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English

 

         

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. 

 

Aims

 

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 inspire and enable children to:

  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
  • Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
  • Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentation, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

 

Teaching and Learning

 

Our planning is based on the National Curriculum and EYFS. A variety of teaching and learning strategies are employed in the teaching of English at our school following a creative, engaging approach making links to other subject areas and topics where appropriate.

 

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.

This is further developed in Year 1 with daily discrete teaching using Letters and Sounds and through the teaching of appropriate ‘sound families’. The use of phonics for reading and spelling is then reinforced within the context of reading sessions and writing teaching.

 

In the summer term of Year 1, the children will take part in the national Phonics Screening Check.

 

 

Reading

 

Reading is highly valued among all staff at Lyne and Longcross and emphasis is put on developing a love of reading in all children whilst developing skills that enable them to respond to and appraise an increasing range of texts.

 

All children have access to a range of quality texts to embed the reading skills they are taught whilst at Lyne and Longcross C of E (Aided) Primary School. Our well-resourced library provides an opportunity for children to explore texts of all genres and each class has its own book corner with books appropriate to the age of the children. All classes have a weekly timetabled slot for visiting the library and the children can check out books using the Junior Librarian system.

 

The teaching of reading is timetabled daily across the school.

 

Reading in the Early Years is taught through the daily teaching of phonics with a focus on the teaching of each sound, blending and segmenting as well as the tricky words and high frequency words. The PM reading scheme is used to support each individual through the early reading skills. Benchmarking regularly ensures that each child has a book closely matched to their reading stage. During the autumn term, weekly reading comprehension takes place in small groups led by the Reception staff. This supports the children’s understanding of what they have read and models the vocabulary and skills needed to access a text.

 

In Key Stage 1, a carousel approach to guided reading is planned for by the teachers. Each group will have an opportunity to be taught by an adult and other activities are always linked to the development of reading skills. In Key Stage 2, a balanced reading curriculum is delivered using a combination of carousel group teaching and whole class teaching. The texts children access when working in a guided reading group or as part of a whole class reading session are pitched just above the independent level of the child so that the teacher can support the development of the skills each child needs.

 

Benchmarking is used across the school for children reading between Pink and Lime. This allows adults to be consistent in the dialogue around reading levels and ensures that children are always reading at a level appropriate to the individual. As a school, we support parents’ understanding of this through annual reading meetings; this also provides a further opportunity to reinforce our expectations that parents read with their child on a regular basis (at least 5 times in KS1 and at least 3 a week in KS2). Below is an outline of the progression for individual reader book bands:

 

Pink

Red

Yellow (School expectation for the end of Reception)

Blue

Green

Orange (School expectation for the end of Year 1)

Turquoise (School expectation for the end of Year 1)

Purple

Gold

White (School expectation for the end of Year 2)

Lime

Free Reader

 

In Key Stage 2, colour bands are continued for guided reading purposes only.

Copper

Topaz (End of Year 3)

Ruby (End of Year 3)

Emerald (End of Year 4)

Sapphire (End of Year 4)

Diamond (End of Year 5)

Pearl (Start of Year 6)

 

Spelling

 

Spelling is a significant element of the National Curriculum for all year groups and at Lyne and Longcross we strive to ensure a balance between growing talented authors who can compose effective pieces of writing with flair and enthusiasm whilst ensuring that the demands of the spelling curriculum are met without imposing restrictions on the children’s confidence to experiment with new vocabulary.

 

During small group phonics sessions, children are taught how to spell the tricky words and high frequency words in line with their stage of development.

 

The teaching of spelling strategies is a fundamental skill underpinning our teaching of writing at Lyne and Longcross. Across all year groups, spelling is taught both as discrete sessions and within the context of a key text or wider subject area.

 

In Year 1 spelling is taught through daily phonic sessions. Children are taught to spell using the digraphs and trigraphs following the structure from letters and sounds. Alongside this, the spelling of tricky words is taught on an individual basis depending on the phase children are working within. Tricky words are on display and are regularly referred to in teaching to ensure that children know where to find support if they need it. Other resources, such as a sound mat, are available and children are taught how to use this to support their independent spelling and writing.

 

In Year 2 to Year 6, spelling is taught as a regular, timetabled session using the overview from No Nonsense Spelling. This is supported with teacher chosen resources and children are then tested on the words they have learnt at regular intervals. For children who may not yet have a secure grasp of their phonics or those who require significant support with their spelling, we make appropriate adaptations to our provision and these children are given further learning support and personalised spelling lists.

 

Writing

 

At Lyne and Longcross C of E Primary School we want to develop writers who use their imaginations; are not afraid to be adventurous in the language that they use and the ideas that they have; and who enjoy writing.

 

In order to do this we have designed a text based curriculum which ensures that all pupils have access to a rich variety of genre and language. Our writing curriculum celebrates children’s successes in composing original and interesting writing; we value their ideas and creativity as authors.

 

When children are learning to write they go through a developmental process which demonstrates the following stages

  • Random mark making and scribbles
  • Separate random symbols and shapes
  • Linear marks
  • Recognisable symbols and letters to communicate meaning
  • Letters in correct sequence

 

Through the daily modelling of writing and planning of opportunities for the children to imitate and practise these skills in the Early Years environment, we hope to build confident writers ready for the transition to working within the National Curriculum expectations.  In our Early Years environment, children have the opportunity to lead their own learning however, our teachers skilfully plan for exciting opportunities to write that the children will be motivated by and choose to access for themselves. We provide additional support and challenge for those children exceeding the expectations for writing; finding the resources appropriate to each individual child.  

 

From Year 1, each year group plans for sequences of lessons which cover appropriate grammar and writing styles to ensure that all children study a breadth of genre and cover the National Curriculum expectations using the allocated texts for their year group.

 

Creative writing and writing for different purposes is taught using the key text as a hook. Over the course of a unit, teachers develop the children’s skills in different aspects of writing, such as character description or the use of dialogue, required to produce a well composed final outcome at the end of each unit.

 

At Lyne and Longcross we believe in the power of exposing children to a broad and varied vocabulary. This means that within our teaching we draw on the rich texts to bring children’s attention to new language, these texts can be supported by film or other rich subject specific material. Time is given within units of work to introduce and use new vocabulary within context and then for children to apply it in their own work. For children who may struggle with language and vocabulary work, we offer interventions and pre-teaching to ensure that no child misses out on developing a rich word knowledge and understanding.

 

All children from Reception to Year 6 will complete an independent piece of writing each half term which is marked by the teacher and placed in the child’s writing portfolio. This portfolio travels with the child throughout their time at Lyne and Longcross highlighting the progress they make as writers.

 

Grammar

 

Grammar teaching is embedded within day to day lessons and uses the key text where ever it is appropriate. Some discrete teaching of grammar takes place and the correct terminology is used with the children. We encourage the use of an investigate, define and apply approach to grammar whereby children investigate grammar in context and the effect it has on a sentence or piece of writing, they then learn about its definition and associated vocabulary, finally they are taught how to apply it in context and given opportunities to embed in their own writing. Shared and modelled writing makes full use of the opportunity to use taught grammatical concepts in context and teachers draw the children’s attention to this.

 

Handwriting

 

Children are taught to write with a cursive script from Reception to allow joining of letters as early as possible. See Appendix 1.

 

Assessment

 

Teachers evaluate the children’s English learning against intended learning outcomes of planned activities and against end of year objectives on Learning Ladders. 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.

 

Children in Year 2 participate in national statutory assessments for reading.

 

Children in Year 6 participate in national statutory assessments for reading, grammar and spelling.

 

Please see the assessment and the marking policy for more information about how pupil assessments are recorded.

 

Children receive an end of year report to their parents/carers which details their progress in reading and writing. There are termly opportunities for parents/carers to discuss their children’s progress with class teachers.

 

Inclusion

 

All children have an entitlement to access the English curriculum.  All children will be given the opportunity to participate in all activities. We aim to ensure that pupils have equal access to the English curriculum and resources regardless of race, gender or ability. Work will be differentiated to support all children.

 

Resources

 

Resources to support the teaching of English are stored in appropriate classrooms.

An annual budget is allocated to update these resources according to curriculum needs.

The English subject leader is responsible for organising, managing and maintaining these resources and also for keeping abreast of current subject issues through attending courses, meetings, reading relevant publications and disseminating this information to staff.

 

Outdoor Learning

 

All staff receive training on how to incorporate learning opportunities outdoors related to each subject area. There is an expectation that within each topic there will be outdoor learning opportunities. The school has extensive grounds, including Forest School, that support the teaching and learning of English.

 

Use of technology

 

Computer software, technology and online materials is used as appropriate for teaching and learning opportunities in English.

 

Monitoring

 

Monitoring of English learning is achieved through classroom observations, work scrutiny, pupil progress meetings and pupil discussion groups.

The English subject leader devises an annual action plan which forms part of the SDP and is shared with all staff. This action plan is evaluated throughout the year.

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