Why we teach English at our school
At Greenfields we want children to achieve a secure foundation in the vast array of English skills. English encompasses a number of fundamental life skills. It enables us to communicate confidently with different audiences; ensuring that we listen carefully to the ideas of others; as well as sharing our own ideas, thoughts and opinions appropriately. It helps us to interpret large amounts of information effectively which in turn empowers us to make clear, unbiased decisions. Children need to acquire a wide range of English skills and techniques to help them prepare for adult life, employment, further study and training.
Primary English allows us to immerse ourselves in high-quality texts and digital literacy. It provides us with new experiences and at times an escape from reality. We are able to write, read and discuss topics that are important to us and share our views in a number of interesting ways.
We aim to secure a mastery of English through:
- A love of books by having a class read at the end of the school day.
- All children reading fluently by 6 years old using the systematic teaching of phonics in the Early Years and Key Stage One. (Letters and Sounds scheme). Phonics learning is supported through the “Phonics Bug”, “Bug Club” and “Songbird” reading schemes.
- The ability to comprehend texts at a deeper level by a whole-class approach to the teaching of reading (Y2-6) and a Book Talk method in Early Years and Y1.
- A passion for writing by using high-quality texts and digital literacy to inspire fiction writing and using our inquiry curriculum to drive a true purpose for writing for non-fiction writing.
- Confidence, competency and fluency in grammar and punctuation by using ‘The Write Way’ approach.
- Confidence, competency and fluency in spelling by using ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ scheme (Y2-6).
- Confidence, competency and fluency in handwriting by using the ‘Nelson Handwriting’ scheme.
- An application of all these skills across the curriculum.
At Greenfield we follow the National Curriculum:
“The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.”
National Curriculum 2014
We believe that skills in writing and reading impact on one another and we are aiming for children to master skills in both areas.
In writing, we are aiming for mastery of spelling, punctuation, grammar and literary techniques. We believe that all pupils are capable of achieve high standards in Writing and are able to develop their own writer’s voice. Teaching is underpinned by providing real purposes and engagements for writing as well as sharing a variety of high-quality texts. Writing lessons are carefully structured to capture the process of writing through analysing literature; teacher-modelling; careful drafting; and most importantly editing and redrafting.
In reading, we are aiming for children to master the ability to decode, comprehend, analyse and evaluate texts. We believe that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in Reading and are able to develop their own literary viewpoints. We begin with systematic teaching of Phonics in Early Years and Key Stage One following the Letters and Sounds scheme. Phonics learning is supported through the “Phonics Bug”, “Bug Club” and “Songbird” reading schemes so children can embed their phonic knowledge when reading books both at school and at home. Reading lessons develop through Key Stage One and throughout Key stage Two being centred around quality texts and thoughtful discussions. Lessons are carefully structured to enable children to deepen their ability to comprehend, analyse, evaluate and critique literature in both written and verbal means.