English at Monks Risborough CE Primary
At Monks Risborough CE Primary School our intent is to deliver an exciting and innovative Literacy curriculum which will develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of cultivating a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the arts of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to develop their learning. We believe that a thorough grasp of literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society. Our intent is driven by the Christian values we promote through everything we do.
The implementation and teaching of English is structured around our Values, the National Curriculum and the Early Learning Goals (EYFS). Our aims are embedded across our English lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. We use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children.
Speaking and Listening
At Monks Risborough CE Primary School we continually seek to support and promote pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language. Fluency in spoken language enables children to express their ideas and feelings, discuss and understand new ideas and underpins the development of reading and writing.
Wherever possible, we aim to use interactive teaching strategies to engage all pupils to practise their speaking and listening skills in a range of situations. Children regularly use talking partners and discussion groups to progress their understanding and learning. All adults in school model spoken language and encourage children to speak in full sentences at all times.
The opportunities, organisation and provision for the teaching and learning of reading are as follows:
Learning to read
Through EYFS and KS1 children are taught to read, following Read Write Inc, the Ruth Miskin scheme. This progresses into KS2 for some pupils. Comprehension skills are also taught through whole class texts and guided reading sessions.
Children have a variety of opportunities to read silently during specific times within class. Each class visits the school library to provide an opportunity to change their books on a weekly basis. They record their reading in a Reading Record book in EYFS and KS1, and Home/School Liaison Book in KS2.
Phonics is taught through Read Write Inc. and is taught daily to all children in EYFS and KS1, and where necessary in KS2.
Reading to Children and Hearing Children Read
Teachers read class novels and model reading for pleasure. It is important that children enjoy reading and also have the opportunity to experience books from classic and modern classic authors. Teachers, teaching assistants and volunteers regularly hear children read, sharing books with the children.
Children from KS2 pair twice a half term with children from Early Years and KS1 to hear them read and share enjoyment of texts.
A range of interventions are used to ensure that all children leave Monks Risborough CE Primary School as fluent readers.
Communication with Parents
Each child has a reading record book which logs the books which they have read and comments on their reading. Parents and teaching staff write in this book. Children are encouraged to read at home every day and reading records are checked in school to see that this has occurred.
English lessons are taught in mixed ability groups for at least an hour each day. We have a literature led curriculum where high quality texts or extracts from texts are used as a stimulus for quality writing. The teaching of writing includes learning about writing for different purposes and audiences, thus, enabling the children to write fluently in a variety of styles. Writing lessons also include the technical aspects of spelling, grammar and punctuation required by the National Curriculum. Application of writing skills is seen in all areas across the wider curriculum. Throughout the school the teaching of writing follows the writing process of a hook, planning, drafting, editing and improving and finally publishing writing. This process is completed in conjunction with an understanding of the purpose and audience of the writing.
In KS1, phonics is taught daily in 20 minute sessions following our RWI scheme. Alongside this, pupils learn Common Exception words which they are regularly tested on and progress onto the Read Write Inc Spelling Scheme.
In KS2, spelling is taught by spelling patterns following the Read Write Inc Spelling Scheme. High Frequency words and statutory word lists are regularly tested.
Grammar is taught discretely as well as being embedded through the text being studied. This develops the children’s composition skills and focuses on sentence organisation, vocabulary and punctuation.
Termly Writing Challenge – Across the school the children undergo a termly writing challenge, providing the whole school with a purpose and audience. This allows the children to show their writing skills and put what they have learned into practice whilst showing the progression of writing skills.
Handwriting -The school has adopted a cursive handwriting script, starting from Spring Term in Year 1, and this is taught and reinforced regularly within children’s school books and also through discrete handwriting sessions in KS1 and our Read Write Inc phonics. Children in Early Years begin to form letters in print.
Marking - Work is marked and assessed in line with the Feedback and Marking Policy.
Whole school celebrations – Children’s writing is celebrated through our whole school ‘Wow! Work’ display. We also celebrate children’s work in classrooms. A book week is also hosted annually, inviting an expert author or illustrator in to share their texts and host writing workshops for children to engage in. From this, children then publish their own books, which are shared with the whole school.
As a result we have a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their literacy skills. They are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas.
Reading and writing are carefully assessed and moderated by teachers, as well as part of whole staff development during INSET. Children in Year 2 and Year 6 undergo national statutory assessments towards the end of the academic year and writing is teacher assessed against the Interim Assessment Frameworks. Children in Year 1 take the statutory Phonics Screening Check.
The findings of the teacher assessments are used to inform planning to help the teaching and learning process. Teachers assess reading and writing termly to enable early intervention where a child is not achieving age related expectations.