English at Westmorland Primary School
To equip children with reading, writing and oral skills to enable them to dream, achieve and have high expectations of their future
Our INTENT for English at Westmorland Primary school is for all children to access a curriculum rich in language. We believe it is important for the children to develop a love for reading, writing and discussion and aim to deliver a curriculum which is varied, exciting and memorable.
We have an English curriculum based around Memorable Learning, Oracy, Reading and Experiences. that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion.
Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014 to enable all children to:
• 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
• be competent in the art of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
These aims are embedded across our English lessons and the wider curriculum. We will provide the means for children to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We provide targeted support after thorough assessment and evaluation so that all children experience success in English, including short term SMART targets of which they have ownership. We believe that a secure basis in English skills is crucial to a high quality, broad education, in which the children can find further talents and enjoyment. Furthermore this will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society and have high expectations of what they can achieve.
Metacognitive, memorable learning, approaches are to the fore of our planning and teaching of English, giving the children every opportunity to retain and remember skills to apply independently. Lessons involve Talk 4 Writing and using Makaton from nursery, right up to year 6, the use of impactful hooks and drama and giving the children real-life contextual learning opportunities help to engage and enthuse the children to learn.
High quality texts are used in every class to inspire reading for enjoyment and writing for a purpose. Our school library is an area of ongoing development whereby the children can access a wide range of texts which are constantly updated.
We celebrate reading through Author Days, World Book Day and within reading assemblies. These are always well received by children and parents alike. ROAR and ROAM are weekly workshops throughout school where children and parents can read together with teacher support.
Lessons are active, using the outdoor classroom, wooded area within the field, Reddish Vale and the locality as a stimulus for discussion and debate. We offer experiences that the children may not have encountered before to help contextualise their learning and make it relevant to them, giving them a basis from which to write or read for meaning.
Oracy is a high priority. Children enter school with a very low baseline in their CLL skills in nursery and reception therefore as a school we have on site Speech and Language Therapy practitioners who offer daily support if required including social skills, speech sounds and listening skills.
Word Ninja and Word Aware, used daily, expand and consolidate vocabulary across the curriculum giving the children increased confidence and competence in the use of language. Oracy is planned in every year group’s MTP for every subject. Knowledge organisers support teachers in their planning across the curriculum and offer specific vocabulary the children will need to access their learning, these are displayed in every classroom across the school.
In Nursery and Reception Oracy is weaved throughout all the high quality continuous provision offered. This is continued in year 1 where the children have the opportunity to continue to access high quality, CP challenges whereby they are actively encouraged to discuss, debate, share and collaborate informally whilst in a more formal setting. Oracy continues to be a focus further up the school with debate, discussion and presentations to the fore of their planned learning opportunities.
We follow the Letters and Sounds phonics program in Nursery, Reception and year 1. We teach systematic synthetic phonics daily through the use of Makaton, this is embedded throughout all phonics and English teaching.
Early reading is taught through guided reading and individual reading, where needed, daily. The books are banded according to the phase the children are within in their phonics journey and they are invited to read a decodable book alongside a ‘real’ book in order to develop their understanding and comprehension. Both to give a holistic approach to reading.
Within year 2 the children start to follow the ‘No Nonsense spelling’ program which follows on from phase 5 in letters and sounds when the children are ready to continue their journey with spelling rules. Further up the school spelling and handwriting is taught together as a discrete lesson in addition to daily English teaching.
Throughout this learning pathway the children that have not yet grasped skills in English are offered further support from Reading Recovery - an individualised 20 week programme, Sign and Shine, SERI, colourful semantics and language link in addition to an in class package of personalised provision to meet the needs of every child in our care, including OT support for fine and gross motor control.
All staff are highly trained in interventions taught including Makaton and SALT and regularly meet to discuss new developments in the teaching and learning of English.
We at Westmorland firmly believe the impact our MORE intent has on the outcomes of our children is huge.
Through the implementation of memorable learning the children are showing greater retention and application of skills and knowledge learned. Increasing the children’s opportunity to be immersed in experiences has further consolidated this and meant that meaningful reading and writing has developed and they are further able to transfer skills. Writing stamina is steadily increasing, OT support is making a positive impact on handwriting across school. The children are applying English skills and knowledge learned in other curriculum subjects when writing and the children’s enjoyment of writing has improved due to experiences, inspiring stimuli.
The children are increasingly vocal and ask pertinent questions, becoming active learners as opposed to passive. The children have increased confidence due to oracy being to the fore of our intent.
The children throughout school are gaining a love of reading and are making accelerated progress in their reading journey. Reading is still a whole school focus and will continue to be.
Within EYFS the GLD has increased annually, in year 1 the phonics screen has risen to stay at or beyond national. KS1 and 2 Statutory Test results are steadily increasing as our Intent continues to embed through school.
We strive for the children to be at ARE but we understand every child is unique and we at Westmorland believe that giving every children the best possible chance of achieving by providing them with a personalised package of provision is the key to every child reaching their full potential and for them to ‘dream, achieve and have high expectations of their future’.