English is a core subject in the National Curriculum. At Hawley Primary School we follow the programmes of study set out in the 2014 curriculum, which we have developed into our own long term planning.
We believe that the skills encompassed in English are vital for underpinning every area of the school curriculum. Emphasis is placed on the development of spoken and written English, with the teaching of reading as a major priority from the earliest years. The school’s aim is to foster the development of a literate, articulate child, who is able to approach both spoken and written forms of communication confidently.
In Key Stages One and Two the children have a daily English lesson as well as regular reading, spelling, phonic and handwriting sessions. In all classes there is a wide range of abilities, and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. Staff have high expectations that all children can achieve their full potential. The lesson may consist of a reading or writing activity; a focussed word or sentence activity; a speaking and listening activity or a chance to edit, improve and redraft work.
Phonics is taught explicitly in Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One and, where necessary, in Key Stage Two. We follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme and reference the Jolly Phonics resources to support our teaching. Phonics is taught each day for a minimum of 10 minutes. Children are grouped according to ability and are provided with additional support if required.
Our reading activities build on the oral language experiences the children bring from home. A wide range of rich, stimulating texts both fiction and non-fiction is available for pupils in the classrooms. We provide the children with a variety of reading experiences which leads to confident readers, who are happy to discuss their opinions on a variety of different styles of text.
Reading takes place daily in Key Stage One. There is a two week rotation of which one week consists of Guided Reading and the second week is individual reading to an adult. In Key Stage Two the children carry out guided reading sessions three times a week and take part in a teacher led reading session once a fortnight. Alongside this, the children have many opportunities to read throughout the week.
Children progress through book bands which are matched carefully to their reading ability. They move to the next band once their teacher feels that their fluency and comprehension is secure at that band. After lime band, children move on to chapter books from the library. Within each book band children can read fiction, non fiction and poetry from schemes including Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star, Big Cat and Jolly Phonics. The book banded system ensures a structured progression in reading.
A particular effort is made to involve parents in the vital partnership of the teaching of reading. Every child has a weekly opportunity to visit the school library and to borrow books which can be taken home. All classes have regular story time. We have an Afternoon Reader system that runs on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On these days volunteer helpers are based in the library between 2.30 and 3.15 and read with children from Year 1 to Year 6.
The school runs annual book weeks, book days and book fairs to promote reading.
Children have frequent opportunities to write for a variety of purposes and audiences. We use examples of good literature as the starting point for all children's work and place great importance on imagination and story telling. The children will have opportunities to write individually and in groups, discussing their work with their teacher. To stimulate children’s writing we use carefully selected stories, plays, poems and life experiences and they learn the drafting process, spelling patterns and grammatical terms in the context of discussion about their own writing. Children are given opportunities to share their work by reading it to others and displaying it around the school. Neat presentation and handwriting skills are encouraged, practiced and valued throughout the school. Pen Licences are used to promote these in Key Stage Two.
Speaking and Listening
Children learn through speaking and listening and by encountering a range of situations, activities and audiences, which are designed to develop confidence and competence These skills are vital in all learning and social situations. We promote these by encouraging children to listen carefully and to speak confidently and clearly. Role-play is important in this and children have the opportunity to take part in drama in class, circle time, class assemblies and school productions.