English Overview from Summer 2022
At Burrowmoor Primary School, our curriculum is designed to engender a love of books and reading, encouraging children to become both attentive listeners and independent and reflective readers. Our rich reading curriculum is designed to develop the crucial reading skills of fluency, accuracy and comprehension, alongside nurturing a love of reading.
Our school is determined that every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities and that all pupils at every level will make sufficient progress to meet their full reading potential.
Phonics and Early Reading
Throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1, staff plan daily phonic sessions based on the systematic synthetic phonics programme, 'Floppy's Phonics'. This programme follows the order of introducing the 44 sounds of the English language, matching the order in the DfE document 'Letters and Sounds.' It teaches the letter/s-sound correspondence of the English alphabetic code explicitly and comprehensively for reading, spelling and handwriting and has rigorous inbuilt daily revision to ensure that every child succeeds with phonics.
Regular tracking of children's progress in EYFS and KS1 happens to identify any gaps in learning. At the end of KS1, children are expected to take a national test for phonics. Those who do not pass are requested to have a retest in the summer of Year 2.
At our school, reading is taught using a whole class approach. The English curriculum is delivered through the use of a range of high quality texts. When accessing these texts, we follow the VIPERS model (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Inference, Explain, Retrieval and Sequencing (KS1) / Summarise (KS2)) and these correlate to the content domains of the Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs) at the end of KS1 and KS2. The children develop comprehension, inference and core reading skills in line with the National Curriculum and these content domains. Reading skills are taught explicitly within lessons on a daily basis
Accelerated Reader is a way for the children to select and read books independently to help them progress in their reading journey. All children from Year 2 to Year 6 can access this along with some children from Year 1 if their teacher carries out the appropriate assessments and feels that it would be beneficial to the individual child. Accelerated Reader is a useful tool for monitoring reading of a variety of genres and the children have ownership of their choices which feeds into our aim to foster a life-long love of reading.
Reading for Pleasure
We aim to foster a love of reading in all children and for them to become life-long readers. We promote a love of reading through:
- reading a class novel for at least 15 minutes every day;
- celebrating events such as World Book Day and engaging in author visits;
- making available high quality texts for all children;
- sending reading books home for children to read;
- making the children aware that all staff are readers and advocates of reading;
- giving children access to the well-resourced library;
- organising access to school book fairs;
- providing reading areas that are inviting for children and contain high quality texts and books that are relevant to current topics.
Our children will read unknown texts and be able to understand and interrogate them, drawing on all taught strategies from YR through to Y6. Learning will directly reference the content domains of the National Curriculum. The acquisition of new and high level vocabulary will open literary doors to all children and encourage them to read books that may have previously seemed beyond their reach.
We believe that once children have these necessary foundations, their journey in reading will continue through rich reading experiences that will both engage and further develop their skills as reader.
Reading at Burrowmoor is enhanced through the use of high quality texts in all areas of the curriculum, author visits, events celebrating reading such as World Book Day and through participating in events with the wider community. We aim to make every child a reader and to foster a life-long love of reading.
At Burrowmoor Primary School our aim is for every child to become a confident and skilled writer so that they can write clearly and accurately for a range of purposes with increasing proficiency. We intend for our children to be able to write for any purpose in order to improve their life chances by equipping them with the necessary tools and the knowledge of how to write appropriately in context. Our children will be taught continuous cursive handwriting and the development of this will encourage pride in all work produced.
We follow Michael Tidd’s idea of ‘Writing for a Purpose’, a theory that suggests that rather than trying to teach children ten or more different genres or text types, we should focus on what those different types have in common: the purpose for writing. All writing is linked to the current topic where possible and is supported by the study and interrogation of quality texts. Children's writing is improved and enhanced by discrete Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling and Vocabulary lessons which will build a solid basis for children's writing in any genre. In keeping with the ‘Writing for a Purpose’ approach, each piece of writing will have a real purpose and children’s work will be published in a variety of ways to celebrate and support this.
Children at Burrowmoor will be able to write with purpose for a purpose. They will know how to manipulate and experiment with what they write effectively taking into considering their audience. Children will be able to write beautifully presented, cohesive compositions of age appropriate length. They will use high-level, ambitious vocabulary and show a good understanding and application of complex grammar within a wide range of contexts.
Children will recognise and be proud of their achievements.
At Burrowmoor, all writing is celebrated and the final outcome published in a variety of ways; this may be as diverse as a section on the school website, a filmed debate in school or a display of short stories in the town library. Our Burrowmoor Reading Canon is developing to include titles that cannot be missed to ensure our children are exposed to a rich diet of language and genres that will then support them in their own writing.
We plan opportunities for visits and visitors to provide first-person experiences to inspire our children’s writing as we know that our children thrive on writing about what they know. Events such as World Poetry Day and Book Week are also celebrated and used to inspire children to write.
Approach to Spelling
At Burrowmoor Primary, our aim is for every child to become a confident and skilled writer so that they can write clearly and accurately for a range of purposes with increasing proficiency. We want our children learn to spell accurately. Children who can spell accurately feel confident and are able to write with enjoyment. We intend for our children to be equipped with a range of strategies when spelling, to be able to apply these strategies when spelling words in their independent writing and to enjoy exploring and investigating the patterns and contradictions of the English language.
English is a complex language which requires children to learn a range of strategies to spell. In order to spell properly, children need to be able to speak clearly. Furthermore, children need to understand the principles underpinning word construction:
There are a number of techniques and strategies that the children are taught in order to learn how to spell words. Children need to use graphic (i.e. visual) strategies like the pyramid of words or the look, say, cover, write, check sheets. As well as this, the children can draw on other bodies of knowledge. This can be linked to the ‘word recognition’ strand of the simple view of reading which is ‘phonic and graphic knowledge.’
The impact of our spelling curriculum will be measured through:
- Pupil voice/confidence
- Half termly PIXL Spelling tests
- Termly assessment scores
- Feedback from children’s work across the curriculum
- External assessments (SATs and Phonics Screening Check in Year 1)
- Within children’s writing across the curriculum.
Children will leave Burrowmoor Primary School being able to effectively apply spelling rules and patterns that they have been taught.
Spelling is enriched, wherever possible, through links to work in other curriculum areas such as history, geography, science and art and work is also on displays in order to elevate the profile of spelling, giving the children a sense of pride about what they have completed.
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At Burrowmoor Primary school, we aim for children to develop a neat, legible, continuous cursive handwriting style that will give them a sense of pride in their writing. We use the Letter-join programme as the basis of our handwriting policy and this covers all the requirements of the National Curriculum. Handwriting is a basic skill that influences the quality of presented work throughout the curriculum. We intend that all children will have the ability to produce neat, fluent, legible and joined-up handwriting, and to understand the different forms of handwriting used for different purposes.
At Burrowmoor Primary School, we use the Letter-join programme as a basis to develop the children’s continuous cursive handwriting style (see appendix 1).
In Reception, the children are provided with activities that develop their fine motor skills. Alongside daily discrete phonic lessons that are taught twice daily for 30 minutes, the children are taught how to form the letters that are taught in a pre-cursive style.
Year 1 and 2
Daily 15-minute Letter-Join lessons cover:
· Gross and fine motor skills exercises.
· Cursive handwriting reinforcement, learning and practice linked to the phonics taught.
· Numerals, capitals and printed letters: where and when to use, learning and practice.
Key Stage 2:
Once a week 20-minute Letter-Join lesson to cover:
· Re-enforcement of cursive handwriting.
· Form-filling/labelling using printed and capital letters.
· Dictation exercises to teach the need for quick notes and speedy handwriting writing.
Children will write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed in continuous cursive handwriting using the appropriate joins.
Handwriting is enriched, wherever possible, through links to work in other curriculum areas such as history, geography, science and art. High quality display showcases examples of effective handwriting giving the children a sense of pride about the work they have completed.