The study of English develops children’s abilities to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, so using language to learn and communicate ideas, views and feelings. It enables children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts. Children gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. Children use their knowledge, skills and understanding in speaking and writing across a range of different situations.
Our aims of teaching English at Stranton are:
- to enable children to speak clearly and audibly in ways which take account of their listeners;
- to encourage children to listen with concentration in order to be able to identify the main points of what they have heard;
- to enable children to adapt their speech to a wide range of circumstances and demands;
- to develop children’s abilities to reflect on their own and others’ contributions and the language used;
- to enable children to evaluate their own and others’ contributions through a range of drama activities;
- to develop confident, independent readers through an appropriate focus on word-reading and comprehension skills;
- to encourage children to become enthusiastic and reflective readers through contact with engaging and challenging texts;
- to develop children’s love of reading;
- to help children enjoy writing and recognise its value;
- to enable children to write with accuracy and meaning in narrative and non-fiction;
- to increase children’s ability to use planning, drafting and editing to improve their work;
- to apply Literacy skills in other curriculum areas.
English is a core subject of the National Curriculum. Our English curriculum is based on the National Curriculum, with each year group having set objectives to be taught.
Spelling is taught explicitly for a cumulative sixty minutes each week in Key Stage Two. We use Spelling Shed to do this. Each lesson has a main objective from the National Curriculum appendix for spelling. The teaching of spelling is structured as follows:
- Revise and Introduction
- Main Teaching Input
- Independent and Consolidation
Taught spellings are obtained from the appropriate year group for all children working at ARE. For children with SEND, spellings are taken from the year group objectives from which that child is currently working for writing.
Common gaps in children’s knowledge of spelling rules from previous year groups are identified and re-taught through whole class teaching.
Diagnostic assessments in spelling are tracked across the year.
Punctuation and Grammar
Punctuation and Grammar is taught daily in Year 2–6. During this session, teachers plan activities to develop children’s knowledge and understanding of specific terminology, its purpose and application within written English. In addition, there is a separate sentence-level lesson in the Writing Cycle. This is carefully planned so that the focus fits with the text type being taught and therefore, the children have ample opportunity to apply relevant skills to written work.
Writing lessons take place each morning, from 9:30-10:30am. Lessons consist of a main teaching activity and a plenary. Our writing curriculum is based around our class novel, which is, where possible, linked to our class topic to enable cross-curricular learning. Early Years offer play based learning and shorter literacy lessons suited to the ages of the children.
Our English writing cycle is as follows:
- Analysing the features of a new text type/introducing the next text
- Sentence level lesson(s) related to the text type
- Vocabulary lesson related to the text type
- Planning a text
- Writing a text
- Editing and improving a text
- Publishing the text.
Children should be given lots of opportunities to write for a range of audiences and purposes across the year with a blend of planning for fiction, non-fiction and poetry writing. The emphasis should always be on ‘Quality over Quantity’, with effective modelling and focused teaching supporting children towards successful writing.
Handwriting is taught exclusively from Y1&2. Children in Early Years and Year 1 are taught to print their writing. In Year 2, children are taught pre-cursive handwriting. In Key Stage Two, handwriting is taught explicitly each week using Letterjoin. This is a progressive resource providing a broad range of opportunities for children to practise and consolidate their handwriting ability. All children can access Letterjoin at home and in school for further practice and each class teacher can set handwriting tasks for them on the programme.
Below are each year groups expectations for writing.
The Year 1 curriculum develops children’s independence as learners as well as building on the range of skills the children have developed in the foundation Stage curriculum. The Year 1 curriculum covers a range of subjects including phonics which prepares children for their end of year phonic check.
The Year 2 curriculum develops the objectives that children learnt in Year 1. It promotes children’s independent learning and prepares them for Key Stage Two.
The Year 3 curriculum develops the objectives that children learnt in Year 2. As children enter KS2, there is a greater focus on developing their independent learning skills to ensure that children have a sound grasp of the year group objectives.
The Year 4 curriculum develops children’s independence as learners as well as building on the range of skills the children have developed in the Year 3 curriculum.
The Year 5 curriculum develops children’s independence as learners as well as building on the range of skills the children have developed in the Year 4 curriculum.
The Year 6 curriculum develops children’s independence as learners as well as building on the range of skills the children have developed in the Year 5 curriculum. The Year 6 curriculum will prepare children for their end of year statutory tests.
For more information about our English Curriculum, please read our policy below.English Policy