English is a core subject in children's learning journeys from foundation to beyond primary and secondary education. At Wethersfield, English is planned to develop pupils skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. It enables them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively. Pupils learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction texts.
We use a variety of teaching strategies across the school to ensure children are exposed to a range of texts and cover the grammar and spelling aspects required for their key stage.
In EYFS and KS1 We follow the Read Write Inc (RWI) scheme of work (see below for more information.) RWI is taught through daily sound lesson, where the children learn a new sound a day, they are also expected to read new words as well as review words on sounds taught previously. The children are assessed half termly and put into groups based on their phonic and reading knowledge. In RWI the children also read specific books which match their RWI ability to help them decode and read words, as well as reading for fluency, understanding and expression.
Across the school we sometimes use a ‘Talk for Writing’ approach using story maps of existing texts. This allows pupils to understand and be immersed in examples of writing. Subsequently they then adapt these story ideas following the structure of the studied text and then move on to create their own independent pieces based on what they have learned.
We have also begun using the 'Jane Considine' approach to enhance children's writing. Incorporating three zones of writing into a 'slow write-collaborative writing strategy': Ideas, Techniques and Tools. The first involves children's imagination getting them to think about not just things they can see in their stories but considering smells, touch, emotions. We use 'FANTASTIC' as the acronym to remember these. (see below) The second, is techniques, which involves teaching children appropriate style for effect, ensuring their writing has more of an impact when conjuring an image for the reader. Examples are seen in the 'Boomtastics' (see below). The latter is the tools for writing, ensuring children are in control of their grammar choices. This zone of writing considers grammatical features and the use of punctuation (see the grammar rainbow below). This new approach intensifies as children progress from KS1 to KS2 accordingly and has had a real positive impact on progress.
We use a wide variety of reading schemes to cater for children of all ages and abilities, but our core reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree. This is seen in our reading books through the use of colours to assign children an appropriate level.
(See below for a guide on these levels).
In English along with parental support, we want our children to:
English is used in many curriculum areas and through our planned teaching, the children are exposed to a range of genres, authors and text types allowing them to become independent readers who can read for pleasure or as part of a task. The skills taught in English will allow children to be able to access other curriculum areas more confidently and provide them with a secure foundation for later life. To do this we use a balanced range of teaching strategies and encourage active learning and participation. This may involve discussions, debates, drama, role play, hot seating, retelling or written work.
We strive to ensure that our children's attainment is in line or exceeds their potential when we consider the variety of starting points of all our children. We measure this using a range of materials throughout the year. We intend that our English curriculum will ensure our pupils are academically prepared for life at and beyond primary school.
English Subject Lead
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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