English has a pre-eminent place in education and society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, other can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
The overarching aim for English is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written words, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. We aim to ensure that all pupils:
Teaching and Learning
Our long/medium term planning is based on the English National Curriculum (2014) and EYFS, carefully tailored to maximise our resources, expertise and the needs of our children. In Reception the children learn literacy through the areas of learning; Communication and Language and Literacy.
A variety of teaching and learning strategies are employed in the teaching of English at our school.
Creative opportunities for literacy are developed through drama, role play, use of outdoor areas and journal writing. In Reception planning for play activities to enrich opportunities for literary learning is particularly vital. Wherever possible links to other subject areas are made.
Reading and Phonics
In Reception all children have daily discrete phonics sessions following the Letters and Sounds Program of work. This is supported by the Jolly Phonics Scheme.
In Reception all children read on a 1:1 basis once a week with a teacher or teaching assistant. As the children progress they move to group reading with additional 1:1 reading provided for those children that need additional support.
All children are expected to read at home on a daily basis.
In Reception children are allowed to change their book once they have read it twice (once for the mechanics and once for the understanding).
In Reception children receive groups of blending words, high frequency words and pseudo words to take home to practise. These words correspond with the phonics phase they are currently working on in class. They are then checked in class on a weekly basis and new words are sent home if the child gets the majority of the words correct (all but one).
Key Stage One:-
In Year 1 children have daily discrete phonics sessions following the Letters and Sounds Program, Support for Spelling and Sound Families.
In Year 2 children follow the school's chosen spelling scheme in order to meet the expectations set out in the National Curriculum.
In Key Stage 1 children take part in Guided Reading sessions. These sessions can include a carousel of activities including group reading, reading comprehension, sentence structure work and phonics activities.
In Key Stage 1 children are allowed to change their books once they have been read at home and this has been recorded by the parents in the diaries.
In Year 1 children are given sets of words to read and spell. These are sent home and children are allowed to request the next set once they have been learnt.
When this scheme is completed, children are given the 100 High Frequency words to learn followed by the 200 High Frequency words.
Each class has a weekly Shared Reading session.
Progression of skills in Reading is made explicit and shared between parents and school adults through the reading targets in each child’s Reading Diary.
Children go through a developmental process when learning to write which demonstrates the following stages
This is achieved through modelling writing and planning opportunities for the children to imitate and practise these skills. Daily phonics sessions, environmental print in the classroom and modelling writing for a purpose support the children in acquiring these skills. There is one adult led writing activity planned each week linked to the topic.
Key Stage One:-
In Year one these skills are built on and different genres of writing are introduced. Regular big write sessions are timetabled in along with weekly editing sessions. In these sessions the children respond to the next steps identified by their teacher.
Children are taught to write with a cursive script from Reception to allow joining of letters as early as possible.
Cross Curricular Links
Our curriculum planning follows a half termly topic approach which ensures English learning is linked to other areas. We use a text based planning approach.
Children are taught a wide range of English skills that are necessary to access the whole curriculum. Opportunities are planned in other subjects to enable children to apply and use English in real life and academic contexts.
Within other lessons across the curriculum it is also necessary to incorporate the good practice seen within English lessons as follows;
Assessment for Learning, Recording and Reporting
Teachers evaluate the children’s English learning against intended learning outcomes of planned activities. These evaluations are used to inform future planning by identifying children who need reinforcement or extension work, considering appropriate means of delivering such activities.
All children in Year 1 participate in the National Phonics Screening Check. End of Key Stage One assessments in English are statutory. Children undertake national tasks and tests.
Teachers mark the work with clear next steps identified and children are encouraged to use these comments to reflect on and appraise their own work and progress. As they move through the school they are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for their own learning and to contribute to deciding short term goals.