Springfield House Community Special School

PROUD of our Roots

Guided Reading at Springfield

Children who have passed Read Write Inc. Phonics move onto Guided Reading lessons using  ‘Complete Comprehension’.  This  programme is designed to support children from their first steps in comprehension through to secure ownership and confident application of comprehension skills, through a variety of stimulating activities, as well as building children’s reading confidence.  

Text passages that have been carefully chosen from classic fiction, contemporary fiction and non-fiction to provide a broad reading repertoire and help children to develop the foundational word knowledge they need to access the curriculum.

The texts spark children’s interests and support the development of reading for pleasure. They have also been paired to encourage comparison-making and draw on background knowledge, helping children to understand what they are reading and increase cultural capital. In addition to discussing the text passages in their intended pairs, there are many other links to be made between the texts in each book, including literary features and texts of the same genre.

As many of the links are cross-curricular, these extra class discussions can be a useful way to strengthen children’s wider knowledge.

At Springfield House, children take part in four guided reading sessions per week ,30 minutes per session.   Below is an example of a weekly timetable for Guided Reading:


Children working at Year 2 of the National Curriculum,  five statutory comprehension skills are covered which include: word meaning. retrieval. sequencing, inference and prediction.

Children working at Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the National Curriculum, eight statutory comprehension skills are covered.  

These skills are revisited on a regular basis.

Spelling at Springfield

Children who have completed the Read Write Inc. Phonics move onto Read Write Inc. Spelling.

Read Write Inc. Spelling is a daily 5-10 minutes spelling programme which ensures spelling success for children who are fluent readers. Using a proven approach underpinned by Read Write Inc. phonics, the programme covers all of the spelling requirements for the National Curriculum, including preparation for the statutory spelling assessments in England.

 On a weekly basis, Children are introduced to a specific statutory spelling requirement through the online spelling activity.  Zeta, Gamma and Mu  are ‘humaliens’ whose mission is to help Earth children become confident and proficient spellers. They flag up Tips and ‘Weird Word Warnings’ to help children get to grip with the statutory spelling requirements and exceptions.

  • Gamma loves sport so his explanations are often related to his sporting adventures.
  • Zeta is interested in music and singing, so will often share rhymes or jingles in her videos.
  • Mu is an adventurer, historian, time traveller, code-breaker and archaeologist. If a spelling focus is related to history and etymology of a word, he might travel back in time to find out more about it.


Children complete daily activities related to the specific statutory spelling requirement in their Spelling Practice Book. The activities include the following:

  • Speed spell- consolidating spellings from previous spelling requirements.
  • Dots and Dashes - matching  speed sounds to graphemes.
  • Word Changers- helping children to understand how a root word is affected by a suffix, and/or prefix
  • Dictation – practice writing spellings in the context of a sentence.
  • Four-in-a-row - A game. A word is chosen from Dots and Dashes or Word Changers. Their partner has to write it down. If the word is spelt correctly, they receive a tick. Can they correctly spell four words selected in a row?
  • Choose the Right Word- select the correct spelling so a sentence makes sense.
  • Special Focus Sessions- spellings that sometimes cause confusion e.g. homophones, silent letters, apostrophes, contractions, high frequency words with unusual spellings
  • Dictionary challenges (Year 3 onwards) – using the dictionary to find the meaning of specific words.
  • Thesaurus challenges (Year 5 onwards) – finding synonyms using a thesaurus.



To view an example of the online spelling planet activity, click on the following link  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTUtD-V2u-c  (Spelling, Spelling Zone)

Click on the following link to see the full coverage of the spelling statutory requirements for the National Curriculum  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/239784/English_Appendix_1_-_Spelling.pdftext...

Home Reading Programme at Springfield

At Springfield House School children who have passed Read Write Inc. Phonics move onto Treetops books  to read and enjoy at home.

TreeTops is an expertly levelled reading programme for children working at year 3 National Curriculum reading ability and above.  With the biggest collection of finely levelled books, TreeTops supports progression and offers children fun and variety to keep them reading.


Children are guided to select books matched to their reading age and ability. They will also take home a Home School Reading Record.

The Home School Reading Record is for parent/carers to record which pages their child has read, and to make any comments about what they have read. Comments can be written by parents/carers or by your child.

To help with reading and making comments, look inside the front cover of the Treetops Home Reading Book for questions to ask your child.

Before reading:  Questions to predict what might happen before reading the book.

After reading: Encourages discussion about the book.

Book Quiz: Questions to ask to see what your child can remember about the book.

TreeTops Books

TreeTops Fiction is a huge collection of novels from top children’s writers and illustrators covering the widest range of genres, authors and writing styles.

With humorous stories, sci-fi, adventure, mystery and historical fiction, TreeTops Fiction’s levelled stories help build reading confidence, fluency and stamina.

TreeTops inFact non-fiction takes children beyond fact-finding, with breath-taking artwork, photography and illustrations.  Powerfully emotive with a compelling mix of personal accounts, strong narrative voices and child-friendly biographies, these books develop and deepen children’s comprehension skills.

TreeTops Chucklers is a series of funny short stories, comics, poetry and anthologies developed with best-selling children’s author, Jeremy Strong, to make children giggle. Written by top children’s authors, this finely levelled, laugh-out-loud collection will engage even the most reluctant readers.

TreeTops Myths and Legends is a collection of famous folklore from around the globe. With classic plots, compelling characters and beautiful illustrations, these carefully adapted retellings encourage awareness of different cultures and are perfect for encouraging talk, drama and writing.

Writing at Springfield

  • At Springfield, we focus on making sure every child is equipped with high standards of writing skills required for life at, and beyond school.
  • Teaching is sequenced progressively throughout their time at school, as well as within each year, to ensure that skills are being re-visited, embedded and built upon.
  • We ensure that all children are given a clear and motivational purpose to their writing, allowing them to practise the skills needed for different audiences.
  • We have tailored our curriculum, making links between the Cornerstones curriculum in order to close the vocabulary gap and embed a solid understanding of sentence composition.
  • We encourage the use of exciting vocabulary by using high quality stories and texts that children can draw upon to create their own.
  • Children will be taught the correct use of grammar, with the correct terminology, to apply to their writing.
  • We will encourage learners to reflect on their writing, evaluating it carefully by considering the impact on the intended audience and using mistakes as opportunities to learn.
  • Through their time at Springfield the children will be taught to write in a range of genres.

Different stages of writing

Children working at an Early Years curriculum level are encouraged to make marks on paper, this then progresses to forming letters correctly and beginning to put these letters into words and then sentences. Opportunities for writing are developed through the use of the Read, Write Inc. scheme and Cornerstones writing projects. 

Children working at Year 1 National Curriculum level - writing is taught alongside reading using the Read, Write, Inc. scheme and writing opportunities using Cornerstones topics. They will be provided with opportunities to say what they are going to write about, compose sentences orally before writing them, sequencing sentences to form short narratives, re-reading to check that what they have written makes sense and read aloud their writing to others.

Children working at Year 2 National Curriculum level onwards - they will learn the skills needed to be able to write effectively, with a given purpose and audience for writing. In order to write successfully, the children interrogate a modelled text to develop an understanding of the content and language used. They are then taught the sentence construction skills to be able to write a new form of the text. Throughout this process the children are given opportunities to rehearse and share their ideas with others before committing their ideas to paper.

Children working at Years 3 to 6 of the National Curriculum will focus on refining their writing skills and begin to add more flare and personality to their writing.


Spoken Language at Springfield


Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing.  At Springfield House School, Spoken Language is central and embedded across all areas of the curriculum to help develop children’s cognitive, social and linguistic understanding.

Our mission is for all of our pupils to be the very best they can be. We nurture children’s spoken language skills through a variety of approaches: exploratory play, story time, talk partners, hot-seating, drama, debates and through collaborative learning. We develop these skills so that our children are capable of expressing their own ideas clearly and confidently, in a safe and supportive environment, in all aspects and areas of their school life and into their future.


At Springfield House School, we pride ourselves on the consistent approach to teaching and learning that can be observed across the whole school.

We actively support our children in developing the skills necessary to speak fluently in order to communicate their thoughts and emotions. Our nurturing approach to learning develops children’s confidence so that they are able to get their views across. Through our exciting and engaging curriculum, we actively encourage our children to speak to adults and to each other. We employ a range of speaking and listening activities in every lesson so that all children contribute and build their ideas in order to record them. 

English is fundamental to all subjects. All staff in our school model the use of higher-level vocabulary within their spoken language to expand children’s vocabulary, as well as model listening skills to children.

Children working at EYFS, the English curriculum (Communication and language area of learning) reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development – cognitively, socially and linguistically.  Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing.  Children are taught to express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They are taught to use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about their own experiences and events that have happened or are to happen in the future.  They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.  Children’s speaking and listening skills are nurtured through a variety of approaches: exploratory play, sustained shared thinking, story time, hot-seating, role-play and shared writing.  These skills are developed so that our children are capable of expressing their own ideas clearly and confidently, in a safe and supportive environment, in all aspects and areas of their school life and into their future.

The Statutory requirements of spoken language are taught at a level of appropriate ability for each child, building on their previous oral language skills.  


Teachers model subject specific vocabulary in context so that it is embedded across the curriculum. Contextual learning helps children to understand new words and supports them in including them in their work. In guided reading, pupils are given the chance to explore unfamiliar vocabulary and expand their knowledge of words. We model the correct grammar in speech and encourage pupils to self-correct their use of spoken and written language.

Active learning is essential in all aspects of lessons.  A range of spoken language strategies are consistently used throughout lessons in order to challenge learning, develop collaboration for learning, question and assess for learning. Teachers ensure that children build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy any misconceptions

Children are actively encouraged to speak and listen, therefore we employ a range of spoken language and listening activities in every lesson.  These activities may be for the whole school, class, small group or individual discussions. Children are actively encouraged to do the following: listen and respond with constructive comments questions or answers in a variety of speaking and listening activities; developing wide ranging and suitable vocabulary; listen and to follow instructions and to relay messages accurately; plan and discuss work co-operatively where appropriate; develop social skills and good manners, showing courtesy to each other and visitors.

Children have opportunities to read widely and regularly in order to develop their vocabulary and grammar and explain their understanding of books and texts. This is through daily Read Write Inc. Phonic sessions or guided reading sessions, as well as reading cross curriculum texts related to their topic.

Pupils are regularly given the opportunities to orally rehearse ideas for writing. Drama is used across the curriculum to explore ideas and engage pupils in their learning. This gives them the chance to embed vocabulary in shared activities, and embed the use of topic specific language. expression of ideas and presentations.

Cornerstone topics provide ample opportunities for children to communicate with a range of audiences. Opportunities include memorable experience trips, trading with other classes, showcasing their work, inviting pupils to taste and test produce in a café style situation.

Pupil Parliament meetings and feedback to classes promotes an open forum for honest dialogue, where our children are encouraged to exchange ideas and opinions. Children are encouraged to ‘build’ on each other’s ideas, sift through different points of view and communicate their ideas.  Above all, they try to understand each other and alternative points of view.


Springfield House truly believes that spoken language gives our pupils the basic skills they need to communicate with the world around them. Pupils are given a range of opportunities to develop these skills, in a safe and stimulating environment. The wide range of spoken language activities – which are weaved throughout our curriculum – help to develop ideas, vocabulary and confidence, as the more we talk, the more we pick up on different words that other people use. By the time they leave us, we aim for our pupils to have the fluency and confidence to use language to convey information, ideas comments and personal views in a socially acceptable manner appropriate to the purpose and audience.

The Statutory requirements of spoken language are listed below.

Spoken language – years 1 to 6

Spoken language

Pupils should be taught to:

  • listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers
  • ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
  • use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary
  • articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
  • give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings
  • maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments
  • use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas
  • speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
  • participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play/improvisations and debates
  • gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)
  • consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
  • select and use appropriate registers for effective communication


For ideas on how to support your child with developing  their spoken language at home, click on the following link:  https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/english/primary-vocabulary/