English

At Springfield Academy, we strive for excellence in English achievement throughout the school. We hope to develop children’s abilities within a cross curricular programme of Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening.

Across all classes, pupils are given opportunities to develop their knowledge, understanding and use of spoken and written English, within a balanced and exciting curriculum. There are lots of opportunities for children to consolidate and reinforce taught English skills and to apply them in a range of contexts.

We value reading as an essential life skill that empowers children to achieve their full potential. We have high expectations of our children as readers and as a staff, we deliver a curriculum based on Government recommendations, the interests of our children and the differing ability groups within each cohort.

It is our intent that every child will learn to write by being given real and exciting materials and opportunities. To develop the appropriate subject specific knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum and beyond, so that children can flourish, reach and exceed their potential.

Intent

Children at Springfield Academy will;

  • Learn how to read and write with fluency, understanding and confidence, developing a range of independent strategies to take responsibility for their own learning
  • Be encouraged to develop a love of reading and to read for enjoyment
  • Develop their ever-growing vocabulary, through an interest in words and their meanings
  • Experience a range of text/media types and genres, across a range of contexts, to develop their understanding
  • Learn to write in a variety of styles and be able to apply characteristic features of texts to their own writing
  • Develop a technical vocabulary with understanding of grammatical terminology
  • Learn how to apply grammatical terminology in their own writing
  • Have the opportunity to write for pleasure; to explore and develop their own ideas

Most importantly, children will have the opportunity to develop their creativity and imagination.

Theatre visits and enrichment activities such as author visits will allow learners even greater opportunities to find and develop their individual interests and personal talents. Visitors and parents coming into school to help at regular opportunities bolsters our offer and deepens experiences further.

Implementation

In EYFS children are given opportunities to:

  • Develop reading through a systematic, synthetic phonological approach to reading and writing
  • Use communication, language and literacy in every part of the curriculum
  • Become immersed in an environment rich in books and reading

In Reception, children have daily Sounds-Write Phonic lessons to develop their skills of blending, segmenting and phoneme manipulation as they begin to learn to read and write. A wide range of exciting continuous provision areas provide children with opportunities to develop their communication, language and literacy skills on a daily basis with a focus on child-initiated activities. As well as a ‘Writing Area’, which provides children with a range of materials with which to experiment and practice mark marking and letter formation (and eventually to practice taught skills), other continuous provision areas are enhanced to provide children with the opportunity to read and write in a range of contexts. A range of resources in the outdoor area provide valuable opportunities to engage children in writing for pleasure. Outdoors, the children have continuous access to reading and writing activities which are engaging and familiar resources that children can use independently.

EYFS also have access to a vast range of texts, including fiction and non-fiction. Children enjoy a daily ‘story time’ so they become familiar with stories and authors and begin to develop a love of reading. Adult led activities in EYFS are usually linked to stories, poems or nursery rhymes or to cross curricular topics. Library books are taken home weekly as well as a reading book, matched to their phonic ability.

Key Stage 1

In Key Stage 1, children learn to speak confidently and listen to what others have to say. They learn to read and write independently, at length. They use language to explore their own experiences and imaginary worlds.

In Key Stage 1, Sounds-Write Phonics lessons are continued with an increased focus on spelling and spelling rules. In English lessons, children explore a variety of themes such as;

  • Stories in Familiar Settings
  • Instructions
  • Fantasy Stories or Funny Poems.

They study fiction and non-fiction and begin to compare characteristic features of writing. Children learn how to apply these features in their own writing and begin to write at length.

In Key Stage 1, children will write for a range of purposes, including (but not limited to):

  • Stories
  • Diaries
  • Newspaper reports
  • Instructions – recipes, ‘how to’ guides
  • Explanation texts
  • Poems
  • Letters & postcards
  • Labels, lists and captions
  • Recounts
  • Non chronological reports

Writing skills are developed across the curriculum and children are given lots of opportunities for cross curricular writing. This may be linked to Topic (for example, Kings & Queens, the Great Fire of London, Great Explorers) or other curriculum areas such as R.E or Science.

Children have 1:1 reading sessions as well as guided reading, and, in Year 2 use Accelerated Reader to develop their reading comprehension. Children are encouraged to develop a love for reading through daily story time.

Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2, children learn to change the way they speak and/or write to fit different situations, purposes and audiences. They encounter a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. They explore the use of language in literary and non-literary texts and learn how the structure of language works. Children in Key Stage 2 develop their knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology.

In Key Stage 2, children have English lessons in which they focus on a range of text types throughout the year. These may be linked to topic themes or to a book or poem. Children can expect to tackle a range of writing tasks, including, but not limited to:

  • Stories (including a variety of genres such as myths & legends, adventure, mystery & suspense)
  • Letters
  • Play scripts
  • Biographies
  • Recounts
  • Instructions
  • Glossaries
  • Explanations
  • Debates
  • Haikus
  • Poems

Children will also learn to write in a range of styles, including;

  • Writing persuasively
  • Writing in a journalistic style
  • Writing formally/informally
  • Writing arguments

English, Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar is taught discreetly in daily sessions. Additional English sessions include guided and individual reading, handwriting and Accelerated Reader. In Key Stage 2, children continue to have a range of opportunities for cross curricular writing. English skills are developed across the curriculum so children can apply what they know in a variety of contexts.  We use Read, Write Inc spelling to support the teaching of spelling from Year 2 – Year 6. We believe that helping children how to use and apply spelling patterns is the key to helping them become successful spellers.

As a school, we use the Letterjoin Handwriting scheme to help children develop fluent, clear and legible handwriting. In late KS1/early KS2, children will begin to join their writing.

The teaching of Reading

As children’s reading develops at different rates, teaching is tailored to each child and their ability. Children will read daily in their classroom, during shared reading, one to one reading or guided reading groups. Children are encouraged to read a range of books in school and at home and communication between staff and parents is encouraged.

In EYFS children are encouraged to foster a love of reading through the sharing of quality texts during story time and through planned learning contexts. In Reception, the teaching of systematic phonics begins.

We aim to bring reading to life and give it purpose by using music, drama and performance.

In KS1, children take home a reading book daily to be shared with parents. Each child keeps a ‘Reading Record’ in which parents and teachers share information about a child’s reading. Parents are encouraged to read with children as often as possible, preferably daily, and information is provided by teachers at the start of each school year to ensure parents know how best to support their child in reading.

In KS2, children have more responsibility for selecting books to take home and read. The expectation is that children are able to read independently by this Key Stage. Children in KS2 who do not meet national expectations for their age may continue to read with a teacher or adult frequently, or intervention is put in place to support their reading. Although children in KS2 are likely to read without a parent/carer, we still encourage all readers to share books at home with their family as we want children to develop a lifelong love of reading.

At Springfield, we want to provide children with the opportunities to share their love of reading with their peers.  In Key Stage Two, children take part in a weekly ‘Peer Reading’ lesson.  The children are paired up with an older child who listens to them read and ask questions about the book they are reading.  There is also time in this session for the older child to ‘model’ reading with their partner.

Whole Class Guided Reading

These lessons take place weekly, each lasting approximately 25 minutes. The lessons involve children in looking at a text more closely, discussing vocabulary, answering a variety of questions and developing inference skills. The session is teacher-led and aims to generate excitement and engagement with class novels and/or age appropriate texts linked to the interests of the class.

As a school, we recognise the value of reading aloud to children to model appropriate use of story language and reading with expression. We want to enthuse them with a love of books and inspire them as writers.

We have a progressive and varied reading scheme that covers all genres and allows learners to choose books for enjoyment linked to their development stage.  Learners have regular access to the Learning Resource Centre as an additional resource to enhance the love of reading with the space and time to make choices about books, and to discover authors and texts they might not get chance to look at outside of school.

Online Literacy

In Key Stage Two, children access Bedrock twice weekly. Bedrock Vocabulary is a digital vocabulary curriculum that teaches essential Tier 2 words, root words and academic verbs. All new language is embedded in original stories and non-fiction texts so our children are regularly reading high-quality texts.  Bedrock is a self-marking classroom and homework solution that delivers assessment data direct to our teachers who are then able to track the vocabulary learning of each child and also immediately identify trends within the whole school cohort. Children access Bedrock independently; the language each child studies, is appropriately challenging for the individual.

Lexia is embedded with children from Years 2-6.  The reading programme offers differentiated instruction for pupils of all abilities and provides explicit, systematic, personalised learning in the five areas of reading instruction.

Impact

Assessment, planning, monitoring

We complete 2-3 pieces of assessed writing each half term using progression and assessment grids in line with the National Curriculum and Age Related Expectations. Letterjoin is used from Year 1 In order to allow learners to have a consistent approach to handwriting and presentation.

Children are assessed termly by their class teachers in Reading and Writing. Formative and summative assessments are carried out regularly to ensure that the teaching of Reading, Writing and GPS is focused on children’s needs. In Y1, children take a statutory Phonics Check to test their decoding skills. In Years 2 and 6, children will take statutory assessments in Reading and Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. In all other years, children take annual formal assessments in the summer term in Reading, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar.

The needs of all children are considered carefully when planning and teaching English at Springfield Academy. We want children to reach their full potential. Where necessary, teachers identify which children are not making progress and take steps to improve their progress and attainment in English, usually in liaison with the SENCO. More able and talented children are identified and suitable learning challenges are provided.

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