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Wishing you a safe and happy summer holiday. We look forward to welcoming children back to school on Wednesday 4th September
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Earlsdon Primary School

English

Aims and Values

 

Learning English accurately is a vital element to being an effective communicator. Our aim is to enable all children to fully develop their ability to understand and use both spoken and written English, in addition to experiencing the fascination and excitement of creative literacy. We aim to develop pupils' abilities to become literate within an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading, and writing. Pupils will be given opportunities to interrelate the requirements of English through a creative, broad, and balanced approach which is embedded across the curriculum, with opportunities to consolidate and practise skills. Speaking and listening underpins the teaching and learning of English across the school. Mastery over language empowers children to communicate creatively and imaginatively, as well as allowing them to actively engage with the world at large.

By the age of 11, we aim for children to be able to:

• read, write, and speak with confidence, fluency and good understanding, drawing upon a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct.

• have an interest in a wide range of reading materials and read spontaneously for enjoyment and pleasure.

• acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.

• be familiar, by understanding the structure and language features of a range of non-narrative and narrative forms.

• be able to model their own writing on these familiar styles and forms according to the context, purpose of, and audience for, their writing.

• draw upon increasing powers of imagination, inventiveness, initiative, and critical thinking in all aspects of their literacy experiences, including being reflective writers (writing with a reader’s eye and reading with a writer’s eye).

• at least meet age related expectations in all aspects of English.

• speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using Standard English.

• develop their understanding through speculating, hypothesising, and exploring ideas, enabling them to clarify their thinking as well as organise their ideas for writing.

• read fluently and understand extended prose (both fiction and non-fiction).

• write at length, with accurate spelling, punctuation, and correct use of grammar for a range of purposes and audiences.

 

Reading and Phonics

 

At Earlsdon Primary School, we know that reading for pleasure is an important step in becoming a fluent and confident reader. Consequently, we aim to nurture a lifelong love of reading and provide lots of opportunities to enjoy and share books both independently and with others. A language rich environment enables pupils to be exposed to new and challenging vocabulary daily. Each class has its own classroom library with a wide selection of stories, poetry, and non-fiction books, specifically suited to their age group and theme.

 

Early Reading at Earlsdon Primary School

 

We teach early reading through the systematic, synthetic phonics programme Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. Right from the start of Reception children have a daily phonics lesson which follows the progression for Little Wandle Letters and Sounds and this continues in Year One to ensure children become fluent readers.

 

 We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.

 

We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress. Four new phonemes and their corresponding graphemes are taught (GPCs) each week and they are then used in the final lesson of the week to review the week’s learning. Children will also learn tricky words during these sessions.

 In the Autumn and Spring term, Reception learn phase 2 and phase 3 GPCs and then will spend the final term learning phase 4. 

 

Year 1 begin the Autumn term with 3 weeks of revision of phases 2, 3 and 4 before learning phase 5, which will be completed by the end of the year. Year 2 children will begin the year by revisiting phase 5 and other previously taught phases to ensure all children are completely confident with applying these GPCs in both their reading and their writing.  (please see the overview below for what this progression looks like).

 Half termly assessments take place through Reception and Year 1 to help inform future teaching and help identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and need additional practice. Daily assessment of learning also takes place within the classroom so staff can quickly identify any children who are in danger of falling behind and provide the appropriate daily ‘Keep Up’ intervention.

For support with the pronunciation of the phonemes taught, please refer to the videos below.

https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/

     

Reading Practice Sessions 

Children in Reception, Year 1 and 2, read fully decodable books with an adult 3 times per week during our ‘Reading Practice’ sessions. Teachers model reading strategies during these sessions, including introducing key vocabulary, new phonemes, diagraphs, tricky words and introduce the meaning of new and rich language. These books are then sent home for children to build their reading fluency and showcase their developing skills and phonetic knowledge to their parents/carers. These 3 reading practice sessions each have a different focus: decoding, prosody, and comprehension. Our reading books in Reception, Y1 and Y2: Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Big Cat books.

 

For Year 2 children who have completed the alphabetic code, and are secure in their Phase 5 knowledge, they will be assessed and moved onto the Little Wandle Fluency range of reading books.  These books have six short chapters, that increase in word count, pace, and sophistication.  Written by contemporary authors they include fiction and non-fiction books that help children become fluent, confident readers.

 

In addition, children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will be given a ‘sharing book’. This is a book that they have chosen themselves and is for parents and children to enjoy and share together. Often children will not be able to read this book, but they will love to hear an adult read it to them, join in with key repetitive phrases, enjoy the pictures and develop a love for stories and facts!

 

Reading for Pleasure

Reading for Pleasure remains a whole school priority. Reading enjoyment has been reported as more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status (OECD, 2002). We believe that a whole school Reading for Pleasure culture must be planned for and promoted throughout the school in a variety of ways, ensuring that all children can develop a love of reading. Teachers read a class book to the children; these texts are chosen carefully so there is a range of high quality, diverse texts to engage the children and appeal to a range of children. When reading aloud, they do not stop unnecessarily to ask clarification/comprehension questions. Instead, they allow the story to weave its own magic, only pausing occasionally where necessary to define any important vocabulary.

 

Reading Beyond Phonics

In order for the children to have the will to read, and be able to read to learn, they need to have secure skills in reading so that they can read with fluency and comprehension. Reading is at the very heart of our whole curriculum underpinning every subject area. We want every child to read widely, and to gain a rich knowledge across the curriculum. By offering a wide range of texts we aim to broaden their minds and experiences to allow them to empathise with the world in which they live. Reading is such an important life skill that it is imperative we enable them to become independent readers who can easily process information, fully engage in all learning and be well prepared for their next stage of their education.

 

Reading in Key Stage 2 is taught using a whole-class approach. Children are exposed to high-quality, age-appropriate texts, which they are supported to read using choral and echo strategies. During this process, key vocabulary is discussed, and simple comprehension skills established so that all children develop a basic understanding of the text. The remainder of the session is then used to teach reading skills using the VIPERS approach, ensuring coverage of all content domains and national curriculum reading objectives. Children can also select books to take home from well resourced, age-appropriate books in the classroom. Those still learning to read have access to a series of books specifically developed to help children continue to grow in confidence as readers with a text that is appropriate for their age group.

 

 By the end of KS2, we aim for children to be able to:

 

• read with confidence, fluency, and good understanding, drawing upon a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct.

• have an interest in a wide range of reading materials and read spontaneously for enjoyment and pleasure.

• read confidently to acquire information.

• acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading.

• meet age related expectations for reading, with the aspiration to exceed them. 

 

 

Writing

At Earlsdon Primary School, we aim to develop writers who are equipped with a range of vocabulary and writing techniques. We use a variety of teaching and learning strategies in our English lessons to meet the needs of all our pupils. One of these approaches is The Write Stuff which uses clear scaffolding to support the creative process involved in being a writer. Children are exposed to ambitious vocabulary and encouraged to use it in the correct context through modelled examples.  Furthermore, the children are taught how to use the ideas, grammar or techniques of writing and punctuation purposefully as teachers model them with the children. This is achieved by teaching them in context, opposed to discrete sessions. Grammar and punctuation are viewed as tools which clarify meaning and are the elements that create different text types and writing styles.

 

Handwriting

Handwriting needs to be taught in a consistent way. From the earliest stages, children will be developing their fine motor skills when they pick up writing tools and make marks on paper. This should be encouraged, and opportunities provided for children to scribble, draw, colour and develop other early writing skills. However, it is important for children to develop good habits with writing, and pencil hold, and formation are important parts of this process.

Handwriting is a transcription skill that affects written composition across the curriculum. Therefore, by making handwriting an automatic skill, cognitive processes are freed to focus upon higher-level writing skills. Research shows that there is a clear relationship between children’s ability to mentally recall letters and the quality of their written composition. At Earlsdon we have chosen the Nelson handwriting scheme, which is a whole-school programme designed to help all children develop a confident, legible, and personal handwriting style and meet higher curriculum expectations.

 

Spelling

We believe that the ability to spell enables our pupils to become more effective writers. When spelling becomes automatic, more thought and creativity can be put into the content of what is written. Pupils can channel their time and energy into the skills of composition, sentence structure and precise word choice. Learning to spell is a process of learning patterns and then applying these patterns to new words. The teaching of phonics plays a vital role in children’s ability to spell so emphasis is placed on this in the Foundation Stage and KS1. As children move through KS1 to KS2, the emphasis in the teaching objectives shifts from the teaching of phonics to more focussed teaching of spelling strategies, conventions, and rules to build upon a child’s established phonological knowledge. Children need to be taught explicitly about the structure of words (morphology) to guide their spelling.  We primarily use Jane Considine’s ‘The Spelling Book’ for Years 2 – 6. It is based on the strong teaching of phonics with a focus on teaching pupils the connections between words, sound association, etymology, and patterns.  Children are taught to be ‘pattern finders’ and ‘spelling detectives’ through deep exploratory investigations, alongside short-burst chunked investigations.  Furthermore, they can self-assess and monitor their own strengths and weaknesses in spelling to enable them to develop fluency and automaticity.

 

 

Year 2 Spelling Overview

Handwriting supporting document

Phonics progression supporting document

Phonics and Reading at Earlsdon Primary School

Earlsdon Primary School Values

Respect
  • A culture is strong when people work with each other, not for themselves. Simon Sinek
Equality
  • In diversity there is beauty and there is strength. Maya Angelou
Challenge
  • Come to the edge. We might fall. Come to the edge. It's too high! Come to the edge. And they came, and he pushed, and they flew. Christopher Iogne
Resilience
  • Resilience comes from the Latin word 'resalire', which means springing back.
Responsibility
  • You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. Jane Goodall
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