Subject Areas


At Pennyhill, we believe in developing pupils’ abilities in reading, writing and speaking and listening. Pupils develop their skills within a varied English curriculum and are given opportunities to further apply this through other subject areas.

By the time the children leave our school, we aim for them to be able to read with confidence, fluency and understanding; showing an interest in books and reading for enjoyment. They should also develop a wide vocabulary, using this knowledge to write in a variety of forms and for different purposes. Discussion is an integral part of learning and children should be able to use this to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.

Upon this foundation, all future learning is built. Therefore, we believe in providing the best possible start to your child’s learning journey in English.



We follow the Letters and Sounds programme to teach Phonics. Children in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 have daily phonics lessons. At the end of Year 1 children do a Phonics test as specified by the Government. Children in Year 2 sometimes need some additional phonics lessons if they find learning their letters and sounds difficult.

Take a look at our Phonics page to find out more information about our Phonics programme and some helpful links to online resources.




Reading is extremely important at Pennyhill. We recognise that learning to have a love of reading is a life skill that needs to be promoted.

Children all take a book home and parents are encouraged to read daily with their children. We use a variety of books to help us including Oxford Reading Tree and other banded books, as well as independent readers.

We have three libraries in school: EYFS and KS1, KS2 and a non-fiction library. Children are encouraged to borrow books as additional readers to take home. We also liaise with our local library: Stone Cross Library. Throughout the year children in Years 2-5 have an opportunity to visit the library. For younger children we have organised the mobile library to come into school fortnightly so that they can choose books to read in school.






We encourage our older children to read with our younger children so that they can model good reading practices and spend some quality time with each other reading stories for enjoyment.


Bug Club is used to promote reading books online. Children are able to gain points for the amount of books they read online and how many questions they can answer about the books. We have delivered workshops to parents sharing how to support children when using Bug Club.


     Reading is taught through a holistic approach: writing genres are  linked to reading texts and children are taught to answer content domain questions based on texts being studied. We also teach reading in a cross curricular manner throughout all other subject areas. The comprehension of text plays an important role throughout the school day, children are encouraged to magpie and learn new vocabulary acquired through text immersion.


Many opportunities are created for ‘book stop’ activities where children can discuss, debate or unpick authorial styles and devices.

We finish our day in school listening to a class novel or story. We know the children look forward to this and find it is a wonderful opportunity to immerse children in high quality texts, including some classics.  




Writing is planned using a book centred approach. The writing journey begins with the immersion in the text type, which encourages reading comprehension. Children are asked to complete a ‘cold write’ so that teachers can assess and plan the writing journey for that unit. Grammar, punctuation and spelling are incorporated into writing lessons so that children understand the genre language style in a holistic way. The journey ends with a ‘hot write’, where children can celebrate their knowledge of key skills and writing elements for that genre.

Spelling Bee

Spelling is an integral part of our English journey. Children are expected to learn the ‘common exception words’ for their year group (see below). Additional words, related to their current topic, are also learned as part of spelling challenge work.

In years 2-6 children start the day with the 15 minute Oxford Owl Read, Write Inc programme; they use fun activities to learn a range of different spelling rules.

We have established a termly Spelling Bee competition to encourage children to learn their set spellings.  Dominic have said: ‘The spelling Bee was a tough, challenging competition. It was a fun thing to take part in. I was disappointed not to win but congratulations to the winner because it was tough.’


Common exception words and statutory word lists:


Year 1 common exception words list a

Year 1 common exception words list b

Year 2 common exception words

Year 3 and Year 4 statutory word list

Year 5 statutory word list

Year 6 statutory word list



At Pennyhill, we believe in teaching Mathematics through the principles of a ‘Mastery’ approach.

Pupils are exposed to the same curriculum content at the same pace, allowing them all full access to the curriculum by focusing on developing deep understanding and secure fluency with facts and procedures. Differentiation is achieved by offering pupils varied levels of challenge, giving them the flexibility to select their own learning level.  By offering rapid support and intervention to address each individual pupil’s needs, we are able to support all learners to make progress in the mathematical skills they develop.

An approach based on mastery principles:

  • makes use of mathematical representations that expose the underlying structure of the mathematics.  For example, pupils are taught how to represent and solve a problem initially through the use of concrete materials such as base 10, cubes or any other materials which can be handled.  They are then shown how this can be transferred to a pictorial representation, eg, through the use of drawings, jottings or most recently, bar modelling.  These approaches in turn support pupils as they move towards abstract thinking, eg, working with written numbers and calculations.  This approach is known as CPA
  • helps children to make sense of concepts and achieve fluency through carefully structured questions, exercises and problems.  This is known as ‘intelligent practice’.  It is important to represent the same concept in a variety of forms in order for pupils to become fluent with both their understanding of the concept and the procedures required to solve problems.
  • blends whole class discussion and precise questioning with intelligent practice and, where necessary, individual support.


As a school, we use a wide variety of resources to support and enrich pupils’ learning.  These include:  ‘Rising Stars Mathematics’, White Rose Maths Hubs guidance and schemes of learning, NRich and other resources from the NCETM.





At Pennyhill we believe that Science should be one of the most enjoyable parts of the children’s learning. It is an integral part of the Learning Challenge Curriculum and through this children are given opportunities to explore and find out about themselves and the world around them. 


Our children are encouraged to not simply learn a set of facts but to think in a scientific way. Investigation is at the centre of all our Scientific learning and children explore scientific concepts using their existing skills and through problem solving and questioning



Computing at Pennyhill Primary School is an integral part of school life. Technology, such as computers, iPads and cameras, are used across school every day in order to engage pupils and maximise learning. 

During dedicated Computing lessons, children are taught a wide range of skills which are becoming ever more necessary in a technology driven world. For example: 

·        How to use a range of digital devices to accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and

   presenting data and information.

·        Maximising efficiency when using programs such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

·        How to plan and debug algorithms (instructions used by computers).

·        Useful strategies for staying safe online and how to report suspicious activity.

·        How to design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals.


Alongside Computing lessons, children are given the opportunity to build on and strengthen these skills by using technology in other subject areas, such as Learning Challenge, English and Maths.


Modern Foreign Languages

Modern Foreign Languages is now a statutory requirement for all children in Key Stage Two.

At Pennyhill Primary School we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational and cultural experience.

Here at Pennyhill Primary School we are keen to promote Spanish as a modern foreign language to our pupils.

We aim to integrate language learning into everyday school life, with teachers, teaching assistants and children using and experimenting with their knowledge of different languages whenever the opportunity arises. 



At Pennyhill we look to stimulate children’s interest in their surroundings and develop their knowledge of a variety of physical conditions.

We look to develop children’s sense of identity through an awareness of different cultures and human environments, which are found both locally and globally.

We use geographical skills and investigate through fieldwork which is incorporated through our learning challenges. 


Religious Education

The aim of teaching RE in Pennyhill Primary School is aligned with the 1988 Education Reform Act and the new SACRE 2012 RE Syllabus for Sandwell which requires that all pupils should have an education, which is balanced; promotes their spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development; and prepares them for adult life.

These documents highlight clearly that all pupils must be taught five major religions including Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism and Islam in order to reflect the makeup of Sandwell.

Also schools are encouraged not to promote the claims of one particular faith or stance against any other faiths and stances. On the other hand it does imply respect for the identities, values and commitments that pupils bring with them into school.


Special Educational Needs and Disability

At Pennyhill Primary School we are committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for all pupils. We aim to develop a culture of inclusion and diversity in which all those connected to the school feel proud of their identity and are able to participate fully in school life.

Every teacher is a teacher of every child or young person, including those with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND)

We recognise that children may have special educational needs either throughout or at any time during their school career.


Physical Education

Here at Pennyhill the children have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of sports and physical activities during our PE lessons, extra-curricular clubs and active playtimes. 

The children learn new skills and experience a wide variety of sports including multi-skills, dance, gymnastics, swimming, athletics, tri-golf, tennis, badminton, orienteering as well as the traditional team sports of hockey, netball, football and tag-rugby.

The children also are taught the importance of being healthy and leading an active, healthy lifestyle.

Our PE lessons focus on ERA where the children can ENJOY, RESPECT and ACHIEVE through sport. They can:


Enjoy fun lessons where the children try new sports and skills, using a range of sporting equipment.

Respect others by promoting sportsman ship, following the rules of the games. Develop leadership, teamwork and collaboration through planning routines and using tactics. The children also have the opportunity to coach, umpire, assess and evaluate their own and their peer’s performances.
Achieve personal goals. The children develop and apply new skills to improve individual or team performances and can compete against others through intra-school and inter-school competitions.



  • Pennyhill Primary School
  • Hollyhedge Rd
  • West Bromwich
  • West Midlands
  • B71 3BU
  • United Kingdom
  • Tel: 0121 588 2230
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