English (Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing) at Whitehouse Primary
At Whitehouse Primary School we believe that a high-quality English curriculum should develop our children’s love of reading, writing, discussion and their ability to communicate their ideas and emotions to others clearly. Through speaking and listening, reading and writing we want our children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and communicate with others effectively. Through following the English National Curriculum as a basis, we endeavour to give our children the communication tools they need to participate fully as a member of society and improve their life chances beyond school.
English Curriculum Map
We believe our English curriculum helps children understand how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. Using this knowledge, our children can choose and adapt what they say and write in different situations.
We believe that the study of English should enable pupils:
- To appreciate how speaking and listening, reading and writing are integrated.
- To develop their ability to communicate orally for a range of purposes and audiences.
- To become confident, thoughtful and enthusiastic readers who read for pleasure.
- To acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- To use a wide variety of writing styles and genres, so communicating effectively in written forms.
- To practise and develop their handwriting and other presentational skills
One of our main priorities at Whitehouse Primary is helping our children learn to read through the systematic teaching of phonics at Key Stage 1 and develop their all-important comprehension and inference skills at Key Stage 2. Also, through reading, and exposing our children to good quality literature, we hope that they have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.
We always try to encourage the use of challenging vocabulary and critical thinking across our lessons and recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children and enable them to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
Teaching of English in Early Years Foundation Stage
In Early years, the teaching of English plays a crucial role in their development.
Children are taught to recognise and then link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write.
Using books and stories as a starting point, the children are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to both ignite their interest as well as help them make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Children are encouraged to express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs, using past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events.
Teaching of English in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
Pupils are taught:
- Systematic phonics at KS1 and LKS2
- to speak fluently and confidently
- to make inferences about texts or characters
- to use evidence to support their opinions or the opinions of others.
- to use appropriate punctuation for their age
- to develop their
- to link sentences and paragraphs together using cohesive devices
- to develop their own individual author’s voice
- to reflect on and edit their work independently
- to write increasingly complex stories, poems and other text types, building on their knowledge of features each year.
Our curriculum follows a clear pathway of progression across all strands and year groups.
Children in KS1 and KS2 have daily exposure to Reading, Writing and Spoken Language through explicitly taught lessons.
Spelling, grammar and punctuation are taught both discretely and explicitly alongside quality texts, which are used as a focus all the way through from EYFS to Year 6, as well as whole class texts in Key Stage 2. Spellings are taught according to the rules and words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum. Teachers use the Twinkl Spelling Scheme to support their teaching and to provide activities that link to the weekly spellings. Children are given spellings to learn each week and are given a spelling test the following week.
Reading is developed initially following the teaching of phonics in the Early Years and KS1, as well as daily guided reading sessions, of which the teacher listens to children read in groups and individually. Through this, children are exposed to a variety of genres and texts, all of which link to the current topic being taught.
We follow the Letter and Sounds programme to teaching Reading and Phonics, starting with Phase 1 in the Foundation Stage, supplemented with other schemes and additional reading materials. Our approach is systematic, consistent and rigorous in order that all children become readers as quickly as possible.
We develop the children’s vocabulary with rich and engaging texts. We also support and encourage reading at home, and our children take part in whole school reading activities and challenges. We appreciate the parental support that goes hand in hand with developing and fostering a love of reading.
Teachers adapt the Hamilton Scheme as appropriate to their classes, but also ensure that cross curricular links with concurrent topic work are woven into the programme of study. Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014.
Writing is assessed consistently throughout the year through hot and cold tasks to begin and end each unit of writing. Teachers use this to assess the areas that their children will need to be specifically taught, even if this means tracking back to objectives from previous years, in grammar and text type. We teach editing techniques and focus on reflection and use of feedback as part of our growth mindset approach. Interventions on specific areas of weakness are delivered by the class teacher or teaching assistant. Teachers assess writing termly using official moderation materials adapted by the school. It is expected that teachers will moderate across year groups and partner schools in time for data drops throughout the year.
As a result, at Whitehouse, we have a community of confident, enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. They are self-assured to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas. All pupils will make good progress from their own personal starting points. By the end of Year Six they will be able to read fluently and write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Our pupils will acquire a wide vocabulary and have a strong command of the written word.
Pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because work will be appropriately scaffolded. They will have a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context and audience. There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non-disadvantaged)