English

The English curriculum is divided into main areas of Reading, Phonics, Writing, Spelling, Handwriting and Speaking and Listening. We provide a varied and creative approach to the teaching of English and aim to develop a love of the subject.

We aim

  • To develop children’s ability to communicate and respond effectively.
  • To provide a language rich environment that promotes a culture of reading and writing;
  • To develop in children an interest in and a love of books and literature that will not only support their learning across the curriculum but also enrich their lives;
  • To value and use books as a basis for learning, pleasure, talk and play;
  • To teach children the craft of writing in order to develop in children the confidence and  skills to write well for a range of purposes and audience;
  • Teach the basics – spelling, grammar, handwriting and punctuation
  • To foster in children the confidence, desire and ability to express their views and opinions both orally and in writing;
  • To value and celebrate diversity in culture and language.

English in the Early Years Foundation Stage

All children in the EYFS follow a broad-based curriculum and have a wide range of opportunities to communicate and develop early reading and writing skills.

Resources are used imaginatively and creatively to stimulate curiosity and excitement about the world around them.

Assessments are observation based and inform planning to build on prior knowledge and understanding.

Speaking and Listening

forms a key element of the teaching sequence for writing and is incorporated throughout the teaching phases.
At Woodgrange we encourage the children ‘to think it, say it, write it, finish it, and check it’. This strategy supports the link between the spoken and the written word.
Other strategies include:

  • Use of learning partners to develop ideas
  • Drama sessions and role play areas
  • Oral Storytelling
  • Language and Word Games
  • Chanting, Rhymes and Songs

How we Teach Reading

Reading into writing

Shared reading takes place within the Literacy lesson; the teacher models the reading process to the whole class as an expert reader, providing a high level of support. Teaching objectives are pre-planned and sessions are characterised by explicit teaching of specific reading strategies, oral response and high levels of collaboration. The children join in, where appropriate with the reading of the core text. The texts selected are high quality texts that reflect the teaching objectives, text type or classroom topic.

Reading Gym

Guided reading takes place in differentiated groups every day as part of Reading Gym in KS1.

In EYFS Guided Reading is introduced at an appropriate time.

During guided reading the responsibility for reading shifts to the learner. Guided reading takes place with a group of children, of similar ability. During a guided reading session the children read and respond to a challenging text with the teacher supporting.

Texts of graded difficulty are carefully chosen and matched to the reading ability of the group. It is intended that guided reading provides a forum for children to demonstrate what they have learned about reading and to further develop and extend their reading and comprehension skills. A guided reading session should be followed by a reading comprehension activity where children share their understanding of the text independently.

Independent Reading

Children have access to a range of book banded appropriate texts to support their reading at home.

Book areas

Every classroom at Woodgrange will have an inviting area to share books and stories. Books on display here will reflect the needs and interests of the class.

Library

Our library provides a wide variety of books, texts and other printed materials in a range of genres including fact, fiction and poetry. All classes are timetabled to use the library and borrow books of their choice once per week.
The refurbishment of our library is planned for 2015.

How We Teach Writing

Writing is closely related to reading, with the two activities reinforcing each other. We aim to develop a positive attitude to writing and to extend the children’s abilities to express their thoughts and ideas on paper, thus enabling them to communicate clearly through the written word. We use core texts that link to the topic in order for children to experience the link between reading and writing.

 To enable children to develop as effective writers we will teach them to:

  • Write for a range of purposes and genres
  • Plan, draft, revise and edit their own writing
  • Organise and structure sentences grammatically and whole texts coherently
  • Use accurate punctuation and spelling
  • Have fluent and legible handwriting.

When children are writing adults will:

  • Support the child to structure their ideas
  • Revise, edit and improve, giving feedback during the process and encourage children to check their own writing

How we teach Spelling

Spelling enables us to become more effective writers. Put simply, the less thought we have to put into spelling, the more thought we can put into what is said. Children can labour under the pressure to spell and Woodgrange Infant School aims to support the development and skill set of the children as spellers from an early age.
Children are encouraged to develop their Spelling skills alongside their decoding skills in phonics. Children are taught that fingers are for spelling and classroom displays help to reinforce this.

Reading Gym carousel activities often provide opportunities to apply spelling rules introduces. Occasionally we send spellings home for children to practice their skills at home.

How we teach Handwriting

Letter formation and pencil control is developed in the EYFS curriculum as part of learning in Physical Development and writing (linking the letters formation with the letter sounds).
In Year 1 these skills are embedded and developed further through the use of the Pen Pals Handwriting scheme.
By Year 2 a discreet session, delivered at least twice a week to help children develop a cursive style.

Assessment

Progress is tracked and evaluated to

  • Identify pupils in need of either support or extension
  • Identify areas of difficulty or areas of strength
  • Set new targets

All of this evidence contributes to the overall picture of achievement for each child. All of our assessments inform future learning.