At Forest & Sandridge C.E. Primary we strive to help our children develop into articulate and imaginative communicators who are well-equipped with the basic skills they need to become motivated lifelong learners. English learning is key in this. We aim to ensure all our children develop a genuine love of language and the written word.
We have high expectations of all children and we are very proud of the creative and exciting opportunities we provide in order to scaffold English learning at every level. We are committed to providing a rich and engaging English curriculum that meets the needs of all learners and inspires children to become imaginative and effective writers and readers.
Careful links are made across the curriculum to ensure that children’s English learning is relevant and meaningful. It is important that we ensure children develop an understanding of how widely our English language is used in everyday life and, therefore, how important and useful the skills are that they are learning.
Our English curriculum is made up of several key elements. The sections below will provide more detailed information about children’s experience of English at Forest & Sandridge C.E. Primary School.The National Curriculum describes the English which must be taught in each Key Stage (Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2).
READING “To dream of afar, to chase a star, to believe in Captain Hook. To dance with bears and have no cares, this is the magic of a book.” H.L. Stephens At Forest & Sandridge C.E. Primary School we believe the ability to read is fundamental to children’s development as independent learners. Our Reading Aims
o To encourage children to become enthusiastic and reflective readers through contact with challenging and enriching texts.
o To read a wide variety of genres and text types in an exciting reading environment, which provides a good selection of appropriate reading material.
o To read with confidence, fluency and understanding, using a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct mistakes.
o To develop confident and independent readers by inspiring a love of literature and an enjoyment of reading for pleasure.
o To form early links with parents and to gain their support with their children’s language development
Good reading skills allow children to access all areas of the curriculum. In order to read across the curriculum with fluency, accuracy, understanding and enjoyment pupils need to use a range of strategies: drawing on knowledge of context and grammatical knowledge; applying phonic knowledge and skills; applying alphabet knowledge and developing word recognition. These are skills which the children are taught through English and Guided Reading sessions. Our main reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree although this is supplemented with other schemes to ensure a wide variety.
Guided Reading is an opportunity to develop and practise reading skills whilst engaging with a variety of texts. Working with groups of children, teachers support individuals’ growing skills using a balance of questioning and guidance to encourage fluency and comprehension of texts.
Key Stage 2 children pair up with Key Stage 1 children to have shared reading times to develop further their love and enjoyment of reading.
We have a well-stocked library including a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, which children have the opportunity to use during lessons and independently.Each class has timetabled use of the library to ensure that all children have access to it.
During the summer we have a lunch time library which is run by Year 6 children.
At Forest & Sandridge C.E. Primary School we use ‘Letters and Sounds’ (a programme developed as a result of the ‘Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading’) to support children’s phonological development. This is a six-phase systematic, synthetic phonics programme designed to help children become fluent readers by the age of seven. It focuses on teaching high quality phonics, using blending and segmentation techniques. This aims to teach the children the correspondences between sounds (phonemes) in spoken language and letters (graphemes) in written language. These correspondences help the children to read and spell words.
We use ‘Jolly Phonics’ as a vehicle for making our Phonics teaching fun and memorable. This is a child-centred multi-sensory approach to teaching each of the 42 letter sounds. Each sound has a fun story and an action to support children to embed new learning and apply this knowledge in reading and writing.
KEY WORDS AND SPELLINGS
High frequency words are the words that appear most often in printed materials. Some of the high frequency words are called 'tricky words' because the children are unable to use their phonic knowledge to decode every part of the word.
Learning to recognise the high frequency words on sight is crucial in developing fluency and accuracy in reading and then writing. At Forest & Sandridge C.E. Primary School we are committed to supporting the children learn to read and then spell these words.
Once children are confident with reading and spelling high-frequency words, they are taught spelling rules and are encouraged to apply these rules in their writing. Key words and spellings are usually tested weekly in school.
Our writing aims:
· Write for a variety of readers.
· See themselves as real writers.
· Acquire the ability to organise and plan their written work.
· See writing as an interesting and enjoyable process.
· Take ownership of their writing.
As well as reading in a wide-variety of genres, children are given frequent opportunities to develop their skills in writing in different genres. These skills develop as they move through the school. They begin as mark-making and emergent writing in the Early Years and progress to writing sentences, paragraphs, developing their use of grammar and punctuation and their use of language to engage, excite and influence.
All children take part in The Big Write 12 times per year where they are given the opportunity to put their writing skills into practice through an extended piece of writing. These sessions are carefully planned and scaffolded, where necessary, by the teacher. Big Write pieces of writing are kept in a single book which moves through the school with each child and shows their progress in writing very clearly.
We teach children to join their writing in a cursive script throughout the school. Cursive letters all start from the same place and flow from left to right. Children are taught to form each letter with a ligature (lead-in) and each of the four different types of joins.
ROLE PLAY AND DRAMA
At Forest & Sandridge C.E. Primary School we value drama techniques as a core part of the Literacy Curriculum. Children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 learn a great deal through regular role play. This continues through the school as, where appropriate, children engage in drama activities to provide purpose for reading and writing and to develop speaking and listening skills. The whole school takes part in annual school productions to further reinforce this.
Forest & Sandridge School is well-resourced to support children with all aspects of their English learning. We have an extensive collection of quality texts for children to read and enjoy and a wealth of other resources to make learning in English fun and engaging. Children use laptops and classmates to explore digital texts and to write for purpose. We also have a range of other digital devices that we use to enhance the English curriculum such as video cameras, recordable microphones and audio devices.