Kingsway Primary School

Kingsway Primary School

 

English

By the time children leave our school, we expect them to have developed the life skills needed to communicate effectively and with confidence through speaking and listening, writing, reading fluently and showing an understanding of English in a range of situations.

We endeavour for every child to take pleasure in reading across a range of genres and have a strong motivation to read for a variety of purposes. Writing enables children to express themselves, communicate with others and record in other areas of the curriculum. It requires an understanding of sentence and text structure, grammar and punctuation, an ability to edit and evaluate writing, both their own and that of others, a knowledge of how spoken language translates to the written word and an awareness of purpose and audience across different genres. It involves a competency in spelling and handwriting. Children will be supported to make sustained progress whilst promoting enjoyment and enthusiasm for English.

Reading

Children have access to a wide range of reading opportunities that include:

  • Guided reading
  • Regular independent reading
  • Home/school reading, through scheme books and our online library
  • Use of the school library and local library visits
  • Class reading areas that include access to journals, comics and magazines
  • Paired reading and reading buddies
  • Hearing texts read aloud, and modelled by a teacher, on a daily basis
  • Reading in other subjects through a range of texts and including the use of technology

In Early Years and Key Stage 1 children learn to read effectively and quickly using a bespoke Phonics programme. This is a high impact, progressively structured programme. They progress into guided reading once they can read with accuracy and speed. Early comprehension skills are developed through story times and small comprehension sessions. These are further supported using Chatta to share stories and make inferences as a class, in small groups or on a one to one basis. Children read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and the common exception words. Children read books from the reading scheme in school. Re-reading and discussing these books with the teacher supports their decoding.

Children are assessed in phonics, using Phonics Tracker, an assessment and tracking programme for phonics, high frequency words and the phonics screening check.

All Children follow the reading sequence during guided reading sessions. The children build comprehension skills through a structured week of lessons.

 Strategies Used in Guided Reading

The Breakdown refers to skills practised in comprehension lessons. These skills are re-reading the text, locating key words, thinking aloud, visualising and slowing down your reading.

Reciprocal reading refers to an instructional activity in which children become the teacher in small group reading sessions. Discussions use four strategies: summarizing, question generating, clarifying, and predicting.

In Key Stage 2 children read books that are closely matched to their abilities. Children read books from the reading scheme in school. They can alternate between the scheme and choosing a free read to take home.

Writing

We provide a wide range of well - planned opportunities for children to develop their writing skills. We ensure that activities are purposeful and linked to other curriculum areas which provide contexts for children to apply their skills, endeavouring to ensure real audiences as often as possible. Our learning objectives are taken from the National Curriculum which we use to support our planning of the teaching sequence; ensuring children develop their writing skills across a wide range of genres. A range of techniques are used in the teaching of writing, including:

  • Talk4writing
  • Hooks for writing
  • Cold writes
  • Hot writes
  • Drama and role play
  • Film and digital images and technology

All children are involved in daily English lessons. These lessons follow a writing sequence. In Early Year and Key Stage 1, Chatta is used as a “hook” for writing. The writing process starts with visual cues and allow the children to orally compose their sentences, using previous knowledge including songs and actions for VGPS. This eventually transfers into a written piece. There will be modelled/ shared writing activities throughout this process. These pieces are then edited both with the teacher and independently.

For Key Stage 2, the writing sequence starts with a “hook” for writing. This allows for children to activate their prior knowledge. Once children are hooked, children complete a cold write. A cold write involves children completing a writing task without prior teaching and modelling. Children are required to apply previously taught skills and knowledge to complete the task, without prompts and reminders from the teachers. From this targets are set for the unit. The features of each genre are explored and taught in more detail. VGPS is planned throughout the unit of writing. Children will plan their own piece of independent writing and teachers will model/share writing during the writing sequence. Once any misconceptions are re-taught, the children will plan, draft and edit a fully independent piece of writing that will be assessed by the teacher at the end of the unit.

The writing sequence allows children the opportunities to write for a sustained amount of time to develop both speed and flow through their writing, and to give time to evaluate and edit their work. Staff within school provide opportunities for children to respond to marking and feedback using blue pens to edit and improve their work. Teachers use open questioning to encourage children to think and explain. Teachers invite responses to class discussion in a range of ways in order to promote participation including, but not limited to, talk partners, allowing for children to explore and extend their ideas. Children are encouraged to independently find evidence in their work using a bronze, silver and gold grid which they use to self and peer review.

Assessment for learning will inform planning, ensuring that children are working on areas of need and giving enhancements to challenge children further. Talk4writing principles and activities are incorporated into lessons when appropriate, to develop and improve sentence structure and vocabulary choices.

Vocabulary, Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (VGPS)

In order to maintain accuracy within children’s writing, VGPS feeds into all lessons across the curriculum. Within the reading sequence, vocabulary is taught in all lessons, based on the text the children are working with. Within the writing sequence, VGPS is planned into lessons, based on the assessment of work. Vocabulary toolkits are used within Theme lessons to ensure children are spelling topic specific words correctly, increasing their understanding of words used and improving their vocabulary range. Teachers follow the year group expectations for VGPS, and ensure children are given opportunities to apply their VGPS knowledge within all elements of writing.

Children are taught spellings each day using the year group spelling patterns in a range of innovative ways. Read, Write Inc. is used for spelling in Reception through to Year 3. A spelling scheme is used for years 4 to 6. Phonics sounds are used alongside the spelling rules for Key Stage 1 and those children that need to use phonics in Key Stage 2. Children are taught the meaning of words and are taught the word in the context of a sentence. Children are encouraged to use spelling rhymes and phrases in order to develop strategies for remembering spellings and apply the spelling rule and pattern in other words.

 

Throughout their school journey and upon leaving year six,

  • Children see writing to as an essential life skill.
  • Children understand the relevance of writing to their future.
  • Children write with a purpose and enjoy writing though creativity and for an audience.
  • Each child develops the necessary Vocabulary, Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling skills to be the best writer they can be.
  • Each child is a confident and successful writer.
  • Children enjoy and engage with, a range of text types and genres.
  • Children read for both enjoyment and to develop their knowledge.
  • Children can read with fluency and expression.
  • Children are independent readers with the ability to question and infer.
  • Children foster an interest in words and their meanings, and develop an extended vocabulary in both spoken and written form.
  • Children can express opinions, articulate feelings and formulate responses.

 

Please click on the documents below to access the long-term plans for each year group:

The school teaches early reading through phonics. The children learn the 44 common sounds of the English language and how to sound and blend words, alongside letter formation and spelling. Then they, importantly, read books with words they can sound-blend, so they get early success in reading. The more sounds they learn, the greater the range of words they can read. Phonics is taught using the Read Write Inc scheme. Children then progress to “Big Cat” which is a structured reading scheme and are also able to regularly access free choice books. Children learn a wide range of comprehension skills through reciprocal reading in groups and whole class. This strategy supports children’s’ vocabulary development and ability to understand features of a wide range of texts.

 

You can access resources to support your child with their phonics learning from here.

It is important children write correctly at an early age. The school aims to develop a fluent and legible handwriting style for all children. Please support school and help to avoid your child getting into bad habits which are often difficult to correct later on. When writing, children's posture should be emphasised from an early age and for this in school we use the acronym 'BBC' which stands for bottoms, and backs on chairs! Children learn to write for a range of purposes and audiences and are encouraged to use marking to edit and improve their written work.  

 

At Kingsway each year group has a series of non-negotiables which the children are aware of. These are the skills which we expect all the children to achieve in reading and writing and which should be consistently evident in their work. You may download a copy of these from here.

The photo grid below documents our March 2021 Extreme Reading Challenges.