English – teaching and learning
English is at the heart of every child and adults life. We live in an environment where written text is all around us and we use the fundamentals of writing and reading in our daily lives. This is why at Monksdown we believe that English should be at the heart of all aspects of school life.
We recognise that at our children have varied life experiences and the ability to read and write effectively directly impacts their life choices. We understand that reading and writing skills also has a direct impact upon progress and attainment in all areas of the curriculum and also upon a child’s self-esteem, well-being and motivation to learn. Therefore, we recognise that children need to develop a secure knowledge of the skills in literacy which follows a clear path of progression as they develop through the school. This is crucial for our school as we support them to become lifelong writers and readers enabling them to participate as full members of society.
At Monksdown Primary School, English and the teaching of English is embedded across the curriculum. Our aim is to ensure that every child progresses in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. We believe in supporting our children to love reading and writing. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We believe in setting high standards in the presentation of writing along with setting the important foundations in spelling and grammar. We aim to inspire children in their writing by providing opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum. We value reading as a key life skill and we are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe that through supporting our children to learn to read, they will be able to read to learn for the rest of their lives. Reading is key for academic success. We believe in developing reading fluency and all comprehension skills coupled with promoting a love of reading so all of our children can access the delights and rewards that reading provides.
With these aims in mind, writing and reading opportunities are timetabled daily across all year groups.
In reception and Year 1 daily phonics supports the development of early reading skills. Additionally, to this the children learn to read using a fully phonetically decodable reading scheme to ensure they can put their phonetical skills to use to read for understanding. In years 2 – 4 daily guided reading sessions provide the children with opportunities to develop word reading and comprehension skills, incorporating all strands of reading comprehension using the VIPERS questioning model. Whole class guided reading is use to encourage high level vocabulary, inference techniques, prediction skills, explain their thinking around a text, learn how to retrieve information and sequence and summarise information they have read. In addition to the discrete daily reading, a diverse range of reading opportunities are embedded across the curriculum. Quality texts are used as a lead into many writing opportunities where new vocabulary can be learnt and applied and whole class texts are shared with the children to allow time to listen to and enjoy stories.
Reading is celebrated at Monksdown Primary and there are many opportunities for the children to develop and enhance their love of reading across the school year. Our book week coincides with World book day. We spend the week focusing on reading, with competitions, local library visits, creative activities and sharing stories to expose our children to new authors and promote the enjoyment of reading. We celebrate our fantastic readers each month with the ‘Reader of the Month’ where each winner receives a golden coin to use at our book vending machines.
Writing is taught using the Pathways scheme of work. Through the use of a quality texts and teaching of ‘mastery keys’ we teach the children to infer, understand and use high-level vocabulary, a range of punctuation. Each text is purposefully selected in order to promote a love of reading, engagement and high-quality writing from each child. We ensure that each year group is taught the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for that age groups. Writing is celebrated across the school with displays of high-quality writing along with sharing successes for the children in our celebration assemblies.
As well as teaching the national curriculum objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in cross curricular writing opportunities.
As a result of our robust and well-planned curriculum, ongoing formative and summative assessment and moderation our children will be able 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
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
These aims are embedded across our literacy 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. Rigorous assessment and review will ensure that we are able to provide targeted support so that all children experience success in literacy; we believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
Planning our own stories using images from the mysteries of Harris Burdick
KS1 Readathon, Family Fun Reading Event, and World Book Day
Cross Curricular Maths & Reading
Working together on a shared write
Writing: editing, acting out stories