1. Overview

This policy describes our intention when teaching the English curriculum and documents how we implement this curriculum through our teaching of reading, writing, grammar and spoken language. The policy is defined by current national guidance on best practice, professional judgement, staff discussion and the unique needs and context of our school.

2. English Curriculum Intent

When teaching the English curriculum at Carleton Endowed Primary School we strive to ensure that all learners acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and values to become confident readers, effective communicators and lifelong learners. The English curriculum is designed to provide pupils with creative and engaging writing, reading and speaking and listening opportunities so that they are successfully prepared for life in the modern world. Reading forms the core of our curriculum and it is our intention to foster a ‘passion for reading’ culture throughout the school. We support pupils to explore a diverse range of reading materials in our classrooms and a celebration of literature and the enjoyment of reading is equally embedded in our wider school environment and our school routines. The following statements therefore represent the key intentions that drive forward our English curriculum.

Our Intentions:

  • To promote a culture and love for reading to all pupils
  • To ensure that every child becomes a motivated reader, writer and confident speaker by the time they leave Carleton Endowed CE (VA) Primary School
  • To deliver a progressive English curriculum which teaches knowledge and skills 3. English Curriculum

Implementation

Our English curriculum incorporates the use of high-quality literature texts which are tailored to the needs and context of the learners in the school. Through these texts, we provide opportunities to teach key reading strategies and comprehension skills and develop grammar, spelling and punctuation knowledge. In addition, these texts enable us to explore the structure and features of different genres and to teach children the craft of writing by focusing on their ability to plan, write and edit their own pieces of writing. Strategic planning against age related expectations, the unique need of learners and the teaching of other subjects ensures that our English curriculum is not only well-balanced and progressive but also purposeful and stimulating for all of our children. The policy will now document a detailed description of the implementation of the key components of the English curriculum.

Phonics

The ability and desire to read is a fundamental tool, not only for communication, but to give children an understanding of the structure and devices used in language. It is therefore important for us to ensure that children become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. We endeavor to achieve this through the systematic teaching of Phonics in Early Years and Key Stage One.

How is this implemented at Carleton Endowed CE (VA) Primary School?

  • Early years and Key Stage One phonics lessons are taught using the Letters and Sounds phonics programme and the children engage in lively and interactive teaching activities.
  • Phonics is taught daily for around 20 minutes.
  • Children are grouped and regularly assessed in their phonics ability to ensure great flexibility in groupings.

Children in Year two who did not pass the Year one phonics screening test will receive small group phonics intervention. These pupils will then retake the test in the spring term in Year two.

Reading

A love and enthusiasm for reading is something we greatly cherish at our school and is continuously promoted through the use of high-quality literature in the classroom and a culture of ‘reading for pleasure’ in our school environment and school events. In addition, we place great value on the teaching of reading skills so that they have the tools to become readers both today and tomorrow. As children begin to read, we focus on decoding through the use of phonics and other strategies such as whole word reading. When fluency develops in our pupils, we then focus on developing their comprehension skills by working on skills such as prediction and inference.

How is this implemented at Carleton Endowed CE (VA) Primary School?

Early Years:

  • We introduce children to the conventions of books: reading from left to right, turning pages and identifying particular features of books.
  • The class teacher links a focus text to the classroom topic and then carefully plans around the chosen text to ensure pupils are exposed to a range of high-quality texts.
  • The class teacher delivers a meeting for Reception children’s parents in the autumn term to explain the implementation of phonics and our reading scheme.
  • Pupils are provided with an individual reading book to share at home. Alongside this book, pupils have a reading record which enables the class teacher to see the reading taking place outside of school. Class teacher’s carefully monitor the children’s reading at home.

Key Stage One:

  • All English units of work are based around a particular quality text and the teachers connect the necessary age -related knowledge and skills to be taught to this text.
  • Each week pupils participate in structured guided reading groups and a whole class discrete guided reading lesson.
  • Children receive individual reading sessions each week.
  • Pupils are provided with an individual reading book to share at home. Alongside this book, pupils have a reading record which enables the class teacher to see the reading taking place outside of school. Class teachers carefully monitor the children’s reading at home.

Key Stage Two:

  • All English units of work are based around a particular quality text and the teachers connect the necessary age-related knowledge and skills to be taught to this text.
  • Each week pupils participate in structured guided reading groups and a whole class discrete guided reading lesson.
  • Children receive individual reading sessions each week.
  • Pupils are provided with an individual reading book to share at home. Alongside this book, pupils have a reading record which enables the class teacher to see the reading taking place outside of school. Class teachers carefully monitor the children’s reading at home. When pupils have demonstrated a strong understanding and ability to read and have progressed through our series of book bands, they become ‘free readers’ in Key Stage Two.

    Whole School Strategies to implement our ‘love of reading’ culture:

  • We read across the curriculum: topic books, news articles, magazines, leaflets
  • We do storytelling and role play stories through drama
  • We invite story tellers and authors to school
  • We have a Book Fair twice a year
  • We take part in the National Summer Reading Challenge
  • We celebrate World Book Day
  • We share a story in class everyday at 3pm
  • We have strong links with Skipton library and classes visit regularly
  • Reading Buddies meet every Friday DEAR (Drop Everything and Read)
  • Children and parent book swaps
  • Reading displays throughout school and book areas in classrooms
  • Book club
  • Parents invited to school during ‘World Book Day’- Reading Café?
  • Children take home books for pleasure from school library
  • Whole school reading initiative linked to reading records

Speaking and Listening

Speaking and listening form the foundations of all learning in English so we consequently place great emphasis on children developing and applying these skills through both formal and informal learning activities.

How is this implemented at Carleton Endowed CE (VA) Primary School?

  • Asking and answering questions.
  • Presenting in-front of an audience.
  • Reciting and reading aloud.
  • Re-telling, role-play, hot seating and drama activities.
  • Listening to and participating in stories, poems, rhymes and songs.
  • Talking the text – opportunities for children to talk about and discuss their reading and writing.
  • Debates.
  • Collaborative group tasks and reporting back following group work.

Writing

We aim to develop children’s ability to produce well-structured, detailed and creative writing and strive to create an environment that promotes writing. Writing across the school is linked to and planned around our exploration of a specific fiction or non-fiction text so that pupils have a clear stimulus and purpose for their writing. From this stimulus, the teachers carefully plan a sequence of phases of learning to teach the craft of writing. These phases of learning involve the stages of exploring the writing stimulus, modelling and imitating, planning, drafting and then editing and improving.

How is this implemented at Carleton Endowed CE (VA) Primary School?

  • Teachers use a Progression through the genres document to support their planning and ensure that there is coverage and progression in the writing skills taught throughout the school.
  • A clear purpose and audience for each piece of writing is decided from the outset through targeted success criteria.
  • Writing is displayed all over the school on writing displays.
  • Teachers provide regular helpful feedback through marking.
  • Time is planned into lessons for children to respond to marking and feedback.
  • Writing might be linked to class topics or hooks, such as school trips, to further promote engagement
  • Stamina for writing is developed by providing opportunities to write for extended periods. Pupils participate in two pieces of extended writing every half term. This independent work is recorded in pupils’ Writing Portfolios and is assessed against the school’s writing assessment grid.
  • Some pieces will be ‘published’ i.e. re-drafted in neat and displayed on classroom displays.
  • Peer marking is encouraged as an additional way for children to respond to writing.
  • Self-assessment is encouraged through a traffic light system.

Spelling

Being able to spell is critical for empowering children to be confident writers. At Carleton Endowed CE (VA) Primary School spelling is taught regularly in discrete sessions in each class. Each year group has a set of spellings sent home for the children to learn as part of their homework. Children are then tested on these words in a weekly spelling test.

How is this implemented at Carleton Endowed CE (VA) Primary School?

  • Reception and Year One are taught new spellings through their Phonics lessons. These are linked to 2014 National Curriculum and the Key Stage 1 common exception words.
  • From Year One, children are actively encouraged and taught to proof read their writing for spelling errors.
  • From Year two upwards, children follow the RWI spelling programme and have 4 x 15 minute spelling lessons each week.
  • Children learn spellings for weekly spelling tests and progress is tracked on a class spelling record grid.

Spelling lists sent home are developed from the guidance in the 2014 National Curriculum.

Handwriting

In addition to teaching pupils to write fluently, we place great importance on supporting pupils to form their letters accurately and write legibly. In the early years there is a big emphasis upon fine motor skills and we use a range of resources to practise these basic skills. This moves into correct letter formation with a focus on both upper and lower case letters.

How is this implemented at Carleton Endowed CE (VA) Primary School?

  • In Reception children are encouraged to print their letters in order to secure their fine motor skills and letter formation before Key Stage One.
  • From Year one upwards we use the continuous cursive scheme to teach handwriting. This links links handwriting to common spelling patterns and teaches handwriting joins.
  • Handwriting is taught in short, frequent sessions over a week– at least 3 X 10 minutes each week.
  • We encourage children to join their writing as soon as they are forming their letters correctly.
  • Children are reminded about correct posture and how to hold a pen or pencil within their handwriting sessions.
  • Extra handwriting groups are delivered by the Intervention manager and occur in classes throughout the school where additional handwriting support is needed.
  • High expectations for handwriting are upheld by both pupils and staff throughout the school. Grammar and Punctuation

    Young readers and writers need to know about how language is organized and how to punctuate sentences in order to make meaning and communicate effectively. In our school, grammar and punctuation knowledge is developed through discrete SPAG lessons as well as being embedded into our daily English lessons.

    How is this implemented at Carleton Endowed CE (VA) Primary School?

  • In Reception, there is a strong focus on pupils learning the basics of sentence construction including full stops and capital letters.
  • From Year one upwards, we follow the 2014 National Curriculum guidance as to what is being taught in each year group.
  • Grammar and punctuation knowledge is developed in daily English lessons and teachers also use Schofield and Sims Grammar books to support their delivery of regular discrete grammar lessons.

    4. English Curriculum Impact

    We endeavor to ensure that all children achieve their maximum potential regarding their attainment in English. At a classroom level, below are the assessment arrangements we carry out to help ensure all learners achieve their maximum potential.

    English Assessment Arrangements at Carleton Endowed CE (VA) Primary School Reading

  • In Reception reading skills are assessed through the Early Years Profile.
  • Year one pupils take the National Phonics test in June.
  • Year two and Year six pupils take the National Reading End of Key Stage tests in May.
  • Year three, four and five take optional Reading tests in May.
  • Reading teacher assessments are recorded on the school’s reading assessment grids and pink and green tracking grids for each year group, every term. This shows whether children are working to/ at/ exceeding year group expectations.

For pupils in Year two and Year six, their reading progress is documented onto the End of Key Stage Teacher Assessment Frameworks.

Writing

  • In Reception writing skills are assessed through the Early Years Profile.
  • Writing teacher assessments are recorded on the school’s reading assessment grids and pink and green tracking grids for each year group, every term. This shows whether children are working to/ at/ exceeding year group expectations.
  • For pupils in Year two and Year six, their writing progress is documented onto the End of Key Stage Teacher Assessment Frameworks.

Rigorous monitoring exercises are carried out throughout the year in order to measure the impact of the curriculum design and this policy. Together with the Headteacher and senior leadership, the English subject leader monitors the teaching and learning of English across the school, evaluates pupil voice, shares effective practice and new initiatives and identifies the subject’s key strengths and areas for development. Teachers throughout the school carefully assess the impact of each lesson and the performance of all individuals to ensure that pupils are on track to reach the expectations of our curriculum. We intend the impact of our English curriculum will ensure that our pupils are self-motivated learners and are effectively prepared for life in the modern world.

Reviewed: Autumn 2019

To be reviewed on: Autumn 2021