Our curriculum leader for English is Mrs Hallam.
We aim for pupils to develop skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing that will enable them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively and independently. We want pupils to become enthusiastic and analytical readers of a rich variety of stories, poetry and drama, non-fiction, and media texts. Pupils are given opportunities to develop their use, knowledge, and understanding of spoken and written English within a broad, balanced and cross-curricular curriculum, with opportunities to consolidate and reinforce taught literacy skills from the 2014 National Curriculum.
• explicitly taught and planned sessions following the guidance and objectives of the New Primary Curriculum and linked to end-of-year expectations which are shared with the children; these will typically be 45-60 minutes long.
• speaking and listening activities, e.g. role-play, pair talk, drama, and hot seating to prepare pupils for the writing process
• explicit daily teaching of phonics in Key Stage 1 and the Spelling Shed program in Key Stage 2 (once phonic knowledge is secure)
• developing a sound awareness of grammar and punctuation through analysing quality texts
• work using a range of genres which enables pupils to develop comprehension and composition skills and the understanding of the importance of presentation for impact. This will include using ICT to produce work on occasion
• letter formation, handwriting, and presentation skills taught and modelled
• immersion in a print-rich environment, through the use of book-based units of work that promote a reading culture and develop children’s oral and written communication.
• all children will participate in daily guided reading sessions that focus on comprehension as well as providing opportunities for developing reading skills and developing their vocabulary.
The National Curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially, and linguistically. 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 of reading and writing. Teachers should therefore ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills.
Pupils should develop a capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading and to prepare their ideas before they write. They must be assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as to others and teachers should ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions. Pupils should also be taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate.
All pupils should be enabled to participate in and gain knowledge, skills, and understanding associated with the artistic practice of drama. Pupils should be able to adopt, create and sustain a range of roles, responding appropriately to others in the role.
They should have opportunities to improvise, devise and script drama for one another and a range of audiences, as well as to rehearse, refine, share and respond thoughtfully to drama and theatre performances. Statutory requirements which underpin all aspects of spoken language across the six years of primary education form part of the national curriculum. These are reflected and contextualised within the reading and writing domains that follow.
In Foundation Stage and Year 1 children will follow the program: ‘Letters and Sounds’ daily following a lesson structure that embeds previous learning, providing opportunities for the pupils to practice their learning in addition to teaching the next step. Phonics is taught explicitly in Foundation Stage and Year 1. Children in Year 1 participate in a statutory national phonics screening check. Those identified as needing additional support will continue to be taught phonics until they are secure with this, sometimes into Year 3. Children’s phonological awareness and spelling strategies are regularly assessed and this informs teaching.
In KS2, children are given greater responsibility for developing their own spelling in addition to the school spelling scheme. Word banks related to topics and the end-of-phase spelling lists are often used. Children in KS2 focus on learning the spelling patterns and words from the New Primary Curriculum. Spelling Shed is being used from Year 1 to Year 6 in the classroom and at home; this forms a structured progression of skills and activities. Classes have discrete spelling lessons and there may be homework based on these patterns. Throughout the school, children also work on learning spelling which they personally find tricky. Children are taught to employ their knowledge of sounds, and patterns and to look for links in words to find effective methods for their own use and we understand that no one method will work for all. Children are encouraged to use appropriate strategies that have been introduced to help spell unfamiliar words: independent use of dictionaries and Thesauruses is encouraged.
Grammar and punctuation are taught explicitly as well as forming part of each lesson and identified in marking with children in KS2 completing regular spelling, punctuation, and grammar tests in preparation for the end of KS2 assessments.
We aim to develop the children’s ability to produce well-structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. Attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English, grammatical detail, punctuation, and spelling. Our approach to teaching writing covers the ‘transcription’ and ‘composition’ requirements of The National Curriculum (2014). Children have the opportunity to explore high-quality texts in-depth, enhancing reading comprehension and providing meaningful contexts and purposes for writing.
The teaching of this program is flexible and class teachers apply their own creativity to cover the objectives stated in the National Curriculum. Strategies are included from Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing, Literacy Shed, and Grammarsaurus. Teachers model writing skills and the use of phonics and spelling strategies in shared writing sessions. Guided writing sessions are used to target the specific needs of both groups and individuals. Children have opportunities to write at length in extended independent writing sessions at the end of a unit applying their taught skills to an independent piece of writing. We use the Penpals Handwriting Scheme in school to help children develop fluent, clear, and legible joined-up writing (see Handwriting and Presentation Policy for further details).
We aim for pupils to be able to:
• write in a grammatically accurate way
• develop an increasingly wide vocabulary suited to the purpose and genre
• incorporate ideas and skills of other authors into their writing
• collaborate with others during the writing process
• edit and improve against success criteria, making significant revisions where appropriate
• work collaboratively with other children to discuss the editing of written work
• use ICT as a tool for writing
• use spelling, punctuation, and syntax accurately.