At Hartburn Primary School we recognise the importance of language in the social, emotional and intellectual development of children. We aim to develop pupils’ abilities within an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing. Pupils will be given opportunities to interrelate the requirements of English within a broad and balanced curriculum. Opportunities will be given to consolidate and practise ‘taught‘ English skills in cross curricular activities.
Children enter school with varying levels of language skills. We extend and develop these skills providing them with a variety of rich, language experiences. We recognise the need for differentiation and progression in the tasks we set in order to enable each child to develop its potential to the highest degree possible.
All English teaching will contribute to skill development in the following areas:
Speaking and Listening
We aim that children will:
- Think critically and logically.
- Learn to use the vocabulary and grammar of standard English.
- Adapt their speech to a widening range of purposes and audiences.
- Express and justify their feelings and opinions with increasing clarity and effectiveness and respect the opinions of others.
- Develop skills of oracy giving the children confidence and understanding, equipping them for work and leisure.
- Order thoughts and express them clearly.
We aim that children will:
- Read and write with confidence, fluency, understanding and for enjoyment.
- Use reference materials (including online material) with confidence and for a range of purposes.
- Have experience of group, shared and individual reading.
- Develop imagination and critical awareness through reading the best examples of traditional and modern literature.
- Develop the skill of silent reading.
- Have an interest in books and read for enjoyment, to gather information or as a tool for providing them with a wealth of texts and story patterns for their own writing.
- Be able to use a full range of reading strategies e.g. phonics, word recognition, graphic knowledge, picture and context clues and higher order reading skills.
We aim that children will:
- Develop a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms and have an interest in words and their meanings.
- To develop a fluid and well formed Hartburn Handwriting.
- Have knowledge of the work of a range of authors, poets and playwrights.
- Write extended pieces of text.
- Produce independent pieces of writing using correct punctuation and sentence construction.
- Have a suitable technical vocabulary to articulate their responses.
- Be developing the powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness.
- Understand a range of text types and genres – be able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation and for a specific audience.
Speaking and Listening
- A variety of speaking and listening activities are planned, giving children opportunities to communicate their ideas to a variety of audiences.
- Within the Early Years Foundation Stage adults work to model ‘speaking and listening’ in the continuous provision.
- Drama activities such as ‘hot seating’ are also used to promote discussion about characters and story events.
- Children are encouraged to discuss their work and understanding during the plenary session.
- Various events throughout the year are organised where children are given opportunities to speak to a larger audience. Children aspire to be in our Hartburn Debate Team.
- Planning of speaking and listening skill development is achieved with the aid of the Speaking and Listening key objectives in the National Curriculum and also through The Skills Builder Partnership Framework.
- Children across school have access to a home loan scheme for borrowing books.
- All children have school book bags in which to take home their reading books and reading records.
- The core school reading schemes are Jolly Phonics Readers and Oxford Reading Tree. We also have a wide range of reading material from a selection of other authors, in school and class libraries.
- A selection of online books are also available to children through Oxford Owl.
- As children progress through early reading decodable texts and their reading becomes increasingly fluent, there are a wealth of free-choice books that can extend and challenge the more able.
- Each child has a stage specific reading record in which teachers and parents write comments. This acts as a home-school dialogue to support children’s reading progress.
- Phonics is taught daily (5 x 20 min sessions per week) in Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and some children in Key Stage 2 where appropriate, through the Jolly Phonics programme.
- In Early Years and KS1, ‘Booktalk’ occurs on a daily basis. During this time, children will develop their confidence to offer ideas and then reshape them in the light of other contributions. Children learn to trust their own ideas and interpretations, to talk effectively about a book, deepening their understanding, shifting their ideas, thinking together as a group and moving comprehension forwards.
- In KS2 (and Year 2 from Summer term), a reading focussed lesson occurs on a daily basis using the John Murray layered approach. During this lesson, focusing on specific Year group objectives, teachers will challenge children of all abilities to improve their prediction, clarification, inference, analysis, and summarising skills. Children will orientate themselves with a text, before focusing on vocabulary, higher order reading skills, question types and academic language.
- Each class will study a class text each half term and ‘Book talk’ will continue throughout KS2.
- Reading Plus is used to deliver a personalised reading approach to children in Y5 and Y6. Reading Plus is an online Reading system that allows children to develop word reading speed, vocabulary, inference and comprehension skills. The system challenges children at their level and is able to challenge the more able up to GCSE level.
- Each classroom promotes reading through a class reading area. Children have a range of books to choose from that will promote a pleasure for reading. Topic books are also displayed and can be freely accessed by the children.
- A Hartburn Reading Spine (see appendix) influenced by ‘Reading Reconsidered’ by Doug Lemov gives each year group teacher a selection of books to read and share with the children. These books are chosen in accordance with the five types of texts that children should have access to in order to successfully navigate reading with confidence. The explore archaic language, non-linear time sequences, narrative complexity, figurative/symbolic texts and resistant texts.
- Children are encouraged to write from entry into the Early Years Foundation Stage. Staff use ‘Launchpad to Literacy’ to promote fine and gross motor skills.
- The PRST Early Learning Goals progression document is also used to inform planning and teaching.
- As part of writing development, children are expected to develop a clear, fluent and legible joined handwriting style. In Early Years children are taught the principles of letter formation using a Hartburn Handwriting Mantra. The school then continues this development of a cursive style of handwriting. Children are awarded a Handwriting pen, when they can evidence consistent use of Hartburn Handwriting across the curriculum.
- Spellings are sent home weekly from Y1 to Y6. The accurate spelling of high frequency words is seen as a priority. Spelling shed is a purchased scheme that supports teachers and children. The children can play spelling -style games whilst adults have access to a range of resources.
- Each classroom has a selection of dictionaries and thesaurus’ selected to meet the needs of that particular year group.
- The composition of writing is taught through analysis of high quality texts, to establish features of a particular genre. A progression document for both narrative and non-narrative writing outlines expectations for each year group. (See appendices)
- Daily modelling from the teacher using ‘My go, Your go’ demonstrates accurate grammar and aspirational vocabulary and appropriate Alan Peat sentence types.
- Each classroom English Working Wall will display current material to support the genre. This will include a T.A.P.S display highlighting the Task, Audience, Purpose and Style of the chosen genre.
- Each classroom from Y1-Y6 will promote ambitious vocabulary on the working wall and a word of the week will be explored through ‘Vocab Ninja’
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills.
With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children become more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching focuses on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
Termly assessments show that the majority of children at Hartburn Primary School achieve age-related expectations, with some achieving greater depth in reading and writing at the end of KS1 and KS2.
All aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing show consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives.
We hope that as children move on from Hartburn Primary School to further their education and learning, that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.