English Policy

Effective from: September 2018           Reviewed annually

Aims

  • To develop in our pupils the ability to communicate effectively in speech and writing.
  • To listen with understanding.
  • To enable our children to become fluent and responsive readers.
  • To develop a lifelong love of reading and writing.

 To develop our pupils as Speakers and Listeners we:

  • Give them opportunities to express their ideas to a range of audiences.
  • Give them opportunities to take part in group discussion and drama activities.
  • Encourage them to listen and respond appropriately to others.
  • Help them to understand the need to adapt their speech to different situations.
  • Give them opportunities to evaluate and reflect on their own speech.
  • Encourage them to use the vocabulary and grammar of standard English whenever appropriate.

 To develop our pupils as Readers we:

  • Teach them to read accurately and fluently using a range of strategies.
  • Give individual reading targets to children.
  • Help them to understand and respond to what they read using inference and deduction where appropriate.
  • Encourage them to read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books.
  • Encourage them to read independently and with enjoyment.
  • Teach them how to seek information and learn from the written word.

 To develop our pupils as Writers we:

  • Teach them to write effectively for a range of purposes and a range of reasons, adapting their vocabulary and style as appropriate.
  • Encourage them to write with interest, commitment and enjoyment.
  • Show them how to write in a variety of forms such as stories, poems, reports and letters.
  • Show them how to evaluate and edit in order to improve their own writing.
  • Give individual writing targets.
  • Show them how to use punctuation to make meaning clear to their reader.
  • Give them the knowledge and the strategies to become confident and accurate spellers.
  • Teach them a fluent and legible style of handwriting, promoting an understanding of how to present work appropriately.

Curriculum Organisation

In the Foundation Stage the skills of listening, attention, understanding and speaking are encompassed in the prime area of Communication and Language and are fundamental to allow children to be successful in all other learning.  In Key Stage 1 Reading and Writing skills are delivered through the specific area of Literacy and enhanced in cross - curricular activities.

Teachers provide activities which are interesting and motivating and provide the best context for increasing children’s knowledge about the English language.  It is also necessary to focus separately on aspects of knowledge about the language such as phonics and grammar so that children learn what they need to know in a systematic way.

Our teaching is planned from the National Literacy framework, Development Matters and the National Curriculum programmes of study. We plan literacy sessions flexibly and ensure that the appropriate balance of whole class, group and individual teaching is retained.  Some more time in the week is set aside for independent reading and writing when this is appropriate.

We make clear to children the qualities and success criteria we are looking for in their work. In Key Stage 1 children also have individual literacy targets in their books. Each child is given a reading diary for staff and parents to record the book title etc., to make comments in and to give pointers to help the child make progress with their reading. In each classroom there is a wide range of non-fiction and fiction books from a range of publishers, in each book band that children can choose from. We encourage children to read as regularly as possible with an adult at home.  

In the Foundation Stage the skills of listening, attention, understanding and speaking are encompassed in the prime area of Communication and Language and are fundamental to allow children to be successful in all other learning.  

Phonics

Throughout the Foundation Stage, early phonetic awareness is promoted and developed through every day activities and routines such as listening games, shared reading, singing and interactive planning sessions. Children are encouraged to identify familiar letters in their name and hear the sounds they are making, identify familiar words, to listen for sounds and to remember sounds. 

In Reception and Key Stage 1 phonics is timetabled to be taught daily in planned sessions based on the “Letters and Sounds” programme. Children are taught to segment and blend words and apply their learning for reading decodable and tricky words. A wide range of activities are used by practitioners to help children achieve the goal of fluent word recognition.

Children are ability grouped in order to maximise individual learning.

Throughout school, children are assessed at the end of each phonic phase and either move on to the next stage or repeat the same phase according to the level they have achieved. 

Towards the end of Year 1 all children will take part in the national phonics screening test. They will achieve either a pass or fail. If a child fails the screening test they will retake it in Year 2.

Grammar and Punctuation

In Nursery and Reception, children are introduced to the basic principles of grammar and punctuation appropriate for their age range. They learn through a wide range of activities such as: singing rhymes, conversations with adults, stories, interactive educational programmes, phonics, reading and writing. 

In Key Stage 1 a more formal approach is taken with weekly grammar and punctuation teaching taking place in phonic sessions. Children's learning is also supported through weekly spellings and in teacher led writing and reading activities.

Assessment

Children in the Foundation Stage have their attainment on entry assessed by observations and their progress is tracked and monitored through the use of Early Years Outcomes throughout Nursery and Reception.The Foundation Stage profile will indicate if children are reaching expected levels by the end of Reception and will be used in transition into Key Stage 1.

In Key Stage 1 children will be graded according to work produced, observations and discussions. Assessments will be highlighted onto Seaton Academy Assessment Performance Descriptors. Results from all assessments will be posted onto 'Scholar Pack.'

In Key Stage 1 children are involved in a range of self- assessment activities where they evaluate their own work according to a set of criteria. Individual targets are also given in literacy and reading books to help each child understand what they need to do in order to make progress 

Equal Opportunities and Inclusion

  • All children are given access to a broad and balanced English curriculum regardless of gender, ability, race or religion.
  • Provision will be made for individual needs in I.E.P’s.
  • Equal opportunities are provided for boys and girls, also for children with special needs, those who are talented or gifted and children from different cultural backgrounds.
  • Children with English as an additional language (E.A.L.) will be given access to additional resources and teaching to support their learning and to ensure they make maximum progress from their individual starting points. 
  • A feeling of self worth will be engendered throughout the activities.

     

    SEND
  • Children with special needs will be identified and work within their individual level. If needed, they will have an IEP and work with support under the direction of the class teacher. A range of literacy intervention programs run throughout Key Stage 1 for those who need extra help.   

 

Enrichment/Extension activities for More Able Children

Reading

  • Children will be encouraged to use and develop higher order thinking skills in reading in many subject areas (not exclusively Literacy)
  • Enrichment/extension activities will be used to broaden the child’s understanding and will not be next year’s work taught earlier. However, the next developmental steps needed to extend the child’s reading skills may require the promotion of comprehension/reading for understanding skills modelled and used in other areas of school.
  • Children will be encouraged and given opportunities to increase the breadth, depth and quality of their reading by being given different reasons to read such as : for information or to develop imagination.

Writing

Children will be encouraged to use and develop higher order thinking skills in writing in many subject areas (not exclusively Literacy.)

Enrichment/extension activities will not be next year’s work. However the next developmental steps needed to extend and encourage the child’s individual skills may facilitate the need for the promotion of skills modelled and used in other areas of school.

Children will be encouraged and given opportunities to increase the breadth, depth and quality of their writing by:

  • Being given different reasons to write such as :reports, lists, stories, recounts, poetry, captions, instructions, labels, questions, messages, dictionaries and reviews.
  • Participating in writing about their experiences and feelings.
  • Talking about their writing to adults and other children.
  • Evaluating their writing and that of others.
  • Being given opportunities to edit their own work in order to improve it.
  • Exploring the depth of a piece of writing.
  • Practising their writing skills in meaningful and varied contexts.
  • Planning and producing a first draft.
  • Using a dictionary and/or thesaurus to introduce and explore new words.
  • Reviewing a piece of writing and considering how to make it more interesting for the reader.
  • Using descriptive writing to create a specific mood.
  • Being encouraged to consider if they like or dislike a given piece of writing.
  • Further develop their writing skills by the provision of cross curricular activities and opportunities.

Children will be given opportunities to

  • Analyse
  • Evaluate
  • Synthesise

The above list is not exhaustive and is intended as a guideline only. The individual children that will benefit from such enrichment/extension activities are likely to have individual needs, gifts and interests and these could provide a variety of starting points.

The provision of any enrichment/extension activity should be both rewarding, challenging for the individual child and enjoyable.

The age of the child also needs to be considered. Young children need to develop their writing skills in an environment where writing skills are promoted, modelled, practised and valued.

All teaching staff will ensure that appropriate time and regular feedback will be given to children so they can learn to evaluate, edit and improve their own work in order to become successful writers.

Handwriting Targets– For end of each year

Nursery

Correct pencil grip

Reception

Correct letter formation

Year 1

Correct formation of lowercase letters, correct formation for uppercase letters, all lowercase letters starting with an upstroke (more able), flicks on appropriate letters.

Year 2

Ability to write in a consistent size, in a neat, joined hand using ascenders above and descenders below the line.

 

Health and Safety

  • All aspects of this policy and practice are carried out with regard to our health and safety procedures.
  • All relevant risk assessments should be read in conjunction with this policy.