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.
- 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
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 English lessons. 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.
Children have daily phonics sessions taught in whole class groups. They have regular practice of reading and spelling sight words.
Book talk takes place every day across the school. It focuses on developing vocabulary and understanding from a text that children have pre-read..
Book talk sessions support children to retrieve information and ideas from the text and teaches them to read between the lines and make connections both with other texts and with wider experiences.
Children have access to a range of book banded appropriate texts to support their reading at home.
Children practice reading independently and with a partner. Teachers provide follow up activities to develop comprehension skills.
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 regularly and borrow books of their choice.
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 letter formation with the letter sounds).
In Year 1 these skills are embedded and developed further through regular practice.
By Year 2 a discreet session, delivered at least twice a week to help children develop a cursive style.
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.