English and Reading at Stirchley Primary School
At Stirchley Primary School, English sits at the heart of our curriculum and develops our children’s love of reading, writing and the spoken word. It is our intention that by the end of their primary education, children have the required knowledge and skills that allow them to speak, read and write fluently. We believe that this will give our children the tools they need to succeed in life.
Speaking and Listening
Effective speaking and listening underpins everything we do, in all curriculum areas. Pupils are encouraged to speak clearly, confidently and with expression in order to share their ideas and opinions. This could be in pairs, groups or whole class situations. Role-play, debating and drama activities are just some of the elements of speaking and listening across the school.
Reading has a central place in the learning experience of all children so we make reading the key focus of our English curriculum. Children are immersed in high quality texts, combined with learned reading skills that are embedded across the whole curriculum.
We strive to ensure that all children become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1 and believe this is achievable through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ culture promoted through class reads and quality texts. Children in EYFS and Key Stage One, have a daily phonics lesson using Phonics Bug (a DfE validated programme).
We believe that children who read for pleasure gain a richer vocabulary, deeper, more critical thinking skills and become independent learners. Reading lessons are an important part of our curriculum and children take part in whole class reading sessions where they benefit from the teacher’s expert explanations, modelling, questioning and feedback.
Our children take their reading books home daily and are encouraged to read at home with an adult. This is then followed-up by regular one-to one reading carried out by both teaching assistants and teachers. We also have access to Bug Club where the children are set fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts to read at home. Each class has its own reading area designed to promote a love of reading and books.
We provide children with rich reading opportunities within the English lessons and encourage them to appreciate the author’s use of language and the writing techniques in order to develop their own writing skills. We have adopted the Read into Writing approach. Each unit teaches reading in depth through a rounded study of a whole text. Writing tasks are embedded within this reading experience so the children’s deep reading knowledge and understanding are crucial to the success of the writing. We aim to write for different purposes- to entertain, express, inform and persuade. We teach pupils to use the grammar, punctuation and spelling taught and to be able to proof-read their own work and make amendments and improvements. Our system of pen licences encourages the children to form their letters correctly and consistently take pride in their presentation.
Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation
We place great emphasis on the importance of accurate spelling. A programme of spelling is taught across the whole school, beginning with Letters and Sounds (supported by Phonics Bug)
In Key Stage Two, we use spelling journals which enable children to develop a personalised approach to the learning of words.
Grammar and punctuation is taught in line with the National Curriculum and is delivered as a discrete subject and as embedded skills to be reflected in the writing produced by our pupils.