English

 

At William Reynolds Primary and Nursery School, we believe that literacy and communication are key life skills. Through the English curriculum, we help children develop the skills and knowledge that enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language and equip them with the skills to become lifelong learners. We want pupils to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety.

Literacy is at the heart of all pupils’ learning. Literacy enables pupils both to communicate with others effectively for a variety of purposes and to examine their own and others’ experiences, feelings and ideas, giving these order and meaning. Literacy is central to pupils’ intellectual, emotional and social development and has an essential role across the curriculum that helps pupils’ learning to be coherent and progressive.

Vision and Values

We believe that pupils’ wellbeing is at the centre of our life in school and the key to raising academic success. This is supported by high expectations for all pupils and every pupil and by developing personal awareness, creativity and social understanding.

As part of our commitment to providing every pupil in school with a quality, enjoyable, enriched learning experience, we recognise that literacy is a fundamental skill that needs to be nurtured, encouraged and celebrated at every stage of development. We recognise that the skills of reading and writing impact across the whole curriculum, being able to critically evaluate texts forms part of the fundamental basis of life-long learning.

We are committed to raising pupils’ aspirations and to widen their horizons through a context rich curriculum that gives purpose to their learning, offers a range of experiences, as well as broadening understanding of the global community. Wherever appropriate it is linked to other areas of the curriculum and gives pupils the opportunities to develop specific art skills and reinforces skills already established as well as providing opportunities to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development in art. (See appendix 1- SMSC in English)

Reading and writing enables pupils to expand their experiences and opens doors to other worlds.

 

 

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.

Expectations

By the time pupils leave our school, we expect them to communicate through speaking and listening, reading and writing, with confidence, fluency and understanding and in a range of situations. We want every pupil to take pleasure in reading across a range of genres and have a strong motivation to read for a variety of purposes.

By the end of Key Stage one, the majority of pupils will be working at National Standard and at the correct chronological age for reading.

The Early Years Foundation Stage

We teach literacy skills in our Reception year as an integral part of the EYFS curriculum. Progressive skill development is outlined in Communication, Language and Literacy, one of the six areas of learning in the EYFS curriculum. Opportunities to practice literacy skills, for example, reading labels, responding to written instructions, mark-making and early writing as part of play-based learning will be provided throughout the learning environment indoors and outdoors. Children have daily phonics lesson as a crucial element in developing their early reading and writing skills.

Teachers plan the teaching and development of literacy skills to the objectives set in the Early Learning Goals, which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged 0-5. Children have the opportunity to talk and communicate in a widening range of situations, to respond to adults and each other, listen carefully and to practice and extend their vocabulary and communication skills.

The focus for phonics starts with a daily 20 minute session of “Letters and Sounds” supported by actions from the Jolly Phonics scheme. Oxford Reading Tree and Songbird books are used to support these sessions. Phonic skills are taught in a very engaging and practicable way, taking the children through a sequence of phases of phonic development.

Children get to know a set core books well each half term, and a wide range of resources stimulate interest in reading and writing. Literacy work is extended through imaginative role play.

For the first half term, the focus is given to Phase 1; language skills are developed through songs, games, toys, stories and rhymes. The children who are deemed to be ready are introduced, as a group to Phase 2 phonics and learn to distinguish between sounds. During these sessions they focus on blending for reading and segmenting for spelling simple CVC words.

Planned “Letters and Sounds” sessions continue through into Reception with the expectation that the majority of children will be secure in Phase 3 by the end of the year. The focus moves on to reading and spelling a wide range of CVC words using all letters and less frequent consonant diagraphs and some long vowel phonemes. Following on from this, children will learn CVC words using a wider range of letters, short vowels and double letters. 5

 

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.