When teaching English, we follow the 2014 National Curriculum Programme Of Study and teachers plan according to pupil need. We recognise that a sound understanding of English is critical for our children to be able to fully access learning in all subject areas; therefore we offer high quality learning experiences in English on a daily basis.
To develop phonic understanding we use the Read, Write Inc scheme. This begins in Reception Class and is usually completed at some point in year 2. This is a systematic scheme in which the children are taught the 44 speech sounds (phonemes) of the English language. They are gradually taught the written representations of these sounds (graphemes). Alongside this, we give children high frequency words to learn. Some of these words do not follow the regular phonetic rules and therefore need to be learnt on sight. Further information on phonics is available on our dedicated phonics page.
Our children access guided reading sessions as well as regular whole class sessions in order to develop their reading skills. This is to ensure our children can fully understand the range of texts that they will encounter as well as developing their fluency,intonation, pace and expression when reading. We encourage a love of reading and each class has a reading area or library from which they can choose from a range of books. We also have an extensive library where the children can select a book from. Interventions in reading take place across the school in small groups and 1:1 to ensure all children become confident readers.
Our home reading scheme is book banded to ensure that books are matched to children’s reading stage and their phonetic stage. The scheme we use is Big Cat Phonics. Children are encouraged to read on a daily basis at home and can change their book regularly.
As a school, we have adopted Talk4writing to improve children’s reading and writing skills through developing the ability to understand vocabulary, retell stories, develop their comprehension skills and to explore the many different types of stories which they may encounter. Texts that the children study have been carefully selected to ensure that they are of a high quality and, where possible, they link to topic work. This is a purposeful decision to ensure that the children have a deeper understanding of their topic work.
In the Foundation Stage, the children access a variety of literacy developing stimuli in English lessons. They will write from these stimuli and the real life experiences they encounter.There is a large focus on the children’s personal interests so this is the platform from which most learning takes place.
From Key stage one onwards, each class focuses on a book or novel each half term (termly for years 5 & 6 when the novels are more complex). There are 3 distinct stages followed when studying each writing unit. The first is the immersion stage. At the beginning of this stage, the children write an independent ‘Cold task’ to assess their current knowledge and understanding of that particular genre. This task enables teachers to plan for the necessary learning required for each child to make progress in their reading annd writing skills. Children will then become ‘immersed’ in the text type so that they understand what is required to write this genre effectively. The next stage is the innovation stage. During this stage, teachers will model a new version which emulates the model text from the previous stage. Children will then innovate their own piece and teachers will discuss and support the children to improve their writing through feedback and intervention as appropriate. The final stage is independent application. By now the children will have a sound understanding of what a good example of this genre looks like and they have a further chance to write independently to showcase their new learning. This is called the ‘Hot task’. Teachers will endeavour to give further opportunity for children to independently apply their learning through topic work or independent responses to reading.
Grammar, punctuation and spelling are inter-weaved throughout each unit of work. Additional sessions outside of the unit of work will also take place to ensure that children revise and retain previous knowledge taught as we recognise the importance of children revising and consolidating previous learning. The children access spelling shed in school and at home to enhance their spelling skills in an engaging way.