The national curriculum for English aims 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.
Read Write Inc. and Get Spelling
Learning to read is the most important thing that children will learn at school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as possible into making sure every single child learns to read quickly.
In Reception, we start by teaching children phonics. This means they learn to read sounds in words and how these sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading but also helps with spelling. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. The children also practise reading 'tricky' words, such as once, have, said and where which cannot be sounded out.
In Year 1 the children continue with daily Read Write Inc. sessions within a small group. The children are continually assessed and group to ensure children can make progress. The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and 'tricky' words that they know. Children bring a Read Write Inc. book home that is directly linked to their learning in class. Children should be able to read these independently as they will have been learning it in class. At home, children could be encouraged to tell the story aloud, think about the characters and answer questions about what they have read.
From Year 2 upwards we teach spellinhg daily, where the children work on spellings linked to their ability.
English lessons are taught daily. We also teach spelling using Spelling Shed as part of this for 20 minutes at the end of each session in KS2. We group the children to enable them to make progress.
English lessons are creative and often focused around a story or text that the children will explore and then respond to by writing in a variety of genres. This means that the new skills that children are taught are embedded within lessons. They are then encouraged to use them in daily writing.
We teach reading thorough English lessons as well as in our Guided reading sessions four times a week. The children work in groups and share a story that is appropriate for their age and then spend time discussing and sharing ideas about the text. Children are also encouraged to bring in texts from home to read during free reading sessions to enhance their love of reading.
We want children to love reading and want to read for themselves. To ensure the children get to know a variety of books, they will also have a library book available to take home.
Accelerated Reader is a reading program designed to encourage and promote successful reading. It helps students to track their reading comprehension by providing them the tools to measure their improvement. AR places the focus on the careful reading of books, which in turn promotes critical thinking.
Children read books in their ZPD. After the child has read a book, the child logs on to the classroom computer and takes the AR Reading Practice quiz for the book they just completed. They earn points based on their success on each quiz. The questions are designed to show how well the student understands the material. It’s one thing to read a book – it’s another thing to comprehend it in a meaningful way. The school provides incentives by way of the AR Store to encourage successful reading. It's a fun, exciting way to encourage a love of reading in children.
Handwriting is taught daily across the school following the Nelson handwriting scheme. This focuses on letter formation and joins that the children should use. Children are encouraged to use cursive handwriting from Year 2 onwards. Letter formation is the focus in the EYFS and Year 1.