Fundamentally our aim is for everyone to enjoy reading and writing, in particular we want to instil a love of reading within our children and to encourage children to enjoy being an author and crafting their own writing.
Over their time in school we want children to achieve greater complexity in their writing, building on the grammatical features and the levels of writing that make writing more and more interesting. We want children to progress through the reading scheme, to become free readers and to show greater comprehension for thweta they have read.
Through the accessing of high quality texts, peer/partner working and good quality teaching we aim to aspire the children to become confident writers. When reading we want to embrace visits from real authors to aspire them to read and write their own stories, bringing these stories to life and understanding what it takes to be a good writer.
As a core subject, English is covered in class each day, witha lesson normally lasting 1hr in length. The english curriculum broadly covers reading and writing, but in reality is much more. We have a large focus on vocabularly in our school, making sure that the children are developing their breath of language. From Year 1 upwards, children study the word of the day in class and try to remember and embed that work in learning over teh week. Our belief is that exposing children to more advanced vocabulary, helps them to become more cofident and articulate writers. Valuing high quality texts further enhances the writing process, we know that children who are well read generally have a greater understanding of sentence construction and syntax, and therefore often become strong writers.
Learning journeys are crafted by teachers and are often tied in with the overall topic being studied in class. This enables children to broaden their understanding of a topic through the use of texts and writing focuses. Over the course of the year, each class will study anywhere between 6 and 9 topics. Within each topic a child may study up to three different genres of writing, so the children get a great breadth of writing experience. Over the two year cycle in each class, the children will cover a wide range of genres and will become writing experts in a number of areas.
Daily guided reading sessions are built into our daily timetable. These sessions are mostly carousel style lessons, where by different groups are working on different activities. Over the course of the week, each child will read with the teacher once, the teaching assistant and then will complete three independent activities. All of these activities are designed to challenge the children and their thinking about reading as well as focusing on the different reading domains of the National Curriculum.
In addition to class reading, time is dedicated to reading at other times of the school day and our children love to complete our reading wall with the texts they have really enjoyed.
High Quality Texts:
Every term, one of our topics focuses on a really high quality text. These are texts chosen by the teachers for their great language. superb story and their level of interest. The children study this text in full and link elements of different curriculum areas to the text. Recent books have included: Wolf Wilder, The Explorer, Hugo Cabret, Supertato, The Story Machine, Wonder and many, many others. The children really enjoy these texts and they become a great stimulus for really high quality writing. Our teachers get as much enjoyment out of these texts as the children and this is done from Reception class through to Year 6. What is more, we buy class sets of the books so that the children can take home an actual book and share it at home, as part of the process.
Spelling, punctuation and grammar are al integrated into normal english lessons, rather than stand alone lessons. These teach the children the skills that they need to be clear, confident writers that can communicate their ideas with clarity and cohesion. These skills are really important and time is given to ensure the children are confident in these skills. Each class has different SPAG elements that they focus on as part of our english progression. Weekly spellings are given to the children and spelling tests and assessments are used to track the progress of spelling across the school.