At Kenton Bar Primary School we believe that success in English is paramount for accessing all other areas of the curriculum. A high quality education in English will enable children to be able to communicate their ideas in a variety of ways which are essential for participating fully in society.
In our Early Years Foundation Stage, we aim to develop:
- Spoken language and understanding
- Listening and attention skills
- Early reading skills
- Early writing skills.
In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, children study the National Curriculum for English and we aim to:
- Develop a love of literature
- Teach children to speak fluently and communicate their ideas and emotions
- Discuss, develop and elaborate ideas
- Give children the confidence to present and debate ideas.
- Develop reading skills so that children can acquire knowledge and build on what they already know
- Equip children with the knowledge and skills to write fluently and effectively
- Provide children with the necessary skills to use spelling and grammar rules at an appropriate level for their age
- Engage, inspire and challenge pupils.
At Kenton Bar Primary School, English is taught in blocks allowing children to get an in depth understanding of each genre. Children study a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts which are used as the stimulus from which English objectives and learning outcomes are derived. At the beginning of each block children undertake a ‘cold write’; an unsupported assessment of the children’s ability and knowledge of that text type. From this piece of work, teachers then plan a structured series of lesson that can address the areas identified during their cold task. Children analyse pieces of work, become familiar with the key features associated with that genre, analyse their importance and work collaboratively to share knowledge and expertise. During English lessons children also engage in practical drama and speaking and listening activities. Children develop the confidence to present ideas and deepen their understanding of texts by taking on the roles of different characters. At the end of each unit children complete a ‘hot task’ –an independent piece of work where children apply everything they have learnt during the unit.
Texts used in English are cross curricular and closely link to the work children are doing in their topic. For example, Children in Year 2 studying Castles in their topic sessions, may study the book Rapunzel in English. Children practise and apply the skills they learn in English lessons by being given the opportunity to write for a range of purposes in their topic lessons.
In Key Stage 2, children also have a daily ‘Basic Skills’ session where a strong emphasis is placed on the development of essential grammar, punctuation, spelling skills alongside handwriting.
Spelling is a current priority at Kenton Bar and we are always seeking new ways to improve and engage children in spelling activities. Children take part in daily word wall activities and enjoy playing a range of spelling games throughout the week to embed their weekly spellings.
Reading begins in Nursery where children are invited to take home picture books to share and discuss with their adults. As children begin to learn phonics they then start taking home CVC blending books and then home school reading books. In EYFS and Key Stage 1, we use a reading scheme called Read Write Inc which is the programme we use in school to teach Phonics. Children are regularly assessed and books are closely matched to children’s phonic ability, so what is taught in phonics is revised and applied in their home school reading books.
Once children have completed the Read Write Inc. phonics programme we have a wide range of books from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme to support children with their reading. Children in Key Stage 2 enjoy using Accelerated Reader, a programme where they read banded books and then complete a quiz to assess their comprehension skills. Year 5 and 6 are further supported by a programme called reading Plus. This is an online reading tool where they read short stories and texts, followed by a series of questions.
Children are expected to read regularly at home with a family member, either online or from their home school reading book. It is our belief that reading for a short amount of time, regularly is best.
Within school, children also take part in a daily reading lesson for 25 minute each day. This time is spent either reading as a whole class or reading in small groups with a teacher (guided reading). Those not working with an adult carry out a range of reading activities such as Word Wall tasks, dictionary work and activities to develop their comprehension skills. These sessions enable teachers to work closely with children, supporting them to develop a deep and broad understanding of different genres through a range of texts.