English is a core curriculum subject and underpins learning in all other subjects. The National Curriculum targets in spoken language, reading and writing are addressed through imaginative programmes of study designed to support, challenge and stimulate our pupils’ communication skills. Programmes involve the study and use of English through the media of literature, poetry, drama and modern communications in a variety of exciting projects, developing transferable skills and cross-curricular opportunities. The underpinning language skills in reading, writing and spoken language are developed through stimulating creativity and imagination. Individual target setting is linked to performance descriptors and allows us to accurately track progress through the Key Stages, providing individually-tailored support and a range of intervention programmes designed to enhance performance at all levels. All pupils are taught to improve their skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, spelling and phonics through daily lessons.
It is important that all children become good listeners and effective communicators and that they are able to work within a group to listen carefully, share, report and discuss events and topics together. The National Curriculum places great importance on these skills. We carefully plan a daily programme of activities which promote and extend these skills for each child.
Reading is fundamental to learning and we strive to help children become confident readers who are able to understand and apply their skill, enjoying reading for the rest of their lives. We teach reading through a number of different approaches; whole class reading, guided reading, one-to-one reading and reciprocal reading. We have introduced Reading Pro to map pupils’ reading more clearly, as well as to offer quizzes to consolidate their understanding of what they have read. We also have a core text for each topic.
We follow the Sounds-Write phonic programme. The lessons follow a cycle of review, teach, practise, apply and consolidate. We have an extensive colour banded reading library and the children use the Junior Librarian system to scan their books in and out. We encourage reading at home each night using book schemes but also reading for pleasure using the books they have chosen from the library.
The school provides a wide range of fiction, poetry and non-fiction books. Each class has a timetabled session in the library where they are encouraged to ‘read for pleasure’ and immerse themselves in the joy of reading. The children are able to borrow books from the school library.
Writing and Handwriting
We encourages creative thinking and a ‘can do’ approach to writing. Children are given opportunities for writing in guided, independent and group-writing situations. They are encouraged to use the phonic skills in both their reading and writing. Lessons are engaging, lively and active with children being encouraged to be independent learners. Children are taught about poetry, fiction and non-fiction in each year group and are given the skills to develop their own extended pieces of writing. Cross-curricular links are made wherever possible. The skills of handwriting are developed and cursive script is taught early in our pupil’s schooling. We believe that this assists our pupils to write quickly, confidently and clearly at an early stage and also helps to develop good spelling skills.
Spelling is taught through the systematic teaching of spelling rules and are consolidated by dictations. We encourage parents to support with spellings which are sent home weekly for the child to learn. Alongside spelling rules, children need to read, understand and spell the first 300 words, Year 3 / 4 words and Year 5 / 6 words that are within Appendix 1 in the English Primary Curriculum document.
Punctuation and Grammar
The teaching of punctuation and grammar is taught both as discrete lessons and integrated into the writing timetable. Children will learn about the dynamics of writing, how sentences and paragraphs are structured for the audience and how to edit their work. This allows their writing to be clear and imaginative.