English

Intent, Implementation and Impact

Intent

As a school we aim to:

  • Fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum and EYFS Curriculum, providing a broad, balanced and stimulating scheme of work.
  • To promote the importance of reading and writing as skills for life and as tools for enjoyment and personal development.
  • Promote a stimulating literacy environment, where pupils and staff are encouraged to explore the four key skills of language teaching and learning – i.e. speaking, listening, reading and writing.
  • Encourage the use of these four skills, in all areas of their learning, to develop understanding of the English language and thereby provide a key to unlocking the knowledge available to them in the wealth of literature around them, in our multi-media society.
  • Provide an English Curriculum to which every pupil has equal access by differentiating the curriculum, where necessary, in terms of learning objectives, learning outcomes and teaching methods, in order that all children should reach their potential, ensuring that each child is included and supported.
  • Teach children to become effective and independent communicators, both in speech and writing, who can adapt their talking or writing according to any purpose and audience. 
  • Plan in opportunities for cross curricular activities, which will extend pupils knowledge and understanding of the world around them and their own selves within the world; and to develop their personal literacy skills to the full.
  • Plan for external agencies to have an input into the school’s curriculum by inviting authors and theatre groups in to school and by arranging for educational visits to relevant plays, theatres, libraries etc. outside of school.
  • Respond to the professional development needs of the staff in order to fulfil the above aims.

Reading

Reading is a fundamental part of everything we do at Otterburn Primary School. Every child, in each year group are exposed to stimulating, high quality texts suited to their age group. Otterburn Primary offers a rich literary environment, with the provision of quality reading material covering fiction, non-fiction, poetry and reference books. These books are supported by those from our key reading scheme along with Read, Write, Inc books for less experienced readers which are matched to their phonic level. Reading Scheme books are colour banded according to level of difficulty.

We want children to find pleasure in reading and therefore we allocate time each day to develop the habit of quiet reading throughout school. All children take part in daily, whole class reading related lessons. Children should take their books home daily, with their Reading Record in which we ask parents to make constructive comments. We recognise and value our shared role with parents in encouraging children in reading, not only in the strategies for learning to read but also to develop understanding, give opinions and extract information. Children continue “learning to read” throughout their  years with us and we use a whole school planned progression of skills, knowledge and understanding.

EYFS & KS1 - Implementation 

At Otterburn Primary School, we strive to ensure that all children become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. We believe this is achievable through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching, combined with a whole language approach that promotes a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ culture.

Children in EYFS and Year 1 have access to high quality, daily phonics sessions. Groups will be differentiated to ensure all children reach their full potential. Children  practise recognising ‘Alien’ or pseudo words, in readiness for the Phonic Screening Check.

High quality phonics is an important part of the word decoding skills required by children to develop higher level, whole language and comprehension skills. This approach is in alignment with our belief that; we first ‘learn to read’ and then ‘read to learn’.

Read, Write, Inc is used for the teaching and assessment of EYFS and KS1 phonics. This is in line with the National Curriculum and ensures that children are making necessary progress. Read, Write, Inc assessments are completed  which clearly shows which phase children are up to and the sounds that they know. Staff use assessments to inform effective provision for all children, using this to plan and deliver well-differentiated lessons that engage and challenge all children within the lesson. Any children at risk of falling behind, are identified quickly and necessary support is put in place.

In Year 2,  reading skills are explicitly taught through the use of VIPERS. Alongside the skills of decoding, reading fluently and comprehension, book talk encourages children to discuss their preferences, likes and dislikes about a book.

Key Stage 1 into Key Stage 2 - Implementation

In Key stage 1 and 2, children are taught reading through daily, whole class sessions. Teachers focus explicitly on teaching the skills of reading; vocabulary, infer, predict, explain, retrieve and sequence or summarise. Reading Vipers cover the key comprehension skills in line with the 'new' content domains.

Writing - Implementation

Exciting texts are used as stimuli for writing. Children also enjoy the use of film, images, artefacts and visits to enhance their writing. Vocabulary is imperative; we strive to equip children with a wide range of vocabulary to help bring their writing to life. Basic skills and non-negotiables which are progressive across each year group underpin writing in all areas of the curriculum. All teachers model the writing process and demonstrate writing to a high standard.

Children are encouraged to plan their work and then make improvements throughout the writing process.

At Otterburn we have adopted a cursive style of handwriting which concentrates on correct letter formation and the joining up of letters. We value, encourage and expect well-presented work on a daily basis.

 

SPaG - Implementation

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar is explicitly taught in KS1 and KS2 following a long term overview to ensure coverage and allow for revision of key concepts and ideas. Sessions are short and fun to ensure that children are as engaged and enthusiastic as possible. 

Skills are referred to during Writing sessions, and in cross curricular writing. Children are expected to use and apply the skills they have learned in all of their written work.