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Proud to be part of the Elevate Multi Academy Trust

English

 

Writing is an inspiring and creative subject, which engages and encourages children to write for relevant and meaningful purposes. Our core text approach provides children with the knowledge and enriched vocabulary to produce beautifully published writing of a consistently high standard.  

In Writing, our intent is to: 

  • Provide a clear sequence, building on children’s prior knowledge and skills, and making meaningful connections with reading.  
  • Develop a love for writing with a sense of pride when children publish their work 
  • Teach national curriculum objectives in meaningful and inspiring ways  
  • Children to write in a range of styles and genres 
  • Use a consistent approach to teaching spelling  

 

Our English approach is implemented through carefully chosen, quality texts that inspire us as teachers, enthuse our children and stretch their learning. In writing, we follow the CCC’s Collect, Connect and Create approach and have the highest expectations of children's learning. 

When we are focusing on the ‘Collect’ stage, we ponder and predict what might happen in the story, analyse WAGOLL’s for word, sentence and organisational features as well as collect high quality vocabulary from the text in which the children can utilise in their own writing. Teacher's use creative and innovative methods and resources to inspire children.

In the ‘Connect’ stage of our learning, we use the collected vocabulary and model it into sentences including grammar skills from the national curriculum. We also develop ideas by manipulating sentence structures, constructing paragraphs and use higher-level punctuation.  

In the ‘Create’ stage of their learning, we draft sections or paragraphs of text using writing skills checklist and then edit and improve these pieces of writing before publishing a final piece for their intended purpose and audience. This produces a high quality published piece of writing with all feedback embedded. Children’s writing opportunities are carefully thought out to make a positive impact on transforming our world and sharing our core values with our local and global community.  

The importance of nurture and relationships allow teachers to ‘challenge’ children by giving them immediate, direct feedback. We put great emphasis on children taking pride in their writing and having a critical, editorial eye to create the best work they can.  

The teaching of the statutory spelling rules are implemented through a range of strategies that include phonology (how it sounds), graphology (writing the word), orthography (how it looks), morphology (how your brain remembers it) and etymology (history of the word). 

In EYFS, well-sequenced phonics teaching supports letter formation and spelling of words. We follow letters and sounds and writing is an important and valued part of each phonics session.  In the early stages of EYFS mark making is valued and writing is implemented in the moment, engaging children in purposeful writing through their play. Adult modelling is key to children segmenting words accurately and forming letters correctly. Environment enhancements always include chances for writing to encourage learning and opportunities to meet individual children’s needs. 

 

The impact of our writing approach is that children are confident, enthusiastic writers who recognise how writing can impact on people’s lives.  In addition, writing results over recent years, across school, have always been above the national average. In 2019 91% of children achieved Age Related Expectation (ARE) in writing and 42% of children achieved Greater Depth (GD). Writing progress has been in the top 20% for at least two years. In year 6, 88% of children achieved ARE in writing and 44% of children achieved GD which are both significantly higher than national average. 

 

Reading

 

Reading is integral to every part of our curriculum. Children have exposure to a wealth of high-quality texts, feeding their imagination and instilling a lifelong love of reading.  

The intent behind our approach to Reading is to: 

  • Promote a love of reading  
  • Ensure that every child learns to read to a high standard of fluency and understanding, regardless of their background, needs or prior attainment 
  • Close the ‘word gap’ by expanding pupils' vocabulary and deepen their understanding of the texts they are reading 

Reading is implemented through a holistic approach, whereby children are reading across the curriculum.  Children read every day, with the opportunity to read individually, in pairs and in small groups as part of a whole class session. Through our daily Whole Class Reading sequence, children answer comprehension questions, linked to the reading domains, which require them to think deeply and connect their thinking to evidence from the text. Children have a broad reading diet, and are exposed to many genres and a range of authors both 'Old and Gold' and 'New and Bold'. There are daily opportunities for teachers to model reading, which gives the children opportunity to understand what is being read as well as listen to excellent use of expression and intonation. 

The ongoing assessment of children’s reading progress is sufficiently frequent and detailed to identify any pupil who is falling behind. Where a child falls behind, targeted support is given immediately in line with our ‘Keep up, not catch up’ policy. 

To develop pupils’ understanding and use of spoken language: Pupils’ vocabulary, grammar, understanding of the world, and their ability to communicate effectively are improved through the quality and variety of language they are exposed to through; unpicking key vocabulary from a quality text with a heavy emphasis on revisiting unfamiliar vocabulary daily.

In EYFS, reading is a priority. We focus on developing fluency, confidence and enjoyment of reading. Adults will consistently model language, vocabulary and syntax both from books and stories, as well as throughout the day in play through our in the moment approach to teaching and learning.  EYFS and KS1 have daily 20 minute storytelling time where children explore books and create their own narratives. 

Teachers encourage reading for pleasure by:

  • Reading out loud to children at least once a day
  • Providing time and space for children to share their recommendations and opinions
  • Using Winnston our library bus to explore a variety of texts 
  • Encouraging reading at home. Children take home books that closely match the letter-sound correspondences, but also are also able to take home a ‘reading for pleasure’ book from our Library bus and have use of 'Bug Club'.
  • Developing children’s rich ‘reading diet’ and knowledge of literature. Children are given the opportunity to personally respond to texts, debating and developing links to other texts, authors and prior knowledge. 
  • Saturday Bedtime Story Videos
  • Termly 'Reading Cafes' and community engagement
  • Using Reading Corners linked to our core text
  • Children reading with our therapy dogs Zeke and Tala   

The impact of our approach to Reading is that children are excited to read and frequently recommend and talk about their favourite authors and texts. In 2019 89% of children in school achieved Age Related Expectation (ARE) in reading and 50% of children achieved Greater Depth (GD). In year 6, 73% of children achieved ARE (three pupils did not meet expected standard) in reading and 36% of children achieved GD. 

 

Phonics

 

All teachers have the highest expectation that children will become proficient readers by the end of Key Stage 1 through our systematic, consistent implementation of our chosen phonic programme.  

The intent behind our phonics approach is to: 

  • Deliver a high-quality systematic synthetic phonics programme of proven effectiveness is followed with rigour and fidelity so that children are taught consistently to use phonics as the route to reading unknown words. 
  • Ensure pace of the phonics programme is maintained so that children become fluent, independent readers by the end of year 1.  
  • Ensure children’s reading books show a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge that match the grapheme-phoneme correspondences they know to support decoding skills.  

Phonics is implemented through the Letters and Sounds programme. The programme begins as children enter Reception; with the expectation that they will be fluent readers having secured word recognition skills by the end of key stage one.  

  • We ensure the teaching of phonics is systematic and consistent across school. The lessons are always taught at a fast pace to ensure children are highly engaged for the sessions. 
  • Teaching extends beyond ‘dedicated time’ and is applied and reinforced when appropriate throughout day. Teaching of the programme is not necessarily limited to former NLS ’20 minutes’ and is evident across all curriculum areas and in EYFS/KS1 provision.  
  • Children’s decodable reading books are carefully matched to their phonic knowledge and which do not require use of alternative strategies. These books are organised in the given sequence in our chosen SSP programme i.e. reading books build letter-sound correspondences cumulatively, therefore children’s reading books are fully decodable at child’s current level to aid fluency.  
  • Parents are helped to know how best to support children in learning sounds through our phonics workshops throughout the year. 
  • Reading at home is strongly promoted; through our reading raffle incentive. Teachers ensure that children understand how to work appropriately with decodable books and with shared texts.

Phonics is taught in a whole class approach. Any gaps in knowledge are addressed through 5-minute boxes (additional to whole class phonics sessions) from the start of the year in order for children to ‘keep up’ with their peers. Therefore, the children then move through the phase groups as one group together, Regular progress meetings are held with all reading teachers in KS1 to monitor  children making slowest progress.  Children in danger of falling behind, or who are working under expected levels (lower 20%), are swiftly identified and enough additional support provided to enable them to keep up. 

The impact of our consistent and systematic teaching of our phonics programme is that children become fluent readers by the age of KS1. In addition, our Phonics Screening data was 91% in 2019.

 

Here's what our children say:

"Our Reading corners are always different and epic! " Isabella, Year 6

"I love publishing my work and having it displayed" Toby, Year 6

"Reading is part of every day. We get to read our favourite books and try new ones too!". Olivia, Year 6