English at Prince Rock Primary School
The study of English develops children’s ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, including the communication of their ideas, views and feelings. Children are enabled to express themselves creatively and imaginatively as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as of non-fiction and media texts. Children gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. Children use their knowledge, skills and understanding in speaking and writing across a range of different situations. In addition, the skills of English are a key part of participating fully in society.
The aims of teaching English, as outlined in the national curriculum 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.
Teaching of English follows the National Curriculum and reflects changes introduced in 2014.
Children will be provided with opportunities to:
- Talk for a range of purposes.
- Communicate to different audiences
- Listen and respond to different people
- Observe and participate in dramatic activities
Opportunities to develop spoken language and listening skills will be developed through activities in English lessons such as book talk and story maps. It will also be developed across the full curriculum e.g. through class discussions in PSHE.
Drama will be used to provide speaking and listening skills, including opportunities for :
- Structured, imaginative play – within role play areas and elsewhere.
- Responding to familiar rhymes and games.
- Inventing characters and exploring dialogue- with or without materials and props.
- Developing and sustaining a role.
- Devising short scenes from a variety of stimuli
- Interpreting poems, scripts etc. in a dramatic presentation
- Exploring issues and dilemmas
- Participation in class and school productions
At Prince Rock Primary, children will be taught to read widely, fluently and confidently.
Children will be taught two key reading skills:
Word reading – the ability to decode words- will be taught through the use of the synthetic phonics scheme ‘ReadWriteInc.’ Children will be benchmarked to assess which level of books they should be reading and to ensure that they progress appropriately.
If any child is finding it difficult to learn to read, they will be given additional interventions such as ELS, FFT and Reading Recovery. The school INCO will provide and access additional support for children with special educational needs or the gifted and talented. An EAL teacher is employed one day a week to work with children for whom English is not their first language. This teacher will give advice to other staff to ensure these children receive high quality interventions.
Alongside this, children’s comprehension skills will be taught through high quality discussions with teachers and teaching assistants, individual and group reading times and whole class reading activities.
It is our aim to encourage children to learn to love reading and to read regularly outside of school. Schemes such as Bug Club and Renaissance Reading are used to encourage this reading for pleasure. Celebrations such as World Book Day are used to invite authors into school and promote the pleasure and knowledge that can be gained from books.
At Prince Rock Primary, children will be taught to produce, organise and present texts appropriate to a variety of tasks, readers and purposes.
Children will be taught two key writing skills:
- Transcription – the use of correct spelling and grammar
- Composition – articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing
ReadWriteInc., in addition to teaching reading, supports the children to write words correctly and learn to spell. From November 2014, children will take part in a 10 minute daily handwriting activity. Spelling continues to be taught throughout the school and forms a key part of homework activities.
Alongside this, children will be taught to write imaginative and articulate texts using a ‘Talk for Writing’ approach. This involves immersing children in powerful writing which they learn and can perform. They explore word and sentence structures that they can use in their own writing. They will adapt the texts they are learning and then write their own pieces, applying the skills learnt. These writing activities will be stimulating, relate to the children’s experiences and interests and be prepared for real audiences and purposes.
The spelling and grammar appendices of the new curriculum will be followed in each year group. The use of Talk for Writing grammar progression sheets will structure teaching and progression throughout the school.
As a school, we currently have a focus on improving handwriting and presentation in all our pupils’ books. We teach letter formation from EYFS and joined handwriting in taught in Year 1. Pupils can earn a pen license from Year 5. Weekly handwriting certificates are given out in Celebration Assembly. In KS1, children are awarded daily ‘Handwriting Heroes’ for excellent effort with their handwriting.
- In the EYFS, children’s achievements are ongoing and are assessed against the Early Learning Goals.
- Levels are no longer used to assess children and instead teachers in KS1 and KS2 will make judgement about the children’s reading and writing in relation to age related expectations as set out in the new curriculum
- Assessment for learning is well established throughout the school and the use of questioning, observation and marking will continue to be key parts of formative assessment
- Statutory assessments take place at the end of Year 1, Year 2 and Year 6.
- Assessments are recorded three times a year and carefully analysed to make sure that all children and groups are progressing well and achieving their potential.
English is led by a literacy team that comprises a teaching assistant, the Reading Recovery Teacher, ReadWriteInc manager, English subject leader and Headteacher. A governor has specific responsibility for English and the team will update the curriculum governors on priorities and progress in English