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Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One English

At Bishops Down, we aim to promote love, confidence and intelligent curiosity in the written and spoken word. We believe that English is at the heart of our teaching and learning and essential to every area of the curriculum. It includes, Reading, Writing, Speak and Listening. It is through English that concepts are formed and we are able to make sense of the world and our place in it.

This begins in Nursery where the children enjoy a variety of books on a daily basis and supported in developing their speaking and listening skills. They, like all the children at Bishops Down, are immersed in a nurturing environment which supports early reading and writing skills that they will carry with them as lifelong learners.

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. It is often in these Foundation Years that letter formation and writing emerges from the earlier days of mark making. Handwriting is practised daily throughout Key Stage One.

Daily synthetic phonics teaching is introduced in Reception following the Read Write Inc. programme where new sounds are taught accompanied by rhymes. Children practise blending and segmenting skills (Fred talk) and develop their ability to read red words (words that cannot be decoded). Throughout KS1 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 regularly and Reading Skills lesson are taught daily using varied activities that enable the children to develop reading skills in addition to decoding such as retrieval, predicting and inference.  As part of our commitment to become a reading community, 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. In addition, the adults read to their class several times a week, purely for pleasure, to develop a love of reading. We ensure that high quality texts are used to develop children’s vocabulary, promote questioning and discussion.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS) skills are taught daily where the children learn and develop different skills though fun, active sessions.

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, World Read Aloud Day and World Book Day) 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 and Nursery 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 KS1, 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.

Key Stage Two English

As in KS1, English is considered a vital part of the curriculum in KS2 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.

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 National Curriculum, at Bishops Down we teach grammar and spelling explicitly every day of the school week. 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.
We value the importance of providing pupils with high quality feedback to help children progress in their learning, address misconceptions and errors, and celebrate what they have achieved. Furthermore, teachers work 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.

Across the school, children are supported in the use of a variety of writing tools and techniques that scaffold writing in a way that is useful to the individual child. Dyslexia friendly fonts and coloured backgrounds are used in all of our Interactive Whiteboard work to increase accessibility for all children.

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.

       Spelling Leaflet for Parents - October 2018

                        Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check Template for Spelling

                        Action Memory for Spelling

                        Phonetic Approaches for Spelling

Sound Memory for Spelling

                        Visual Memory for Spelling




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