At Great Corby School, we believe that all children should be curious and excited about their English learning. We want all of our children to develop a love of language for language sake. We aim to develop our children’s ability to use spoken and written language to communicate effectively - to listen, speak, read and write both in and for a wide range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
We want our children to read fluently, with confidence and ‘passion’ in any subject by the time they are ready to move to secondary school. We develop our children’s love of reading and encourage them to want to read for themselves.
We want our children to acquire a wide vocabulary, a good understanding of grammar in context and to be able to spell new words by applying the spelling patterns and rules learned throughout their time in school.
We want our children to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style as necessary. We believe that all children should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing and aim to develop a legible, joined handwriting by the time they move to secondary school. We want our children to understand that all good writers re-read and edit their writing before producing a final copy. Therefore, we want our children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in a piece of writing and edit their work during and after the writing process as appropriate.
We recognise that each child has their own starting point upon entry to every year group and progress is measured in line with these starting points to ensure that every child can celebrate their own successes.
We set high expectations of every child and create challenging and progressive high-quality learning experiences for them. English teaching and learning are linked through all of the curriculum subjects where possible so that the children have opportunities to regularly practise their skills.
At Great Corby School we intend for all of our children to:
- Read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding
- Take pleasure in reading and choose to follow their interests through their book choices
- develop the habit of reading widely and often for both pleasure and as a fact finding tool
- enjoy and understand the language and develop an increased vocabulary
- to be able to read and enjoy books across all genres
We follow the National Curriculum 2014 to deliver lessons rich in reading, writing, phonics, spelling, grammar and punctuation throughout our school. Each class uses high quality texts, films and extracts to match the National Curriculum reading and writing requirements for each year group as well as linking into our wider curriculum with history, geography, science and social themes specifically covered. We believe that this structure provides the children with a deeper understanding of texts.
Speaking and Listening
As soon as children enter Great Corby School, we place a great emphasis on developing their oracy skills. We have a firm belief that if children ‘can’t speak it, they can’t write it’ therefore children are constantly encouraged to articulate their sentences before beginning to write them down. The focus on oracy continues as children progress through the school with storytelling and Talk for Writing strategies used from EYFS to Y6, as appropriate.
At Great Corby School, we firmly believe that reading underpins all learning and we therefore place a great importance on ensuring all of our children can read to the best of their ability.
We work on promoting a love of reading in all children and fostering a text rich environment where children understand how language works as we develop the skills they need to be proficient readers and to interpret texts accurately..
How do we teach reading?
The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout EYFS and KS1. Phonics is taught daily to all children in the Foundation Stage, Year 1 and those in Year 2 who have not yet reached the threshold of the phonics screening check in Year 1. Staff systematically teach learners the relationship between sounds and written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. Phonics is delivered in (regularly) assessed groups and coaching is planned for those children who are working below expected levels
Read Write Inc (RWI) is used as the spine for delivery of the phonics sessions. This programme is visual, audial and kinaesthetic, thus increasing the likelihood of rapid progress. Pupils will be given reading books which match closely to the phase of the phonics they are currently working on. This forms the foundation for lifelong readers.
RWI is based on the five P’s:
Children learn quickly in a positive climate.
Pace – Good pace is essential to the lesson.
Purpose – Every part of the lesson has a specific purpose.
Passion – This is a very prescriptive programme. It is the energy, enthusiasm and passion that teachers put into the lesson that bring the teaching and learning to life!
Participation - A strong feature of R.W.I lessons is partner work and the partners ‘teaching’ each other (based on research which states that we learn 70% of what we talk about with our partner and 90% of what we teach).
Planning - Pupils work within ability groups which are defined by their performance on R.W.I assessments. Pupils are assessed every half term and the groups are reorganised accordingly.
All children in EYFS and KS1 have a reading record that they take home every day and this creates a strong link of communication between home and school.
In KS2, children and parents record their reading on Showbie. Children are encouraged to read regularly at home and ‘daily readers’ are also identified in these year groups to give extra support to those who require it. Children who have completed the Read Write Inc. Phonics Programme are then assessed on Accelerated Reader Star Reading Assessment.
Moving from phonics to fluency, Accelerated Reader continues to support each child’s love of reading, as well as continuing to develop their fluency throughout their primary education. Accelerated Reader is a programme we use to ensure that each child in KS2 (and KS1 when appropriate) has a reading book that will comfortably challenge pupils of all ages and abilities, while continuing to support their vocabulary acquisition and fluency of reading.
Each half term, pupils undertake a short assessment called a ‘Star Test’ on a computer or iPad, in order to inform their class teacher of their level of comprehension, which in turn allows their teacher to help each child set goals and direct ongoing reading practice. Half termly, each child will be given a new ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) range from which they can select their daily class reading books from.
After each book they read within their ZPD range, they will complete an online quiz and receive immediate feedback on their comprehension of the book, which motivates them to make progress with their reading skills. Their first book will be at the lower end of their ZPD range and as they achieve and succeed with each book they will move towards the higher end of their range.
Early writing is taught through early mark making then when the children begin phonics, they are taught the correct letter formations. This begins with writing CWC words, moving on to short sentences using the sounds they have been taught. EYFS children are encouraged to write independently during continuous provision.
From Y1-Y6, the English curriculum is taught through a range of high-quality texts, films or through cross curricular links. Each week, the children are taught to develop an understanding of how the text flows through reading comprehension, exploring key themes, events and plot of the texts being studied. Children are taught the grammatical features as both discrete sessions and as part of the English lesson. Children receive regular feedback from teachers and their peers in the writing process.
We aim to provide our pupils with a ‘language rich’ environment and within our classrooms we explore ambitious vocabulary in all lessons.
We use Spelling Shed for children who have completed the phonics programme in Y2-Y6 to support the new spelling patterns and children are given weekly words to learn at school and at home in preparation for a weekly spelling text and dictated sentences.
We adopt a cross curricular approach throughout the school to enable the skills that are learned through the English curriculum to be applied in all other subject areas.
We measure the effectiveness and impact of our English curriculum in a number of ways.
We use Rising Stars end of term reading assessments for children who have completed the Phonics programme, SPAG.com (KS2), Star Tests and regular book level checks to ensure progress and to evaluate in order to identify the next steps of learning.
We assess using writing grids that are linked to the national curriculum end of year expectations. Each term, the children will write a final written piece in a special book which will follow them through the school until they leave to show their own personal writing journey. These pieces of writing will be the pieces used to assess the children and to inform the next steps.
The quality of reading and writing in English is evaluated by learning walks and book scrutinies which informs the subject leader of the impact of the initiatives as well as future areas for improvement.
Children at Great Corby School enjoy reading both for information and enjoyment. They are able to discuss the books they have read with enthusiasm and recall of detail. They are able to apply the features of different writing genres and styles to their own work and are able to write for different audiences and purposes. By the time the children reach Upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and they are beginning to be able to apply the skills independently.