English

 

At William Reynolds Primary school, we recognise the importance of English. By the end of Year 6, we intend our children to have developed a love of writing and to be able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through the written word.

Aims

At William Reynolds Primary and Nursery School, our aim is to improve pupils’ literacy ability and support them in developing a life-long approach to enjoying all aspects by encouraging pupils to:

  • be effective, competent communicators and good listeners;
  • express opinions, articulate feelings and formulate responses to a range of texts both fiction and non-fiction using appropriate technical vocabulary;
  • foster an interest in words and their meanings, and to develop a growing vocabulary in both spoken and written form;
  • enjoy and engage with and understand a range of text types and genres;
  •  be able to write in a variety of styles and forms showing awareness of audience and purpose;
  •  develop powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness in all areas of literacy;
  •  use grammar and punctuation accurately;
  •  understand spelling conventions;
  •  produce effective, well-presented written work.
  • An effective English curriculum should take a central role in curriculum planning across the school because it provides students with the skills required to access all other subject areas and engage in academic thinking.  This includes helping students to understand ideas and question them, and to express themselves successfully orally and in writing. 

 

Teachers across the key stages use a wide range of techniques to ensure that our pupils are fluent and confident writers. Our aim is to provide the children with the skills to write expressively for a range of different purposes, such as to persuade, to inform and to entertain differing audiences. In addition, children especially enjoy engaging techniques such as drama, role play and the inclusion of contextual learning, all of which help our pupils to succeed. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school.

We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing by developing a legible, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school.

 

We intend that children are able to select the appropriate forms of grammar, and punctuation to serve their purpose when writing the given text type. Spelling patterns are embedded so that children can spell most words and are encouraged to use the dictionary, thesaurus to spell and include adventurous vocabulary. This then gives them the ability to edit and improve their writing, and produce final pieces that are suitable to communicate the purpose to an audience. The wider curriculum, such as History, Geography and Science, is often taught hand in hand with an additional Literacy focus ensuring that children are able to read, access and enjoy their learning in a cohesive manner, making links and converting learning into their long term memory.

 

In order to help us to develop confident, enthusiastic writers who can express themselves in a variety of different styles and across a variety of contexts, our teaching of writing is often cross curricular and linked to our class topics. This provides our children with regular opportunities to write for a range of purposes and audiences. Writing tasks are specific and meaningful, and often meet a purpose to engage children and to illustrate how their writing skills can be applied to real life contexts. Medium Term planning supports teachers to plan a sequence of progressive lessons, giving the children chance to develop and increase their knowledge, building on prior experiences and making connections in their learning. The Curriculum Map, the long-term yearly plan, ensures that appropriate topics can run side by side to create as many learning links as possible.

 

Teachers use carefully selected, high-quality reading texts, relating to the History, Geography or Science focus or from the author focus for the half term. Within the wider curriculum, teachers ensure that there are opportunities planned for children to further develop their literacy skills, including regular cross-curricular writing, ensuring that standards are consistent across the curriculum. At William Reynolds Primary School, we believe that writing is strengthened by instilling a love for reading within our pupils. (Please see our reading section on the school website).

 

Specific subject knowledge and vocabulary are fundamental; therefore, children are provided with technical and adventurous vocabulary at the beginning of units of work. These ‘Golden Words’ are then explored, and used in order to improve the written and spoken vocabulary.

 

Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible. Teachers plan to teach the required skills through the genres of writing that they are teaching, linking it to the genre to make it more connected with the intended writing outcome. Teachers sometimes focus on a specific grammar or punctuation skill as standalone lessons, if they feel that the class need additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills.

 

The impact of our English curriculum is that children understand the relevance and importance of what they are learning in relation to real world concepts. Children know that writing is a vital life skill that they will rely on in many areas of their daily life. Children have a positive view of writing due to learning in an environment where writing is promoted as being an exciting, engaging and enjoyable subject in which they can express themselves confidently and creatively.

 

Outcomes of work in both English and other books evidence the high quality of work and the impact of varied and cross-curricular writing opportunities. These enable children to write across a range of forms and adapt their writing successfully, considering the purpose. Because they are being exposed to adventurous vocabulary, this allows them to express themselves in imaginative ways as well as use the accurate terminology when studying the wider curriculum.

 

 

 

Planning

The new National Curriculum 2014 forms the basis of teaching, learning and assessment.

Teachers use the National Curriculum 2014 and our school’s assessment grids as a starting point for creating their medium term literacy plans. These medium term plans follow the five key aspects of Literacy teaching: familiarisation with the genre and text type; capturing ideas; teacher demonstration; teacher scribing through supported and guided writing and finally, independent writing to create a teaching sequence. This is used as a basis for short term planning and adapted according to the needs of the children. The length of a unit may vary. Teachers plan closely with year group partners to ensure consistency of opportunity for all children.

Clear learning objectives and success criteria are set for each session and are shared with pupils. Teachers differentiate according to the needs of the pupils and use intervention programmes for targeted support. Literacy is encouraged and developed across our curriculum and strong links are made with Science, Geography and History. ICT is used where it enhances, extends and complements literacy teaching and learning.