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Peterhouse

Church of England Primary Academy

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English

ENGLISH POLICY

 

Our Curriculum Vision:

Our vision is to provide inspirational teaching that creates a genuine enthusiasm and love of learning. This is underpinned by the school’s Christian Values to ensure we meet the needs of each individual pupil academically and emotionally. As a result they thrive and grow into independent, confident young people with high aspirations. 

 

 

1. AIMS

At Peterhouse, our aim is that all learners reach or exceed age-related expectations, supported by our clear and consistent approach to teaching and learning. Our English curriculum links reading, writing and skills development to provide opportunities for pupils to develop their knowledge and understanding of spoken and written English within a broad and balanced curriculum.

 

We aim for pupils at Peterhouse CE VA Primary Academy will leave Year 6:

 

  • reading and writing with confidence, fluency and understanding, using a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct;
  • with a love of reading and a desire to read for enjoyment;
  • with an interest in words and their meanings; developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms;
  • understanding a range of text types, media types and genres;
  • able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation;
  • using their developing imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness; and
  • with a suitable technical vocabulary to articulate their responses.

 

 

2. STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS

Statutory requirements for the teaching and learning of English are laid out in the English programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2 National curriculum in England (September 2013, updated July 2014) and in the Communication and Language and Literacy sections of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2014).

 

In the Early Years Foundation Stage English is embedded in the curriculum areas of Communication and Language (Prime Ares) and Literacy (Specific Area). Pupils are encouraged to:

  • speak and listen in a range of situations and demonstrate understanding through questions and answers;
  • Develop their confidence and skill in expressing themselves;
  • Develop the early literacy skills of reading and writing through begin immersed in an environment rich in print where reading and writing is modelled.

 

At Key Stage One (Years 1 and 2) pupils learn to speak confidently and listen to what others have to say. They learn to read and write independently and with enthusiasm. They learn to use language to explore their own experiences and imaginary worlds.

 

At Key Stage Two (Years 3-6) pupils learn to change the way they speak and write to suit different situations, purposes and audiences. They read a range of texts and respond to different layers of meaning in them. They explore the use of language in literary and non-literary texts and learn how the structure of language works.

 

The Governing Body, in particular the Literacy Governor, receives regular reports on the progress of English provision.

 

 

3. SUBJECT ORGANISATION

Foundation Stage

In Reception pupils have daily phonics lessons, using the Read Write Inc. programme.  Pupils have opportunities to develop their communication, language and literacy skills on a daily basis in both adult led and child initiated activities. 

 

Key Stage 1

In Key Stage 1 English lessons follow the Read Write Inc. programme, with daily phonics, reading and writing sessions. Students are assessed, both formatively and summatively (approximately every six weeks), to ensure that they are working at the appropriate level to embed and stretch their skills. Pupils that complete the Read Write Inc. programme advance to class-based literacy lessons, focusing on the academy’s English curriculum (see 6. Approaches to Writing) and aiming to help students achieve the end of year attainment targets.

 

Pupils take part in reading sessions – a combination of whole class, group and individual and focussing on speed, stamina and comprehension – and have daily story times to help develop a love of reading. (See 5. Approaches to Reading).

 

Literacy skills are developed and applied across the curriculum. Each class takes part in a daily skills session to build pupils’ foundational knowledge. These sessions focus on spelling, punctuation or grammar. This foundational knowledge is then put into practice and consolidated during writing sessions, both within English lessons and across the wider curriculum. Provision is made for pupils who require extra support through interventions and differentiated class teaching.

 

There is a comprehensive spelling curriculum covering the spelling rules for each year group, along with common exception words. These words are sent home, along with information for parents on the spelling rule focus for the week and are tested in school.

 

Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2 pupils continue to develop their foundational knowledge within a daily skills lesson. Again, sessions focus on spelling, punctuation and/or grammar. Pupils are given the opportunity to apply these knowledge and skills, both within English lessons and across the wider curriculum. Provision is made for pupils who require extra support through intervention programmes and differentiated class teaching.

 

The teaching of writing is based on the academy’s broad and balanced writing curriculum. Each unit is based on a quality text and teachers are encouraged to link units to experiences and cross curricular work.

 

Reading is taught through a combination of strategies, including whole class, group and individual. These focus on comprehension, speed and stamina. Classes also have the opportunity to hear adults read to them regularly. (See 5. Approaches to Reading).

Teaching follows our comprehensive spelling curriculum covering the spelling rules stipulated in the National Curriculum for each year group, along with words from the year group lists. These words are sent home, along with information for parents on the spelling rule focus for the week and are tested in school.

 

4. APPROACHES TO SPEAKING AND LISTENING

The Four Strands of Speaking and Listening: Speaking; Listening; Group Discussion and Interaction, and Drama run through the whole curriculum. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise reading and writing standards. Pupils are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life.

Opportunities to develop these skills include: talking partners, debates, drama and a Christmas and end of year show. Pupils who require extra support in speaking and listening work with a Speech and Language specialist.

 

 

5. APPROACHES TO READING

The National Curriculum divides the teaching of reading into two areas: Word reading/decoding and Comprehension.

 

At Peterhouse we recognise that both of these are essential to successful reading and we support the acquisition of both sets of skills through various strategies, always alongside quality resources.  We recognise that these areas are linked to the other aspects of English learning: speaking and listening, writing, grammar and vocabulary. We also understand that reading is a developmental process and part of life-long learning and we encourage and praise pupils at every stage of it.

 

Decoding:

Decoding of words involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words.  Underpinning this is the understanding that letters represent sounds and this is why the teaching of phonics, alongside other reading strategies, is important in the teaching of early reading. (DfE, 2013, p.14).

 

At Peterhouse we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme from Reception through to Year 2 to teach pupils to decode. RWI is a synthetic phonics programme of daily sessions containing reading and writing. The beginning of most sessions focuses on decoding words using known graphemes and recognising sight words, both decodable and not.

 

The National Curriculum also sets out a list of non-decodable ‘exception’ words, for years 1 and 2. These words form part of the school’s spelling curriculum and pupils are required to read and spell them. During RWI lessons these ‘sight words’ are practised as ‘red words’.

 

Comprehension:

Comprehension refers to the understanding of a text, picture or situation. Reading Comprehension skills are drawn from linguistic knowledge e.g. vocabulary, grammar and knowledge of the world.  Pupils develop these skills through exposure to a variety of texts (fiction and non-fiction) in a range of genres.  Discussions centred on texts, in whole class and Guided Reading sessions allow pupils to develop their comprehension skills. Please see Appendix A for an example of the teaching of reading in one of our classes. 

 

A language rich environment is important in reading comprehension as it aids in vocabulary building and language acquisition. At Peterhouse, we use many strategies to help pupils understand and internalise new vocabulary. When planning a new book, teachers identify the vocabulary and language features they will have to explicitly teach, as learning vocabulary in context is so beneficial. Additionally, classes might use ‘word of the day’, ‘word of the week’, the Vocabulary Ninja app and other resources to teach vocabulary.

 

Teachers model comprehension strategies during shared reading sessions, whilst pupils have the opportunity to practise these strategies and to discuss texts in detail during independent reading. Independent reading provides time for both assessment and 1-1 teaching. 

 

The teaching of comprehension at Peterhouse can take many forms. These can include, but are not limited to: 

 

Whole class Teaching of Reading – Whole Class Reading (WCR) is an effective, inclusive strategy to allow all children to access a range of texts. Lessons are carefully planned and have a clear learning objective. WCR should incorporate a whole range of texts across the academic year. Different types of questions create differentiation within a lesson.

 

Shared Reading - In shared reading the teacher models the reading process to the whole class as an expert reader, providing a high level of support. Teaching objectives are pre-planned and sessions are characterised by explicit teaching of specific reading strategies, oral response and high levels of collaboration. The teacher’s role is that of the expert reader who models how the text is read. Where appropriate, the pupils join in with the reading of the enlarged text.

 

Guided Reading – In guided reading, the responsibility for reading shifts to the learner. The teacher structures reading tasks with pupils, who are grouped by ability. Pupils are required to read and respond to the text themselves with the teacher supporting. Texts of graded difficulty are chosen and matched to the reading ability of the group.

 

Individual and Paired Reading – Pupils are given plenty of time across the week to read their take-home reading book, library book or a book from the classroom shelves, either individually or in a pair. Paired reading can increase a child’s enjoyment of a book as they are able to share and respond to thoughts and feelings about what they are reading. Reading is not restricted to English lessons. Many opportunities are provided for pupils to practise and extend their reading in other subjects and during reading for pleasure time.

 

Scenario Comprehension – Pupils observe and discuss what is happening in an image. They make predictions and infer on events within the picture.

 

Vocabulary Work – Work on vocabulary is woven throughout every comprehension lesson. Focus vocabulary is highlighted within planning, however it is best taught in context as it arises.

 

Reading for Pleasure

Reading for pleasure and enjoyment is given a high priority at Peterhouse and time is set aside for pupils to enjoy a range of texts. We encourage cross-phase paired-reading, where the pupils in older classes share books with younger pupils and engage in ‘book talk’. Pupils are also encouraged to borrow a library book to share at home alongside their school scheme books. Each class has a scheduled slot in the school library within which to choose a book to take home or just enjoy during library time.

 

Library and Home Reading:

All pupils, from Early Years Foundation Stage and into KS2, take home an ability-levelled book from a reading scheme, for example, ‘The Oxford Reading Tree’.  In addition to this, pupils have the opportunity to choose a book to enjoy from the library.  Each child has a reading record that teachers and parents can use to share information about a child’s reading.  Parents are encouraged to read with their child daily. Information is given on how to support their child in reading as a published guide and at events like reading cafes.    

 

 

6. APPROACHES TO WRITING

We aim to develop the pupils’ ability to produce well structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. Attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English, grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling.

 

Teachers model writing strategies, the use of phonics and spelling strategies in shared writing sessions. Guided writing sessions are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals, whilst pupils have opportunities to write at length in extended independent writing sessions at the end of each week. Some pieces of writing are developed over a period of time, with opportunities to draft and edit before finalising a piece of work.

 

Pupils in EYFS are encouraged to give meaning to their marks as they write, draw and paint. They are provided with a range of opportunities to write for different purposes about things that interest them.

 

Teachers can choose from a range of strategies to suit the genre and final written outcome. These may include, but are not limited to, a unit of work in the style of The Write Stuff or Talk for Writing and may include strategies such as slow writing, cold and hot writes and guided writing.

 

The Peterhouse Writing Curriculum outlines the units of work and genres to be covered by each year group. Teachers are given a selection of texts to choose from and can pick from several writing outcomes. Non-fiction units can be moved and moulded to fit with science or topic units, allowing opportunities for cross-curricular writing and writing in context.

 

Writing Portfolios

Pupils have a copy of their final piece of work from each unit – unedited and unmarked – collected in a portfolio. This portfolio goes with them as they move up year groups and is a lovely record of their progress and growth as they move through the school.

 

Supporting Documents

A growing number of documents have been produced to support teachers in their planning and assessments in writing. Our Writing Progression Documents were developed for each writing genre to show the progress of word classes, punctuation, text structure, sentence structure and vocabulary for each year group. Our Greater Depth Booklets compare the year group expectations for reading, writing and maths with the expectations for greater depth, making it easier for staff to see how to move a pupil on to greater depth.

 

 

7. APPROACHES TO SPELLING, PUNCTUATION AND GRAMMAR

Peterhouse has its own Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) Curriculum. The expectations for SPaG have been taken from the National Curriculum and timetabled across the year. Each year group has a pre-written spelling list for each week, which matches the SPaG objective for that week.

 

 

8. HANDWRITING

At Peterhouse, pupils learn to form letters using the Read Write Inc system, as shown in Appendix B. They learn to form individual letters appropriately and accurately, first, and are later taught to join their handwriting, using the LetterJoin system. Handwriting skills are practised regularly and systematically, throughout all year groups.

 

Staff use the LetterJoin font when making posters and worksheets, etc, to demonstrate the style of handwriting that pupils should emulate. See Appendix B for examples of the font.

 

Pupils in KS1 predominantly use pencils to write with, however, they are also given the opportunity to write with other implements. Once in KS2, staff make the decision about when to move a pupil on to writing in pen.

 

 

9. PRESENTATION OF WORK

Guidelines for presentation of work are displayed in all classrooms. KS1 and KS2 have slightly different guidelines. These guidelines are referred to regularly. These can be seen in Appendix C.

 

 

10. ASSESSMENT

Pupils’ writing abilities are continually monitored and assessed against the National Curriculum and tracked on Pupil Asset and using interim assessment frameworks. Internal moderation activities take place regularly, enabling teachers to compare their own judgments to either confirm or adjust them. External moderation meetings are attended regularly by teaching staff from all year levels.

 

 

10. INCLUSION

We aim to provide for all pupils so that they achieve as highly as they can in English according to their individual abilities. We will identify which pupils or groups of pupils are under-achieving and take steps to improve their attainment. Gifted pupils are identified and suitable learning challenges planned for and provided.

 

 

11. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

Peterhouse has universal ambitions for every child, whatever their background or circumstances. Pupils learn and thrive when they are healthy, safe and engaged. 

 

In order to engage all pupils, cultural diversity, home languages, gender and religious beliefs are all celebrated.  Our curriculum includes a wide range of texts and other resources which represent the diversity and backgrounds of all our pupils.

 

We believe in ‘valuing what the child brings to school’ and recognise the importance of supporting a child’s first language, not only to foster self-esteem, but to assist in the learning of English.

 

12. ROLE OF SUBJECT LEADER

The Subject Leader is responsible for improving the standards of teaching and learning in Literacy through:

  • monitoring and evaluating English, including Read Write, Inc.:- 
    • pupil progress;
    • provision of English;
    • the quality of the Learning Environment;
  • taking the lead in policy development;
  • auditing and supporting colleagues in their CPD;
  • purchasing and organising resources;
  • leading the English curriculum team;
  • ensuring succession planning is in place; and
  • keeping up to date with recent developments in the teaching and learning of English.

 

 

13. PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT

We aim to involve parents directly in the life of the school, and thus in the development of pupils’ skills, knowledge and understanding in English. Parents are involved in hearing pupils read and are encouraged to discuss books with them. 

 

Pupils invite their parents to Termly Learning Conferences twice a year. Pupils share achievements with their parents and talk with them about their targets. Curriculum information is available on the website. Parents are encouraged to read both with and to their pupils at home in order to promote reading, even into KS2. Parents are welcomed into school to support reading in the classroom.

 

In the EYFS, parents are given the opportunity to attend a ‘Help Your Child to Read and Write’ session. They also are invited to come to Family Café sessions where they listen to a story with their child and engage in created activities linked to the story.

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX A – Example: Daily Whole Class Reading in Year 5 

 

Summary

“Unsurprisingly, the best writers in any class are always readers. Reading influences writing – indeed the richness, depth and breadth of reading determines the writer that we become. If a child’s reading is meagre, then their writing will inevitably be thin.” Pie Corbett.

For this reason, in Year 5, we believe a daily reading lesson not only has a positive impact on the pupils’ enjoyment of reading but also on them as readers and writers.

Pupils receive a daily forty minute reading lesson, immediately after registration and daily vocabulary work. Each half term’s lessons focus upon a different fiction text, although significant links are made where possible to related non-fiction texts. The aim is to expose pupils to a range of genres, themes and authors to help them build a storehouse of language and styles as they form their own writing style. Books read so far in Year 5 include: Street Child, Matilda and The Legend of Podkin One Ear.

During a lesson pupils are introduced to new vocabulary, as well as hearing a model of reading from the teacher, reading independently, engaging in a discussion about the text and answering a range of questions about a text.

The lessons have a real focus upon vocabulary and developing pupils’ understanding of language. The aim is to immerse pupils in rich vocabulary which can begin to recall and use, as well as help them access texts. The pre-teaching of the vocabulary they will meet in the text is a key part of the lesson.

The structure and planning of the lessons is as follows:

Assessment Focus

A focus area is selected from the Literacy Shed KS2 VIPERS (Vocabulary, Infer, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Summarise)

WOD and vocabulary pre-teach

WOD: A word of the day is selected from Vocabulary Ninja and forms the starter for the lesson and will also look at word type, antonym and synonym.

Vocabulary pre teaching: Words will be selected from the text which pupils may not have heard of or may be genre or subject specific. The definitions for each, in the context of the text, are discussed.

Teacher led reading and book talk

The teacher reads a section of the text to the class and pupils have individual copies of the text.  Either before, during or afterwards a discussion of key questions takes place.

Independent reading

Pupils continue reading the text independently or in mixed ability pairs. Pupils who struggle with decoding are encouraged to read aloud with their learning partner.

Follow up task

The lesson ends with a short task which the pupils record in their reading journals. This could be a question to answer, statements to order, a prediction etc.  Pupils regularly use the APE sentence starters to help structure and develop their answers. (APE: Answer, Prove and Explain)

The aim is that approximately once a week this part of the lesson will be extended to give the pupils time to complete an independent piece of writing related to the text, eg diary account from the main characters point of view.

 

Strengths

  • All pupils experience the same text regardless of reading ability. The benefit we have experienced is that even the pupils with the weaker sight vocabulary show they can understand and discuss the text with their peers. (Additional support with fluency and sight vocabulary takes place for individuals outside of the reading lesson.)
  • More opportunities for quality class discussions with pupils being expected to answer in full sentences and to respond to each other’s answers. Pupils often respond with “I’d like to build on what… has said’ or “I disagree with…because.”
  • A greater enjoyment of reading is evident.
  • As all pupils are experiencing the same text there is a collective understanding which can link to other areas of the curriculum.
  • Developing pupils ability to comprehend a text (which in some cases is above their reading ability)

Drawbacks

  • A possible drawback could be that teachers need to have a thorough knowledge of the book in order to plan and teach with it.

Impact

  • Combined with other strategies, whole class reading has helped develop the reading for pleasure culture within the classes. Pupils regularly read and change books in the main library, class library or from teacher’s own books.
  • We have noticed even the most reluctant readers have engaged in the whole class text in a way that they may not have done in a small group situation.
  • Pupils have significantly developed their ability to reason their answers and back up their opinions with reference to the text. They have also enhanced their inference skills through reading and discussing the texts.
  • In the classes 90% and 50% respectively now have a reading age above their chronological age. Also, in the six months since the previous assessment 77% and 40% have made better than the expected six months progress.

Pupil Voice

  • The pupils are overwhelmingly positive about the reading lessons and the following are a sample of some of their thoughts and opinions.
  • “I would say my favourite story this year has been Street Child because I really liked the activities and I liked the APE questions.”
  • “I like the way Miss Hall goes through the vocabulary before we read.”
  • “I like that we each get our own copy of the book and that we can follow it with a reading ruler. I also like it when we read with our learning partners.”
  • “I like our reading lessons because I love writing diaries because I love how we can feel what the character is feeling.”

Top Tips

  • One text/book per pupil
  • A bookmark inside each book, which also doubles up as a “reading ruler” to keep pupils on track. (Authors and publishers may be able to help – we received a set of sixty signed bookmarks from the author of our current book)
  • Literacy Shed Plus can provide useful resources to help with planning.
  • Planning a balance of discussion activities and written activities and giving time for pupils hear the teacher modelling reading, as well as reading with their learning partner.

K. Lea/K. Hall April 2018

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX B – Handwriting Phrases taken from RWI

 

Read Write Inc Handwriting Phrases

Letter

Phrase

Letter

Phrase

m

Maisie, mountain mountain

f

Down the stem and draw the leaves

a

Round the apple, down the leaf

e

Lift off the top and scoop out the egg

s

Slither down the snake

l

Down the long leg

d

Round his bottom, up his tall neck, down to his feet

h

Down the head to the hooves and over his back

t

Down the tower, across the tower

sh

Slither down the snake, down the head to the hooves and over his back

i

Down the body, dot for the head

r

Down his back, then curl over his arm

n

Down Nobby and over his net.

j

Down his body, curl and dot

p

Down the plait and over the pirate’s face

v

Down a wing, up a wing

g

Round her face, down her hair and give her a curl

y

Down a horn up a horn and under his head

o

All around the orange

w

Down, up, down, up

c

Curl around the caterpillar

th

Down the tower, across the tower, then down the horses head to the hooves and over his back

k

Down the kangaroo’s body, tail and leg

z

Zig-zag-zig

n

Down and under, up to the top and draw the puddle

ch

Curl round the caterpillar, then go down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back

b

Down the laces to the heel, round the toe

 

 

 

 

 

 

LetterJoin Font Examples:

 

Letterjoin-Air:               abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

Letterjoin-Plus:            abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

Letterjoin Uppercase:    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Letterjoin Numbers:     1234567890

 

 

 

 


 

Attendance

This week:

  • Class 2A ( Key Stage 1 ) - 98.9
  • Class 5B (KS2) - 99.6
  • School Total - 96.8

Previous week:

  • 2a - 98
  • Class 3A (KS2) - 98
  • School Total - 93.4
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