At Hawley Primary School, our quality English (Literacy) curriculum develops children's love of reading as the basis for their learning journey. Our priority is to help children read, cultivate a love of reading, and develop their comprehension skills in order to access all areas of the curriculum. The National Curriculum is taught across the school, overseen by the English Leader, in conjunction with the Reading & Phonics Leader, EYFS and SLT:
Our creative curriculum provides meaningful contexts for children to write in real-life situations. Often, inspiration is taken from the overarching topic of a term or half-term. Children are provided with high-quality model texts and WAGOLLs (What a good one looks like) and then orally rehearse their ideas before getting them down on paper. Grammar is taught explicitly and referred back to in English and reading lessons.
During the foundation stage, all children develop their gross and fine-motor skills alongside being taught the correct pencil grip and letter formation. From Year 2, we teach cursive (joined) handwriting and do not require children to use lead-in lines. Teachers model the school's handwriting style at all times.
Students take pride in their writing, drafting first before presenting their work neatly across a variety of genres. Work displays a neat, legible handwriting style with cursive handwriting when appropriate from Year Three onwards. By the end of Year Six, children are able to adapt their language and style for a range of meaningful contexts. Written texts are purposeful, viewpoint is clear and authorial intent is conveyed through adventurous word choices. These word choices manipulate language to create effects for the reader. Ample time is set aside for children to reflect on their writing as they edit and improve it both with support and independently.
Children not only express their feelings, opinions and ideas through writing but are encouraged to become confident in their speaking and listening, later on using these core skills to take part in debate and other forms of communication to further their learning. Annually, children enjoy taking part in school productions.
Spelling is taught 3–4 times a week - and should be practised at home - with a spelling test taking place in class once a week (usually on a Monday). The results of this test are shared with parents on Seesaw. Spelling in Year 2 follows the Little Wandle Letters & Sounds Year 2 Spelling programme, whilst spelling in Key Stage 2 includes teaching of high frequency words, spelling rules, expectations and irregular spellings. Phonics is important throughout primary school and students in all classes are encouraged to make phonetically plausible choices when spelling. Children who require additional support with spelling receive this with sessions tailored to address their gaps.
At Hawley Primary School we are proud to follow the Little Wandle Letters & Sounds synthetic phonics programme. Our EYFS and Key Stage 1 staff deliver sessions with fidelity to the scheme and have had excellent results since its implementation in October 2021. Since September 2023, we have expanded our LWL&S provision further up the school and children in Key Stage 2 access Catch-Up sessions where required. In Year 2, children join Guided Reading groups three times a week; and whole-class Guided Reading is taught daily in all Key Stage 2 classes. This includes opportunities to visit our excellent school library spaces.
A secure basis in literacy is imperative to support life-long learning. At Hawley, we understand, too, the vital role played by parents and carers in the nurturing of positive habits, particularly in attitudes towards reading. We welcome this and value their contribution. On Friday mornings from 8:45 until break-time (10:15 KS1/10:30 KS2) we welcome parent readers who listen to children read from classes across the school.