School Improvement Focus: Spelling
Many young readers, and adults, can be puzzled by the rules and exceptions of spelling. Research shows that learning to spell and learning to read rely on us knowing the same things—learning the relationships between letters and sounds.
Research also shows a strong relationship between spelling and writing: Writers who must think too hard about how to spell tend to miss out key ideas in their writing. Even more than reading, writing is a mental juggling act that depends on us automatically placing the basic skills such as handwriting, spelling, grammar, and punctuation, so that the writer can keep track of such concerns as topic, organisation, word choice, and audience needs. Poor spellers may restrict what they write to words they can spell, with inevitable choice to use simpler words, or they may lose track of their thoughts when they get stuck trying to spell a word.
Here at Irlam Endowed we recognise the importance of a consistent and structured approach to spelling throughout the school, where spelling is a focussed lesson taught in every year group from Nursery to Year 6.
Your child’s class teacher will share the spelling sounds or rules, which they are teaching, in each half term’s topic letter. Each year group also has a set of ‘Key Words’, which their teacher will focus on spelling throughout the academic year. These spelling list sets can be found on each year group’s homepage on our website, and will be given out at the beginning of next term.
Irlam Endowed believe that a consistent approach to handwriting is vital, as it
encourages pupils to write fluently and effortlessly.
We have introduced the ‘PenPals’ handwriting scheme throughout the school. This is from Nursery, with early mark making, through to Year 5/6, where children who write neatly and with fluency in all subjects will be rewarded with a school handwriting pen.
Early Years/ KS1 Formation - Without Joins
KS2 Formation - With Joins
All children in Nursery and Reception are now taking part in daily Dough Gym sessions. Dough Gym is a daily physical session that combines the use of large pieces of dough with a series of hand and finger exercises to music. These exercises strengthen and develop children’s fine and gross motor dexterity, hand-eye co-ordination, balance, grip and most importantly, their self-esteem! It is a fantastic foundation on which to build their writing skills.
If you would like to see an example of what may happen in a session please go to:
Healthy Eating - Packed Lunches
Currently 22% of Salford’s four to five-year-olds and 37% of ten to eleven year-olds rated as overweight or obese. Research tells us that these children are more likely to become obese adults who are more prone to a range of serious health problems, such as heart disease, some cancers and Type 2 diabetes. Therefore, it is a key aim for us to work with our local council to encourage our children to think about what they are eating and drinking and choosing the healthiest options.
Although we already promote the message of healthy eating, we want to provide you with some extra literature which has been developed by Salford City Council to help spread the important message of bringing in healthy packed lunches.
The online booklet aims to give pupils and parents ideas on what a balanced and healthy lunch box should look like. For further information and resources around healthy lunch box ideas please visit:
You can also access some ideas for healthy packed lunches on the Change 4 Life website:
Literacy - Reading
Over the next two years we are going to be embedding a new reading scheme throughout the school. The scheme we will follow is Oxford Reading Tree. We have already begun moving children’s reading books over to this so please look out for your child’s new book and ask you child’s class teacher if you have any questions.
Our new books reinforce not only reading, but also comprehension. Your child will be give a reading book that is at a stage appropriate to their reading age. When they have finished this book they may be given a set of questions to answer about the book which will support their understanding of the text. These comprehension questions should be completed in the time your child would normally read their book at home—they are not to be seen as additional homework.
Here is our Reading Journey at Irlam Endowed:
The journey starts before your child begins school…
All children who will attend Irlam Endowed will be offered the opportunity to take part in the ‘Firm Foundations’ scheme. This scheme provides activities and resources to prepare parents and pupils for phonics and reading within our school.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage …
- From Nursery, the children will follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ approach to learning phonics. Your child will work through Phase 1 of this scheme.
- Once everyone is settled in, your child will start taking home Phase One phonic games and rhymes to practise the phonic skills they have learnt at school.
- They will also take a ‘HOME READER’ book home to share with you. This is a book that your child has chosen because it interests them. Even though your child may not be able to read these themselves, it’s good for them to listen to a story or information book, plus talk about the pictures/storyline with you.
- The children will also take part in reading activities each week with their class teacher.
Discovering more in Reception and Key Stage One…
- From Phase 2 your child will take home with them a ‘LEARNING TO READ’ phonic book or activity, which will be appropriate for the Phase they are working at. Please complete a reading activity daily. The book/activity will be changed regularly according to your child’s phonic needs. This will continue throughout the year, until your child has completed Phase 5 of Letters and Sounds.
Alongside a phonics reading book your child will be given an ORT stage reading book which is appropriate to their reading age. Please note your child’s reading age stage and Phonics Phase band may differ.
- Your child will also choose a ‘HOME READER’, a book to read for pleasure. These are books chosen by your child from a selection appropriate for their reading age, to share with you and extend their enjoyment of reading and love of books. It is expected that the home reader will be completed and changed weekly.
- In Key Stage One, they will participate in one to one reading and small group Guided Reading sessions, throughout the year.
Venturing further past Phase 5, and into beyond into Key Stage 2…
- Your child will continue to take a home reader to read for pleasure.
- To increase the children’s range of texts, the children will now alternate between fiction and non-fiction books, with every seventh book being a poetry one. Extending our children’s understanding and love of poetry is a big focus of the Literacy curriculum.
- Due to the books becoming much longer in Key Stage Two, there is no set expectation of when a book should be completed, but a minimum of 20 minutes reading should take place each day. Books will be changed as and when they are completed.
- Instead of a ‘Learning to Read’ book, your child will take home reading comprehension activities to extend their understanding. It is expected that the comprehension will be completed weekly.
- Your child will also choose a ‘HOME READER’, a book to read for pleasure. These are books chosen by your child from a selection appropriate for their reading age, to share with you and extend their enjoyment of reading and love of books.
- Your child will continue to have small group focussed Guided Reading and whole class sessions in school.
Emotional Friendly School
We have been continuing to work towards achieving Emotional Friendly School (EFS) status.
Mrs Ryding and Ms Da Costa have met with the EFS team from Salford and have come up with the school action plan based on the feedback from the staff audit. Here are our first targets for each of the four modules.
Staff Wellbeing and School Ethos – Staff to be made more aware of what school is doing to improve wellbeing.
Classroom Practice - Staff having a good understanding of the Social/ Emotional Programme in school and its evidence base.
Assessing Children’s Needs – Staff to be able to identify specific needs for individual children.
Supporting Individual Children – Staff to use and explore ‘Solution Circles’.
We have already started working on these targets. Mrs Ryding attended the Emotionally Friendly Conference in May where she learnt how to run a solution circle; this information has been passed down to teaching staff in a recent staff meeting. Staff are keen to try this new method of solving problems with the children.
School have a new PSHE scheme in place, from the PSHE Association, which will be given to staff shortly and will be rolled out to children from September.
For our October INSET, we have Dr Adam Baron coming in to teach all our staff about some of the signs we can look out for when assessing children with emotional difficulties. He will also give staff ideas on how we can support children who require further support emotionally.
Children in Key Stage Two have also filled in a short survey to tell us how they feel about school, we will inform you of any findings when they have been collated.
Hopefully you can see we have already made amazing progress, and are looking forward to becoming a more ‘Emotionally Friendly’ school.
Our School App
A new way to keep in touch with school news!
We are very exited to launch a new App called ‘Our School App’, which will allow you to keep up to date with a current school news, dates and information.
We just need you to go to the App Store and download the ‘Our School App’ for free. Once we have .. Up and running we’ll let you know! Then you will be up to date at the touch of a button.
At Irlam Endowed Science topics are studied every half term. Science is taught every week or at least every fortnight for an extended session of at least a whole morning or afternoon. Foundation Stage science is taught through the EYFS curriculum. Our main aims are to develop pupils’ enjoyment and interest in Science and an appreciation of its contribution to all aspects of everyday life. The children plan a range of investigations and practical activities to give them a greater understanding of the concepts of and knowledge of Science. We encourage the children to build on their curiosity and sense of awe of the natural world by providing them with unique experiences every half term. Children take part in a school trips based on Science themes or we often have visitors in school.
On Tuesday 25th April 2017 Professor Brainstorm came to visit Irlam Endowed Primary School for our Science Day.
Year 1 and Year 2 had great fun watching the ‘Magical Science Experience’. We particularly enjoyed the disappearing water trick. The exploding Pringles containers which used liquid nitrogen gave us quite a shock too.
Year 3 and Year 4 were thrilled to watch the ‘Amazing Sound and Light Show’. The ‘Boomwhackers’ reinforced our learning on sound and pitch. We enjoyed learning about optical illusions, especially with Einstein’s face.
Year 5 and 6 really enjoyed the ‘Fantastic Forces’ show. They were especially pleased to see the famous ‘Tablecloth Trick’ and now know how they can perform this at home. They enjoyed watching the variety of powered rockets, especially the ‘Potato Gun’.
After school we invited Nursery and Reception parents and carers to come along and watch the ‘Magical Science Show’ together with their children. We especially enjoyed watching the effects of immersing bananas and flowers into liquid nitrogen.
It was lovely to see lots of other examples of fun, science activities that parents and carers can enjoy with their children at home.
We have created mark codes, which will be used when your child’s class teacher marks their work. These mark codes are visual and have been created to allow all children to quickly see any corrections they need to make, and allow them to independently correct them.
We will be using ‘Tickled Pink’ to celebrate and show children when they have achieved and ‘Green for Growth’ when work needs correcting or enhancing.
Your child’s class teacher will make a final comment on their work, using the Success criteria as a reference, and set them a ‘next step’ comment. This comment or question is there to extend your child’s thinking and set them with a learning target for their next lesson.
This year, we have been looking at the way we teach times tables in school. We also used the feedback from the Maths questionnaire.
“At Irlam Endowed Primary School, we believe that having a complete knowledge of the Times Tables is fundamental to a child’s learning in Mathematics. We know that fluent recall of multiplication tables is an essential prerequisite to success in multiplication and other number skills.”
“By the end of Year 4, all children should know up to 12 x 12”
Therefore, we want children at Irlam Endowed to:
* Be at Year Group Expectations (YGE) in times tables knowledge
* Recall rapidly and fluently the Times Tables facts as YGE dictate
* Be confident in the use of the Times Tables in other areas of maths
* Enjoy and celebrate their successes in Times Tables
This year we have a new approach to writing - ‘Writing Around a Book’.
Your child’s class teacher, throughout the year, will use a range of texts to inspire and engage your child in the writing process.
Writing around a book follows these stages…
Creating Interest—Talking about the book’s front cover/title, reading snippets and predicting what it will be about.
Read/Comprehend—Reading the book and understanding the plot and characters.
Developing Writing—Applying what they have learned in grammar into short bursts of writing about the book. Handwriting must be neat and correctly formed!
Planning/Writing—Children will plan and write a longer piece of writing linked to the book, this writing will be independent.
Proof Reading and Editing—Children will learn to proof read and edit their own work to improve it.
Presentation—Children will present their work, once edited, in a variety of ways including on their class web page, for display in class or even sending it to the author!
What is Proof Reading?
Proof reading allows the children to focus and correct the basic punctuation and grammar of a piece of writing. This is a skill that children will be taught from Year 2 onwards.
What is Editing?
Editing takes a deeper look at how information and ideas are presented. The focus is on making changes that make a piece of work easier to understand, better organised, and more suitable for the audience.
As of November 2014, schools must now promote British values. Advice from the DfE is to do this through our Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural development (SMSC). Although British Values can and will also be taught in discreet PSHCE lessons and through other subjects.
According to Ofsted, the key British Values are:
¨ The Rule of Law
¨ Individual Liberty
¨ Mutual Respect
¨ Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs, and for those without faith.
At Irlam Endowed Primary School we promote these values through our curriculum and whole school assemblies.
Democracy : Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School, Eco and Sports councils. Council members are elected by secret ballot so they can see the democratic process in action.
Children have the opportunity at the beginning of a topic to put forward their ideas and questions they would like to be answered. In the EYFS, the interests of the children are taken into account when planning topics. Our School Council
Rule of Law: Children are taught about laws and why we have them when discussing our school behaviour system (Golden Time), and when setting up individual class behaviour systems. Regular visits from the local fire brigade, RNLI and the police for example, reinforce the reasons behind our laws and how they protect us.
Individual Liberty: Within school, we actively encourage our children to make choices. Children make choices when deciding golden time activities and clubs to attend. They decide which challenge to take in their lessons. Children are also responsible for jobs in school for example Junior PSCO’s, librarians, snack monitors.
Mutual Respect: Part of our mission statement is to ‘value the attitudes and contributions of others.’ This is embedded in our behaviour policy and promoted throughout our curriculum, as well as in assemblies and themed weeks such as anti-bullying week.
Tolerance of different faiths: We promote respect and tolerance of those with different beliefs during R.E. lessons where children learn about different faiths. We have regular visits from the local vicar, as well as trips out to synagogues.
Further details of how we promote British Values in school can be found on the schools website.
If you have any queries about British values please do not hesitate to contact school.
EYFS - Year 1 Readiness
As from Monday 4th July, the Reception class have been lining up on the playground at 9am, along with the rest of the school.
There are lots of other transitional activities planned for the final few weeks of the school year which will help our Reception children transition to their new Key Stage One class. These will include opportunities to visit and have lessons in their new class, and meet their new teachers. Their school day will also be more like the one they will have in Year One next year. Lining up on the playground at the start of the day shows the children how they will come into their new class in September.
The Nursery class will also have some activities to help them prepare for their move next door.
If you have any questions about EYFS transition, please do not hesitate to ask any of the Reception class staff.
Emotional Friendly School
Children’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing is everyone's business.
All children may need additional support emotionally at some point in their lives and this is normal. Information and advice, or support from family and friends, usually helps. However, some children may sometimes experience difficulties that are severe and chronic. They will need more specialist advice and support.
The Emotionally Friendly Schools (EFS) programme is a flexible, whole-school approach to improving children’s mental health and wellbeing in primary schools. This programme, supported by Salford Educational Psychology Service, will provide schools with the best proven methods, tools and support to help nurture happy, successful children by effectively identifying and responding to their broad emotional needs.
As an Emotionally Friendly School, we will complete four EFS modules, these are;
Whole school ethos and staff wellbeing
It is well known that staff who are resilient, motivated and collectively work together consistently increase pupil performance. Here we will reflect on our staff environment, their expertise and their well-being.
A happy and positive classroom is the foundation where effective teaching and learning can take place. Here we will look at class management and the well-being of the children in general.
To effectively improve children’s mental health and wellbeing, we will need a system to effectively identify their needs, whether this be whole school or individually. Areas we will look at here are information gathering, exploring the child’s world and sharing information.
Supporting individual children
There are a wide range of mental health and wellbeing difficulties that children may experience and teachers encounter on a daily basis. This module looks at eleven of the most common areas of emotional need for children including; bereavement, ADHD, attachment, bullying, self-esteem and social skills.
As staff, we have already completed an audit for each of these areas and have identified the sections where we can enhance the support we already offer our pupils.
A team of staff has already been created, to work on the programme and ensure its roll out across the school. The team will be meeting with our designated representative, from the Emotional Friendly School project, later in the term to finalise our action plan and future development.
A team of staff has already been created, to work on the programme and ensure its roll out throughout the school. The team will be meeting with our designated representative, from the Emotional Friendly School project, later in the term to finalise our action plan and future development.
EYFS - Numicon
Numicon is becoming well embedded throughout our Early years. The children are using Numicon in their play and their structured learning. Numicon has become a useful tool for the children to enhance their Maths skills. The pieces are being explored in the water, the sand, the play dough and the painting area. Staff are using Numicon in all their Maths teaching which is helping the children become familiar with the individual pieces.
The Numicon meeting on the 23rd January was a great success. Both parents and children were involved with activities and exploring the Numicon.
According to an early survey, only 4% of parents/carers felt confident in their knowledge of the way Maths is taught at Irlam Endowed. However, following an EYFS information meeting , this went up to 21%, which is great!!! Feedback from the meeting was very positive with one parent saying “Numicon has helped all my children and I am very happy with the structure”, and another saying “Great fun, my child loved it, thank you. I will buy some Numicon”.
Our new reading scheme
Over the next two years we are going to be embedding a new reading scheme throughout the school. The scheme we will follow is Oxford Reading Tree. We have already begun moving children’s reading books over to this so please look out for your child’s new book and ask your child’s class teacher if you have any questions.
Our new books reinforce not only reading but also comprehension. Your child will be given a reading book that is at a stage appropriate to their reading age. When they have finished this book they may be given a set of questions to answer about the book, which will support their understanding of the text. These comprehension questions should be completed in the time your child would normally read their book at home—they are not to be seen as additional homework.
Maths Homework in Year 3:
All children in Year 3 have now been given their IXL Maths login details, which you will find in their planner, and have also been shown how to use this program.
IXL is a fantastic and rewarding way for your child to complete their Maths homework. The programme provides your child with a personalised approach to their Maths learning and also gives helpful tips if children struggle.
IXL Maths is an expected part of Key Stage 2 homework and children will need to complete the following:
- Year 6 to complete a minimum of 1 hour IXL per week (Friday – Thursday)
- Years 3 – 5 to complete a given section each week.
All IXL homework will be given out on a Friday and the section that your child will need to complete will be clearly indicated in their planner. This will be expected to be fully completed by the following Thursday.
Children who do not complete the required sections of IXL Maths will be given paper maths homework and will complete this during Friday Homework catch up at break time.
If your child does not have access to the internet at home, or there are any other issues with IXL Maths, please let their class teacher know immediately.
Every KS2 child will take part in a fun lunch time IXL Maths club once every two weeks, where they will complete a separate problem solving section of IXL Maths.
We appreciate your support with this new approach to maths homework and welcome any feedback.