English is taught daily as a discrete subject, but also features heavily in many other curriculum areas.
English consists of reading, writing, spoken language, handwriting, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, punctuation and grammar. We use the English programmes of study for key stages 1 and 2.
In reception and year 1, children read the decodable reading books from Little Wandle. They have three reading practice sessions over the week in school with a session each on decoding, prosody, and comprehension using the same book. They are taught phonic skills to help them decode words and are encouraged to develop expression, fluency and comprehension as their reading skills progress. Building up fluency is the main aim of these reading sessions.
Younger children take home both their Little Wandle reading book, matched to their phonics ability, and a "reading for pleasure" story book which can be read to them to encourage and develop a passion for books and reading. Parents are encouraged to read with and to their children.
Once children reach a certain level in their reading, they are able to access a reading program called Accelerated Reader. The program provides quizzes for the children to take once they have read a book which improves their comprehension.
It is our aim that children should become readers for life. Children are encouraged to read a wide range of books at all ages. A good background of literature is provided in the school and is constantly being improved and updated.
Our school uses Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to plan carefully for the systematic teaching of phonics in school. Phonics is an essential element in teaching children to read and write with whole class phonic sessions taking place daily in EYFS and KS1. Through a consistent and structured approach, children are able to practise and develop skills in an effective and enjoyable way.
Writing is an essential skill, which features in many curriculum areas. The emphasis is always on providing a real purpose and audience for the children. Writing includes developing sentence structure, building vocabulary, text organisation and writing different genres. Children are encouraged to write independently from their earliest days in school and continue to build upon this foundation through the school.
We have adopted an approach to writing called The Write Stuff . This approach, linked tightly to the objectives of the writing national curriculum, has been developed by Jane Considine, an English consultant with more than twenty years’ experience within the field of primary English. It is an evidence-based approach and links to current educational thought on cognitive theory, metacognition and memory.
The Write Stuff is based upon teaching sequences that slide between experience days and sentence stacking lessons. Starting with a quality text, pupils are immersed in the context of this through experience days. These days may include drama, role play, research, visits and other immersion activities.
From this, pupils move into sentence stacking lessons. With modelling at the heart of these, the sentence stacking lessons are broken into bite-sized chunks and taught under the structural framework of The Writing Rainbow. Teachers begin by modelling the ideas, grammar and techniques of writing, explicitly discussing the purpose and effect of these, before pupils move on to use these elements independently. Throughout this process, pupils are given focused and actionable feedback on their work to allow them to develop their writing skills further. At the end of each unit of work, pupils produce an independent piece of writing, deploying the techniques they have been taught.
Spoken language and vocabulary
Spoken language and vocabulary is promoted in all subjects and is one of the key drivers in our curriculum. Activities include discussion, presentations, sharing stories and poetry, role play, debate and drama.
From the time they begin school, children are taught basic letter formation. They learn a cursive handwriting style, which is taught and practised frequently.
Spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG)
Children take part in a variety of games and activities to help them to learn to spell accurately, use correct punctuation and grammar. We use the No Nonsense Spelling scheme in school and follow the objectives in the national curriculum to ensure progression in SPaG: