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How we teach

Collingwood’s Curriculum Policy and School Aims, detailing subject by subject information on how we teach, can be found on the policies page of this website.

An overview of what is being taught this term to each year group can be found on the each Class Page on this website.


 pdf  CPA calculation policy Collingwood Primary

pdf  Collingwood’s Math Mastery Statement


pdf  Reading colour bands

 pdf National Curriculum Spelling Lists  (for Years 1-6)

What Collingwood does to teach phonics and reading (leading to drama and writing!):

We teach phonics as the main first method for children to learn to read words.  Phonics is taught in a systematic way across the school and is set within a rich language curriculum that develops speaking and listening, reading and writing skills.

Phonics teaching is multisensory. This means children will learn using all their senses e.g. by singing, dancing, acting, using magnetic letters, making shapes in the air, looking at pictures, playing games, using computers, making sounds, making choices and as many other ways as possible. This is vital because all children learn differently.

Monitoring is in place to ensure that all phonics teaching is high quality. This is essential to prevent children from falling behind wherever possible.  There are assessment systems in place to keep track of how all children are doing in phonics.  If children fall behind, they are given intervention (specific support with their phonics) to help them catch up as soon as possible.

What will this actually look like?

Collingwood uses a systematic phonics programme. The programme published by the government and available free to all schools is called “Letters and Sounds”. We also use a recommended programme/website called “Phonics Play” which can be found on our pupil pages for parents and pupils to use at home.

Is this the only way that children are taught to read?

Absolutely not!  Phonics is the first step in helping children to crack the code of reading and writing. However children also need to learn strategies to tackle words that can’t be decoded easily and also to be able to understand and engage with what they read.

Reading skills are also developed through regularly ‘Reading Aloud’ to children.  Guided Reading sessions (following the ‘Rigby Star’ programme or other books from our collection), Paired Reading and use of “Reading Buddies” involving a group of children reading the same book with or without an adult.  Each guided session will focus on a specific reading skill often after children have read independently up to a certain point. The teacher may move around the group listening to each child read. The group will discuss the text, strategies used and their interpretations of what they have read.

Many Lessons are used to strengthen reading and writing skills across a range of genres e.g. fantasy stories, instructions etc. Over the course of each term children read many texts and often learn one off by heart including actions and sound effects and  drama.  Children are often given the opportunity to have  a go at writing their own text based on what they have read.

How we teach writing.

Writing is taught every day. Children are given the skills to write confidently and expressively for a range of different purposes. We use  ‘model’ texts, looking at structure, the vocabulary, grammar, spellings, punctuation and genre specific features. The children then use this text to support them to write their own “cold” (no help) and “hot” (after a period of lessons on this topic) versions.

Writing is also practised as part of other subjects. 

In each year group children explore a range of genres and text types across the year, including fiction, poetry, information texts, dialogue and plays, biographies and so on.

We involve pupils in their own assessment, against given success criteria, using our “Tickled Pink” (what was good) and “Green for Growth” (what could be improved marking system.

Spelling patterns are taught weekly – through a scheme called ‘No nonsense spelling’ and the children practise and improve their handwriting – through the ‘Letterjoin’ handwriting Scheme – more information on this scheme can be found on the following link

How you can support your child at home:

We do expect all children to read regularly to adults at home, and bring their book bag to and from school, right up until they leave Collingwood. As children get older it is increasingly important to discuss the exact meaning of new vocabulary and to question children so that they “read between the lines” and make interpretations and predictions rather than simply saying the words correctly. Show your child that you read for different purposes (eg to find directions, instructions, information and for pleasure) and talk about your own likes and dislikes when reading.


 pdf The National Curriculum for Primary Schools in England.