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Westrop Primary & Nursery

English

English Curriculum

 What are we trying to achieve through our English curriculum? (Intent)

 At Westrop Primary and Nursery School all we do is underpinned by our strong vision and values. Our vision and values support our ‘Curriculum Drivers’ which offer golden threads throughout our curriculum and ensure we have clear drivers for all that we want to achieve for our children.

 

 

In English, it is our intent to develop children’s ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, including the communication of their ideas, opinions and feelings.

In writing, we aim to develop the children’s confidence through whole-class and group teaching while aiming to providing the children with a range of independent activities where they can talk and collaborate so to embed and enhance their learning.

In reading, it is our intention to have a robust and progressive early reading curriculum where we build the children’s confidence in this fundamental skill which is then developed further as the children move through the school. We understand that having the confidence in their reading is the gateway to learning for our children and success and confidence in most other subjects of the curriculum is dependent upon learning to read well.


In English, it is our intent to use high quality texts as an invaluable tool to promote wellness and positive mental health as our pupils face the rigors of the modern world. We aim to select these texts to open up discussions and include a range of viewpoints for the children to explore through reading lessons, reading for enjoyment and the texts and activities that are using in writing lessons.

Through this we aspire to nurture passionate, imaginative and inquisitive individuals, who see the world through a range of perspectives and who can then translate this into their learning across all aspects of the English curriculum.

 

In English, it is our intention to provide our pupils with opportunities to develop their skills using a range of high-quality resources that are carefully selected for our children and the curriculum we hope to provide.

We seek to provide our pupils with many different opportunities to write for specific purposes and audiences across our school curriculum. Where possible, we aim to link our writing to the books and topic focus which will give the children clear purpose and audience.

We want to challenge our children through the high-quality texts and extracts they are presented with in our school’s core reading scheme. We aim to encourage independent and whole class reading from a broad and varied range of texts including both modern and classic fiction, poetry, stories originating from the British Isles and from other countries of the world, and non-fiction books.  

In English, it is our intent that our pupils develop a sensitive awareness of the greater community through the books that we choose. We aim to provide the children with books written by authors with a range of viewpoints and that contain characters from a vast spectrum of backgrounds, genders, ethnicities, and beliefs.

 

In English, it is our intent to provide the children with a wide range of experiences that nurture, develop confidence and effective speaking and listening skills. We aim to offer a range of opportunities to speak with greater confidence in both small and larger groups. We believe children’s vocabulary is key to their learning and progress across the whole curriculum and therefore, as a school aspire to provide a vocabulary rich curriculum where children are actively and systematically building on their knowledge.

How is the English Curriculum delivered? (Implementation)

 At Westrop, we use a variety of teaching and learning approaches in our English lessons. Our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills, and understanding in relation to English. Our timetable ensures that pupils have a daily lesson which focuses on the development of English skills, for example, engaging in a whole class reading, writing activity, or whole class grammar lessons. Whilst there is a high proportion of whole-class and group teaching, the independent activity gives an opportunity to talk and collaborate, and so embed and enhance pupils’ learning. They have the opportunity to experience a wide range of texts, and to support their work with a variety of resources, such as word banks, phonic resources, dictionaries, and thesauruses. Children use ICT in English lessons where it enhances their learning. Wherever possible, we encourage children to use and apply their learning in other areas of the curriculum and will often use incidental opportunities to teach and reinforce English skills in other subject areas.

In all classes, children have a wide range of abilities, and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies. In some lessons, we do it through differentiated group work, while in others, we ask children to work from the same starting point before moving on to develop their own ideas. We use classroom assistants to support some children, and to enable work to be matched to the needs of individuals working with a wide range of groups.

 Statutory requirements for the teaching and learning of English are laid out in the National Curriculum English Document and in the Communication, Language and Literacy section of the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage. 

English curriculum planning

 English is a core subject in the National Curriculum. As a school, we follow the guidance from the National Curriculum 2015, and ‘Letters and Sounds’.

We undertake curriculum planning in this subject, in the form of long-term overviews and short term plans.

Class teachers complete a weekly (short-term) plan for the teaching of English either in the form of a weekly breakdown or PowerPoint. This lists the specific learning questions and expected outcomes for each lesson and gives details of how the lessons are to be taught. It also includes an overview of what each group of children will be learning and doing. All weekly plans are stored on the school server so that they can be monitored and to enable discussion between the class teacher and the Subject Leader.

We plan the activities in English so that they build on the children’s prior learning. While we give children of all abilities the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding, we also promote a progression of skills across the school through including these in our long-term overviews, to ensure that there is an increasing challenge for the children as they move up through the school and to avoid repetition of work.

What British values and SMSC look like in English

Speaking, Listening and the development of vocabulary

The children at Westrop are given a wide range of experiences that nurture and develop confident and effective speaking and listening skills. We encourage the participation of our pupils in performing arts groups and annual performances, staged for families and members of the local community. Through a wide range of cross curricular topics, they learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others. This enables them to clarify their thinking as well as organise their ideas for writing. Additionally, we encourage courtesy and respect through close, attentive listening to the thoughts and opinions of others.

We believe children’s vocabulary is key to their learning and progress across the whole curriculum. Teachers from EYFS to Year 6 will develop vocabulary actively, building systematically on children’s current knowledge. They increase pupils’ store of words in general; simultaneously, they also make links between known and new vocabulary and discuss the shades of meaning in similar words. In this way, children expand the vocabulary choices that are available to them when they write. We believe it is particularly important to introduce children to the language which defines each subject in its own right, such as accurate grammatical, mathematical and scientific language.
Westrop Progression of Spoken Language

Reading

We aim to develop a genuine love and enjoyment of reading across the school, with pupils acquiring the initial, fundamental skills of reading using our school’s core reading scheme, high quality guided reading texts and clearly structured phonics sessions. Comprehension skills and the establishment of personal preferences in reading material are also developed throughout EYFS and Key Stages 1 and 2. We encourage independent and whole class reading from a broad and varied range of texts including both modern and classic fiction, poetry, stories originating from the British Isles and from other countries of the world, and non-fiction books which we have set out in our reading spines to ensure coverage and progression throughout the school. Each class is regularly read to by their class teacher and enthusiastic, confident and expressive reading is both encouraged and modelled frequently. There are many opportunities for children to read in school including whole class guided reading, individual reading to a teacher, TA or class helper as well as wider reading opportunities that occur through everyday classroom teaching, topic books and visits to our school library. Our comprehensive home reading scheme from Reception onwards consists of fiction and non-fiction core books linked to the child’s phonic and reading level.Westrop progression of reading skills

Westrop Progressive Reading Scheme

Parents Reading letter 2021-2022

Phonics and Spelling

At Westrop we follow The Department for Education’s Phonics Scheme called Letters and Sounds in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 and through KS2 where needed. This includes the teaching of phonemes, graphemes and tricky words over 6 phases. Song of Sounds is one resource that we use to support the teaching of the sounds outlined in Letters and Sounds through catchy songs and rhythmic actions. Phonics sessions take place daily and spelling are sent home weekly linked to the learning that has taken place that week.

 

 EYFS and KS1 phonics pages

Once the fundamental knowledge and skills of phonics have been acquired, this is then built upon into KS2. Our spelling programme across Key Stage 2 (years 3-6) has a structured and progressive approach to the teaching of spelling rules and patterns that is underpinned by the phonics that the children have learnt in Key Stage 1. We have set out word lists that incorporate the patterns and rules for each year group set out in the National Curriculum and the list of statutory words children should learn to spell, many of which are exception words. This will equip children to be versatile spellers within their writing.

This means that children will have 5 taught spelling lessons (of approximately 10 minutes) each week, which will give them the opportunity to learn, practice, apply and then be assessed in their spelling focus for the week. The assessment of spellings each week will take the form of dictation where the children will be asked to write the words, they have been learning, within a sentence which is read to them by their teacher.

Westrop progression of phonics and spelling

Year 1 spelling appendix

Year 2 spelling appendix

Year 3 & 4 spelling appendix

Year 5 & 6 spelling appendix

KS2 Spelling letter

Year 6 spellings

Year 5 spellings

Year 3 & 4 spellings

Writing

We provide our pupils with many different opportunities to write for specific purposes and audiences across our school curriculum. We regularly encourage our pupils to reflect upon the reasons that they write, and classify these as writing to entertain, discuss, inform or persuade. Where possible, these are linked to topic work, giving a clear purpose for writing and are displayed in classrooms in the form of school ‘road signs’, so the children are always aware of the style of writing that they are undertaking. Close study of examples of each genre enables pupils to identify their features and ensures that our children have the necessary understanding of how to adapt the style, tone and content of their written work to suit its purpose.

Westrop English Writing Genre Overview 

Westrop Progression of Writing Skills

Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

Pupils at Westrop are provided with regular vocabulary, grammar and punctuation sessions which enable them to acquire the skills to correctly form and demarcate both simple and more complex sentence structures, develop the accurate use of punctuation across writing of all types and enable the identification of word classes within both texts and what they have written independently. These grammar skills are then applied through cross-curricular work or through real life situations to enhance understanding and make learning relevant.

Westrop progression of Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

Handwriting

At its earliest stages, our pupils practise the fine motor skills needed for the correct formation of letters, this then leads on to the refinement of a pre-cursive / cursive handwriting style and then, finally, to a well presented, legible joined cursive handwriting style. Our pupils are enabled to understand that their handwriting can change according to the purpose for which they are writing, for example – the difference between note making and ‘polished’ pieces of written work for display. To support handwriting we follow the letter join handwriting scheme which can be viewed below.

https://www.letterjoin.co.uk/

Letter-join Home AccessEYFS Letter Formation

Curly Caterpillar letter family

Long Ladder letter family

One armed robot family

Zig zag letter family

Handwriting policy

The Early Years Foundation Stage

We teach Literacy skills in Nursery and Reception as an integral part of the EYFS curriculum. Communication and Language and Literacy (CLL) and (L), one of the 7 Areas of Learning in the EYFS curriculum. In the EYFS, the Communication and Language and Literacy cannot be covered in isolation from the other five areas of learning. 

Providing children with a rich language environment as well as directly extending children’s vocabulary is an integral part of our everyday practice.  Through quality adult interaction we demonstrate, model, and facilitate language. Opportunities to practise 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 in the reception classroom and outdoor area. Children have a daily phonics lesson as a crucial element in developing their early reading and writing skills.   We have a wide range of core nursery rhymes and core texts that the children learn over and over as well as explore other books and stories that hold value to children and their learning. 

Our Communication and Language Curriculum focuses on the progression of skills needed for the children to achieve the Early Learning Goal by the end of Reception and have the skills needed to access learning in Year 1. 

We plan the teaching and development of Literacy skills to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals, which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged two to five. We give all children the opportunity to talk and communicate in a widening range of situations, to respond to adults and to each other, to listen carefully, and to practise and extend their vocabulary and communication skills. They can explore words and texts, to enjoy them, to learn about them, and to use them in various situations. 

English and Inclusion:

 All children, whatever their ability and individual needs, have a basic entitlement to be taught essential English skills, and to have the opportunity to develop those skills to the best of their ability. English forms part of the whole school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children. Through our teaching of English skills, we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make good progress. We strive hard to meet the needs of those pupils with special educational needs, those with disabilities, those with special gifts and talents, and those learning English as an additional language, and we take all reasonable steps to achieve this.

When progress falls significantly outside the expected range, our teaching and support staff are quick to address the individual needs of the child. Our assessment process looks at a range of factors such as – classroom organisation, teaching materials, teaching style, differentiation – so that we can take some additional or different action to enable the child to learn more effectively. Assessment against the National Curriculum allows us to consider each child’s attainment and progress against expected levels. This ensures that our teaching is matched to the child’s needs.

Children who have significant gaps in their learning will be highlighted and targeted through 1:1 or small group interventions.

Teaching assistants provide support for English by undertaking the following:

  • daily readers, on a one-to-one basis
  • participating during guided reading sessions – supporting pupils with word recognition and contextual support as required
  • providing differentiated texts that children can more easily read and understand;
  • preparing visual and written materials in different formats;
  • use of additional ICT and other technological aid to learning during lessons
  • use of alternative communication strategies such as signs and symbols;
  • provision of additional translation and amanuensis as necessary

 

What difference is the English Curriculum making? (Impact)

 The impact and measure of this is to ensure children not only acquire the appropriate age-related knowledge linked to the English curriculum, but also skills which equip them to progress from their starting points, and within their everyday lives.

 Long term pupils will:

  • be confident in the art of speaking and listening and to be able to use discussion to communicate and further their learning
  • be able to read fluently both for pleasure and to further their learning.
  • enjoy writing across a range of genres
  • pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because work will be appropriately scaffolded
  • have a wide vocabulary and be adventurous with vocabulary choices within their writing
  • have a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context and audience
  • leave primary school being able to effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught
  • make good and better progress from their starting points to achieve their full potential

 

Assessment and Monitoring in English:

The impact of our English curriculum is measured through the monitoring cycle in school:

  • lesson observations, book monitoring and learning walks
  • skills progressing (grammar and punctuation) throughout the school is evident in children’s books.
  • gathering pupil voice – to check understanding, understanding of key skills and knowledge, progression, confidence in discussing English
  • moderating pupils work to ensure accurate assessments are made
  • Tracking pupils’ progress in Reading, Writing, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. This informs planning and any interventions needed.
  • Pupil progress meetings ensure different groups (including EAL, PP and SEND) and individual progress is monitored, and interventions organised to support good and better progress.
  • Importantly, monitoring is also used to identify gaps in the curriculum that may need to be addressed across the school, or within individual year groups.

Monitoring is an ongoing cycle, which is used productively to provide the best possible English curriculum for our children and to ensure it is inclusive to all.

English Policy 2020