English

Our English lessons develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and grammar and vocabulary. English is taught in a cross-curricular way, linking up with other areas of the curriculum. We teach our pupils to speak clearly, to convey their ideas fluently and confidently and to ask questions.  Their vocabulary is developed systematically. Our pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure and to read widely. Just for the love of reading! Pupils learn to write in innovative ways and for a purpose and audience.

Reading – Reading is a subject we value very highly at Tankersley St Peters. We are tenacious in ensuring every child can read by the time they enter KS2. We use the Read Write Inc phonics scheme and screen the children every 6-8 weeks to ensure they are at the correct place in their phonetic knowledge acquisition. Phonic awareness helps the development of reading as pupils learn to segment and blend sounds. Phonetically decodable books are used daily and these are also taken home so pupils’ can practise at home.  The head teacher and SLT regularly screen pupils from an early age so no child slips through the net.  All staff are seen as ‘reading leaders’ and attend coaching and mentoring sessions to support the teaching of phonics.

Reciprocal reading sessions through our ‘Canine Pals’ approach allows children to learn how to understand texts and answer a range of comprehension questions. Reciprocal strategies are used to develop decoding and comprehension skills in daily reciprocal guided sessions. Pupils learn to use the roles of Victor Vocabulary, Iggy Inference, Pip Predictor, Suki Sequencer and Rex Retriever at KS1. In KS2, children use the roles of Victor Vocabulary, Iggy Inference, Pip Predictor, Sheba Summariser and Rex Retriever and in UKS2 the additional Arlo the Author and Cassie Commentator roles. They become increasingly independent in these skills as their confidence in reading develops. We cover a wide range of texts and reading materials - poetry, fiction and non-fiction texts. These comprehensions are also practised at home.

Parents are given clear expectations about reading at home. Workshops in reading are organised regularly in school to upskill parents in helping their child to be a reader.

See information for parents on our website.

WritingWe give our children many opportunities to write for different audiences and purposes and we encourage pupils to see themselves as authors. To support children in moving towards independent writing we provide a wide range of writing stimuli including the use of quality ‘age appropriate’ texts as well as film and imagery. Emphasis is placed on all elements of spelling, punctuation and grammar as well as modelled, shared and guided writing, editing, handwriting and feedback to improve standards. We use drama techniques to encourage pupils to express and exchange ideas and to develop sophisticated vocabulary. We provide opportunities for children’s writing to link to the creative curriculum to improve knowledge and understanding in context for other subject areas such as History.

Extended writing is key to ensure our pupils have the opportunity to apply learned spelling, punctuation and grammar skills at least fortnightly. Highlighters are used to identify aspects of SPAG and for children to deepen their knowledge and understanding. Follow up from the extended 'are built in through up levelling a piece of work / mystery author/grammar detectives.

Writing is assessed using the Writing Standards (Y2 and Y6 use end of KS standards) to ascertain where the child is in their writing and to identify next steps for children in each year group.

Spelling - Daily spellings lessons are carried out following the progressive Read Write Inc spellings scheme. Pupils have a weekly spelling test and take home their spelling log books to practice their spellings. Read Write Inc spelling is for children in Years 2 to 6 who can read accurately, with increasing speed. With 15 minutes of daily teaching, children develop the ability to apply specific spelling rules to a variety of spellings. Although the teaching of phoneme-grapheme correspondence underpins this programme, it also develops children’s knowledge of word families, how prefixes and suffixes affect root words, and provides mnemonics to remember the trickiest spellings. The teaching revolves around instruction (with the help of online alien characters), partner and group practice, and competitive group challenges that help children commit new words to memory.

Handwriting – We believe the teaching of handwriting to be central to achieving high standards in all work across school and therefore handwriting is taught frequently throughout the week across KS1 and KS2 following the teaching of phonics and reading using the RWI handwriting scheme. Children are taught initial letter formation then relative size before moving on to joins and fluency within the scheme across KS1 and KS2.

Drama - Drama is used as a key tool in developing oral skills, vocabulary development, building confidence and self- esteem, and as an essential tool in developing imaginative, expressive, and persuasive spoken and written language. ‘Hot seating’, and other drama techniques are used in lessons to aid the development of speaking and listening, reading and writing skills. Imaginative role play is fundamental to developing the whole child, not just in Early Years and KS1 education, but also as the children develop, and our curriculum provides opportunities to perform to wider audiences through assemblies and events around key festivals. There are many opportunities for our pupils to perform as they progress through the school and this is a strength of our curriculum.

 

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