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St Elisabeth's CE Primary School

St Elisabeth's CE Primary School

English

English

English is a core subject and the school follows the statutory requirements for the teaching and learning of writing as set out in the National Curriculum. At St Elisabeth's we value the importance of language and children are given the opportunity and encouragement to take part in a variety of activities as part of the new English curriculum. This enables them to develop their reading and writing skills with confidence and a sense of achievement.

Writing

Writing is an important focus at St Elisabeth's Primary School and we ensure it is incorporated across the whole curriculum. We aim to provide a purpose for writing and make topics fun, engaging and inspirational to promote a love for learning. Children are encouraged to not only write to the best of their ability, but also to independently improve and edit their own and other's work.

The children have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of texts to support and enhance their learning. These have been carefully chosen so that the children's progress is structured and appropriate to their ability. A wide range of fiction and non-fiction books are used to develop children's understanding of a range of genres. All aspects of literacy are developed including phonics, comprehension skills, writing, speaking and listening and drama. Where possible these are linked to cross curricular topics.. 

Writing is assessed each half term and the judgements are moderated frequently to ensure that judgements are accurate.

Intent – why we teach what we teach
At St Elisabeth’s CE, we want to instil a love of writing in the children we teach so that they are motivated and enthused to write for a range of purposes and audiences. We provide a writing curriculum that provides children with the opportunity to develop their writing stamina and express their ideas. They will be equipped to:

·         write cohesively and coherently across a range of different genres

·         express their ideas creatively

·         use appropriate and ambitious vocabulary

·         understand how to use and apply a range of grammatical structures

·         accurately use age-appropriate punctuation

·         use spelling strategies

·         use consistent letter formation with appropriate sizing that leads to high quality presentation

We believe that it is important that pupils can communicate their ideas clearly in their writing but also orally. They will often participate in group activities (including role play and other drama activities) to share ideas and explore language choices. They are also encouraged to read their work aloud with appropriate expression and evaluate its impact.

As part of the writing process, children are taught how to analyse texts, plan, revise and evaluate their work. We place emphasis on reading and checking work carefully for errors (age-appropriately). We want pupils to be able to recognise spelling and punctuation errors and edit these where appropriate. If children are able to do this, they are developing their independence and confidence in writing.

Implementation – how we teach what we teach
In EYFS, writing is taught as part of the topic through shared and guided sessions and then children apply these skills in the learning areas both indoors and outdoors.

In Years 1-6 writing is taught through the Read to write Units. Two pieces of writing are taught half-termly covering a range of purposes (persuade, inform and entertain), different perspectives and for a range of audiences. To ensure that pupils are equipped with the grammatical skills to create these pieces of writing, there are daily Grammar and Punctuation lessons which focus on objectives linked to the genre of writing whenever possible.  As a school we use the PenPals Handwriting Scheme to ensure a consistent handwriting style is taught and used.

Furthermore, EYFS and KS1 follow the Letters and Sounds programme for phonics and KS1 have weekly spelling tests based on this. In KS2, there is a weekly spelling session in which a specific spelling pattern is taught, practised and applied using Rising Stars materials.  This is further supported by daily spelling activities and links to the twice weekly handwriting lessons.  For pupils who have a particular difficulty with writing, interventions and narrowing the gap work is carried out to ensure that they are supported.

In addition to the writing lessons, children are encouraged to apply these skills and understanding to their writing in other subjects too. This enables children to utilise the knowledge which other subjects offer whilst still applying their writing skills.

Impact – how we measure what we teach
The impact of this writing curriculum is that children will be confident, fluent writers who enjoy expressing their ideas. Consequently, this will enable them to write for a range of purposes and audiences in their future lives. Every half term, class teachers assess each child against the year group’s writing objectives. In addition to this, pupils will complete termly assessments for spelling, punctuation and grammar.

The final teacher’s assessment of writing is reported on formally to parents at the end of each academic year.  The progress of each child will be tracked throughout their time at St Elisabeth’s CE Primary.

 

Reading

Daily guided reading sessions provide regular opportunities for children to practice and develop their skills. Reading in school is supported by home reading. Every child has a reading record that teachers, parents and carers are expected to sign as a record of the child’s reading behaviours and experiences.

We use a combination of reading schemes to promote independent reading.  These provide a variety of fiction and non–fiction books and extend reading phonetically. Children learn to read at different rates and it is important that children can talk about what they have read. Once they finish the reading scheme, we encourage them to become ‘free readers’ and choose their own books.

Key Stage Two are taught to read using a range of strategies and they continue with the structured phonics programme. We supplement the reading schemes with a wide range of diverse fiction, non-fiction and poetry including classic children’s literature.

Intent – why we teach what we teach

We provide a reading curriculum that gives children an opportunity to enjoy and engage with books from a range of authors and genres. Through reading we give children a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually socially and spiritually. Literature, especially plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. The skill of reading helps pupils to participate fully as a member of society.

During their time at St Elisabeth’s CE, we believe that children should have a range of opportunities to develop. their reading skills. Consequently, the children will have the opportunity to become increasingly proficient and confident at:

  • Reading easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • Develop appropriate reading skills such as inference, skimming and scanning and summarising.
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for pleasure and information.
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading.
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • Use discussion about texts in order to learn: they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.

Implementation – how we teach what we teach

At St Elisabeth’s CE reading in EYFS is taught through the Reading early learning goal.  Children have the opportunity to read through daily shared and guided reading sessions as well as participating in reading activities in the learning areas both indoors and out.

In Key Stage 1, children participate in daily reading activities through guided and shared reading and activities on the reading carousel. The children also develop written comprehension skills.

In Key Stage 2, children continue with guided reading taught in differentiated groups and shared reading as a whole class, together with comprehension work in.  All KS2 children continue to receive opportunities for independent and shared reading through daily literacy activities.

 In Nursery, children take home a weekly library book to share with an adult and if appropriate a home/school reading book. From Reception to Year 6  follow the book banding system and take books home weekly that are closely correlated to  their guided reading band.

Impact – how we measure what we teach

The impact of this reading curriculum is that children will be literate, their lives will be enriched and they will be inspired to further explore the world of books and the creative and informative opportunities that this offers. The children’s learning in reading is assessed each half term  using the National Curriculum from Year 1 to 6 and using ELG in EYFS. This is reported formally to parents at the end of each academic year. The progress of each child will be tracked throughout their time at St. Elisabeth’s CE Primary.