,
Message sent from:

English

Statement of Intent, Implementation and Impact

 

                                                   “Learning for life”

 

 

 

English Curriculum Intent

At Thornton Hough Primary School, we understand that in order for a love of learning to be fostered in children, and in order that they become effective learners, they need to be happy, confident and emotionally secure – this is our intention for each and every child. We are proud of the Values-Based curriculum which lies at the core of our teaching and learning. This is embedded throughout our school – in lessons, assemblies, and playtimes.

Our English curriculum, beginning from Reception, is a considered, sequenced, progressive, and aspirational programme, which allows children to acquire the intended knowledge and skills, namely: to develop their individual writing voice; to establish a genuine love of language and the written word; and to blossom into articulate and imaginative communicators and orators. It aims to motivate and inspire and leave them well-equipped to become lifelong learners. Our curriculum is rigorously assessed, with each year group having clearly defined age-related end points for pupils to aim towards, and progress towards these end points is carefully monitored, ensuring that every pupil is developing confidently and ready for the next stage in their learning.

In each year group, careful links are made across the curriculum, which we have developed to meet the needs of our pupils at our school, to ensure that children’s English learning is relevant and meaningful - wherever possible, our reading and writing work is linked to other areas of the curriculum.

 

Writing

We want our pupils to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in a range of contexts, and for a range of purposes and audiences. We aim to expose our children to a wide range of vocabulary in order that they will be able to learn and understand new words and then use them when speaking, both informally and formally. They will have a solid understanding of grammar and they will be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in school with us. We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a competent joined handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school. We expect that all good writers to refine and edit their writing over time, so we want our pupils to develop independence in seeking to identify for themselves areas for improvement in their own writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.

 

Reading

Our intention is to provide an environment which allows children to develop a love of reading. From the first day children attend Thornton Hough Primary School, they are exposed to a range of high quality texts which are readily available for them to read for themselves, alongside an adult or to be read to by a member of staff.

We expect our pupils to be avid readers, since children who read fluently and widely are better able to express 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 this nurturing and eclectic reading environment, they will become able to make informed opinions about their literary preferences. They will also recognise that competency and comprehension in reading is key to understanding more about the world in which they live.  

 

Implementation

Our teaching staff are conscientious practitioners and take pride in having excellent English subject knowledge and imparting this knowledge in an engaging, fun and exciting way. Through carefully considered and thoughtful planning, our English curriculum builds upon prior knowledge and skills, not only from the previous half term but from the previous academic year, with clear end points for our children to achieve in every lesson, half term, term and year. English is a key subject in its own right as well as a medium for teaching and accessing the wider curriculum. We use a thematic approach to implementing English throughout the school, and cross-curricular links are made wherever possible, but not tenuously. We also link our values-based curriculum into our topics allowing a cohesive, clearly linked curriculum.

We understand that creating positive attitudes towards English is as important as the acquisition of skills. When our children join us in Foundation Stage Two, the sharing of texts and the exploration of the pleasure and information extracted from books goes hand-in-hand with carefully planned lessons. These lessons teach the children the early reading, writing, phonics and language skills that they will need to enable their “learning for life”. Each year group has a carefully chosen, exemplary text as its core text which the children will study in detail every half term. As well as this text (usually fiction), poetry and non-fiction texts will also be taught, which have also been carefully chosen and topically linked (where possible). We use “Talk for Writing”, as an integral part of teaching exciting, progressive lessons. These lessons are sequential, well planned, and ensure links to phonics, grammar, spelling, handwriting, and composition as well as interesting vocabulary and an engaging story. Guided, shared, and individual writing sessions are planned and delivered throughout the half term, with our teachers ensuring children who are recognised as SEND and Greater Depth are equally as well-planned for as those children who are at the expected level of development for their age. Where possible, guided and shared reading are directly extracted from, or linked to, the core text with some of the topics, allowing for further discussions and understanding of that text. Comprehension skills are taught throughout English reading and writing lessons but small group work, we feel, provides the opportunity for it to be focused and ensure in-depth learning of these key skills. 

Opportunities for drama, role-play, paired, shared and guided discussion, are well planned for each core text. Our year six children have the opportunity to take part in Wirral’s Speech and Drama festival – allowing our children the platform to perform and be critiqued in performance poetry in front of an audience. Planned ‘Show and Tell’ lessons are another example that we place great emphasis on Speaking and Listening skills. We want our children to be prepared for the working world and to show confidence and established oracy ability when speaking publicly. Our sequential planning and teaching allows children the opportunity to practice and hone their English skills. We also ensure children are aware of their audience when they are completing their written work. We provide opportunities throughout the year for children to share their work with other classes, teachers and their own classmates. This is done through classroom displays, impromptu readings, class assemblies and merit assemblies. We want our children to know that their work is important, purposeful and celebrated. As well as this, their work also enables them to build upon their prior learning and provides them the opportunity to practise newly acquired skills and knowledge, where mistakes are considered as learning opportunities and a chance to deepen their learning.

We implement the Government recommended ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme, and have built upon this to create our own planning, delivery, and assessment of the systematic, synthetic approach to phonics. We ensure children of all abilities are planned for appropriately to ensure progress in the reading and writing of phonics is achieved. Our early readers are exposed to many quality texts and each will have their individual reading book linked to their current phonics phase. This is to consolidate their phonics knowledge as well as providing an opportunity to practise and apply their phonics learning with a text that will both suitably challenge but also allow them to be successful readers – capturing their imaginations and fostering a love of reading. When children learn to recognise and write their newly learnt graphemes, we take this opportunity to also teach the correct formation. This is built on from Foundation Stage Two through to Key Stage Two where children learn how to correctly join letters. We expect our children to take pride in their writing presentation no matter which subject they are recording in. Once discrete phonics lessons are completed in Key Stage One, weekly spelling lessons are introduced in Key Stage Two alongside spelling being taught through the current focused text for that half term in each year group. Using ‘Babcock’ spelling programme, children are taught spelling patterns along with key words for their year, as outlined in the National Curriculum. Where identified, children in Key Stage Two will also have directed small group phonics intervention. In both Key Stages, Phonics and Spelling teaching directly informs words which will be given, to be learned for spelling tests. These tests are every three weeks where a selection of ten words are tested. There is a maximum of thirty words to be learned and weekly spelling activities are sent home which intend to provide support for different learning styles to help children learn and embed their spellings. Incorrect spellings are added into their individual spelling logs and will continued to be learned.

We have recently embarked on restructuring our school reading scheme. We have invested, and continue to invest, in ensuring early readers have well matched individual reading books, while also seeking to provide a more exciting and current reading scheme throughout the school. We place great importance and emphasis on ensuring our children are confident, well-read individuals who love reading. Well-planned opportunities for listening to children read on a 1:1 basis, as well as in small groups, are structured into every day at our school. We also commit to reading at least one quality text during the day in Key Stage One and in Key Stage Two, where every class has a different class novel which the teacher reads at any available opportunity. These are planned into our school day to ensure that the children appreciate the importance of sharing their reading and the exciting possibilities it brings – opening up new worlds and instilling a passion for reading. Every child has reading targets, which are in their reading logs so any adult reading with them will know what they are currently focusing on. These targets ensure they are on track to making good progress. At our school, reading and authors are celebrated in many ways. Annually, we celebrate World Book Day through a week of reading events in which each class studies a different author. We share our favourite books with one another, classes join together to read with one another, and we have a book fair during this week too. When new families join our school, we hold ‘welcome meetings’, where much information is shared but reading is highlighted as a top priority. We expect, and receive, the invaluable support of parents/caregivers and we value the important role they have in helping their child to read. We are fortunate to have a very supportive school community and our well-established ‘Families in Partnership’ scheme provides another opportunity for our children to be listened to by our volunteers as they read aloud. We are committed, therefore, to providing an ever-improving library, reading scheme and other opportunities in our school to ensure that every child leaves us as impassioned and avid life-long readers.

We have a simple, effective marking policy in place which children observe and learn from the outset in Foundation Stage Two. Children understand what is expected of them and what the marking means in order for them to make improvements themselves or with adult support. From Foundation Two, children are taught through careful modelling how to check and edit their work. Each year group appropriately plans for “fix it” time. This time, is where editing and re-drafting is addressed and taught with the support of an adult. This is also a time where incorrect spellings are highlighted. The children use their spelling logs to record the correct spelling to use in the future. Our marking policy was also designed for the teacher to quickly and clearly understand if a child has achieved the learning objective, in order that next steps for learning can be planned for accordingly.

 

Impact

It is of equal importance to us at our school that we facilitate the positive growth in children’s mental, physical, and academic success. As staff we work together to reflect on our English curriculum and make adaptations where we believe it will be of benefit to the children. Children learn key information and skills that are specific to their stage of development, focused on breadth and mastery, before moving on to the next stage. Assessment of children’s learning is constant. Every lesson is evaluated and children’s progress is observed. Methods such as key questioning, marking, work outcomes, learning objectives, lesson objectives and pupil voice all contribute to assessing learning. Progressive, sequential, well-planned English lessons allow for the assessment of learning to be successfully monitored.

Termly assessment tracking sheets in both reading and writing, called Klips, for every child are completed to ensure individuals are on track for reaching the age-related expectations. For those children who are identified as not making expected progress, an appropriate intervention is put in place. Those children identified as achieving Greater Depth also receive extra support, and children identified as SEND have their individual targets formally reviewed once every half term, but our good practice ensures that every individual is being frequently monitored in order for them to make the best progress possible.

Phonics is monitored through our school system. We assess the application of phonics learning and progress daily as well as using summative end of ‘phase’ assessment to inform future planning. Children are carefully tracked and interventions put in place regardless of which year group they are in – to ensure gaps in learning are addressed and targeted support provided.

Reading is also rigorously monitored. Through guided, shared and individual reading children’s progress is tracked. In Foundation Two all children read directly with an adult in small, focussed groups two times a week. Texts are carefully chosen by the class teacher to match the children’s phonic ability. Reading is an integral part of life in F2 through the daily phonics lessons, sharing big books, and observing print in the environment. Teachers are quick to recognise if a child is not making expected progress and daily targeted support is provided. Every child is listened to by their teacher as they read aloud at least once a week in Key Stage One. In addition to this, every child will also read with other teaching staff and parent helpers as many times as possible. Similarly, in Key Stage Two every child’s reading is listened to by their teacher fortnightly as well as by other teaching staff and parent helpers. Teachers are therefore able to assess confidently the progress being made and provide targeted feedback including next steps for learning. Children, and any adult reading with them, are aware of their current reading targets which allows for cohesive focus and learning for each individual. Towards end of Key Stage One, children progress to selecting a book themselves using our reading scheme. Children in Key Stage Two have more ownership of their choice of book, using our reading scheme. Across the school we carefully monitor the choices children make and guide them towards books which they may not have chosen in order for our children to have a broad and varied reading experience. 

With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly from Foundation Two our children become confident writers by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2. Most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills. Similarly, to our reading programme, we monitor writing using many different methods and track writing knowledge and skills, including phonics and spelling using a formal half-termly tracking system.

Our school data, year on year, shows great achievements in children’s English abilities. Senior Leaders, along with teaching staff, analyse and identify individuals, groups, and cohorts, where areas for improvement are identified and addressed. This considered approach informs our planning and teaching to further improve the progress made by our children. At our school, we are proud to have successful, confident, enthusiastic readers and writers. Our interventions are targeted and effective, while all teaching staff constantly evaluate, review and assess our systems in order to continually improve. Through hard work, care and dedication, as well as a cohesive, thematic curriculum, our children at Thornton Hough Primary School continue to make excellent progress.

 

Further Curriculum Information

X
Hit enter to search