English has a key place in the education of pupils at Alfred Sutton Primary School. It is both an important subject in its own right and provides a platform for accessing the wider curriculum.
At Alfred Sutton, we follow the ambitious objectives of the 2014 National Curriculum and integrate opportunities to write across our knowledge-based curriculum.
The teaching of reading, both the technical aspects of decoding language and the opportunity for pupils to develop a love of literature, is one of the most important aspects of school life. We have a KS1 and KS2 library containing a wide variety of books to share. A reading culture is demonstrated through the school, and planned literacy events throughout the year highlight our commitment to developing your child’s love of reading.
On entering Reception, our children follow a rigorous system of synthetic phonics, based on Ruth Miskin’s Read Write Inc Phonics programme. Alongside this, children have access to high quality texts as they learn to read independently.
In Year 2, the great majority of our pupils are reading independently, borrowing books from our well-stocked library or classroom collections. Pupils read individually and access high-quality reading provision on a daily basis. Some pupils are allowed a completely free choice in what they read, while others are guided towards titles by their teachers. The allocation of books is based on the teacher’s knowledge of a pupil and their reading needs. Books are changed weekly.
Across the school we focus on teaching comprehension through guided groups. Our reading progression teaches the key skills of decoding, retrieval and inference and deduction. Our children learn how to analyse a text through different types of reading questions. We focus on the explicit teaching of vocabulary and knowledge to enhance pupils’ understanding of what they read.
Our reading sessions are all based around carefully selected class texts. They are engaging and interactive sessions where whole class participation is expected. The sessions ensure that children gain a good understanding of the reading skills required throughout primary school. We aim for our children to leave primary school as confident readers.
Teachers take every opportunity to read to their classes, sharing good quality literature with them. This helps our pupils to develop their vocabulary as well as introducing them to unfamiliar ideas and concepts. It also gives pupils the opportunity to tackle longer or more challenging texts than they would be able to alone.
It is our aim that all pupils who attend Alfred Sutton leave us able to write accurately, coherently and enthusiastically, adapting their language and style to a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Our expectations with regards to handwriting and presentation are also high as we want children to take pride in their work. Our success in writing is reflected in our SATs results. Writing is taught through high quality children’s literature and wider curriculum non-fiction texts. We always use ambitious model texts with children to ensure they are exposed to high-level vocabulary, punctuation and a rich variety of writing styles.
The writing Process
At Alfred Sutton, all pupils are supported to develop their written work to the highest quality that they can achieve. Pupils have an opportunity to encounter high quality language, both from written texts and teacher interaction. Grammar, punctuation and other specific language elements are taught within the context of both reading and writing. There are four stage to the writing process:
High quality feedback, which pupils respond to by improving their work, further enables our children to make very good progress.
Children are assessed against our writing targets based on the National Curriculum.
Oracy has a central place in our curriculum, reflecting the vital importance of spoken language on our pupils’ development. Pupils are supported to speak in Standard English at all times whilst at school. There are opportunities to talk right across the curriculum as this is recognised as being a key way in which pupils learn. They are supported to talk about their ideas, helping to consolidate their knowledge and understanding. In addition to making formal presentations and participating in debates, pupils are challenged every lesson to articulate their thinking clearly and concisely. We encourage and celebrate speaking and listening across the wider curriculum.
Key objectives overview
National Curriculum Spelling Word Lists
The National Curriculum sets out words children should be able to spell accurately at the end of KS1, in Years 3 and 4 and in Years 5 and 6. We recommend children practise these weekly as part of their home learning: