Children will experience an English-focused lesson daily. This may be through the explicit teaching of particular elements or discretely through topic-based work (such as History, Geography or Science). Children are given regular opportunities to apply the skills that they have acquired within English lessons within a different context.
Writing is taught using the Talk For Writing approach. Talk for Writing is powerful because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version. To find out more about the strategy, follow this link to the Talk for Writing website.
Writing is taught through units of work lasting approximately three weeks. During the term children will experience fiction and non-fiction texts, and poetry may be taught as part of the unit, or as a separate unit of work. A variety of writing opportunities will be planned to allow children to practise and apply skills they have learnt.
Phonics is taught daily in Reception and KS1. We currently follow Letters and Sounds and have introduced the new elements from Curriculum 2014. However, during Autumn 2021, all staff are undergoing training in the Little Wandle programme (a validated producer) to meet the new requirements set out in 2021.
In KS2, spelling is taught in a number of short sessions each week, using the No Nonsense Spelling programme. This programme follows the 'Revise, Teach, Practise, Apply/Assess' that the children are familiar with from Reception and KS1. This follows the Statutory Guidance as set out Curriculum 2014.
Grammar and Punctuation
Grammar and Punctuation is taught in both explicit and discrete sessions. The basis of teaching is delivered through No Nonsense Grammar. Where possible, this is complimented through the context of the text used in the English unit of work . Each year group follows the Statutory Guidance as set out Curriculum 2014.
We promote reading for purpose and pleasure, and reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Children are read to regularly in class, and in this way, are introduced to a variety of authors and quality texts.
The children will experience different kinds of reading experiences:
Whole Class Reading the whole class together, reading, enjoying and discussing the text (each child with a copy of the text);
Shared Reading the teacher shares a book with the class;
Paired or Individual Reading in English and across the curriculum.
Progression in Reading
Children in Reception begin to read Phonically Decodeable Books (linked to the phonics phase they have learnt) and Book Band books. They develop through these until they are secure with decoding and understanding. The teacher regularly assesses the children through Running Records to determine when they are ready for the next band. Where children have difficulty progressing, we have Teaching Assistants who are trained in the FFT and Switch-On interventions, who work on a 1:1 basis with the children, until they have reached age related expectations. Children may also be involved in Catch Up Phonics interventions to support decoding and smooth reading.
At Stenson Fields we have a well-stocked Library, which extends to book corners in each classroom. We have a computerised Library System, which reflects the real-life borrowing in our local libraries. The children change their Library books weekly, and are encouraged to choose books which they can read independently, or with an adult.
Children are encouraged to read for at least 10 minutes every night at home, and record this in a Reading Diary (from Foundation Stage through to Lower KS2) or their Diary (UKS2) , which promotes home/school links.
Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. Children are taught to contribute in different situations, and are encouraged to listen and respond appropriately to their peers and adults. Opportunities for quality talk are planned into English lessons and other areas of the curriculum.
All children are introduced to a cursive script which has entry points on the line. We believe this develops confidence, accuracy, fluency and presentation when writing. Handwriting is taught in discrete sessions, and when the basic patterns have been learnt, handwriting practice may link to spelling.