The 2014 National Curriculum aims to ensure that in English: Teachers should develop pupil’s spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject.
The intention of the English curriculum we offer at Wincanton Primary School is to give children a competence in English that enables them to communicate effectively at home, at school and in the wider world, leading to improved life skills and wider opportunities. We intend to develop skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing, including all of their essential inherent skills, enabling children to organise and express their own thoughts and to access the knowledge and ideas of others.
An understanding of how language is the vehicle for communication in both oral and written forms is paramount in our thinking and planning. To become literate, children need to understand that writing is a representation of speech, and that both come in a variety of forms linked to purpose. At Wincanton Primary, we are intent on teaching children that these aspects of language are inextricably linked, and can rarely be experienced or learnt discretely.
AIMS of ENGLISH AT WINCANTON PRIMARY SCHOOL
At Wincanton Primary School, we aim to give children the opportunity and encouragement to:
IMPLEMENTATION of ENGLISH AT WINCANTON PRIMARY SCHOOL
English is a core subject and is at the heart of our curriculum. Each Learning Experience covers a range of reading and writing genres and, where appropriate, links to other areas of the curriculum. The use of high quality texts is used to teach the core skills in-line with the expectations of the National Curriculum. Staff have completed extensive training with Leah Crawford to fully embed the use of high quality texts and this is reflected in our long term planning.
Our planning incorporates the structure:
Red Box work – consolidation/revisiting of an area of previous learning displayed on slides for children to respond to on white boards at the beginning of every lesson
Teaching input – learning objective is shared. The class teacher models the skill to the whole class and success criteria are shared/generated. Children begin to develop fluency on individual whiteboards.
Independent – Independent work provides the means for all children to develop the skills promoted within the lesson.
Plenary – provides opportunities to justify learning, embed knowledge and key skills, recap work completed in the lesson.
Spoken language is promoted throughout the curriculum and across all subjects. Spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation are promoted throughout all writing opportunities, with each year group planning carefully building on prior knowledge and embedding skills and knowledge.
Teaching of Reading at Wincanton Primary school
Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will ever learn. It underpins everything else, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We also want your child to develop a real love of reading and to want to read for themselves. This is why, in partnership with parents, we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
We start by teaching phonics in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. At
Wincanton Primary School, we follow the Letters and Sounds principles and practice of high quality phonics.
The six phases of the Letters and Sounds document provides a structure for the teachers to follow and plan children’s progression. The teachers carefully adapt their planning to meet the needs of the children within their class. The teacher’s individual assessments will inform the rate at which the children are able to progress through the phases and adapt their pace accordingly.
In the Reception year, we will introduce all letter sounds and learn digraphs and trigraphs. The children will become more confident with segmenting and blending sounds to read whole words. This continues into Year 1 and 2 as appropriate and children learn to read and write a range of graphemes and alternate graphemes. Alongside this, the children are taught the ‘tricky words’ – high frequency words which do not follow the regular phonetic pattern. You will see these displayed in class.
Phonics and reading activities are taught in whole class and small group situations. Your child will work with children who are at the same phonic and/or reading level. This is so that the teaching can be focussed on their needs. Discreet phonic sessions take place daily for 15 - 20 minutes and there are also enhanced phonic activities within the indoor and outdoor environment available for the children to explore independently throughout the day during their Reception year. Phonics provision is also supplemented by a wide range of speaking and listening, English, spelling and grammar activities.
Teachers regularly read with the children so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing. All classrooms have attractive book corners where the children can access a wide range of books, both fiction and non fiction to help embed their love of books, stories and reading. Children in Reception and Key stage One will bring home a reading book which is in line with their phonic phase and this will enable them to embed their phonic knowledge, develop fluency, comprehension and most importantly enjoyment of reading. They should be able to read at least 95% of their phonic book. Guided reading texts are more challenging as they will read them with an adult in school.
Accelerated Reader (AR) is a targeted programme that helps us monitor children’s independent reading. Once adults have assessed that children have fully embedded their phonic knowledge and are able to move away from purely phonic based books, children will choose books from our newly refurbished library. Children choose a book at their own level and read it at their own pace. Once finished (and parents have signed in their child’s reading diary) they take a short quiz on an iPad. Passing the quiz is an indication that they have understood what they have read. AR gives both children and staff immediate feedback based on their quiz results.
To determine a child's reading level children take a computerised reading assessment known as a STAR test at the beginning of the year and at set times throughout the year. The test uses multiple-choice questions and adjusts to the children’s responses – if an answer is correct the next question increases in difficulty and vice versa. The test takes approximately 10 minutes.
All of the reading books in the library that children take home have now been banded into these levels. Research has shown that children using this system and reading regularly make excellent progress both in their reading and comprehension skills.
In handwriting, we teach the correct letter formation from the Reception Class and continue to build on this foundation throughout your child’s school career. Comprehensive guidance to the way we teach handwriting, including our policy on letter formation, can be found in our policies section of the website.
IMPACT of ENGLISH AT WINCANTON PRIMARY SCHOOL
Throughout each lesson, formative assessment takes place and feedback is given to the children to ensure they are meeting the specific learning objective. Teachers then use this assessment to influence their daily planning and ensure they are providing an English curriculum that will allow each child to progress and be challenged at a level appropriate to them, moving those children on who are ready to study at greater depth. The teaching of English is also monitored on a termly basis through book scrutinies, learning walks and lesson observations. Each term children from Year 1 and above, complete summative assessments to help them to develop their testing approach and demonstrate their understanding of the topics covered. The results from both the formative assessment and summative assessment is then used to determine children’s progress and attainment.
In phonics, all teachers will formally assess their children’s progress at the beginning of the year and the end of every term in order to inform their planning and regroup the children if needed.
At the end of Year One the children will take the statutory National Phonic
Screening Test. If the test shows that children are still working towards the expected standard then they will work in a small intervention group to enable them to retake the test in Year Two.
Attainment in the percentage of pupils attaining Year One phonic screening has risen over the last three years:
2019 85% pass rate (82% national)
2019 Year two retest phonics pass rate 89%
2019 Y2 SATs results:
Reading 75% (75% national)
Writing 66% (69% national)
2019 Y6 SATs results:
Grammar, punctuation and spelling: at ARE 90% (78% national) above ARE 36% (315 national)
Reading: at ARE 64% (73 national) above ARE 24% (27% national)
Writing: at ARE 74% (78% national) above ARE 19% (20% national)
What can parents/carers do to help?
When beginning school you can help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘blend’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Use the correct letter formation as set out in our policy and help your child to focus on the sounds in words.
Sometimes your child might choose to read a picture book that they know well. Encourage your child to tell you the story out loud; ask them questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story.
Make reading and learning phonemes/spellings fun for example using magnetic letters on the fridge, foam letters in the bath or playing eye-spy. Remember to keep reading to your child. They will come across far more adventurous words than they will in their early reading books. You will be helping them to grow a vast vocabulary and understand the meaning of different stories etc. It will also encourage them to love books and want to read more.
As children continue up the school encourage them to complete homework tasks and the half termly home tasks related to the Learning Experience.
Above all, encourage enjoyment of the subject, especially reading.
Your support really does get your child off to a flying start and encourages them to make great progress! Thank you for your support.