In our school, English is at the centre of everything that we do. The teaching of the subject embraces all aspects of language, both spoken and written. In the literate society in which we live, an ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in the written word, and to read a wide range of different types of text, is essential if children are to achieve their potential throughout their school days and on into adult life.
As a school, we believe that children should not only acquire the skills and knowledge surrounding the subject of Literacy but that they should also develop a love of books and reading; a desire to contribute to performances in drama and speaking to peers and adults; and the self-confidence which comes from having a command of the English language and the ability to organise thoughts and feelings.
We seek to provide a language rich environment in which expectations are high; tasks are relevant, purposeful and challenging; children are engaged, motivated and positive towards the subject; and aspirational goals are targeted and achieved.
Throughout all of the stages within our school, you will see the prominence of English within every classroom. The various scaffolds on display will support, stimulate and enhance children’s ability within the subject and allow for skills to be applied across every aspect of the Curriculum.
Common themes, in relation to English, run throughout the whole school. However, within these common themes, the content will differ in response to the children and their educational stage. Clear progression throughout the school will be evident
Reading areas are ever present, promoting interesting and varied books suitable to the children as well as displaying book related to work done in class.
Spelling rules and phonic strategies are on display, reflective of what work is taking place in the classroom. They are used as scaffolds in order to encourage independence and improve spelling across all writing.
Working Walls are evident, showcasing the written work taken place in class. The working wall will show evidence of children’s work, work done with the class teacher and provide a wide range of scaffolds to support children whenever they are writing; whether that is applying a new grammar rule or writing a longer composition with a range of technical devices to engage the reader. Across all of these aspects, handwriting is reflective of the school’s handwriting policy.
Planning and Assessment
Regular and on-going assessments of children’s attainment are a key tool in informing planning and ensuring that teachers within our school are meeting the needs of our children during every lesson. Appropriately pitched levels of differentiation, engaging contexts and motivational purposes are planned to ensure that this happens.
The Foundation Stage assess progress and plan lessons in relation to the Early Years framework while Key Stage One and Two plan, deliver and assess against objectives in line with the National Curriculum 2014 with the support of the STAT assessment grids.
In Reception, assessment is on-going throughout the year. This is done through observations of adult and child initiated activities. The final assessment, the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile, is completed at the end of the Reception year, and the children’s progress is assessed against the Early Learning Goals in each area of the curriculum.
Termly assessments are currently undertaken by Year One through to Year Six in reading and grammar as an additional tool to support planning and assessment of progress. Year One children take the statutory National Phonics Screening towards the end of the academic year while Year Two and Year Six children complete there SAT papers in the summer term.
All new skills within the subject of English are initially taught in isolation to the rest of the Curriculum. Classes deliver a weekly grammar lesson, spelling lesson and work on a two week cycle to address the many skills involved in the subject of reading. Once delivered, the skills that have been introduced are applied across the whole of the Curriculum and become part of one cohesive vehicle that will support the raising of standards in writing and speaking and listening; whatever the purpose of the task.
We strongly believe in the power of reading and are always striving towards further enhancing our positive culture to learning built on the notion that reading is the foundation in which success can be built on. Children are exposed to a range of varied, relevant and age appropriated books to enjoy, learn from, discuss and be inspired by.
Reading takes place in many forms within our school. Books are read independently; reflective of ability and with opportunities built in to represent appropriate books for that ability as well as opportunities to read books of personal interest; teacher reading sessions, a part of the day where books are listened to and enjoyed; and guided reading, an opportunity where inference, determining the author’s intentions and personal predictions and attitudes towards the reading are shared and discussed. In addition to all this, home reading is a vital component which further establishes reading skills, positive reading attitudes and contributes greatly to the success that the children see in the classroom.
As a result, levels of learning and understanding are deepened. Book Studies are currently being introduced, and are an exciting opportunity to become fully immersed in a book; a study where the arts are explored to develop an even deeper understanding of a book and the characters and plots within it.
With reading at the foundation, writing in our school can flourish. By understanding how texts are put together, listening to how techniques, such as tension, are built and developing a full understanding of a range of characters, children are better equipped to apply their knowledge into their own written pieces.
To enable children to deliver their messages clearly and have an intended impact within their writing, the rules of grammar, spelling and Standard English are a key component of our writing sessions and objectives are delivered in line with the standards from the National Curriculum 2014. Once weekly, skills are taught, learnt and applied in a context separate from the current topic. To embed the application of the grammar and spelling skills addressed, children are shown and encouraged to apply them across all writing; topic writing, writing across the Curriculum and longer written pieces.
In relation to our Creative Curriculum, there are many opportunities for writing for different purposes; each one engaging and relevant to the topic being studied during that time. Additionally, there are opportunities at home that support our children to embed knowledge of the subject in order to reach deeper levels of learning in class. These take the form of regular writing/grammar homework and weekly spelling lists which are monitored weekly.