English is at the heart of our curriculum at TGPAH, giving the children the necessary skills to access all other areas of the National Curriculum. We want our pupils to become articulate communicators, thoughtful and talented writers and readers who have a love of books and a desire to discover more about their world.
We aim to give children an experience of high-quality texts which expose them to a range of differing and significant authors, story genre, styles and themes. High level inference and deduction skills are embedded across reading activities for all our children to improve outcomes and drive standards.
The teaching of Early Reading starts in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) with daily phonics sessions using ‘Letters and Sounds’. Lesson material is brought to life through the Twinkl Phonics programme which follows the adventures of Kit, Sam and all their friends.
Children are arranged into 3 ability-based groups across EYFS and KS1 with teachers and teaching assistants working together to deliver the daily activities which are designed to grab children’s attention and develop understanding. Pupils are taught to read alongside the phonics lessons using the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme which allows pupils to take home reading books matched to their ability and in line with the phonics patterns being taught. Children are expected to read every evening and record what they have read in their homework diaries and home reading books are changed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Guided reading takes place daily in Key Stage 2 (and is taught in Key Stage 1 along-side daily phonics lessons from the Spring term). Teachers use a range of strategies from whole–class sessions to smaller group focused independent activities. Activities concentrate on and apply the key skills required for children to become confident readers who understand what they are reading. Children are taught to predict, question, clarify and summarise as part of their reading lessons. They are taught to identify and explore new vocabulary to use within their own written work. Our aim is to encourage and enable children to develop a lifelong love of reading and to be able to use the skills that they have in a wide variety of reading situations.
Distinct and specific genres of writing are practiced each half term with an emphasis on the teaching of grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and composition. A focused class text provides all children with an entitled exposure to a range of significant stories, authors, styles and genres. Each morning the children start the day completing a brief grammar activity to embed core skills, as well as completing handwriting practice activities and daily spelling practice to reinforce learning.
Spellings are learnt and tested weekly and lists for children are sent home half termly so that parents have a full overview of those words being covered. Spellings are sourced from the Statutory National Curriculum spelling lists for Year 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6 and we use the spelling resource ‘Spelling Shed’ across the school to provide progression, structure and reinforcement. This provides year group appropriate patterns of words and how they are spelt which sits alongside the statutory lists covered each week. Pupils with additional educational needs can expect to have individual spellings lists linked to their development.
Speaking and Listening.
Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that children hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and in deepening their understanding of reading and writing. Therefore, at TGPAH speaking and listening activities are built into regular lessons where activities such as debates and drama enhance the learning experience across all subjects. Pupils are taught to develop their capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write through story retelling and sharing of ideas.