At William Stockton and Wimboldsley Federated Primary School, we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop our children’s love of reading, writing, drama and discussion. We want to create a curriculum that encourages our children to become enthusiastic and engaged with English.
When our children leave, we expect them to be avid readers, who read fluently and widely, and are able to express their preferences and opinions about the texts that they read. We want them to read for pleasure, having had access to a wide range of text types, genres and authors in order for them to make informed opinions about their favourites.
We want children who write with confidence and accuracy for a variety of purposes and audiences whilst developing their own individual flair. We want our children to write with grammatical accuracy and be able to apply spelling patterns correctly using a neat joined handwriting style. We aim to expose our children to a wide range of vocabulary so that they are able to decipher new words and use these when speaking and writing both formally and informally. We intend to create writers who can re-read, edit and improve their own writing. We aim for our children to apply all of these English skills to all areas of the curriculum.
We want our children to be equipped for the future with the tools and skills they need to participate fully as a member of society.
We believe our curriculum, which is based on encouraging the children to make links in their learning and to build powerful and meaningful schema, supports them in not only building a love of English but also supports them in knowing more and remembering more.
Our English lessons develop our children’s spoken language, reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary. In order to help us develop confident, enthusiastic writers who can express themselves in a variety of different styles and across a variety of contexts, our teaching of writing is interconnected across the curriculum.
We want all of our children to become able writers - something that will help them greatly throughout their lives. In order to make their writing tasks relevant and meaningful, we link writing across the curriculum. This enables the children to experience several different types of writing in a way that they can relate to. Fiction, non-fiction and poetry are all covered where appropriate with children learning the features of each different type of writing - from a formal letter to a newspaper report; an advert for Rightmove to a descriptive setting; a play-script to a diary entry.
Writing is taught using modelled and shared writing. Sessions are not exclusively modelled or shared - teachers often mix it up. Planning, writing in action, drafting, re-drafting, editing and proof-reading make up our writing cycle. When delivering shared or modelled writes, teachers focus on specific areas and vocabulary choices. Teachers use their internal writer’s dialogue out loud and explain the reasons for their decisions. Spelling, grammar and punctuation sessions focus on key objectives as well as targeting areas for improvement which will then be embedded in the follow up pieces of writing. Handwriting is taught regularly and children are reminded about expectations in all areas of the curriculum.
Structured conversations take place in all lessons. Teachers are always on hand to give ‘green for growth’ advice and guidance; talking to the children individually about their work as they’re writing it, as well as being ready with their pink pens to ‘tickle pink’ the things they are most impressed with.
At William Stockton and Wimboldsley reading is valued, promoted and actively encouraged. We aim to create a thriving culture for reading.
Leading by example, adults throughout the school read a class text daily to their children. This immerses our children in literature and helps them develop an enthusiasm for reading, as well as improving their comprehension skills.
Reading for Pleasure (RFP) is a special time set aside each day where our children have time to read books they enjoy. During RFP, children read independently or with an adult. When reading with an adult, children work on their decoding, vocabulary and comprehension skills.
Every week, teachers recognise children’s efforts in class and at home, and award them with the honour of Star Reader.
Throughout the year, our children take part in, and celebrate: World Book Day, Poetry Days, Days dedicated to Authors and Stop, Drop and Read Days. We annually hold a Book Fair, and planned visits to the local library further promote and inspire our children’s passion for reading. Additionally, all classes have inviting reading areas with resources to make reading more comfortable and relaxed.
Our EYFS classrooms provide literacy rich environments with reading areas indoor and outdoor. Throughout the day, our children are encouraged to read. To develop an enthusiasm and love of reading we provide them with a wide range of resources such as: magazines, non-fiction, fiction, and decodable books.
From Nursery, we encourage parents and carers to read with their children every night at home and support us with our ‘love of reading’ In EYFS and KS1, all the children have a book bag and a reading record which we invite parents/carers to sign or make a comment. To help support our children’s reading at home, they take home a decodable reading book. The decodable books are carefully matched to the children’s ability, developing their phonic knowledge and providing them with opportunities to practise phonic skills which they have been taught in school. Children also take home a sharing book, that they can share with their family to help to develop a love of reading
Phonics is taught daily through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. It is a systematic, fast-paced approach to teaching phonics. This synthetic phonics program will provide a complete teaching programme meeting all the expectations of the National Curriculum, which will allow our children to go beyond the expectations of the Phonics Screening Check. Phonics will be taught through structured lessons and recapping throughout the day, extra sessions are quickly added for children that are identified as needing more practise. The children will be able to apply their phonics skills to reading decodable books.
Reading Practice Sessions allow children to apply the phonic skills that they have been taught. Here, they practise decoding, prosody (fluency and expression) and comprehension skills. These decodable books link to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Systematic, Synthetic Phonic scheme.
As pupils become fluent readers with a secure grasp of phonics and can decode well, children move onto guided reading sessions. Here, teachers set specific objectives for each lesson which are linked to high quality texts. The texts are chosen at an instructional level for the children. Reading sessions include the decoding of a text, critically evaluating it, reflecting on their responses and bringing prior knowledge to their understanding of the text. During these sessions, the children develop the skills of exploring vocabulary, retrieval, prediction, sequencing and inference. We also offer sharing books, for children to take home and share with their families. We aim to develop a love of reading by engaging children in a wide range of quality texts.
Writing is taught in daily sessions in line with the National Curriculum. High Quality texts are chosen as a stimulus to enthuse the children’s writing. Texts are chosen to link to learning in other areas of the curriculum and offer interconnectedness to their learning. Genres have been selected and will show progression throughout the key stage. Handwriting is taught regularly with children adopting a joined style as the complete KS1. Children will be able to write simple, coherent narratives about personal experiences and those of others (real or fictional). They will be able to write about real events, recording these simply and clearly. Spelling rules are taught weekly and children are encouraged to apply their phonic knowledge to spelling.
A love of reading can help children develop life-long skills that foster independence, self-confidence and a deeper understanding of the world around them. Because of this, we value the importance of Shared Reading.
Shared Reading enables all children, regardless of their reading ability, to have enjoyable and meaningful Literacy experiences every day. It allows all children to keep up, not catch up! Texts chosen are of a high quality and introduce children to a wide variety of authors and genres. Adults model good use of intonation, movement, volume and expression. When discussing literature, teachers model, and expect from the children, high quality responses with evidence.
- Provides enjoyable, successful experiences with print for all pupils
- Promotes the development of all aspects of the reading process
- Builds language skills and enhances vocabulary
- Provides opportunities to engage in expressive, meaningful, fluent reading
- Builds understanding of various types of texts, formats, and language structures
- Builds a community of readers
Shared Reading is an interactive read-aloud experience where adults support children in reading the book and conversing about it. Throughout the session, the adult explicitly models the skills of proficient readers, like reading with fluency and expression and using contextual cues like photos or illustrations to help make meaning from a text.
Through the teaching of Shared Reading, as part of a broad and balanced curriculum, we help our children build confidence and stamina as well as enthuse and engage them with the written word.
In KS2, each time the children finish a book, they take a quiz about it using the Accelerated Reader programme. After taking an initial ‘Star Reader Test’, each child is given a range of book levels to read, ensuring they are reading books which will improve their skills. Children can complete quizzes not just in school but also at home using their login details and the link below:
Children also use myON which allows them to read a range of books online which are all at their level and quizzable. Whilst using myON, children can read books or have books read to them at a higher level further immersing them in higher quality texts.
Each time they pass a quiz, the number of words in that book is added to their word count and the book is added to their bookshelf. Each quiz gets them closer to becoming a ‘word millionaire’. Classes compete against one another to see who can amass the greatest word count each week and these are shared with the whole school and community in our weekly assembly.
We want to ensure children not only acquire the appropriate age-related knowledge linked to the English curriculum, but also skills which equip them to progress from their starting points, and within their everyday lives.
Our pupils will:
- be confident in the art of speaking and listening and to be able to use discussion to communicate and further their learning
- be able to read fluently both for pleasure and to further their learning.
- enjoy writing across a range of genres
- be able to succeed in all English lessons because work will be appropriately scaffolded
- have a wide vocabulary and be adventurous with vocabulary choices within their writing
- have a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context and audience
- leave primary school being able to effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught
- make good and better progress from their starting points to achieve their full potential
The quality of writing in English is evaluated through precision teaching and work scrutinies. These inform future areas for improvement and the impact of new initiatives. The Communication team provides an action plan for the subject and addresses areas for development and improvement which is then shared with all staff.
We hope that as our children move on to further their education and learning, their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.