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English

 The English Curriculum

 

Intent

 

 

It is our intention when teaching the English curriculum that our pupils acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to become lifelong learners and linguists. We strive to ensure that all our pupils receive a well-rounded learning experience when reading, writing, speaking and listening which will equip them with the fundamental tools to achieve in the school and beyond. It is our intention to immerse pupils in the wonders of quality texts to instil a love for reading, a passion for discovery and a confidence to explore their imagination.

English is a core subject of the National Curriculum and a prerequisite for educational and social progress as it underpins the work undertaken in all other areas of the curriculum. The acquisition of language skills is of the utmost importance to us here at Park and therefore the teaching of all aspects English is given a high priority within school. Confidence in basic language skills enables children to communicate creatively and imaginatively, preparing them for their future journey through education and beyond.

Writing:

• The ability to write fluently and with interesting detail on a number of topics throughout the curriculum.
• A vivid imagination which makes readers engage with and enjoy their writing.
• A highly developed vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or description.
• Well-organised and structured writing, which includes a variety of sentence structures.
• Excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented and punctuated, spelled correctly and neat.
• A love of writing and an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values.

Reading

• Excellent phonic knowledge and skills.

• Fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum.

• Knowledge of an extensive and rich vocabulary.

• An excellent comprehension of texts.

• The motivation to read for both study and for pleasure.

• Extensive knowledge through having read a rich and varied range of texts.

 

Implementation

 

Our English curriculum is derived around a sequence of high quality age-appropriate texts. We use each book to create opportunities to develop reading fluency and comprehension with a focus on key reading strategies and skills; develop grammar and punctuation knowledge and understanding to use and apply across the wider curriculum; explore the writing structure and features of different genres, identify the purpose and audience; plan and write an initial piece of writing with a clear context and purpose before evaluating the effectiveness of writing by editing and redrafting. 

Reading

Reading is not only celebrated in classrooms here at Park Junior School. Around school, you will find displays which challenge readers and engage them in reading a wider variety of text – with 'Track my read' champion and the Project X displays.  At Park, we celebrate reading throughout every phase in the school: we offer a book-led curriculum across all phases, every class has a reading area. 

Tracking reading has evolved with the children and is now making use of technology. We have 'Track my read' which the children will have a personal log in for. They can go on an log any reading they do; instructions, books, poetry, cereal boxes, anything. If they have been read to, they can also log this. All minutes will be collated weekly and a graph will be created in the hall to show each class total. 

In addition, throughout the school year the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author and poet visits, Book Fairs and sponsored reading events to further enrich our English curriculum.

Each week classes will have dedicated reading sessions where skills are taught as well as the use of reading throughout other curriculum areas and the actual English lessons. Our reading sessions utilise a wide range of ideas and resources to engage and enthuse pupils in language and text.

Language Acquisition & Vocabulary Development

We endeavour to ensure we provide our pupils with a 'language rich' environment; which ensures we have a wide range of texts displayed around our school, to correlate with our wider curriculum. We work closely with a range of book fairs in raising the profile of reading to ensure we share the importance of reading with our parents, carers and wider community. Within our classrooms, we explore ambitious vocabulary across the wider curriculum to ensure we acquire an understanding of tricky language across the wider curriculum through the use of our knowledge organisers and working walls. Many classes also employ the word of the week or day to enrich the language of the pupils. This also allows for the investigation of meaning, antonyms and synonyms.

At Park Junior School, we aim to share our vision of high aspirations for all of our pupils through our high expectations across the wider curriculum; by setting these high expectations, our pupils are aware of the standards we expect in all lessons and learning opportunities.

 

Impact

 

We strive to ensure that our children's attainment is in line or exceeds their potential when we consider the varied starting points of all our children. We measure this using a range of materials, whilst always considering the age-related expectations for each year group. Children will make at least good progress in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening from their last point of statutory assessment of from their starting point in Year 3. We intend the impact of our English curriculum will ensure our pupils are academically prepared for life beyond primary school and throughout their educational journey.

 

 

British Values in English

 At Park Junior School, our values are at the heart of all we do: within our English teaching in the school, we strive to provide opportunities for pupils to develop their own core values whilst instilling the Fundamental British Values in many opportunities within units of work. Here are some examples of how we consolidate our pupils' understanding of British Values hand in hand with our own English curriculum:

  • Democracy
    Pupils will learn about democracy through discussion and debate in many curriculum areas including English lessons.
  • Individual Liberty:
    Pupils will develop their individual liberty through freedom and choice of the content, audience and purpose of their writing (including developing and justifying own opinions). 
  • Tolerance and Mutual Respect:
    Pupils will learn about mutual respect through exploring character's relationships, friendships and behaviours. Children will be provided with the opportunity to discuss, debate and justify their own views and opinions, which in turn will develop empathy for others. Children will read and write about others' personal experiences through autobiography work, non-fiction texts and narrative work.
  • Rule of Law
    Texts are chosen to provide our pupils with a chance to explore the rule of the law in an age-appropriate manner. 
     

Reading at Park Junior School

Reading is a high priority area of our English curriculum at Park Junior School. Reading is a fundamental skill, used to stimulate children's imaginations and learn to acquire a love for books. A centralised aspect of our Book-Led Curriculum across the school, reading influences the thoughts, feelings and emotions of all of our learners. We carefully monitor the children’s reading and encourage parents to be fully active and engaged with us in this in order to support their child’s ongoing development. 

Reading takes place at least once a week in a discreet session with a teacher or teaching assistant. If children are working below their chronological reading age, targeted intervention and support is put in place. Children in all classes still have access to story time and have a class book for a sustained period: this ensures that reading is correctly modelled to children as well as giving them the opportunity to enjoy being read to! Each term, we display a list of the class text being read so that pupils and adults can talk about this.

At Park Junior, we use the Project X reading scheme to support our children in developing their reading skills. The books are banded according to their level of difficulty, providing children with a challenging reading experience which also allows them to use their developing phonic and whole word knowledge to read independently. The Project X scheme comprises of a mixture of Fiction, Non-fiction and Traditional tales, which allows children to experience a variety of texts.

RWI at Park Junior School

When pupils enter Year 3 they are assessed in their ‘pure sounds’ and phonetic knowledge using the RWI assessment. Pupils are then grouped accordingly, those who do not require RWI will be taught within regular English sessions. Our highly skilled TA’s take small groups of pupils, following the RWI scheme. This has proved successful and children quickly move through the stages and into class based English.

Inference conversations and interventions

One area we look at specifically is inference. Teachers and TA’s at Park carry out ‘Inference Conversations’ with a range of children to ascertain their abilities and needs. Those children identified as needing support in inference work within inference intervention groups. This is a specific programme targeted at pupils who are able to read, but lack the skills needed to understand. This is re-visited termly to ensure that children are making the necessary progress. Teachers produce an Inference Action Plan so that children can be monitored.

Writing at Park Junior School

We aim to develop children’s ability to produce well-structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the audience / reader. Particular attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English: grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling. Our approach at Park Junior School, when teaching writing, covers the transcription and composition requirements of the National Curriculum.

Throughout the school, our writing follows the Book-Led curriculum. Writing opportunities are sourced and developed based on the class text within each year group. Our curriculum allows children to have the opportunity to explore high-quality texts in depth, enhancing reading comprehension and providing meaningful contexts and purposes for writing. The teaching of this programme is flexible and class teachers are then, in turn, able to apply their own creativity to cover the objectives across the school.

Teachers clearly model writing skills and document the learning journey through consistent working walls; guided writing sessions are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals. Children have opportunities to write at length, in extended, independent writing sessions at the end of a unit of work – applying their taught skills to an unsupported piece of writing.

 

Grammar at Park Junior School 

As stipulated in the National Curriculum, the grammar of our first language is learnt naturally and implicitly through interactions with other speakers and from reading. Explicit knowledge of grammar is, however, very important, as it gives us more conscious control and choice in our language.

Grammar lessons are taught weekly as part of our book-led curriculum and sequence of lessons. Pupils are taught discrete grammar skills using our Headstart scheme of learning, allowing opportunities to identify, practice and consolidate grammatical understanding. Opportunities are then provided for our pupils to apply their grammar understanding across 'reasoning' style grammar tasks. It is class teachers' expectations that, following the sequence of lessons to form building blocks to a piece of writing, pupils will begin to independently apply the grammar skills and content taught and embed these within their writing.

 

Spelling at Park Junior

At Park Junior School, spelling is taught regularly in focused sessions within each class. Class teachers use Headstart and Oxford Reading to support with the teaching for spelling and this can then often be used as homework for children when applicable. Spellings are sent home in each year group as part of the children’s homework; the pupils are then tested on these words in their weekly spelling tests. This ensures that spelling rules are taught and practiced on a weekly basis.

English and inclusion

At our school, we teach English to all children, whatever their ability and individual needs. English forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children. Through our English teaching, 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, the child may have special educational needs. Our assessment process looks at a range of factors – classroom organisation, teaching materials, teaching style and 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.

 

Resources

There is a range of resources to support the teaching of English across the school. All classrooms have dictionaries and thesauruses. Each classroom has a book area, with a range of books available to share. The books will be a selection of fiction and non-fiction texts. Every year group has the Literacy and Language books for their year group, this includes; teacher book, disc for the computer, anthology book and pupil book (one between two). Recent additions have been the ‘Fantastic’ to support both Book Talk and The Write Way. Alongside thee are the writing washing lines, demonstrating the expectations of each year group in grammar, punctuation and spelling.

 

In This Section...

Here at Park we teach a systematic phonics programme called Read Write Inc.

 

So what is Read Write Inc?

It quickly teaches children the skills needed to read fluently.

It gives children the ability to understand what they are reading.

It gives children the vocabulary necessary to become accomplished writers.

It gives the children the vocabulary to talk about their learning; the language of grammar and literacy.

It gives children confidence and is centred on praising their progress. Success breeds success.

It is based on partner work and total class participation; everyone is making progress in every lesson.

 

Why Read Write Inc?

It is a systematic approach. The lessons are very clear and defined. The children know what to expect and the adults working with RWI are supported throughout with the materials.

It’s based on years of hands on experience in the classroom.

It is rooted in giving the children success and expecting them to succeed.

Everything is modelled for the children, enabling them to feel confident and build on their skills.

 

Reading Displays

Our library

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