English Learning Strands
At Parish, children have access to a full, stimulating, creative curriculum. The children’s literacy skills are developed through an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing, and then extended throughout all other curriculum areas.
At Parish school we aim for all pupils to:
- develop effective speaking, listening, group interaction and drama skills
- read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding, using a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct
- understand phonics and regular spelling patterns, using them to read and spell accurately
- become lifelong readers with an interest in books, who read for enjoyment, evaluating and justifying their preferences
- have an interest in words and their meanings; developing a growing vocabulary
- understand a range of text types and genres and be able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation
- develop the powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness
- have fluent and legible handwriting
- understand the structure and styles of a range of fiction and non-fiction texts
- become independent in the process of planning, drafting, editing and improving their own writing
Organisation of Learning and Teaching
The English Curriculum is delivered mainly using CLPE’s Power of Reading scheme and The Literacy Tree planning sequences. These schemes ensure children’s engagement with a culturally rich and diverse range of books and reading material whilst building pleasure and interest.
Literacy skills are practised and applied in context throughout work across the whole curriculum. Daily basic skills sessions (handwriting, grammar and punctuation, phonics/spelling and reading comprehension) take place daily and precede each literacy session.
All children are provided with equal access to our English curriculum. We provide suitable learning opportunities regardless of gender, ethnicity or home background. We expect the vast majority of our pupils to achieve age related expectations in English. However, we recognise that occasionally, some pupils may find handwriting challenging for a variety of reasons.
When this is the case, our approaches to the teaching and learning of English will be adapted and differentiated to ensure that all pupils make progress. Provision is made for children who require extra support through targeted teaching; intervention programmes (e.g. Lexia Reading, Toe by Toe), and differentiated class teaching.
At Parish, we recognise the value of adults (both in school and at home) reading aloud to children, in order to improve their grasp of story language, enthuse them with a love of books and inspire them as writers.
In Early Year Foundation Stage and Year 1 we use the high-quality, systematic Letters and Sounds teaching programme to deliver daily discrete phonics lessons; enabling children to decode effectively.
From Foundation Stage up to Year 6, children have the opportunity to read 1:1 with an adult regularly; with there being a particular focus on questioning to promote an in-depth understanding of the text. Questions progress from literal to inferential as the children move up through the school.
A range of reading schemes, primarily Rigby Star and Oxford Reading Tree, are used to support early readers as well as book banded ‘real books’. In KS1, children take home a banded book which is appropriate to their level of ability. In Key Stage 2, children are expected to progress to a ‘free reader’ status so they are able to read any book from their classroom or school library. Each child has a book bag and a home school reading record that teachers and parents can use to share information about a child’s reading. Parents are encouraged to read with their child daily. As children progress through the school, they become more independent in recording what they have read in their reading records.
In addition to this, many exciting and rewarding activities are arranged in school to promote the pleasure and knowledge that can be gained from books, e.g. ‘World Book Day’- where children are immersed in storytelling, quizzes, book discussions and the opportunity to dress up as a book character and share their favourite books. Other opportunities include library visits- where the children are encouraged to take books out, guided library sessions – where children share a book as a class for pleasure through activities and games etc.
We aim to develop the children’s ability to produce well structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. Attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English, grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling. Our approach to teaching writing covers the ‘transcription’ and ‘composition’ requirements of The National Curriculum (2014)
These strategies are embedded into the ‘Power of Reading’ programme developed by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) and The Literacy Tree Planning Documents, whereby a range of different context writing tasks are based on a text. Both strategies allow children to have the opportunity to ‘explore high quality texts in depth, enhancing reading comprehension and providing meaningful contexts and purposes for writing’. We also recognize the importance in developing spoken language, therefore opportunities to develop spoken language skills are planned for within English lessons and across the wider curriculum. These include include: talk partners, storytelling, roleplay and debating within lesson. The teaching of this programme is flexible and class teachers apply their own creativity to cover the objectives stated in the National Curriculum.
Teachers model writing composition skills and the use of phonics and spelling strategies in shared writing sessions. Children have opportunities to write at length in regular ‘Big Write’ extended independent writing sessions; applying their taught skills to an unsupported piece of writing.
Discrete handwriting sessions are taught at least once a week, to help children develop fluent, clear and legible joined up writing (see Handwriting Policy for further details).
Grammar and Spelling
The teaching of Grammar and Spelling is in line with the requirements of The National Curriculum (2014). Grammar is timetabled to be taught discreetly for at least once a week. However, grammar skills are also embedded within Literacy lessons where appropriate.
In Early Years Foundation Stage and Year 1, our phonics teaching makes strong links between blending for reading, segmenting for spelling and handwriting. We encourage all of our pupils to apply their phonic knowledge when spelling. â¨
From Year 2 onwards, children are taught the age related spelling content using a published scheme ‘No- Nonsense Spelling’. This scheme of work provides us with a manageable tool for meeting the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum, has a clear progression through blocks of teaching units across the year and supports our teachers with the teaching of spelling. (See Spelling Policy for further detail)
Our focus on teaching spelling embraces the knowledge of spelling conventions, patterns and rules. We also promote the learning of spellings, through the use of multi-sensory strategies, including combining the teaching of spelling and handwriting. Our teaching of spelling includes common exception words, high frequency words and topic words.