pick apart texts using a range of ‘reading strategies’ to gain a true understanding of the author’s intent, structure of the text, themes within a text and vocabulary. The 'reading strategies' that children are taught underpin the strands of the National Curriculum for reading. At Amberley we recognise these strands as 'Reading VIPERS'. 

 

 

Reading Strategies

 

 

Reading VIPERS

 

 

Children who are working within the school’s reading scheme also read 1:1 a minimum of once per week with a teacher or skilled teaching assistant. Pupils who have completed the school reading scheme choose books initially from a carefully selected, age appropriate range of fiction and non-fiction texts which are checked regularly for pupil understanding of text, vocabulary and fluency of decoding words. Once teachers are confident that children are able to select their own texts, children in UKS2 ‘check in’ and ‘check out’ their book choices using a QR based scanning and logging scheme. Teachers monitor this regularly to assess reading stamina, current interests of pupils in texts and comprehension.

 

Daily phonics lessons are carried out from Nursery to Year 1 and four times per week in Year 2. The teaching of sounds is progressive throughout EYFS and KS1 and can be tracked easily using the ‘sounds table’ that is located in the front of phonics books. Sounds that are secured in application are highlighted in blue. Children begin in Nursery by focussing on the ‘seven aspects’ of ‘Phase 1’ taken from the Letters and Sounds documentation; which ranges from hearing sounds in the environment to listening and remembering sounds as well as talking about sounds. When Nursery children are ready, they move onto recognising initial sounds, how to say them and how to form them. As children progress throughout Reception and KS1, the teaching, application and consolidation of consonant and vowel digraphs and trigraphs takes place as well as practice on blending and segmenting consonant clusters.

 

Reading from Reception to Year 1 takes place on a 1:1 basis with class teachers and skilled teaching assistants. Reading at this age focuses primarily on children’s application of their phonics knowledge to build fluency and comprehension of a text. A carefully selected reading scheme has been chosen to closely match the stage of phonics that each child is working within. A rigorous assessment of children’s phonics is carried out half-termly (or more frequently if needed) to ensure that any gaps in phonics knowledge are addressed immediately and tailored, effective intervention is put in place. Additionally, a bookmark scheme is used alongside texts that pupils are reading at home. This bookmark informs parents what to focus on when reading with their child at home. Home-school reading records also allow conversations between parents and teachers to take place around reading and children’s reading achievements.

 

At Amberley we strive to encourage a love of reading in all of our learners, regardless of their background. We provide a range of opportunities to nourish and enrich enthusiasm for reading with the aim of all children becoming lifelong, passionate readers. Detailed below are some of the ways in which we aim to embed such passion.

 

Recently we have constructed a reading shack within the outdoor learning environment at Amberley which provides pupils with the opportunity and freedom to read in their own time within the school day, for example during break or lunchtime.

 

Each year we have a different whole school focus at the centre of encouraging a love of reading. In previous years, this has included ‘Road to Rio’ and ‘Word Wizards’. This year’s theme is ‘Wriggling Readers’ which is celebrated weekly in assembly time and centres on building children’s reading stamina and the links between home and school encouragement of reading.  

 

Paired reading also takes also takes place between Year 2 and Year 5 children on a weekly basis as does ‘Secret Reader’ when one Year 6 child, twice weekly is selected to go and read to Reception and Year 1 classes.  

 

At Amberley we also take part in annual author visits where children are the given the opportunity to engage in a workshop with a range of authors who specialise in current children’s literature. Many children take this opportunity to buy the books and have them signed by the author. We believe that such experiences connect learned in the classroom with the wider world and increase and improve pupils motivation to read and write. We are fortunate enough at Amberley to have our local library within walking distance and therefore seize this opportunity for our children to visit weekly.

 

Example strategies we use within Whole Class Reading

 

Summarising Strategy

 

 

Inference Strategy

 

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Examples of our Whole Class reading activities

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EYFS and KS1 Reading Scheme

At Amberley we have carefully selected a range of books that match the progression of our phonics scheme, so children are reading books that compliment the sounds they are being taught within phonics lessons. 

 

 

  

         

 

 

Promoting Reading from the word “GO!”

The promotion of Reading at Amberley is embedded from Nursery all the way up to Year 6. The North Tyneside Library Bus visits Nursery, Reception and Year 1 termly. Children go onto the Library Bus to meet the librarians, return previous books they took out, discover new texts and listen to stories read by a librarian. Look at the photos below to see our visits...

 

Nursery on the Library Bus

      

 

 

     

 

Y1AB listening to a story on the Library Bus

 

 

Children from Year's 1 to 6 have twice termly library visits to our local library situated within the White Swan Centre. Children have the opportunity to discover a range of new texts, learn key skills to help us search for new books in the library, listen to, read and take out new books. Lots of parents, grandparents and carers accompany us on our trip to the local library, we couldn't do it without their support. See the photos below...

 

Y2KR visiting the White Swan Library 

 

   

 

We love looking for new books to read...

 

 

Y1 playing story bingo on our visit to the White Swan Library 

 

 

 

heart Reading and taking out new books heart

 

 

 Using an index to search for books...building our library skills 

 

   

 

Author Visits

As part of Amberley Primary School’s aim to promote reading, throughout November this year children from Year’s 1 to 6 visited a range of well known authors. From these authors we learnt:

  • about the job of an author
  • what inspired authors to become an author
  • where they get ideas for stories from
  • how to plan a story they are going to write

...and lots, lots more!

 

Look at the photos below to see our author visits in action...

 

 

Year 1 visiting the author Tracey Corderoy 

 

 

 

We learnt how to draw her character Slippery Sam 

 

 

 

 

We had so much fun!!!

 

 

smiley Waiting to get our books signed by Tracey Corderoy smiley

 

 

Y2 visited the author Julia Jarman and met her afterwards too

 

 

 

 

 

Y3 visited the auhor Nick Sharratt 

 

 

 

 

 

Y4 visited Gareth.P.Jones

 

Pupil Voice

 

We feel it is important that we listen to the feedback of our children at Amberley and they are very positive about their reading lessons.

 

A child from lower Key Stage 2 exclaimed...

“We all enjoy it...you never know what’s coming next, it’s so exciting!”

 

Another shared...

“I like doing the quizzes and predicting what’s going to happen next.”

 

A child from upper Key Stage 2 said...

“After reading books in whole class reading, I’ve started to read more at home. If you’re stressed, it calms you

Curriculum Impact (Reading)

Teaching and support staff use a wide range of formative assessment tools during the lesson to judge the impact that the teaching is having on children’s learning. To further measure the impact of reading teaching of reading and learning we also deliver summative assessments at the end of each term. This is a helpful tool to measure how deep the children have embedded the strands of reading when it is assessed out of context and at a later date to the initial teacher input. Question level analysis (QLA) is then completed of these tests to measure this impact and help inform planning for the next term. From this QLA, children are identified where learning of the strands of reading has not been fully embedded. These children are then grouped based on their needs and attend interventions based on the strands they have found challenging

 

It is vital that measuring the impact of our teaching of reading closely informs our planning going forward, individualising our curriculum to meet the needs of all children.

Amberley Primary School's approach to the teaching & learning of Phonics

 

Phonics teaching at Amberley is very effective and performance in the Year 1 Phonics Screening test has been significantly above national averages since the assessment was introduced. We are proud of these outcomes and they are achieved through a combination of carefully planned teaching and learning and work in partnership with parents who are involved and informed about our phonics teaching from the first days their child begins nursery or reception. Staff hold meetings for new nursery and reception pupils and these include advice on how to support their children with phonics. Teachers in Key Stage 1 invite parents to specific phonics meetings in order to support phonics home learning.

 

Our phonics teaching and learning in based on a combination on three phonic schemes, these being:

 

  • Letters & Sounds and
  • Read, Write, Ink.
  • Jolly phonics

 

Teachers use the best aspects of both schemes to plan work specific to their groups of children. Teaching support staff are used to further group our classes and support the most and least able learners, ensuring they are appropriately challenged. We have recently appointed a staff member to the role of 'Phonics Lead Teacher' who has worked alongside a Local Authority specialist phonics teacher to further develop our teaching and learning in phonics which has involved a review of teaching, differentiation, marking and feedback and interventions. Please see the attached phonics action plan for further details.

 

Below is a link to a website, which links each sound to their phoneme.

 

https://www.lesleyclarkesyntheticphonics.co.uk/index.php/parents/125-articulation-of-phonemes

 

 

Teaching Teachers Phonics

Mrs Armstrong led a phonics focus morning held at Amberley Primary School, developing Trainee Teacher’s subject knowledge and skills, who are enrolled on the North Tyneside PE SCITT course. Focuses of the morning included:

  • What is phonics?
  • Why is phonic so important?
  • How we teach phonics at Amberley and why 
  • Assessment of phonics
  • The impact of phonics on developing young readers
  • Discovering resources that can be used to support the delivery of phonics

 

 

   

 

 

As part of this morning, Mrs Armstrong demonstrated a 1:1 reading session with a Year 1 pupil. Trainee’s then put the skills they learnt into practice. See photos below: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Furthermore, students practiced delivering a practice Phonics Screening paper with each other which gave them an insight into the statutory assessment linked to phonics. 

 

 

 

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Promoting Handwriting at Amberley

 

At Amberley we promote handwriting within Guided Reading and English lessons. Children are encouraged to take pride in the presentation of all their work across each subject. Pen licences are presented to children who show consistent and fluent cursive handwriting in their writing. Letter formation is taught from the earliest opportunities and reinforced in phonics and English lessons and all written tasks. 

 

Below are some examples of two children's writing who have achieved their pen licences.

 

 

 

 

 

We further promote handwriting through half termly handwriting competitions, where all winning entries are displayed in school.

 

 

 

Please see our English documents and policies section for further information on our handwriting expectations and letter formation. 

 

Reading Teaching and Learning Profile

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