Together we inspire one another to love learn respect and Forgive, rooted and built up in Christ, so that every member of our school community can develop and flourish; united in mutual respect with a sense of belonging.
Intent of the teaching and learning of English
We provide high-quality opportunities for our children to ensure they leave the school with a solid foundation where they can speak and write fluently and where they can explore the rich and varied literature and develop a life-long love of reading.
The high standards of English we expect should be seen in all areas of school life, through the rich vocabulary used in other subject areas and the interactions between all members of the school community.
Implementation of the teaching and learning of English
The basis for the delivery of English is the National Curriculum, the aims of which are to ensure that all pupils:
- 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
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- 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 presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
The English Curriculum is delivered drawing on support from the Lancashire Thematic Booklet. Each unit includes English units that are linked with the topic being studied to enrich the children’s learning and give them a basis from which they can draw and develop ideas.
Approaches to writing
Phonics – throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1 we use Read, Write Inc. to deliver our phonics provision. During the first half term, we assess children to then enable us to stream to ensure children are being suitably challenged to achieve their best outcome. Children are assessed regularly throughout the year and then streamed accordingly. This provision continues into Key Stage 2 for those children that still require the programme.
Spellings – in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, we use the Twinkl spelling scheme to support children to learn the full range of spelling rules.
Vocabulary acquisition – we feel that vocabulary is of the utmost importance for children in our school and we aim to support children in acquiring new vocabulary in all areas of study. Pre-learning of vocabulary takes place across the curriculum to ensure children understand the terminology before diving into the study of it.
Scaffolded writing – scaffold writing forms an integral part of the writing process and enables the class teacher to model excellent examples to the children. It is part of the writing process where the class teacher’s input is vital and may include elements of shared and guided writing. Throughout the scaffold stage of writing, the children’s work is being constantly assessed and this is then used to inform future teaching over subsequent days, or challenge children on certain weaknesses or identify strengths and share these with others.
Independent writing – at the end of each unit, the children complete an independent piece of writing that can be used for assessment. This piece is completed by the children without input by the class teacher during the writing stage though they can be supported in the planning stage to develop ideas. This piece of writing may be completed with success criteria from another piece of writing, may have been rehearsed, has been edited by the pupil, peer or group or been completed with the use of dictionaries or thesauruses. The independent write should be completed over approximately 2 days, but there may be some variation through school dependent on subject area, the cohort or previous writing experience.
Writing across the curriculum – writing across the curriculum ensures children write for different purposes and different audiences and is an opportunity for children to demonstrate their understanding of written English in different contexts. It also forms a good assessment opportunity for teachers to identify those children who have a secure understanding of a certain genre.
Handwriting – in school, great importance is placed on handwriting, and we introduce cursive handwriting from Year 1. Additional intervention sessions are implemented when there is a concern about a child’s handwriting to improve their cursive script. It is also very important for teaching staff to model the expectation for quality handwriting.
Grammar and Punctuation – grammar is taught as part of an English lesson with the aim being that the elements taught will be evident in the final pieces of writing. Class teachers use Nelson grammar, Grammar Hammer and the Lancashire Thematic Booklets to support them in identifying the new grammar and punctuation that must be taught and ongoing assessments inform teachers of the need to review and more deeply embed other elements.
With these approaches it is our aim for children to have developed competence in the two dimensions of transcription and composition, and they will be effective communicators in a range of written forms.
Approaches to reading
Guided reading – guided reading forms an integral part of the teaching and learning of becoming a confident and competent reader. It takes place each day in Years 3 to 6. Within guided reading sessions, children are given opportunities to work independently and with a member of staff to interrogate texts to deepen their understanding. The outcomes for this are recorded by the class teacher to inform future planning and to assess children against the National Curriculum.
Read Write Inc – throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1 we use Read, Write Inc. to deliver our phonics provision. During the first half term, we assess children to then enable us to stream to ensure children are being suitably challenged to achieve their best outcome. Children are assessed regularly throughout the year and then streamed accordingly. This provision continues into Key Stage 2 for those children that still require the programme.
Home Readers – In EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, children have access to a wide range of home readers that are recorded using the reading diary. Children are encouraged to regularly change their books, as often as required, and for a record to be kept by school and home of the child’s reading progress. The books available are drawn from a range of publishers including Oxford, Pearson and Collins.
Class Novel – Each class in KS2 sets aside time, at least three times a week, for a class novel. To support us in this we use the Pie Corbett reading spine and a range of other recommended texts for each year group to ensure children are exposed to different genres. Class novels also form part of the teaching and learning sequence in English lessons for all classes from Year 2 to Year 6.
Picture books – Children in EYFS and Key Stage 1 are exposed to quality picture books on a daily basis. To support us in this we use the Pie Corbett reading spine as well as other carefully selected books including reading books by the same author.
Through these different approaches, it is our aim for children to have secure and competent word reading and comprehension to ensure they can read fluently, and with confident, in any subject.
Approaches to speaking and listening
We use a range of approaches to develop speaking and listening including discussions, debates, presentations and drama. Through these different avenues children can gain knowledge, skills and understanding of the subject area and talk, and write, more confidently.
We use oral retelling to help us structure our sentences and improve outcomes. Getting children to recite their stories before writing them is vital for children of all ages. As teachers, we ensure we model to the children standard English and expect for them to use standard English in their oral and written work. Children are encouraged to justify their thoughts and feelings in a verbose manner across the curriculum.
Impact of the teaching and learning of English
Assessment is an ongoing element of the teaching and learning of English and takes place constantly through the verbal feedback children receive during lessons; the written feedback following lessons and the questioning used to ascertain children’s understanding. We use NFER tests from Year 1 to Year 6 to assess children’s learning in Reading and Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling. We use the gap analysis tool to identify next step learning for each child. The assessment of English also includes moderation of children’s writing which takes place within the school at staff meetings, and at moderation sessions provided by the St Thomas Aquinas Multi Academy Trust which we are a part of. All this is designed to ensure that class teachers have secure judgements of where their children are in relation to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIS) and the statutory guidelines for Years 2 and 6.
The ongoing assessment that we use is a tool for improvement. It aims to improve the outcome for that child, but also for any future children that may have similar gaps of difficulties. The assessment we carry out informs future planning and the development of the subject and is shared with the subject leader to ensure that the delivery of English is to the very highest standard.
Mrs R Abel (Subject Lead)