EnglishProviding opportunities for our children
A child’s ability to communicate is vital to all aspects of their learning, so English learning cuts across all areas of the curriculum. We also plan for literacy-specific learning every day in school in line with the expectations of the 2014 National Curriculum.
Our aim is for all Haseltine children to be confident and enthusiastic speakers, readers and writers, so we provide a broad range of daily activities for children to develop and apply their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Included in this provision are opportunities for public speaking and drama activities and reading and writing in different styles and for different purposes.
A home reading scheme is operated throughout the school whereby children bring home books to share with their families each week. As well as fostering a love of reading, this gives the school and parents a regular way of communicating about children’s reading. Instilling a love of reading is a key aim of our reading curriculum, so children do get opportunities throughout the week to read for pleasure. Each class has a daily half an hour reading session. In KS1, children choose reading books from a range of schemes, including Collins Big Cats which are banded by level of difficulty. In KS2, the expectation is that children select their own reading books, with support given from class teachers in choosing appropriate texts as needed. Class core texts are chosen using the inspiring ‘Power of Reading’ scheme as a starting point, with class teachers also reading aloud to the children on a daily basis.
The use of engaging, relevant and high quality texts is central to our writing curriculum. These act as stimuli for children to develop and extend their writing skills. Children write for purpose wherever possible on a theme linked to the half termly topic. Again, the class text supports the children in their writing. The ‘Power of Reading’ approach ensures that our children are fully immersed in their English learning.
This is an independent attempt at the text type the children are working towards.
|The cold write is an excellent opportunity to assess what they children already know about the given writing style. It is used to inform future planning.|
This involves reading model texts and identifying features. Drama is used to, for instance, explore characterisation. In a non-fiction unit, research may take place. Children are given ‘Have A Go’ writing opportunities. These are not scaffolded by success criteria, and include a range of text types other than the main focus for a unit. They generally follow on from a drama activity
|Drama and speaking and listening will lead to a higher quality of writing. ‘Have A Go’ writing gives children the chance to write more freely than when working to success criteria|
Shorter Writing Opportunities.
By this phase of a unit, children are familiar with any core texts and with the given text type. The writing they produce at this stage leads towards the final outcome, e.g. sentences about a setting to be used in their story
|These writing opportunities help to deepen children’s understanding of a text/text type. It is also a good opportunity to write in role. For instance, writing a diary entry or a letter.|
Drafting the Final Written Outcome.
Children are guided through the planning, drafting, editing and revising process to write their own piece of extended writing based on the focus text type. Success criteria are used, with colour-coding to ensure accuracy. Children’s editing is in blue pen.
|This is what the children have been working towards. Through using shared and guided writing approaches, the children are supported in producing a high quality written outcome based on their learning earlier in the unit.|
Publishing the Final Outcome.
Children are given the opportunity to publish a final draft of their main written outcome. This is not marked as it is a celebration of learning. Teachers may also wish to ask children to produce a ‘hot write’ which is a further independent attempt at the text type taught.
|This helps the children to embed their learning from their unit, and gives teachers the chance to assess progress, by comparing with the cold write.|
In the EYFS and KS1, phonics is taught daily. At Haseltine, we follow Letters and Sounds. In addition to planned phonics sessions, the children are encouraged to apply this in their own reading and writing. In KS2, children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge receive additional teaching or intervention to ensure that they are fluent in using phonics.
Each Monday, children from Year 1 to Year 6 have a spelling test. Spellings are also set each Monday for the following week, and sent home to be practised. The children will also practise personalised spellings in class as the need arises.
The teaching of grammar is embedded in English units wherever possible. Sometimes, there will also be a need to spend whole lessons on grammar to ensure understanding. Children are taught to recognise and manipulate for effect different word classes, i.e. nouns and verbs. Correct punctuation is modelled at all times in lessons, and children are expected to use punctuation appropriate to their age and stage in their writing
At Haseltine, children are encouraged to use a cursive script from the Foundation Stage. This is practised daily throughout the school to ensure excellence.