Early Years Foundation Stage and KS1 English
English is at the heart of our teaching and learning and is essential to every area of the curriculum. It is through English that concepts are formed and we are able to make sense of the world and our place in it.
It begins in Nursery where the children are read to on a daily basis and supported in developing their speaking and listening skills through a range of adult led and child initiated activities such as role play and circle time. The Early Years provision provides the children with plenty of opportunities to develop their gross and fine motor skills and they are given opportunities to experiment with a variety of mark making activities. When the children are ready, they participate in activities that encourage development of their reading skills that are formally introduced in Reception.
Daily synthetic phonics teaching is introduced in Reception following the Read Write Inc. programme where they learn a new sound each day, practise blending and segmenting skills (Fred talk) and develop their ability to read red words (words that cannot be decoded). Throughout Key Stage One the children build on their phonic knowledge further and as they come to the end of the phonics programme the focus moves on to spelling. The Year One Phonics Screening Check takes place in the Summer term.
Children are taught to read in a variety of ways. Guided reading sessions take place on a daily basis. Teacher led reading activities enable the children to develop reading skills in addition to decoding such as retrieval, predicting and inference. The children are encouraged to read for pleasure and are motivated through a range of activities including weekly visits to the school library and a chance to read with others.
This is extended further daily Power of Reading lessons where the children have the opportunity to build on their speaking and listening skills through drama, role play and debate. The lessons are based on a specific text and through this they explore other text types and developing writing skills in a variety of genres ensuring coverage of the National Curriculum objectives. The children are encouraged to listen to others, ask questions and be reflective and links to real life are made through English so children have a purpose for their learning. The Power of Reading has strong cross curricular links.
Spelling, punctuation and grammar skills are taught daily where the children learn and develop different skills though fun, active sessions. The school follows the No Nonsense Spelling and Grammar scheme.
Reception children learn to form letters in a pre-cursive style of handwriting. When the children are forming letters correctly and confidently they are then taught to join letters within a word. Handwriting is practised daily throughout Key Stage One.
English skills are developed further during other areas of the curriculum (e.g. Independent Learning Activities) and enrichment opportunities (e.g. story-telling, plays, author visits, book week) are provided to further enhance the learning.
All children and parents are encouraged to read together at home on a daily basis. Parents are informed on a weekly basis on the sounds that their children are learning and the spellings that are being learnt are sent home to practise.
At Bishops Down Primary School we understand that all children are unique. Children that need extra consolidation and support with particular areas of the English curriculum are quickly identified and appropriate provision is put in place to support their learning.
The children are provided with high quality feedback and they respond to marking on a daily basis from Year One. In the Early Years Foundation Stage feedback is given verbally. The children regularly self and peer assess which encourages them to take ownership and pride in their learning!
Our aim is that by the end of Key Stage One, the children are enthusiastic confident readers and writers that are ready to build on their learning as they continue their learning journey into Key Stage Two curriculum.
As in key stage one, English is considered a vital part of the curriculum in key stage 2 at Bishops Down and teachers are passionate and enthusiastic about delivering engaging, interesting and exciting lessons. Here at Bishops Down we have high expectations of all of the children in all aspects of English teaching, namely reading, writing, speaking and listening and drama. Children are encouraged to be creative, exploratory and ask questions to develop their learning further.
The Power of Reading, a high quality resource for teaching English, is followed and maximised here at Bishops Down. English lessons are taught through high-quality, carefully selected texts that engage and enthuse children in all year groups. Children have the opportunity to write at length through a range of genres in English lessons, thus developing skills in writing fiction and non-fiction texts. The Power of Reading enriches learning, also, through designing lessons with opportunities for drama, role-play, art and debate.
The teaching of reading is paramount to successful English teaching here at Bishops Down. Children are taught explicit reading skills every morning for thirty minutes. During this time they can read for pleasure as well as learn specific skills that make for a good reader. For example, decoding, inference, understanding vocabulary in contexts and answering specific questions orally and in writing.
In line with the new curriculum, at Bishops Down we teach grammar and spelling explicitly every day of the school week also. Teachers lead spelling sessions twice weekly and grammar sessions thrice. Again, we follow high quality schemes of work: No Nonsense Spelling and No Nonsense Grammar. Both are incredibly useful tools that plan out all of the required objectives for each year group. Teachers prioritise teaching these sessions in a fun, engaging and creative way.
In terms of feeding back to the children, we value the importance of providing pupils with high quality oral feedback to help them understand misconceptions, improve work and celebrate what they have achieved. Furthermore, teachers work incredibly hard to provide children with quality written feedback in their books. Feedback is designed to celebrate the achievements of the children and move learning forward through questioning and scaffold where necessary.
Here you will find all the information you need in regards to the English Curriculum. Please click on the links below to take you to each area.
- The Power of Reading
- Reading for Pleasure
- Bishops Down Reading Scheme
- SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar)- Whole School Curriculum