Early Years Foundation Stage
In the Foundation Stage (Reception) children are given opportunities to:
- speak and listen and represent ideas in their activities;
- use communication, language and literacy in every part of the curriculum; and
- become immersed in a language rich environment.
Key Stage 1
At Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and Year 2) children are given opportunities to:
- learn to speak confidently and listen to what others have to say;
- learn to read and write independently and with enthusiasm; and
- learn to use language to explore their own experiences and imaginary worlds.
Key Stage 2
At Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6) children are given opportunities to:
- learn to change the way they speak and write to suit different situations, purposes and audiences;
- read a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetic texts and respond to different layers of meaning in them; and
- explore the use of language in literary and non-literary texts and learn how the structure of language works (using grammatical terminology).
To provide a differentiated English curriculum to meet the needs of all the children through the continuity of experiences we:
- set suitable learning challenges for individuals or small groups of children;
- respond to pupils' diverse learning needs;
- liaise with the Special Needs Co-ordinator to ensure that provision is made for all children with SENd;
- overcome potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils and
- identify vulnerable groups who are not making expected progress, and provide appropriate support.
We have a low intake of pupils with English as an Additional Language, but teachers differentiate planning for those children who require it and provide opportunities for them to be immersed in the language, modelling high quality talk at every opportunity
The teaching of English develops skills through which our children can give critical responses to the moral questions they meet in their work. Their understanding and appreciation of a range of texts brings them into contact with their own literary heritage and texts from other cultures. The organisation of lessons allows children to work together and gives them the chance to discuss their ideas and outcomes.
Cross Curricular Links
Teachers will seek to take advantage of opportunities to make cross-curricular links. They will plan for pupils to practice and apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through literacy lessons to other areas of the curriculum. Extended writing is expected to be produced in Topic work and Science; to showcase the children’s transferable literacy skills.
Parental involvement and the Community
We believe it is vitally important to work together with parents and carers to support their child’s development of English. We promote a positive home/school partnership in the following ways:
- asking parents/carers to read regularly at home and record and write comments in the pupils’ reading record;
- parent workshops to provide practical advice on how parents can support their children in English;
- sharing termly targets set during parent meetings in reading, writing and GPS;
- celebrations – special events such as World Book Day, assemblies, displays, book fairs, etc;
- Home Learning - in line with our homework policy and home/school agreement; and
- visits to the onsite Debenham Library.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
Children in the Early Years and Key Stage 1 take home a book at an appropriate level for their ability. These books develop a fluency and enjoyment of a variety of texts. Each child has 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 every week. Classrooms have a reading corner with a selection of books for the children to enjoy and develop their love of reading.
In Key Stage 2 the children are encouraged to read independently and for pleasure and enjoyment. They read a range of texts in class and have home reading books. They use learnt skills and knowledge to form an understanding of what they have read. The children have the opportunity to read a variety of text types, varying in length, genre and complexity, to provide them with sufficient challenge.
Reading books are labelled using accelerated reading decimals so, they have books that support and consolidate individual reading skills. Where possible we use this labelling system in KS1 but also have books labelled by colour following Oxford Reading Levels. We have a variety of reading schemes including Oxford Reading and Song Birds that are used, these support our Letters and Sounds Programme and enable the children to practise and continue to develop phonics skills.
We encourage all readers to share a book at home with an adult. We believe that this not only helps to develop inferential skills, but also support a lifelong love of reading. 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 to develop a love of books and inspire them as writers.
In order to support children further we run short intervention programmes such as Sound Discovery and Toe-by-Toe.
"Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift."
— Kate DiCamillo
"If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book."
— J.K. Rowling
"Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them."
— Arnold Lobel
The use of engaging, relevant and high quality texts is central to our writing curriculum. These act as stimuli for children to develop and explore their writing skills. Children write for purpose wherever possible. Teacher-led activities show children how to plan, draft, rehearse and edit texts preparing them to write ambitiously. Children learn how to debate and present, to reason and justify their answers. Grammar is integrated into our English curriculum and is taught discretely and in context. Handwriting follows a cursive font and children learn this through explicit handwriting lessons.
“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.”
– John Jakes
"One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world."
Phonics is taught daily in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 following Letters and Sounds progression. A phonics lesson follows the sequence:
- revisit/ review previous sounds and/ or tricky/ high frequency words previously taught;
- teach new sound or concept where applicable;
- practice the new learning to reading or writing words/ sentences;
- apply the new learning to read and/or write (dictation of words and sentences); and
- practice basic sight words – ‘tricky’ words and high frequency words.
All teachers follow a carefully planned structured approach. Lessons are fast paced, varied and engaging. The idea is that all children are actively involved in phonics lessons. Knowledge is constantly reviewed and reinforced in each phonic lesson and builds upon previous learning.
In Key Stage 2 phonics skills continue to be used. Phonics is revisited and used to assist with blending and segmenting when reading and to support knowledge of spelling rules when writing. Spelling Lessons in KS2 follow a similar pattern to Phonics where lessons are planned with the following teaching sequence; Revise, Teach, Practise and Apply/Asses. Children who are off track continue to receive intervention targeting the phases and areas of ‘Letters and Sounds’ where they are struggling. Sound Discovery is used as an intervention programme.