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 word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- 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
- 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
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
Reading is an essential life skill and it is our intention that every child at Barley Close will learn to read and understand text making progress from their starting point.
In order to achieve this we teach reading in the following ways:
- Use of a systematic, synthetic phonics programme that is taught from the beginning of reception. We use the RWI reading scheme as the basis of our phonics teaching.
- A reading scheme that is matched to the phonics progression. We use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme which is supplemented with books from other schemes that are carefully matched to the RWI phonics progression.
- All children from years 1 – 4 take part in a weekly guided reading session where children read as part of a group showing their understanding of the text and being exposed to a wide range of language and vocabulary.
- Children in years 5 – 6 take part in weekly reading inference sessions. Once the skills of decoding, understanding, fact retrieval and vocabulary knowledge are embedded children will deepen their understanding of text by developing their inference skills.
- A whole class weekly reading lesson is taught in years 2-6. Children are exposed to high quality texts which are aspirational in terms of their language and vocabulary. Children are supported in their independent understanding of these texts through a range of differentiated questioning.
- Reading Assistants support children in their reading. In Reception and Year 1 they read with children individually to ensure their phonics knowledge is embedded and all children are able to access the year 1 phonics screening check. In year 2 upwards Reading Assistants use the Project X reading scheme to develop children’s understanding of the text alongside practicing blending and decoding skills.
- Each year group has the support of an LBS Reading Buddy for 30 minutes every day. They will listen to children read on a 1:1 basis ensuring that all children have the invaluable experience of reading aloud to an adult.
- Each class has a daily Book Talk time where class teachers read aloud to children. Our aim is to enthuse children about books, develop their love of reading and show them that reading can open doors to new worlds and experiences.
- In order to achieve all of the above we use high quality picture books, novels, factual texts and poetry that are age appropriate as well as challenging and aspirational for all our children.
- Children are asked to read at least 3 times a week at home. Reading records are monitored weekly and rewards and reminders given. Whole school and individual rewards are used to recognise reading achievement, these include a weekly reading raffle and a certificate system leading to becoming a Reading Ambassador.
All children at Barley Close will learn to read and be exposed to an environment that demonstrates a love of reading.
In learning to read all our children will develop the skills that enable them to understand the written word and the meaning it carries both in terms of knowledge and understanding as well as imagination and creativity.
Our intent for writing sits alongside reading in that we want all children at Barley Close to be able to write as an effective means of communication and as a life-long skill. Though our book based curriculum we want our children to be inspired to write by the books they read and to show them how writing can be used as a tool to communicate, share ideas and open doors.
In order to achieve this we teaching writing in the following way:
- EYFS have writing opportunities that are explicit though out their continuous provision.
- A two week planning cycle is used from Year 1 – Year 6 where children are taught grammar skills and how to apply then in context.
- Handwritten models are used to show children not only how to write using a cursive script but also as a tool for teachers to model the thought process that goes behind writing.
- WAGOLL’s are used to show aspirational writing, we want all our children to be exposed to the very best writing and believe that every child is a writer.
- Vocabulary and word choice is taught explicitly within the two week unit and applied to the end of unit outcome.
- Every unit of work has an end of unit outcome. Children know what they are working towards and the grammar and vocabulary skills that need to be showcased.
- English working walls map the journey of the writing unit and are a tool to be used by the children to support the writing process.
- All classes from year 1 – 6 teach a basic skills session each day, these focus on handwriting and spelling.
- All children are given weekly spellings to learn at home. These are also taught in class giving every child the opportunity to achieve in spelling.
All children at Barley Close will learn to write and be exposed to an environment that demonstrates the written word.
In learning to write all our children will develop the skills that enable them to understand that the written word carries meaning and is used as an effective means of communication as well as a tool to express ideas, imagination, views and opinions.
Speaking and Listening
Across the school we develop the children’s speaking and listening abilities as we believe this significantly compliments their reading and writing skills. We teach the children: turn taking, respecting the views of the others, poetry recitation, and formal presentations, as well as acting. There are opportunities for children to take part in productions including assemblies, events for special occasions such as Christmas, class assemblies and the Year 6 production.
Years 2 - 6 follow a key text each term as the basis of their English work. An overview of the texts used can be found below.
Phonics and Spelling at Barley Close
Spoken English has 44 sounds (phonemes) and these phonemes are represented by letters (graphemes). A sound can be represented by one letter or a group of letters, e,g. 'sh'.
At Barley Close children are taught these sounds in the order outlined in the attached Phonics and Spelling map, using techniques drawn from Read, Write, Inc. and Jolly Phonics.
Each term children learn set letters and sounds as well as key words. Some of these key words are decodable once letter sounds have been taught, e.g. 'it', but some are tricky and need to be learned by heart, e.g. 'was.' Children are taught to blend (merge sounds together to make a word) and segment (split words up into their sounds). They also learn to read alien words (nonsense words) in order to enhance the skill of blending.
In Key Stage 2 children are taught spellings in line with the English National Curriculum. Children are also taught words from the statutory word list as outlined in the English National Curriculum. These objectives and words are organised into year groups - see Phonics and Spelling map.