Statement of Intent for English
We aim for all of our pupils to be capable readers, writers, spellers and speakers, who can transfer their English skills to other subjects and who are prepared for the next steps in their learning. We nurture them as eloquent and articulate speakers and writers, who use a wide and purposeful vocabulary. We encourage them as readers, who select texts for purpose and pleasure. Books and reading are at the heart of everything we do.
Our bespoke, book-based curriculum is built upon quality picture books, novels and non-fiction texts, which support children on the journey from reading to writing. Within our timetable, we are committed to providing independent reading time, novel time and comprehension on a daily basis. We enhance and engage learning through author studies, film units, focus weeks, school library visits and buddy schemes within the school.
Key aims linked to our intent:
Our vision for English is an approach, which will enable our pupils to achieve the following aims:
Promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
Learn to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
Become competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
Core Curricular Goals within Writing
We will strive to provide:
opportunities for pupils to plan, revise and evaluate their writing
opportunities for pupils to write down ideas fluently with effective transcription (spelling quickly and accurately)
opportunities for pupils to effectively compose ideas and organise them coherently for a reader
teachers modelling appropriate and varied language in order to enhance and extend pupils vocabulary
teaching, modelling and practice of fluent, legible and eventually speedy handwriting
teaching which inspires and motivates pupils to write
teaching and learning of specific techniques and writing tools as word and sentence level activities which feed into text level composition.
use of whole-class, guided group and individual writing sessions focusing upon a range of audiences and purposes.
providing a range of contexts and opportunities for children to practice composition through other curriculum areas.
providing regular opportunities for extended writing to put in practice new vocabulary acquired
Our Writing Curriculum approach
- English is taught as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. (Link to national curriculum)
- Teachers plan teaching sequences based around a core text using either a 'Talk for Writing' or 'Take One Book' approach.
- This approach typically follows a three-part structure: Learning about the text (Immersion), Practising writing the text (Imitate and Innovate) and Independent writing (Invent).
- Purpose and audience are central to our approach to teaching writing. We seek to ensure that pupils have a reason to write and someone to write for.
- At Lady Seaward's pupils learn that writing can be thought of as a process made up of seven components:
- planning • drafting• sharing; • evaluating; • revising; • editing; and • publishing.
- We seek to ensure that our pupils become effective writers and are able to use a number of strategies to support each component of the writing process. Pupils are taught and subsequently learn how, when, and why to use each strategy.
- Teachers plan their units using our 'Unit planner' guide which ensures that there is a clear commitment to the three part structure meaning that lessons are cohesively planned and structured sequentially building upon prior pupil learning.
- Most teaching sequences will follow a 3-week structure with each part being approximately one week. The same structure will be used for texts chosen from both the 'Talk for Writing' and 'Take One Book' approach.
- Our texts have been carefully and purposely chosen and mapped out so that they reflect the needs of the class and so that across each year that the children build their understanding of narrative, non-narrative and poetic forms. These texts will also ensure that our pupils exposed to a sufficient depth and richness of vocabulary.
- Prior to each English teaching sequence, the children are set an elicitation task. They are asked to complete a piece of writing in the genre and format that they will be learning about. Teachers use the outcomes from the elicitation tasks to plan and set appropriate and challenging targets for pupils.
- At the end of each teaching sequence, pupils complete a writing ‘final task’. This is assessed against the writer's toolkit that will have been formulated across the entire writing unit. This comprises of the complete series of learning objectives and success criteria that the pupils have been learning over the course of the 3 -week sequence. The final task is written on bordered paper.
- Children are provided with individual feedback across lessons and sequences. This feedback can be either verbal or written and will be focussed towards moving their learning forwards within individual lessons and across sequences.
- Each classroom has an engaging English Writing journey display. The display is used to collate evidence of learning from each teaching sequence and act as a prompt and support for children as they are working.
- Before beginning to plan, teachers identify the ‘writerly knowledge’ needed for a successful writing outcome, beginning always by identifying the intended effect of the model text before investigating in some detail the elements of grammar, vocabulary and text structure that help to create this.
- Grammar and Punctuation: Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible. Teachers plan to teach the required skills through the genres of writing that they are teaching, linking it to the genre to make it more connected with the intended writing outcome. Teachers sometimes focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as stand-alone lessons, if they feel that the class need additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills.
- Within lessons, teachers and teaching assistants target support for children working below and towards age related expectations to enable them to achieve at an age-related level wherever possible. This may involve a greater level of scaffolding and access to additional support materials such as word Banks or a greater level of modelling.
- Where children may be experiencing difficulty in reading and/or writing because they have missed or misunderstood a crucial phase of systematic phonics teaching, structured intervention programmes are put into place to plug gaps and consolidate prior learning.
- Children working at greater depth are given opportunities to extend their writing in a variety of ways, including through showing greater control in their writing, a deeper understanding of the impact that their writing has on the reader and by using a higher level of vocabulary and grammatical features.
- Spellings: Spellings are taught according to the rules and words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum.
- Children in Foundation and Year 1 are taught the Sound Write phonics scheme. Children are encouraged to use their knowledge of sounds to write phonetically plausible words. Children are taught to spell common exception words discretely.
- In Year 1 the children move onto phase 5 phonics and the children begin to pick the correct grapheme for each sound. Children continue to learn an expanded list of common exception words.
- In Year 2 the children begin the year by revising Phase 5 phonics. They continue to be taught how to make the correct spelling choices. After the revision of Phase 5, the children then move on to the No Nonsense spelling programme looking at common exception words and spelling rules
- In Years 3-6, teachers use the No Nonsense spelling programme and teach discrete spelling lessons for 15 minutes a day. Teachers also plan spelling lessons focusing on the common exception words for Yr3/4 and Yr5/6.
- Children in KS2 are assessed half termly on the appropriate common exception words for their year group/stage.
Children are taught about spelling, grammar and punctuation (SPaG). In KS2 this replaces phonics teaching and SPaG lessons are taught daily. In addition to this, children are taught about text structure and organisation and how to write a fluent, joined handwriting style. We use the 'no nonsense spelling' scheme in KS2 to ensure that spelling strategies are maintained as well as the year 3/4 and 5/6 spelling lists as outlined in the new curriculum.
We emphasise to our children that the quality of their writing, in terms of presentation and content, is equally important in English lessons as in all other learning opportunities; history, geography, RE, science etc. Pupils are given regular writing targets and individual 'pupil conferencing' with an adult so that they have a clear idea of the 'next steps' required to further improve.
Writing is often linked to the Class themes any given term, we believe that if we can engage the children they are far more likely to want to write about their learning. Therefore, whenever feasible, we 'bring writing to life', providing pupils with real-life experiences which they can then relate to in their writing. As part of our commitment to providing an engaging and stimulating curriculum we run a series of enrichments giving specific purposes to the children's writing as well as other subjects. Just a few of these experiences have led to pupils providing written pieces such as: information texts linked to Golfing sessions; persuasion pieces linked to Car Dealerships and Estate Agencies; creative stories linked to Forest school sessions as well as instruction manuals linked to Cookery sessions.
The Reading for Pleasure Vision at Lady Seaward’s
At Lady Seaward’s, we believe that reading should be a pleasurable and inspirational experience. As part of our vision and values for reading, we want our children to be enthused by books and grow into adults who will actively choose to read. We believe that children who read for pleasure deepen their understanding of the world around them and develop their compassion towards others. All of our children have access to books and we strive to promote a thrill of reading. Reading for pleasure at Lady Seaward’s aims to establish each child as a lifetime reader. Research has highlighted the importance of reading for pleasure for both educational as well as personal development. These studies show that promoting reading can have a major impact on children, their future and their life chances. Reading for Pleasure, although linked to our English Policy, stands alone in its promotion and encouragement of reading, as a pleasurable activity. It is used to engrain the philosophy, for a wide range of reading within the fabric of our school.
- Access to a wide range of texts/books for all children.
- Provide regular time spent reading aloud by teachers, support staff, volunteers and reading buddies (peer-to-peer reading).
- Teachers and support staff actively encouraging a love of reading; promote reading of a wide range of texts/books.
- Display reading material around the school environment.
- Promote and nourish an understanding and enjoyment of different text/book types.
- Provide opportunities for children to read self-chosen texts/books during the day.
- Promote a culture where texts/books are discussed in structured and unstructured ways, e.g. teacher to teacher, teacher to child and child-to-child discussions.
- Teachers and support staff support children with their choice of texts/books through recommendations and a knowledge of individual preferences.
- External visitors discussing their interest and/or occupation linked to reading.
- Communication via newsletters and the school website to support parents/guardians in promoting reading for pleasure.