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01/10/21

What a fantastic end to the week! We thoroughly enjoyed the harvest service this morning and received so many donations for Reigate! Thank you to all our wonderful families for your donations! https://t.co/EpUxBPBQhi

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01/07/21

Year 5 and 6 have enjoyed outdoor activities this week including: tree climbing, fire building, hoverboarding and archery! What a fantastic week! https://t.co/pv9ZTtKEmu

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08/06/21

Well done to the year 6 pupils who wrote to their favourite authors a few weeks ago. Today we were very lucky to have publishing team respond to us (with some amazing book donations too). Thank you! https://t.co/Hz87U8Mm8f

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12/05/21

What have the children been reading and learning about in EYFS? As part of our Minibeast topic, we read the story 'Aaargh Spider' and made our own spiders!  https://t.co/7q7XV4X0HS

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08/05/21

We enjoyed a fantastic day celebrating Number Day yesterday! Lots of our children came to school wearing their favourite or lucky numbers, and took part in lots of fun maths activities! https://t.co/WU25oH66kC

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06/05/21

Nothing like cricket in the rain! Thank you to Mr Fisher from Merstham Cricket Club for helping our year 5 girls improve their cricket skills! https://t.co/aPcEFRuqdB

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05/05/21

Since returning after Easter the children in year 6 have been learning all about Ancient Greece! Reading and retelling a variety of Greek myths has been a huge highlight of their new topic so far! https://t.co/QZPm1Q0TK4

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06/04/21

Today we’re moving back into the main building after the flood last summer! To say thank you to all our staff we’re enjoy some delicious pizzas for lunch today from our local Merstham! https://t.co/ruyewUOhxR

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01/04/21

Thank you for visiting all of our classes virtually, we can’t wait to arrange another visit soon! https://t.co/LIATmbOUy3

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01/04/21

Year 6 enjoyed completing some artwork today, inspire by the portrait paintings of Chuck Close. https://t.co/wL2yuqDPAO

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18/03/21

It’s that time again where all the ‘Freds’ go for a spin in the washing machine! https://t.co/beGhOKMUJK

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18/03/21

We have been learning about healthy foods in Reception. We loved reading the story 'Supertato' so much that we decided to have our own 'Super Fruit and Vegetables' dress up day! https://t.co/55An44Yvfo

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18/03/21

Don’t forget we’re wearing something RED tomorrow for !

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15/03/21

Retweeted From GLF Schools TT

2 weeks till our Zoom into Teacher Training event! ✨ If you or a friend/colleague/relative are interested in training to teach and want to find out more about our ITT programme, join us remotely on Wed 24 March @ 18.15-19.00 👉 register here - https://t.co/sex79MHlqD https://t.co/7Jlr3VePjW

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15/03/21

Retweeted From Walkers Crisps

BE FUNNY, RAISE MONEY. We’ve teamed up with to support mental wellbeing and we're starting by spreading a little positivity across the Internet! Post something positive using and we’ll donate £1 on your behalf for Red Nose Day* 🔴 https://t.co/Zhzm4SoNAZ

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13/03/21

Daisy has had a fantastic week back at school & has earned ‘The Golden Pencil Award’ for all her effort with her handwriting! She also filmed her own ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ by ! We’re so proud of you Daisy, thank you for a fantastic story too! https://t.co/cye1ziew4P

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10/03/21

It’s British Science Week and the children across the school have been learning about so many things to do with SCIENCE! Today year 6 completed an investigation all about freezing temperatures & then they made ice cream! https://t.co/SH4xwNF4OL

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08/03/21

Rabbits had to investigate outside today. The Evil Pea had been up to mischief. Can they get Supertato back? https://t.co/avktogHhsz

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04/03/21

Our celebrations have started! We’re looking forward to joining the bbc live lesson at 11.30am!#bbclivelessons

English

English Subject Lead: Miss L Davison

English is the heart of all learning

It is vital that pupils are taught to communicate their ideas and emotions through the four strands of our curriculum: reading, writing, grammar and speaking and listening

Early Reading & Phonics

Read Write Inc Phonics logo

At Merstham Primary School we use the Read Write Inc.' (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their English. RWI is a method of learning focused on letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.

Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.

When using RWI to read the children will:

  • Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts.
  • Learn to read words using Fred Talk.
  • Read lively stories featuring the words they have learned to sound out.
  • Show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.
  • Learn to write the letters / letter groups which represent 44 sounds.
  • Write simple sentences.

Children in EYFS and Key Stage 1 take part in daily phonics sessions to enable them to become fluent, confident readers. 

In EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2, they take home the specially designed ‘book bag books’ that are linked with their RWI Phonics sessions to promote and consolidate the learning of specific sounds.

Reading

Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.

At Merstham Primary School, reading combines reading for pleasure and reading for information. Children have access to inviting reading areas in each classroom, and a library. Reading is promoted through all areas of the curriculum, the Merstham 100+ Reading Challenge, as well as through specific reading opportunities during Phonics and whole-class reading lessons.

We recognise the importance of giving children the tools and strategies to be able to become fluent readers. We follow ‘DERIC’ (decode, explain the meaning of words, retrieve, inference and compare), which enables the children to learn the explicit reading skills to develop their comprehension skills and understanding of a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts.

Each year group receives whole-class reading lessons where a range of literature is discussed, dissected and explored. High-level, engaging texts are presented to the children and lively sessions promote the importance of reading for pleasure.

Writing

We use the National Curriculum as a basis for our planning within the subject and expect all teachers to follow this principle. English is taught on a daily basis from EYFS to KS1 and KS2, and is based on a central high-quality text and supported and enhanced through our topic curriculum areas.

Within English lessons, we teach all children to have a deep and secure understanding of the concepts that they are being taught. Initially, children are immersed in a rich text, which teaches the key grammatical patterns of a specific genre. Each time they learn about a different text, they are extending their knowledge of what it is to be a good writer. Once they have internalised the patterns in the text, they are able to use the key features to innovate and invent their own version. 

In order to do this, our curriculum is designed to reduce cognitive load by ensuring we structure and design lessons in small coherent steps, which organically allows opportunity for the promotion of retention. This allows for an inclusive learning environment where all children are supported to transfer learning from short-term to long-term memory.   

Vocabulary, Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling

Often seen as the building blocks for writing, grammar is an essential part of the English Curriculum. VGPS starters are used in all English lessons from Year 1 to Year 6, which help to develop a critical understanding of key vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and spelling. 

As well as this, weekly discrete grammar lessons support the children in their grammatical understanding whilst teaching ensures that these objectives are interwoven into the writing learning journey, so that children are given the chance to embed new concepts without dampening creativity.

Since the changes to the National Curriculum (2014), the profile of spelling has been raised, with children expected to spell most common exception words, and words with a spelling rule correctly. In the younger years, spelling is taught in conjunction with our phonics lessons, giving children a chance to apply their knowledge of phoneme-grapheme correspondence to write words correctly. From Y1 onwards, children are introduced to Spelling Shed - the low-stakes games, quizzes and reward systems ensure that children find spelling fun. Teachers use Spelling Shed to help teach the children the age appropriate spelling rules and during writing lessons throughout the curriculum, children are then encouraged to use their spelling rules to help them spell independently.

Speaking & Listening

The national curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing and our Curriculum reflects this. Teachers at Merstham Primary School have high expectations of vocabulary and pupils are required to explain their answers fully in all lessons. Drama opportunities not only support the children with their spoken language and ability to communicate to an audience but is also used to inspire and shape their writing.

At Merstham Primary School we have considered the development and progression of oracy skills. We have a designated oracy focused project in each year group, which takes place every autumn term. In EYFS to year 6 the children are given the opportunity to talk to their class about a particular topic which interests them. We use this time to assess oracy skills, note down areas for development and we celebrate the children’s achievements. 

Handwriting

Handwriting is a fundamental skill, which starts to develop from the very moment children start at Merstham Primary School. We understand the importance of early mark making and the pre writing shapes, which need to be embedded before moving on to learning the RWI letter formations. Once these letter formations are secure, the children begin to learn the Merstham Primary School cursive letter formations. 

English Celebrations

We understand the importance of celebrating achievements across the English curriculum. 

Children in Year 1 and Year 2 can earn a ‘golden pencil’ to recognise their progress and celebrate their handwriting. Children in year 3 and 4 can earn a provisional pen licence and in year 5 and 6, children can earn themselves an official pen licence where they get a pen and licence card.

The 100+ Merstham Reading Challenge rewards children with bronze, silver and gold reading owls once they have reached certain milestones. 

Children across the school take part in 'Book Week' every year! This week is usually themed and the children come to school dressed as their favourite book characters on World Book Day too!