Our Vision for English:
- To develop strong speaking and listening skills that allow children to express themselves and communicate confidently across a range of purposes and contexts
- To fluently read and understand a wide range of texts appropriate to a child of their age
- To choose to read widely and often in their own time, expressing opinions about books and authors
- To see themselves as writers, creating independent pieces for a range of purposes, that are both creative and technically proficient
- To provide a secure foundation of the English Language to prepare children for their transition into secondary education and beyond
Shaping Our English Curriculum:
We develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.
We follow the letters and sounds programme. 'Letters and Sounds' is a phonics resource published by Department for Education and Skills which consists of six phases. We also use the ‘Jolly Phonics’ actions and songs as a hook. Phonics is taught every day for up to 20 minutes in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. Children are taught phonics in phase groups.
Reading is at the heart of all learning at Woodheys. Guided Reading sessions take place across both Key Stages. Children in EYFS have regular opportunities to read with the class teacher as well as being exposed to books in all areas of their continuous provision. Children have access to a range of quality fiction and non-fiction texts that compliment other areas of the curriculum and broaden their vocabulary. Reading for pleasure is promoted throughout the school and children read independently, with their peers, buddies and other adults. To further children's enjoyment of books they also have stories read to them.
Developing language skills is at the heart of education and learning. Our curriculum ensures that children are taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using Standard English. They also learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others. They are taught to give well-structured descriptions and explanations and develop their understanding through speculating, hypothesising and exploring ideas. This enables them to clarify their thinking as well as organise their ideas for writing.
At Woodheys children are immersed in high quality texts that inspire children to write for a range of genres, with a clear purpose and audience. Where possible, writing is linked to learning in other areas of the curriculum to help children to make associations. Writing lessons follow a phased approach (linked to Talk for Writing) including reading, speaking and listening and writing. Children have the opportunity to observe teachers modelling writing as well as participating in shared writing activities. Throughout the writing process children are encouraged to proof read, edit and re-draft their writing following feedback from their peers and their teacher. Children self and peer assess their writing using green fix-it pens. Published work can be found on displays and is celebrated with the wider school community.
We provide regular opportunities for children to develop, practise and perfect skills and provide targeted support to any child experiencing difficulty. Handwriting is taught weekly to a whole class or groups of children and then practised. In Foundation Stage and KS1 we have introduced a cursive handwriting approach. As the children move through school they will continue to use the approach through KS2.