English at Eastling Primary School
At Eastling Primary School, we believe that literacy and communication are key life skills. Through the English curriculum, we will help children develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language and equip them with the skills to become lifelong learners. We want children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety.
Literacy is at the heart of all children’s learning. Literacy enables children both to communicate with others effectively for a variety of purposes and to express their own feelings and ideas. Literacy is central to children’s intellectual, emotional and social development. It has an essential role across our curriculum and helps pupils’ learning to be coherent and progressive.
We want all children to develop a love of language for language sake. We aim to develop our children’s ability to use spoken and written language to communicate effectively – to listen, speak, read and write both in and for a wide range of contexts, purpose and audiences.
We want our children to read fluently and with confidence across the curriculum by the time they are ready to move to secondary school.
We want our children to love reading and to want to read for themselves.
We want our children to acquire a wide vocabulary, a good understanding of grammar in context and to be able to spell new words by applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in our school.
We want our children to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style as necessary. We believe that all children should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing and aim to develop a legible, joined handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school.
We want our children to understand that all good writers refine and edit their writing before producing a final published copy therefore we want our children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in a piece of writing and edit their work during and after the writing process.
We recognise that each child has their own starting point upon entry to every year group and progress is measured in line with these starting points to ensure that every child can celebrate success.
We follow the National Curriculum 2014 to deliver lessons rich in reading, writing, phonics, spelling, grammar and punctuation. High quality texts help to deliver our English Curriculum, using purposeful learning objectives that match the National Curriculum reading and writing requirements for each year group as well as linking in to our wider curriculum, with history, geography, science and social themes specifically covered. This structure provides the children with a deeper understanding of texts. We think it is important for our children to value the importance of reading to develop and enhance writing and to see a clear purpose and context for writing.
Speaking & Listening
As soon as children enter Eastling Primary School, we place a great emphasis on developing their oracy skills. We have a firm belief that if children “can’t speak it, they can’t write it”, therefore children are exposed to a vocabulary rich environment from their first day and daily activities target communication and language skills. As the year progresses, children are encouraged to articulate their sentences before beginning to write them down. The focus on oracy continues as children progress through the school.
Reading (including Early Reading)
We work on promoting a love of reading in all children and fostering a text rich environment where children understand how language works as well as develop the skills they need to be proficient readers and to interpret texts accurately. Around school, you will see displays, which celebrate authors, inspiring reading corners and spaces and a well-stocked and vibrant Library area.
In addition to this, throughout the year, the importance of reading is enhanced through activities such as; class classics, sponsored reading events, World Book Week celebrations, class links with an author, teacher swap where teachers read stories in different year groups, library sessions.
We follow the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme to teaching Reading and Phonics, supplemented with additional resources. Our approach is systematic, consistent and rigorous in order for all children to become readers as quickly as possible. We use the same phonics programme across the school providing continuity and a tool for guaranteed progression. We teach phonics in Reception from their first day in school. Children learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how these sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading but it also helps children learn to spell well. The children also practise reading (and spelling) ‘tricky words’, such as ‘the’, ‘like’, ‘said’ and ‘come’. Once children can blend sounds together to read words, they practise reading books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start to believe they can read and this increases their confidence.
In KS1 Children take part in a whole class guided reading session using RIC (Retrieve, Interpret, Choice) practising and honing skills set out in the KS1 Reading content domains.
In Key Stage 2, the children undertake whole class reading sessions using ERIC (Explain, Retrieve, Interpret, Choice) and covering all skills from the KS2 reading content domains. These reading sessions are often linked to the high quality class text they are studying in English Lessons.
For further information on teaching of reading and phonics, see the information pages on our school website.
Early writing is taught through early mark making, then when the children begin phonics, they are taught the correct letter formations, including starting and finishing at the correct points ready for joining in KS1. This begins with writing CVC words, moving onto short sentences using the sounds they have been taught. EYFS children are encouraged to write independently during continuous provision. From Y1-Y6, the English curriculum is taught by studying a high-quality text, from which various writing opportunities are then derived. Each week, the children are taught to develop an understanding of how the text flows through reading comprehension, exploring key themes, events and plot of the texts being studied. From the text, children are taught the grammar elements of the NC, corresponding to the genres being written as part of the writing process. Children are then supported in how to apply the grammatical content taught in identifying features of a high-quality modelled text (WAGOLL) before progressing to plan, write and edit a written piece, which matches the purpose and audience. Children receive regular feedback from both teachers and their peers in the writing process. We aim to provide our pupils with a ‘language rich’ environment and within our classrooms; we explore ambitious vocabulary in all lessons and use our working walls to acquire an understanding of new and unknown words. We use the Purple Mash Spelling scheme for children in Y1- 6. Children are given weekly words to learn at school and at home in preparation for a spelling test at the end of the week. We adopt a cross-curricular approach throughout the school to enable the skills that are learnt through the English curriculum to be applied in all other subject areas.
For further information on the teaching of writing, grammar, punctuation, and spelling, see the information pages on our school website.
We measure the effectiveness and impact of our English curriculum in a variety of ways. We use NTS summative testing, Content Domain Assessment Tasks, PM Benchmarking, phonics screening and book band level checks each term to assess pupils’ outcomes for reading which enables progress and attainment in reading to be analysed and evaluated in order to identify the next steps of learning. We formally assess an extended piece of writing each term, using a consistent format for assessment, which enables progress and attainment to be analysed and evaluated in order to identify the next steps of learning.
Moderation of writing takes place in school and in Rural Swale Collaboration meetings to ensure accurate judgements are being made. The quality of reading and writing in English is evaluated by learning walks, drop-ins, ‘pupil voice’ discussions and book scrutinies. This informs the subject leader of the impact of new initiatives as well as future areas for improvement. After monitoring, the subject leader provides feedback to SLT and address’ areas for development, which is then shared with all staff.
Children at Eastling Primary School enjoy reading regularly both for information and for enjoyment. They are able to discuss the books they have read with enthusiasm and recall of detail. They are able to apply the features of different writing genres and styles to their own work and are able to write for different audiences and purposes. There is evidence of progress, sustained learning and transferable skills and children are becoming writers that are more confident. By the time they are in Upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and they are able to apply the skills independently