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English

Our English Subject Leader is Ms Laura Smart.

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Intent

  • To raise standards in English throughout the school.
  • To use our creativity to plan and teach English units which engage our learners.
  • To have a school of children who enjoy reading and writing.
  • For staff to enjoy the lessons they teach and be passionate about the texts they are sharing

Our overarching aim for English is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping our pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for pleasure. By enabling children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, we want our pupils to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and plays, as well as non-fiction and media texts. During their time with us we want our children to gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. By taking into consideration the children’s interests, differing abilities, cultural background and equal opportunities, pupils use their knowledge, skills and understanding in speaking, listening, reading and writing across a range of different situations. Our intent is to ensure that all pupils:

· Read easily, fluently and with good understanding and expression, with awareness, where appropriate, of their audience

· Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information, becoming enthusiastic and reflective readers

 · Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language

· Are enabled to listen, understand and respond appropriately

· 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

· Develop a fluent and legible handwriting

· Develop the skills of grammar and punctuation and apply them to their own compositions · Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas

· Become competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate in ways that take account of their listeners.

 

Teaching Reading

We follow the National Curriculum for the teaching of reading and writing. Reading is separated into our reading powers: Prove and Predict, Opinion (including inference), Word (a focus on vocabulary as this is vital to a child’s development), Expression and fluency, Retrieval and Summarise.  Each reading lesson will focus on one or more of our reading skills.

Class organisation

Pupils are taught reading as a whole class in 3 sessions a week. Each session lasts half an hour or more. Children are sat in mixed ability seats for discussion and feedback purposes. This classroom layout is vital for peer talk to help children articulate their ideas in well-formed sentences, by scaffolding, extending and developing their ideas.

If children have not fully embedded their learning, they will be part of a reading intervention group which is organised by the class teacher to meet the needs of the learners.  

The whole class goes through the same content at the same pace with plenty of opportunities for differentiation through personalised questioning and prompting.

Children identified as working below the age-related expectations for their year group will also read one to one with an adult using our banded systematic reading scheme.

Lesson structure

The 30-minute session will include a range of:

  • The teacher reading an extract from a text aloud
  • The children reading extracts from a text aloud practising their fluency and expression
  • The children reading extracts of a text to themselves and each other
  • Focused questions which give the children opportunities to discuss the vocabulary; apply their inference skills supported by evidence in the text; make predictions; retrieve information and summarise events.

The children’s learning is recorded in their Reading Journal with a range of written and verbal answers given to reading comprehension questions.

Planning

Teachers choose the texts they use for their reading lessons by considering a variety of factors:

  • The current topic being studied across the curriculum
  • The interests of the learners
  • Ensuring a variety of authors and cultures so the children are exposed to the lives of those whose experiences and perspectives differ from their own
  • The ability of the learners
  • A range of current and classic authors
  • A mixture of fiction and non-fiction texts

Teachers plan the questions they ask the children, both verbally and written, to ensure the learners are applying their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Throughout a week, the children will use and apply all reading skills: reading with fluency and expression, discussing vocabulary; apply their inference skills supported by evidence in the text; make predictions; retrieve information and summarise events.

Becoming a Free Reader

Our aim at Crawley Ridge Junior School is that all children leave us with a love of reading and the ability to use reading to extend their learning at secondary school. In order to do this, all Year 3 children are assessed on entry using our PM benchmarking system. This determines if the children are reading at the correct level for their age. Children that are assessed at that level are ‘free readers’. They can choose to read from the range of age appropriate texts in their classrooms as well as read books from home. The children reading below their age group follow our banded system. This system is in place to accelerate the progress of these readers. These children will read with an adult each day and be re-assessed using the system every half term in order to ensure they move through the bands appropriately. Children in years 4, 5 and 6 who are working below their year group, are also assessed half termly and progress through the book bands for their age group.

Our banded books are all kept in our English room in the main school building for easy access. This is also a quiet place for the children to relax and enjoy reading.

Book Band

Phonics Phase

Year group information

  1. Pink

Phase 2

 

  1. Red

Phase 3

 

  1. Yellow

Phase 3/4

Target end of Reception

  1. Blue

Phase 4/5

 

  1. Green

Phase 5

 

  1. Orange

Phase 5/6

Target end of Y1

  1. Turquoise

Phase 5/6

 

  1. Purple

Phase 6

 

  1. Gold

Phase 6

 

  1. White/Silver

 

Target end of Y2

  1. Lime

 

 

FREE READER

Book bands may continue for those children who are needing to build confidence in their comprehension, decoding or further develop English language skills.

  1.  Copper

 

 

  1. Topaz

 

Target end of Year 3

  1. Ruby

 

 

  1. Emerald

 

Target end of Year 4

  1. Sapphire

 

Target end of Year 5

  1. Diamond

 

 

  1. Pearl

 

Target end of Year 6

We use ‘PhonicBooks’ for children who are identified as beginner readers or those whose current phonics knowledge has been identified as a barrier to their reading development.

Before starting on the series, a phonics diagnostic and PM Benchmarking should be carried out to identify where a child should begin their reading journey. These books are not to go home and are used daily during a 1:1 intervention. Corresponding books from the main scheme should be selected for regular reading at home.

Book Series

What does it cover?

Colour Band from main scheme

Moon Dogs, Set 1

Sounds of alphabet at CVC level.

Pink

Moon Dogs, Set 2

CVC level and adjacent consonants and consonant digraphs.

Red

Moon dogs, Set 3

Two spellings for a vowel sound.

Yellow

Magic Belt

Adjacent consonants, consonant digraphs and suffixes –ed and –ing.

Blue

  1. Totem Series
  2. Alba Series

A recap of adjacent consonants and consonant digraphs. Introduction to alternative spellings for vowel sounds e.g. ai, ay, a-e, a.

Green

Orange

  1. Rescue
  2. Talisman 1

Recap of alternative vowel spellings covered in Totem and Alba with additional vowel spellings for new vowel sounds.

Turquoise

Purple

 

Titan’s Gauntlets

Alternatives for new vowel and consonant sounds and common Latin suffixes. More text per page.

Gold

White

Talisman 2

More alternatives for new vowel and consonant sounds and common Latin suffixes.

Lime

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching Writing

We follow the National Curriculum for English in all year groups. The children are taught writing composition, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation. Key knowledge is taught from the English Appendix 2.

Class organisation

Pupils are taught writing as a whole class for an hour a day.  Although it may be called a writing session, all of these lessons include reading, speaking and listening skills. Just like reading, the children are sat in mixed ability seats for discussion and feedback purposes. This classroom layout is vital for peer talk to help children articulate their ideas in well-formed sentences, by scaffolding, extending and developing their ideas. All children are encouraged to share their ideas in some format during the lessons. They may share with the whole class by reading their learning aloud, the teacher may share their work using the iPad or the children may share their work with an adult or peer. All of these are opportunities for instant feedback that the children can respond to in order to evaluate and progress their learning.

Pre-teaching and catch-up groups are carried out during assembly times. The class teacher will use AfL to decide which children need this additional boost in order to accelerate the progress of those children working below their peers. Teachers will also use this opportunity for small group work to extend the more able pupils.

Lesson structure

A usual 60-minute session will include:

  • A clear learning objective so the children can assess their own progress throughout the lesson. This learning objective may be focused on transcription, composition, vocabulary, handwriting, grammar or punctuation.
  • Opportunities for rehearsing the spoken language.
  • Children will write independently, with a partner or in a small guided group.

The structure of the lesson will depend on the stage of writing within the unit of learning. Lessons at the beginning of a unit will include more talking and drama opportunities as the children are hooked into their new text, video or topic. Lessons may even take place outside of the classroom.

The children’s learning is recording in their English books.

Planning

Each English unit will vary between 2 to 3 weeks. All units begin with the children being immersed in the new hook (text, video or topic).

Teachers choose the drivers they use for their writing units by considering a variety of factors:

  • The current topic being studied across the curriculum
  • The interests of the learners
  • Ensuring a variety of authors and cultures so the children are exposed the lives of those whose experiences and perspectives differ from their own.
  • The ability of the learners
  • A range of current and classic authors
  • A mixture of fiction and non-fiction texts

The English overview document outlines the key text-drivers and genres being taught in all year groups.

Teachers use their PowerPoint slides with additional notes as both their planning and what they present to the class. The starting point for each new block of learning is always a list of the key transcription, composition, vocabulary, handwriting, grammar and punctuation learning objectives. Teachers refer to the National Curriculum and TAMAT reading and writing assessment grids when planning their units to ensure coverage and progression across the year groups.

Teaching Spelling

Class organisation

Pupils are taught spelling as a whole class in 2 sessions a week and it is referred to in all reading and writing lessons. Each spelling session lasts half an hour or more. Children are sat in mixed ability seats for discussion and feedback purposes. As investigations form a key part of our systematic spelling approach, the children are often working in mixed ability pairs or groups.

In order to offer additional spelling support, children identified in years 5 and 6 as needing more support to enable them to meet their targets, take part in the online Nessy spelling program during intervention times.

Lesson structure

The 30-minute investigation session will include:

  • The hypothesis being shared with the class.
  • The children then discuss what they already know that they could apply to the hypothesis.
  • The teacher will then model examples of words which prove the hypothesis true, false or sometimes true.
  • The children continue to investigate the hypothesis using dictionaries and thesauruses when needed
  • The whole class will discuss the hypothesis and share their evidence before a final conclusion is made
  • More than one investigation may take place in one session

As well as weekly investigations, our spelling scheme also includes a focus on phoneme, grapheme correspondence and morphology in our Go Grapheme Grafters sessions. The purpose and function of Go Grapheme Grafters is for the children to see, from teacher’s modelling, how words can be linked when they have the same sound and spelling. These sessions link with the spelling rules and patterns being identified in the investigation sessions.

A Go Grapheme Grafters session follows this pattern:

  • Every two weeks a set of 15 words are introduced to the class
  • The children identify the grapheme, pattern or syllable which they find difficult to remember the spelling of in each word.
  • Connections are made between the tricky areas identified and other words
  • The children will practise writing each word with a particular focus on those tricky elements.
  • The final task is sound association. In this section the children identify words which have the same sound and grapheme for the tricky elements of each word.

Planning

Planning for our systematic spelling approach comes from Jane Considine’s Spelling Book for each year group. The sessions are taught in the order they are presented in the book in order to ensure each session builds on the previous and links can be made.

Handwriting

At Crawley Ridge Junior School, we promote the use of cursive handwriting from Year 3 to Year 6 because fully joined cursive handwriting encourages:

· Natural movement

· Correct letter formation

· Less load on memory, aiding movement from left to right

· Clearer spacing

· Increased speed

· The development of a personal style

· Less focus on the mechanics and more on the product of writing

· Improved spelling

When the children are using the cursive style to the best of their ability, they move from pencil to pen. Additional support is given to those children who find cursive handwriting more challenging. This may include an adult transcribing, the child typing on a laptop or dictating into a laptop.

Homework

Reading, writing and the spoken language form a vital part of our whole curriculum, therefore, reading is the main focus on our English homework tasks. All children have a reading record to keep a log of the books they have been reading both in school and at home. This document allows teachers to monitor the range of books each child is reading. The teacher then has the opportunity to recommend books using their own subject knowledge. In years 3 and 4 all children must read aloud to an adult at home four times a week. This reading aloud also includes discussing the text. In year 5 and 6, the children are asked to share a book with an adult at home four times a week. This may be by reading aloud or discussing the text using reading prompts provided.

Teachers may also set homework linked to the class learning for spelling, grammar, vocabulary or punctuation.

Links between English and other subjects

Reading, writing and the spoken language are integral to the school curriculum. Opportunities for all take place in every subject, from stem sentences in maths to debates in history and evaluations in art. Our chosen hooks and text-drivers often link to the year group’s geography, history or science topic. This topic then links to art and DT forming links throughout the week.

Pupils with special educational needs and individual learning plans

Teachers will aim to include all pupils fully in their daily English lessons. All children benefit from the emphasis on oral work and participating in watching and listening to other children demonstrating and explaining their learning. However, a pupil whose difficulties are severe or complex may need to be supported with an individualised programme in the main part of the lesson. The class teacher will follow the individual learning plan for each child personalising the learning to meet their specific needs.

Resources

Class book corners are monitored by the class teachers. New books are added regularly and less popular books removed to keep the area fresh and allow children to easily access a book of their choice. All classrooms have a set of dictionaries and thesauruses. The school library is available for the children to visit at lunch times or they may visit with their class teacher during a lesson. Working walls keep a record of the learning creating a resource for all children to access in the classroom.

Working Walls

Every classroom will have an English working wall. This working wall changes throughout the learning journey. Key new learning will be added to the wall during the unit of learning. Children are encouraged to use the information on the wall as well as collect useful resources, such as word mats, which may be displayed there. When writing independently, the children are able to use all the resources available in the classroom.

Non-negotiables

Our English non-negotiables are highlighted in bold on our TAMAT assessment grids. Teachers use our assessment grids to carry out their teacher assessment judgements as well as inform their planning.

Library

Our well-stocked library supports all aspects of the curriculum and children enjoy visiting with their teachers. We have a part-time librarian who enables children to use the library at lunchtimes.

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