English Vision Statement
In both key stages one and two, teaching and learning in English is planned around the topic being covered in the foundation subjects.A range of high quality texts, film clips, or current affairs are used alongside these topics to engage children in their learning, covering a broad range of genres and text-types. A strong emphasis is placed on ‘writing for real’ – giving children a real-life purpose for their writing in order to engage and enthuse. The teaching of grammar, punctuation and spelling is embedded within English lessons and is also delivered discretely to support pupil progress in these basic skills.
Reading requires the reader to make use of a number of skills:
Phonological – being able to equate a letter or letters with a sound.
Syntactical – understanding of grammar and word order.
Semantic – an understanding of the meaning being conveyed.
The development of these skills begins in the Early Years when children are introduced to early phonic work (using Letters and Sounds) and builds on their knowledge of stories, rhymes and poems. From Reception and throughout KS1, phonics is taught in groups every day outside of the English lesson. In KS2, any children who still require phonic work will have access to relevant intervention programmes. Reading for pleasure is promoted throughout school, with regular opportunities for pupils to read independently, in guided groups and in whole-class novel sessions.
Our Vision for English
Our vision for English ensures every pupil is given a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum that takes into account the requirements of the National Curriculum. We believe that the fundamental functions of language as a means of expressing feelings, establishing contact with others and bringing about desired responses, are crucial in underpinning life skills and all aspects of the curriculum. We therefore believe that all aspects of language need to be developed in as many different ways as possible in order to help children achieve a confident, fluent and appropriate use of language.
Our purpose is to enable children to:
• Read with enjoyment and understand for a variety of purposes.
• Write for different purposes in an appropriate style using spelling, punctuation and syntax accurately and confidently.
• Communicate effectively.
• Develop accurate listening skills
This is to be developed through engaging children’s learning by encouraging a happy, investigative and enquiring approach where there are no limits to curiosity and there is a thirst for new experiences and knowledge.
We believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to become confident in the art of speaking and listening and to be able to use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. Through our English Curriculum, we strive to teach the children how important their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills will be in the real world. By giving this context to their learning, the children understand the value of English to them now, and in their futures.
Children in the Foundation Stage work towards achieving the Early Learning Goals. They experience a language-rich curriculum in which they are encouraged to explore the use of language through role-play, stories, rhymes and other activities. Oral story-telling enables children to re-tell known stories with a series of actions. The journey from mark making to writing is outlined in our mark making policy.
The English curriculum for Years 1-6 follows a 3 year rolling plan in line with our foundation subject topics, which links texts studied and the genres covered, to the overall topic for classes 2 and 3, and enables important cross-curricular links to take place. The sequence of skills required for each year group is delivered within this. English planning for writing for Years 1-6 follows the phase system- reading and analysing, gathering content, planning and writing. For Y1-6, our working walls follow the PALS triangle which helps to give purpose to children’s writing, show the skills they are working on, new vocabulary they have been immersed in and the toolkit they are working with. Handwriting across the school follows the letter-join program.
In EYFS and Y1, the development of reading skills begins when children are introduced to phonics using Letters and Sounds. Children are assessed regularly and additional interventions offer support to those requiring it. Home reading books for these children match the phonics phase being practiced in school. Reading is taught in whole class groups from Year 2 onwards and the ‘Reading Explorers’ scheme is used. This focuses on teaching the skills of information retrieval, vocabulary understanding, inferential and deductive reasoning as well as the ‘6 Ps’ which lead to reading fluency (pitch, passion, punctuation, pause, power and pace). Children in Reception and Year 1 develop reading skills through a ‘shared reading’ experience following the ‘Reading Rocketeers’ scheme. They also continue to develop their skills through guided reading groups.
In spelling, EYFS and Y1 children practise high frequency word lists and spelling pattern lists set out in the letters and sounds guidance. From Y1 onwards, spelling strategies are further developed through a range of activities following the TWINKL spelling program. Through investigation, independent activities and games and the ‘look, say, cover, write, check’ strategy, children will learn spelling rules, word definitions and how to use these words in sentences.
Our English Policy can be found on our Policies page here.