At Grove Street Primary our collective aim is to develop pupils’ abilities through an integrated programme of spoken language, reading, writing, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary development. A broad and balanced approach to the teaching of English is applied across the curriculum, allowing for the consolidation of taught skills within all learning. We provide a rich environment in which all children can enjoy learning, build self-esteem and develop life-long reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
We strive for all learners to experience success from the earliest possible stage in order to reach an age-related or higher level of reading and writing by the end of Year 6. Our expectation is that all learners should be able to:
- Read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding, applying a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct.
- Demonstrate an active interest in reading to learn and reading for pleasure.
- Have an interest in words and their meaning; developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms.
- Understand a range of text types and genres and transfer this to the written form across the curriculum.
- Harness the powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness across the curriculum.
- Adopt a suitable technical vocabulary to articulate their responses with clarity.
- Practice and apply spoken language that suits the needs of the subject.
- Appreciate that understanding can be expressed through other art forms, including music, drama and dance.
The English Curriculum is delivered using the new National Curriculum English Document for all year groups and the Early Years Foundation Stage (2020).
In the 2-year-old setting children should be given opportunities to:
- Speak, listen, role play and represent ideas in mark-making.
- Use communication, language and literacy in every part of the curriculum.
- Become immersed in an environment rich in print and talk for learning.
In EYFS children should learn to:
- Speak confidently and listen attentively to what others have to say.
- Begin to read and write independently and with enthusiasm.
- Talk about what they will write before writing.
- Use language to explore actual experiences and imaginary worlds.
- Use systematic, synthetic phonics (from the beginning of Reception) to help support their reading.
Across Key Stages 1 and 2 children should learn to:
- Read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
- Read widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
- Build a wide vocabulary and an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions.
- Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.
- Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
- Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
- Speak and listen, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
In EYFS and Key Stage 1, phonics, reading and writing is planned and organised using Read Write Inc, where children move through the program, applying their phonics learning to their writing and guided reading sessions. Once the program is completed, Year 2 students begin to work on Pathways to Write units for their year group. In EYFS, children are introduced to carefully chosen stories to develop their skills in communication and language as well as in reading and writing. These stories are explored through Talk for Writing and Pathways to Write units and provide the children with the skills they need to achieve a ‘good level of development’ at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
In Key Stage 2, the English Curriculum is delivered mainly using lesson sequences and resources from Pathways to Write, a brand new and extremely high-quality set of plans and resources delivered by the Chester Literacy Company; all the planning is based on high-quality texts aimed to engage all students and build cross-curricular links as well as boosting reading and enthusiasm for literature in the classroom. However, it is at the discretion of individual teachers to select learning resources that facilitate DFE requirements for the age and stage of their learners and, as a school, we are extremely well resourced for English with access to Talk for Writing resources and planning, Literacy Shed+ and Classroom Secrets, all of which can be used to help and support writing, as well as offer high-quality resources for the teaching of GPS.
Daily English lessons are taught in Reception, KS1 and KS2 where children are taught literacy in mixed ability classes. Opportunities are offered to children to develop their subject knowledge through a range of experiences, topics and concepts. In EYFS and Key Stage 1, daily Read Write Inc phonics sessions support early reading and writing, where their home reading is also linked to their current phonic attainment. Differentiation is planned for across the school, and appropriate challenge and support put in place to meet the needs of all learners. A boy-friendly English curriculum is offered within every class to address the gender gap (Pathways to Write prides itself on its use of texts to inspire boys). Focus Groups of learners in Reading and Writing and Spelling are identified by class teachers for afternoon interventions delivered by teaching assistants. Balance is ensured through group and individual tasks, independent and supported contexts and shorter or longer writing periods. The modelling of high-quality writing is embedded across school.
In Year 3 to 6 (and once the phonics program is complete, in Year 2), daily Spellings sessions (15 minutes using Read Write Inc Spellings) are used. Spelling groups are differentiated based on baseline assessments and the program ensures weekly short-burst assessment is used. This program continues to link spelling to the phonics program taught in EYFS and KS1, ensuring consistency in approach and progression.
Handwriting is taught regularly and picked up on by teachers if students are not using a fluent legible style (regular handwriting intervention) in EYFS to Year 4. In years 5 and 6, teacher should teach students when not to join, and provide opportunity for intervention when students are not using fluent and joined writing.
Approaches to Spoken Language
Opportunities are provided for:
- Oral rehearsal of writing for developing writers.
- Use of role-play and stepping into the shoes of a character.
- Collaborative approaches to tasks, enabled through talk and negotiation.
- Exploring events and situations through Drama such as freeze-framing and conscience alley.
- Recitation of published poems or class compositions.
- Discussion and dialogue through in-class assemblies.
- Talking points to develop independent discussion and dialogue.
In the early stages of the EYFS opportunities are provided for:
- Children to acquire an understanding of essential words and word patterns to interact with others confidently.
- Children to develop listening and attention skills.
- Children to respond appropriately to others, including turn taking in conversations.
- Children to ask questions about the world around them to develop their inquisitive skills.
- Children to develop an understanding of story structures and language and to begin to respond to and predict events in stories.
Approaches to Reading
Opportunities are provided for:
- Shared reading within all areas of the curriculum.
- Reading for Pleasure – embedded across the curriculum and includes at least 15 minutes of daily reading by the class teacher to their class.
- Independent reading – daily across Key Stages One and Two monitored and tracked using Accelerated Reader, which gives students regular testing of comprehension on their own choice of books, and a wealth of data for use as formative assessment for the class teacher.
- During independent reading, the class teacher will read 1:1 with a child who needs additional support to progress in their reading.
- In KS2, a weekly whole class guided reading session takes place, which focuses on fluency and comprehension.
- In Reception and KS1, guided reading sessions are incorporated into Read Write Inc sessions and are linked to their current phonic attainment.
- Partner reading in every RWI lesson, allowing children to explain and consolidate what they are learning. This provides the teacher with opportunities to assess learning and to pick up on difficulties, such as articulation, or problems with blending or alphabetic code knowledge.
- Termly Star Reading tests (providing the teacher with a ZPD, standardised score, reading age and development points for each child, which can be shared with parents at Learning Reviews and used to support future learning).
- Learning to read, spell and apply punctuation and grammar through English Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling statutory content or Phonics (EYFS) every day.
- Reading aloud modelled by an adult with challenging titles by text focus from Pathways to Write, wider curriculum texts or teacher selection (based on the concept of Reading for Pleasure).
- Use of the Class Reading Area to promote love of reading and support all learning.
- Appointment of Better Reading Partners for each class (weekly adult voluntary help)
- Reading buddies.
- Reading to act out play scripts or recite poetry.
Approaches to Writing
Opportunities are provided for:
- Emergent writing in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 with a shift towards accurate application of learned spellings by Year 2.
- Shared Writing – within the literacy lesson and to scaffold the unique characteristics of each genre of writing.
- Guided Writing/Independent Writing - within the literacy lesson or other areas of learning.
- Extended writing regular opportunities are provided across the curriculum – both Read Write Inc Writing, Talk for Writing (EYFS) and Pathways to Write plan opportunities for short burst writing that leads to extended independent writing.
- In Year Reception to Year 2, RWI lessons enable children to quickly learn how to segment words and to memorise red words (common exception spellings). Through daily practice of orally rehearsing sentences prior to writing them, children hone the skills of independent writing.
- In Year 3 to 6 (and once the phonics programme is complete, in Year 2), daily Spellings sessions (15 minutes using Read Write Inc Spellings) are used. Spelling groups are differentiated based on baseline assessments and the program ensures weekly short-burst assessment is used. This program continues to link spelling to the phonics program taught in EYFS and KS1, ensuring consistency in approach and progression.
- Handwriting is taught regularly and picked up on by teachers if students are not using a fluent legible style (daily handwriting intervention) in EYFS to Year 4. Children are regularly checked in the correct sitting position and the pincer grip of their pencil in the daily handwriting part of the RWI lesson. Printed letters graduate to cursive formation, and finally joined handwriting in the Letter Join style. In years 5 and 6, teacher should teach students when not to join, and provide opportunity for intervention when students are not using fluent and joined writing.
- Opportunities to evaluate their own writing and suggesting areas for improvement individually or through editing buddies, planned into each Pathways to Write unit.
- Children making excellent progress from their starting points across the curriculum.
- Children talk confidently about their learning.
- Children feel safe, calm and happy.