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English

Our English lessons develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary. English is taught in a cross-curricular way, linking up with other areas of the curriculum. We teach our pupils to speak clearly, to convey their ideas fluently and confidently and to ask questions. Their vocabulary is developed systematically.

Reading:

Reading is at the core of our curriculum at Church Lane Primary School and Nursery. Our pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure and to read widely. As a starting point and introduction to reading, we use Read Write Inc (RWI) for our phonics programme. Children are taught at a stage appropriate level and this allows them to understand how the sound of each letter (phoneme) links to the way in which that letter is written (grapheme). In EYFS (Reception) and Key Stage One, all pupils take part in a daily phonics session, building on and extending their knowledge. They are taught to blend words together and read/ spell tricky words, which are the ones we cannot sound out.

For those on phonics, children are supported in their reading by the use of phonetically decodable reading books created by Read Write Inc called book bag books. Each week children are sent home with a RWI book bag book and the story (ditty) the children are focusing on during their phonics lessons in order to build fluency.

Furthermore, children are able to take books from our Pearson, Project X, Oxford Reading Tree schemes which they will be levelled at appropriately. These books are there to be shared and enjoyed with parents/carers (children on the phonics scheme will have a sticker in their reading record to denote this).

All children at Church Lane Primary School and Nursery are asked to continue their reading at home and it is expected that they will read at least three times a week as part of their homework. Both children and parents are invited to record reading in the home/school communication books where there are examples of questions to prompt as children read and the opportunity for children to write about what they are reading or answer questions based on their book.

Each day, guided reading sessions take place and will cover both fiction and non-fiction books. As a school, we use the Bug Club programme to support guided reading: this ensures children are exposed to high level reading texts and receive effective questioning and accompanying resources.

In Key Stage One, guided reading is delivered in through carousel with different activities for children on each day. Initially, the focus is on developing decoding skills. Once this has been achieved, children will be supported in progressing their comprehension skills and deeper understanding of a text.

In Key Stage Two, guided reading is mainly taught through the whole class reading approach, although teaching staff often take smaller groups for focused intervention. Each week, children are exposed to different texts with a structured lesson progression. The structure below shows the 5-day lesson progression which allows children to embed and practice reading strategies they have learnt:

  • Day 1
    • Children complete a vocabulary exercised based on key vocabulary they come across in the text.
  • Day 2
    • Children pre-read the text and make notes about the three questions. These are:
      • The looking question
      • The clue question
      • The thinking question
  • Day 3
    • Children discuss the three questions their groups and use strategies to comprehend.
  • Day 4
    • Children reflect on the group discussion by completing follow-up tasks which embed the strategies used.
  • Day 5
    • Children complete a follow-up writing activity linked to the text which practices key strategies

Although reading is taught discretely in guided reading and English lessons, it is also a key part of foundation subjects too. Reading is used as a hook in non-core lessons to engage, enthuse and encourage children in their understanding of other areas. As in English and guided reading lessons, these texts vary between fiction, non-fiction and poetry to inspire curiosity for all.

Writing:

At Church Lane Primary School and Nursery, we develop writing skills so that our pupils have the stamina and ability to write independently at the age expected standard. To support children in moving towards independent writing, we provide a wide range of activities. Where appropriate, teachers will use texts which relate to the topic being covered. However, we take pride in allowing children to access a range of texts some of which are not linked to their current topic. In addition to novels, staff will also use film and imagery as a stimulus for writing.

This stimulus is then supported by a progressive learning journey through features, skills and drafting. Children will complete an analysis of the stimulus and author features by reading and investigating the text and genre being used in the unit before being guided on a journey through relevant skills. This reading stage will include the use of prediction, literal and inference skills as well as the identification of purpose, audience and form.  The second stage explores the explicit teaching of the knowledge and skills required for the genre of writing. Punctuation, grammar, language choices, structure and layout are some of the areas which may be explored and replicated by children. This will lead to discussions and experimentation of the skills in context. This section of their journey will be supported through lots of modelled writing, shared writing, guided writing, incorporate short burst tasks and extended writes. This modelled journey will lead to an independent stage where children make their own controlled writing choices. At this stage, children will draft, edit and assess their own work; they will also use peer editing and discussion to ensure children have every opportunity to write at their very best. Throughout the writing process, handwriting skills and practice are incorporated. In certain year groups, specific handwriting English books are used to ensure children receive plenty of opportunity to practice and refine handwriting.

As our intent is for children to see themselves as authors, we provide a range of opportunities for writing for purpose. We promote the status of written work by giving children chances to have their writing published and by read by real audiences. Over the course of the year, children will take part in the 100 word writing competitions: to date we have had over 50 stories published in the final competition book.

Spelling:

Our children at Church Lane have a daily spelling session. In Key Stage One, this begin by exploring common exception words before progressing on to spelling books from the Read Write Inc.  scheme.In Key Stage Two, our pupils follow the Read Write Inc. spelling scheme. This is a robust and systematic programme which reflects the requirements of the new National Curriculum. Every child is given a spelling list that is sent home in preparation for a spelling test later in the week. At the end of every 12-week term, there is a review of children’s understanding and retention of spelling rules and skills. At this point, children are assessed and are placed in the spelling group which is appropriate for them. Throughout the spelling programme, children are taught strategies to enable them to:

  • Spell accurately and identify reasons for misspelt words
  • Proof-read their spelling
  • Recognise and use word origins, families, roots, knowledge of prefixes and suffixes and spelling rules to build upon these skills.
  • Use dictionaries, thesauruses and spellchecks.

The importance of English is emphasised throughout school in all areas of the curriculum. To promote this further, a range of extra activities are used to highlight English within the school including World Book Day, Roald Dahl Day and author visits. In addition to this, a range of incentives are used across the key stages to engage and enthuse children in reading and writing.