Burpham Foundation Primary School

Burpham Lane, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7LZ


01483 572510


News and Events

March 2021 

The children really enjoyed celebrating World Book Day with a quiz, a bingo task and lots of extra challenged for them to complete at home and school throughout the week. They spent time thinking about their favourite books using their arts skills, to copy  the front cover and placing in their window for everyone to see on their strolls around Burpham. They were also challenged to watch some 'Masked Readers'! A number of the grown-ups from school read to them each day and the children had to guess who was behind the mask!

The children also shared some photos of themselves reading in some very extreme places. Who knew you could read upside down, in the bin or even on top of a rhino? 

English at Burpham

We recognise that the ability to communicate is fundamental to learning. Our aim is to provide a high quality education in English through a broad and rich curriculum that will stimulate and support pupils to read, write and speak fluently.

Supporting your child with English

Speaking and Listening

We will enable...

  • Children to communicate effectively with confidence and enthusiasm
  • Children to listen meaningfully, to weigh ideas and form opinions having considered a variety of situations from a wider perspective
  • Children to take an active and lively interest in vocabulary and to be challenge to be adventurous in their choice of words


We will enable . . .

  • Children to read with confidence, fluency and understanding
  • Children to read aloud and read silently for sustained periods of time
  • Children to orchestrate a full range of reading cues (phonic, graphic, syntactic and contextual) to monitor their reading and correct their own mistakes

We will provide . . .

  • A consistent approach to reading
  • Opportunities for children to widen their vocabulary
  • Opportunities for children to read to adults on a 1:1 basis and in guided groups


Reading Schemes

We have recently invested in the Government validated reading scheme, Essential Letters and Sounds. Our staff are currently receiving training in order for them to be ready to deliver the scheme in September. In the interim, our children are selecting reading books that match their phonic understanding. Staff regularly monitor the children's success in applying their phonic skills. 


At Burpham Primary School we aim to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. We follow Letters and Sounds, a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills to children from Nursery with the aim of them becoming fluent by the end of Key Stage 1. For those children that need to consolidate their phonic knowledge and skills throughout Key Stage 2, it is taught to them based upon their individual needs. The phonics programme is broken down into six overlapping phases.


Phonic Knowledge & skills

Phase One (Nursery)


Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two (Reception)


Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase Three (Reception)


The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase Four (Reception)

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

Phase Five

(Year 1/ Year 2)

Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Phase Six

(Year 1/ Year 2)

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.


Phonics is taught with a Mastery approach.  If a child is performing below the expected phase; they will be supported with extra groups and other interventions to bring their phonic development on.

At the end of Year 1 all children are expected to take part in a phonics screening check in which they will be asked to identify a list of 40 words, of which will be a mixture of real and pseudo words. Children are required to be able to accurately read 32+ of the words in order for them to pass the screening check. Those children that are unable to do so will be able to try again at the end of Key Stage 1 in the Year 2 Phonic screening check.

The results of the year 1 and year 2 phonic checks are published and reported to parents at the end of the year.

Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

We will enable . . .

  • Children to develop strategies for accurate spelling e.g. sounding out, dividing the word into syllables, using the look, cover, write, check strategy, using mnemonics, finding words within words, making links between the spelling of words and their spellings, making their own spelling strategies, using a dictionary
  • Children to work out and clarify the meanings of words
  • Children to express their ideas using Standard English
  • Teachers to take advantage of naturally occurring opportunities to enhance spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuationhttps://www.spellingshed.com/en-gb

We will encourage children to. . .

  • Use a range of spelling strategies
  • Spell high frequency words covered in class, correctly, with consistency
  • Take home spellings to learn as appropriate for each year group
  • Check their own work and correct key spelling errors

KS2 Spelling Scheme

The children in the Juniors are now using a mastery approach for learning spellings. The pupils are not placed in differentiated groups, but are taught their year group's spelling patterns as a class. Daily practice in class will include a variety of activities, such as wordsearches, handwriting and games. The school currently has a subscription to a website called Spelling Shed, which parents and children can access for free at home. Please contact your child's class teacher if you need your child's login details. https://www.spellingshed.com/en-gb


We will enable . . .

  • All children are able to write letters using the correct sequence of movements i.e. a cursive style with a lead- in and out stroke
  • All children have a comfortable and effective pencil grip

We will enable . . .

  • We have recently transitioned in our approach to handwriting, in line with recent Government guidance. Since September 2021, children in Early Years have been taught to print letters with no lead-ins. Cursive will be introduced during KS1. 


Writing is taught across curriculum areas, ensuring it is purposeful, interesting and engaging.

We will enable...

  • Children to adapt their writing to a widening range of purposes and audiences
  • Children to present their writing to a high standard which demonstrates an understanding of grammar, correct spelling, legible handwriting and where appropriate the use of technology.
  • Children to develop independent strategies to support them in evaluating and improving their work but also to recognise when, where and how to seek advice from others.