At Woodloes Primary, we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an awareness of our rich and varied literary heritage and to foster a habit of reading widely and often. We want our pupils to develop a love and enjoyment of reading, a knowledge of a range of authors and genres and to be able to comprehend more about the world in which they live, through the knowledge they acquire from texts. Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum; by the end of their time at our school, we aim to ensure that all children should be able to read fluently, and with confidence across all subjects in preparation for their forthcoming secondary education.
We recognise the importance of developing an ethos where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and are able to adapt their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a secure understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying their knowledge of spelling rules and patterns. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and to use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
Through using high-quality texts, immersing children in vocabulary rich learning environments, and ensuring new curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met, the children at Woodloes will be exposed to a language heavy, creative and continuous English curriculum where reading and writing are intrinsically linked.
The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
Our reading curriculum is delivered through synthetic phonics, shared group reading, whole class guided reading, home reading, reading across the curriculum, regular opportunities for independent reading and hearing quality texts read aloud every day. We believe that all of the above are essential components of a reading curriculum which offers the right range of opportunities to develop fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers.
Phonics is taught both as a whole class, and in intervention groups throughout EYFS and Key Stage 1, with regular sessions each day to ensure that children don’t fall behind. We use Bug Club Phonics, a multi-sensory phonics scheme in EYFS and KS1 until pupils are fluent in phase 5 phonics. Our phonics long term plan reflects a systematic, synthetic approach to teaching phonics, with clear expectations that are laid out term by term from 4+ to Year 2. Integrated into the programme are high quality reading books published by Pearson that match to each grapheme that the children learn. This ensures that children apply their phonetic knowledge in context through writing and the use of high-quality reading texts.
Reading skills are taught during daily 25-minute whole class guided reading lessons following the Bug Club Guided (KS1) and Bug Club Comprehension (KS2), to allow all children access to age related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. These sessions focus on high quality texts which allow teachers and pupils to model reading aloud, book discussion and the use and application of comprehension strategies. During these guided reading sessions, pupils who are still developing their word reading skills are targeted for shared group reading based on their current phonics ability. Skills of fluency, prosody and comprehension are taught in these sessions by our highly trained staff and are based on sharing high quality group reading books matched to these pupil’s phonic knowledge.
(Drop Everything And Read) takes place several times a week. During these sessions, the children read books matched to their Accelerated Reader ZPD and are also given the opportunity to quiz on books they have read.
Home School Reading Partnership
We have a strong understanding of, and appreciation for, the importance of children reading at home and are working this year to reinstate our strong home school reading community. Children who are still reading within the phonics scheme are given high quality decodable books so that they can apply and practice newly taught phoneme sounds alongside tricky words. Both in school and at home, we advocate the ‘one book, three times’ independent reading strategy to ensure that children are developing strong reading skills using decoding, fluency and comprehension skills.
Fluent readers choose independent reading books based on their ZPD scores which are generated through a half termly star reading assessment. Pupils are encouraged to take reading quizzes on completed independent reading books each week. Regular quizzing gives these pupils the opportunity to demonstrate their comprehension of their reading and teachers use these quiz results to monitor reading progress on a weekly basis.
The writing curriculum at Woodloes encourages children to immerse themselves in different, high quality text types, understand the features and impact of these, and realise the importance of them beyond education. A secure knowledge of spelling and grammar and an understanding of how to edit writing is taught throughout the school in a systematic and progressive way. The content of writing lessons is planned to build on children’s previous knowledge as well as introduce new learning in a fun and memorable way. Children leave Woodloes with a deep understanding of different text types and how to construct them effectively with clear purpose.
The National Curriculum and EYFS Framework is used to inform the planning and delivery of our writing curriculum. Writing is taught explicitly in daily English lessons and skills learnt are regularly reinforced within lessons across the curriculum. Children follow clear, sequential episodes of learning based around an ambitious model text, that allow for the development of vocabulary and contextualised spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Using a topic-based approach combining narrative, non-fiction, poetry and relevant real-life events, ensures that learning is fun, meaningful and memorable. By studying different texts, pupils immerse themselves in the language and structure of these to create their own toolkit – an aid to writing. This ensures that language patterns, punctuation and key phrases are internalised by the children so that they become confident and competent writers. English lessons also include ‘word of the week’ activities to develop pupil’s growing vocabulary and helping them to access literature beyond their current reading level.
Teachers model the process of writing within every English unit so that children understand the thought process behind writing. During this process, teachers think out loud, edit and demonstrate how and why they have structured their writing in the way that they have. Children are then given the opportunity to participate in a shared write, where everybody contributes to the writing outcome. This is scaffolded further into repeated practice of writing genres ensuring that pupils leave our school capable of writing for different audiences and purposes.
Spelling and grammar is taught within English lessons and in explicit GPS lessons (Y2 to Y6) and children understand the importance of learning spellings in a memorable and interesting way. Following No Nonsense spelling, a range of strategies are used to ensure personable learning which supports pupils in becoming competent lifelong spellers. Accurate spelling is expected in all writing across the curriculum and children are taught and given time to edit their spellings and recognise their own errors using our ‘think pink’ strategy. supported and finally independent writing.
Speaking & Listening
Our curriculum reflects the national policy of promoting high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken English language. Through immersion in high-quality texts, teachers identify and explicitly teach rich and varied vocabulary, providing them with the tools to become confident communicators, readers, and writers. By doing this, we will close the vocabulary gap for our most disadvantaged children.
The impact of the English curriculum at Woodloes Primary School will be assessed through subject specific monitoring and participation in the deep dive process. Accompanying evidence will be provided through pupil interviews, lesson visits, teachers questionnaires, work trawls, learning walks and the analysis of data.
Summative assessments will be entered onto O Track termly. Teachers will use their professional judgment, with the aid of the statements set out in the year group target sheets, star reading assessments and standardised scores from termly reading tests, to determine whether a child is working towards the expected standard, at the expected standard or at a greater depth level. The expectation is that all children will make at least good progress in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening from their last point of statutory assessment or from their starting point in EYFS.
Children will be able to use and apply their English knowledge and skills in all curriculum areas, to enable them to know more, remember more and understand more.
All pupils will be able to read with accuracy, speed, confidence, fluency and understanding, ready to access the secondary school curriculum. Pupils will develop a life-long enjoyment of reading and books.
As a result of the explicit teaching of writing skills, cross-curricular writing will be of the same standard as writing completed in literacy units. All writing (cross-curricular as well as subject specific) will demonstrate a clear intent, knowledge of the audience and effective editing, with the pupils displaying pride in their presentation as well as content.
Woodloes Primary School English Curriculum
Reception Long-Term Plan
Year 1 - 6 English Long-Term Plan
English Reading Progression of Skills and Knowledge
English Writing Progression of Skills and Knowledge