Uplands Primary School
Specialism: English and Grammar
Support Phase: Key Stage 1 and 2
Position: Year 6 Class Teacher, English Subject Lead and Key Stage 2 Leader
Since graduating with a degree in French and German in 1992, I have been interested in language: morphology, etymology, phonetics, syntax and semantics. Learning two foreign languages gave me an insight into the workings of the English language and thus fuelled my interest in English language and grammar.
As English Subject Leader and Year 6 teacher, I have made a significant contribution to improving the quality and consistency of the teaching of spelling across the school by creating and implementing a school-wide scheme of work for spelling, punctuation and grammar that has now been embedded across all Key Stage 1 and 2 classes. This has ensured that children of all abilities have exposure to the statutory spellings and the content of the Spelling Appendix in the National Curriculum. In order to improve standards in the teaching of grammar, I also collaboratively devised a glossary of grammatical terminology that shows the progression of learning through the school. This has enabled all staff at Uplands, including support staff, to be able to teach grammar to a high level and to have high expectations of all pupils. Standards in literacy have improved across the school and pupils performed significantly better than the national average in GPS and writing in the End of Key Stage 2 assessments in 2016.
In 2015-16, I was appointed as an external writing moderator for the borough of Bracknell Forest, celebrating the success of schools’ writing as well as offering practical advice to local schools on how to improve standards. Following this, I took a lead role in in-school moderation, and have subsequently designed and implemented a system of moderation that is robust and rigorous.
My outreach work to date has included conducting a writing review for a local school by analysing data and suggesting improvements, and planning and leading training on the teaching of grammar, punctuation and spelling.
As a teacher, I share a common goal with others in the same profession: to provide the pupils in the school in which I teach with the best possible education. I believe that, as an SLE, I have a duty and a responsibility to work collaboratively with colleagues in other schools to work towards the collective goal of enhancing and enriching the education of all children, rather just those in my immediate school environment.
I understand that teachers’ and leaders’ strengths lie in different areas, and that giving and receiving professional expertise and coaching in a particular area in which one is less confident is an invaluable tool to help upskill others and improve standards in teaching and learning.