English is a crucial part of our curriculum and is at the root of all that we do. The skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are fundamental to the children.
Our aim is to equip the children with skills for life, whilst developing a real love of books and a passion for the English Language. Although English is taught as a discreet subject, it is also embedded in every other curriculum area.
We teach a range of genres and styles of writing in addition to spelling, grammar and punctuation rules. The curriculum is now more challenging and it is expected that children have a good understanding of grammar and punctuation. With this in mind, we have provided a glossary of terms (Appendix 1) which will enable parents to have a greater awareness of what is being taught in school. Spelling is taught discreetly in school through the use of investigations into rules and patterns.
Our Writing curriculum encourages the children to apply the mechanics of writing in an engaging fashion. Speaking and listening are hugely important skills and the children are actively encouraged to talk! All adults, both at home and at school are role models and therefore play an important part in the development of children’s language and conversational skills. In school, drama sessions are used to promote ‘talk for writing’, and also help children to think about the points of view of others.
We carry out extended writes at regular intervals and include topics from other curriculum areas. These are times when children are expected to write independently and at length. When writing creatively we always encourage children to plan and verbalise their ideas before attempting to record. The editing process is also extremely important and children are taught how to check their work in order to correct mistakes and make improvements.
We use the ‘Penpals’ handwriting scheme and focus on correct letter formation from the start of Foundation Stage. Joins are taught when an individual is ready.
Phonics is taught daily throughout Foundation Stage and Year One and all types of learners are considered. We follow the ‘Storytime phonics’ teaching programme and allow the children to review, revisit and apply the phonic skills they have learnt in a fun and engaging way.
Alongside Phonics, Shared Reading is used as a vehicle to teach explicit parts of reading such as word reading, fluency and aspects of comprehension such as inference and retrieval. This begins as a shared talk session with our very youngest children and develops into a more focused reading discussion as our children move through school. We aim, as a school, for all of our children to develop a love of reading and to take pleasure in a wide range of literature. We encourage children to read regularly at home and use incentives such as reading certificates and celebration assemblies to praise children who achieve this and as a motivation tool for reluctant readers. Adults create passion in children to read and as a school we encourage parents to read aloud to their children too. To encourage a love of reading children take home a library book which they may have accessed in class for them to enjoy with an adult at home and a reading book aimed at developing their phonic awareness and blending skills. We have also introduced a reading spine for each year group, this is a collection of quality literature by popular and new authors allowing children exposure to a variety of stories both traditional and well loved and those that reflect the diversity of our community.
At our school we have developed a bespoke phonic banding system. All children take home colour coded books that are levelled to their phonic ability. There are a huge variety of books from a range of publishers and schemes which ensures that there is something that appeals to everyone.
In addition to our English lessons we organise subject enrichment days such as visiting theatre groups and story tellers.
Parental support is highly valued and hugely beneficial to the children, we encourage our children to read at least three times a week at home to develop their reading mileage. Please use the links below to obtain additional ideas so that you can support your child at home.
Be A Writer Skills Progression
Be A Reader Skills Progression
Links – please click to open
Grammar and Punctuation – Glossary of Terms
Our Writing Co-ordinator is Mrs Dickens and our Reading Co-ordinator is Mrs Creighton.