Our English Subject Leaders is Mrs Cottle
At West Coker Primary School we believe that our English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of literature and a habit of reading widely and often. 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 want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
We value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe reading is crucial for academic success and it is our intention that the children at West Coker:
- become enthusiastic and motivated readers
- develop their confidence in reading a wide variety of genres and text types
- have the skills to decode words in order to be able to read fluently and understand what they have read
- have a love of literature and an enjoyment of reading for pleasure
- use reading to provoke thought
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. 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.
We teach English as whole class lessons, making use of the ‘Wordsmith’ English Curriculum (produced by Pearson Publishing, who also publish the BugClub Phonics resource), so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. Within lessons, teachers and teaching assistants offer targeted support to enable all children 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 scaffolded materials, word banks or a greater level of modelling.
The Wordsmith Curriculum, on the Pearson BugClub platform is used to support teachers in addressing all the key assessment points contained within the national curriculum. Writing units are selected from those available to reflect the topics children are learning. Children 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 grammar features.
We have a skills-based approach to reading with progress tracked using BugClub tracking documents to maintain fidelity in reading throughout the school. We use a variety of high-quality texts from a broad range of genres to give children exposure to as many different text types as possible. Once an understanding of the text is in place, we work on the skills children need to retrieve information, explain feelings or events and infer meaning. We also link our reading curriculum to our writing curriculum by including a class reader every term that links closely to the topic we are studying.
In EYFS and early KS1, there is a greater emphasis on phonics. Within daily phonic sessions, children have the opportunity to revisit previous learning, practise and apply new skills in structured but engaging ways. We use the ‘BugClub Phonics’ SSP scheme, beginning from when the children first start Reception. Phonics lessons take place 5x per week in Reception and 5x per week in KS1.
We encourage reading for pleasure through children having a choice of challenging and enriching texts as well as building in time for children to read independently and as part of a whole class. All children have daily opportunities to read a variety of material in school, including regularly with an adult.
Each week, the children are given a decodable Monster Phonics book to take home that reflects the learning taking place in school. The children are also provided with a ‘reading for pleasure’ book that they can share with an adult or read independently.
Spellings are taught according to the rules and words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum. In EYFS and KS1, spellings are taught in small groups through phonic sessions. In KS2, Teachers focus on a spelling rule per week for children to practise. Children may practise these spellings at home and in school, with spellings test conducted weekly to test for retention of learning.
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 standalone lessons, if they feel that the class need additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills.
English Lesson Sequence:
Each year group have a yearly overview of the writing genres, both narrative and non-fiction, that they will teach. These have been planned to ensure correct coverage of the key genres as well as build on skills from year to year. Units will take between two and four weeks to complete, and the outcome of each unit will be an Extended Write which will be used to assess the pupil’s skills against the agreed success criteria which are taken from the National Curriculum appropriate fo. Every narrative unit is linked to a carefully chosen text that acts as a stimulus for teaching the identified text, word and sentence level features that children will be expected to include in their extended writing outcome for that unit. An example text that contains all the features that are being taught is created based on the stimulus text and supports pupils to identify and mimic the identified features in their own writing. Non-fiction units are also taught through an example text that may be based on a stimulus text or may be related to another curriculum area.
Marking and Feedback:
Feedback and marking should be completed, where possible, within the lesson or as soon as is reasonably possible afterwards. All marking and feedback is given in line with our marking and feedback policy.
Teachers will use their professional judgement alongside year group assessment grids to determine whether a child is working within age-related expectations, above or below. They will base their judgements on the quality of the extended write that pupils produce at the end of each unit, and determine to what extent pupils have met the agreed success criteria for that genre of writing.
Regardless of background, ability or additional needs, by the time children leave West Coker School:
- Pupils will be enthusiastic and motivated readers who are confident and will enjoy reading a wide variety of genres and text types
- Pupils will have the skills to decode words, infer and retrieve information, predict, explain and summarise in order to be able to read fluently with a secure understanding of what they have read
- Pupils will be inspired by literature and will read for pleasure.
- Children in Year 1 will be in line or above national standard for phonic screening
- Children in Years 2 and 6 will be in line or above national standard for reading
- Pupils will enjoy writing across a range of genres
- Pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because work will be appropriately scaffolded
- Pupils will have a wide vocabulary that they use within their writing
- Pupils will have a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context and audience
- Pupils will be able to effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught
- Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support spelling, grammar and composition at home, and contribute regularly to homework
- The % of pupils working at ARE will be at least in line with national averages.
- The % of pupils working at Greater Depth will be at least in line with national averages
- There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non-disadvantaged)