At Eling Infant school, English and the teaching of English is the foundation of our curriculum. Our staff believe that the teaching of English is a skill for life in which children use and apply their literacy skills. Knowledge and skills must be understand confidently and competently, allowing them to then apply in every day contexts and through other areas of the curriculum.
We plan to inspire children, equipping them with a strong command of written and spoken word and develop a love of the literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
Our children will develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing (including phonics) which enables them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with each other effectively.
We encourage all children to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction texts. Using this knowledge, they can choose and adopt what they say and write in different situations. We believe that it is essential to enable each child to convey their own ideas and opinions clearly, and respond creatively and critically to a wide range of information and ides across all aspects of the curriculum.
English at Eling will not be a discrete, daily lesson, but will be the cornerstone of the entire curriculum. It will be embedded within al our lessons and we strive for a high level of English for all. High quality texts will immerse children in new vocabulary to help the children reach curriculum expectations. By exposing children to a language heavy, creative and continuous curriculum, children will become primary literate, but will also develop a love of reading, become creative writers and will have improved speaking and listening skills.
Ultimately, we intend to develop our childrens’ creativity, giving them the independent skills to tackle problems. Children will learn new skills in a fun and engaging way. We will build and layer their learning, giving them a solid foundation of literacy skills that will set them up for the rest of their education.
At Eling, children will be taught skills progressively from nursery, up until they leave our school. Constant assessment will allow misconceptions to be addressed and for learning journeys to be clear will be evidenced through book journeys, pupil conferencing, moderation and planning.
To help develop this, we have changed our timetable so that more children are reading daily. Children are constantly assessed phonetically, placing them into the correct group to boost their learning. We have created a 50 minute phonics slot that precedes a literacy lesson. In this session, all children will be taught their phonics or spelling programmes, but will then be taught reading skills, looking at building up their fluency and then developing their comprehension. With this in mind, all children will read daily, either on their own, or in guided reading sessions. Year 2 children, who have passed the phonics test, move onto a spelling programme.
There are many opportunities to read across the learning day and we use a range of books through many different sources to engage children to read: - this is linked to topics, events and interests.
The specific teaching of reading is through:
Vulnerable groups across the school have been highlighted and have been paired up with support staff, teachers and even the head teacher. Paired reading schemes will target these children so that they continue to work towards reaching the required standards by the end of year Twp.
We also work closely with our parents to help build our reaching culture. Our new reading diaries have hints and tips to help at home, and positive stickers for children to work towards. When children read certain milestones, they receive awards in our shining assemblies. This has, and will continue to, emphasis how important reading is!
The Read Write Inc. Phonics Programme
At Eling we teach reading using the Read Write Inc. phonics programme.
We start by teaching phonics to the children in the Reception class. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. Ask them to show you what these are.
The children also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’. The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
The teachers read to the children, too, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing.
We ensure that the teaching of writing is purposeful, robust and shows clear progression. In line with the new curriculum, we ensure all children are taught explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for each age group. Teachers are able to embed skills throughout the year in cross curricular writing opportunities to make sure most children are achieving the expected level by the end of the year and that children have the opportunities achieve the greater depth standard. Cold and warm tasks will allow us to assess whether skills have been learnt and moved into their long term memory.
In order to expose children to a range of genres, we have carefully selected our topics to create opportunities for children to have specific writing journeys that are purposeful. Thus journey builds throughout the year, allowing us to revisit different genres and build on their previous skills. High quality texts will drive our writing, which will also expose children to inference, high level vocabulary and a range of punctuation. These texts are selected to promote a love of reading, engagement and to improve the quality of their writing.
The impact will be clear, progress, sustained learning and transferable skills across the curriculum. Writing journeys will be visible and clear in books and children will develop skills that they require for the next key stage. We hope that children use their skills across all subjects, being able to write for different purposes and understand how that might change from a different viewpoint. By understanding the purpose, our children will then be able to draw upon specific skills needed to tackle that task. By the end of year two, children will be given more choice to apply what they have learnt. This, alongside our learning values, will create children who enjoy reading and writing.
(Reviewed by Subject Leader March 2023)