Ashbourne Hilltop
Primary and Nursery School

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The teaching of Grammar and Spelling is in line with the requirements of The National Curriculum (2014).  Grammar is timetabled to be taught discreetly. In KS1 specific sessions each week are dedicated to the teaching of grammar. Grammar skills are embedded within Literacy lessons on a daily basis.


To be able to spell correctly is an essential life skill. When spelling becomes automatic pupils are able to concentrate on the content of their writing. Whilst we note that spelling is not the most important aspect of writing, confidence in spelling can have a profound effect on the writer’s self-image. We aim to use explicit, interactive teaching which draws children’s attention to the origins, structure and meaning of words and their parts, the shape and sound of words, the letter patterns within them and the various ways they can learn these patterns.


In Reception and KS1, daily phonics is the key to the children’s learning of spelling. This is taught using the Letters and Sounds programme. Children are taught to blend sounds to read and segment to spell. At the same time they learn words which are not phonically regular (common exception words).


From year two and into KS2 the children move towards using their phonic knowledge to help them to understand spelling rules and patterns. Helping the children to understand how to use and apply known spelling patterns (and to develop strategies to tackle tricky words) is the key to helping them to become successful spellers. Spelling skills are taught each week during two twenty minute sessions and are also embedded in Literacy lessons.


When actually writing children should be concentrating on higher order thinking skills and should simply ‘have a go’ at spelling and underline words that they are unsure of with a dotted line. When marking children’s work, we do not correct all spelling errors, instead we focus on high frequency words, topic words and those studied in spelling sessions.



Teachers will seek to take advantage of opportunities to make cross-curricular links using a Talk for Writing approach. They will plan for pupils to practise and apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through literacy lessons to other areas of the curriculum. One piece of extended writing is expected to be produced for each Humanities and Science unit.



We aim to provide for all children so that they achieve as highly as they can in English according to their individual abilities. We will identify which pupils or groups of pupils are under-achieving and take steps to improve their attainment in liaison with the SENCO. Gifted children will be identified in consultation with the G&T leader and suitable learning challenges will be provided.



Ashbourne Hilltop Primary School has universal ambitions for every child, whatever their background or circumstances. Children learn and thrive when they are healthy, safe and engaged.   In order to engage all children, cultural diversity, home languages, gender and religious beliefs are all celebrated. Our curriculum includes a wide range of texts and other resources which represent the diversity and backgrounds of all our children. We believe in ‘disciplined and caring environment’ and recognise the importance of supporting a child’s first language, not only to foster self-esteem, but to assist in the learning of English.


Key Stages 1 and 2 English National Curriculum