At Eltham Church of England Primary School, we follow the programmes of study for English which are set out year-by-year for Key Stage 1 and two-yearly for Key Stage 2. The single year blocks at Key Stage 1 reflect the rapid pace of development in word reading during these two years. Our Long Term Plan for writing and reading highlights the texts, skills and progression of expectations and outcomes from Year 1 to Year 6, ensuring coverage of the National Curriculum and progression of expectation for each genre through a child’s time at Eltham Church of England Primary School.
At Eltham Church of England School, we strive to nurture a love of reading and recognise the importance of children becoming fluent and confident readers that have a life-long love of reading.
Children access a wide range of texts throughout their time at school. Children enjoy hearing texts read to them through their English lessons, story time and reading workshops in Reception and Key Stage 1. Teachers help children acquire the tools to become confident readers through the rigorous teaching of phonics, vocabulary and the key comprehension skills. Parents and carers are encouraged to read at home with their children nightly and record this in home contact books.
We use Essential Letters and Sounds in EYFS and Year 1 which is a Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) programme to deliver high quality phonics lessons and teach children how to read through the act of decoding and blending.
Reading is taught every day. In Key Stage 1 reading is taught as part of a carousel of activities which include spelling/phonics, grammar and punctuation, (until the Spring term of Year 2). Home reading books in EYFS and Key Stage 1 are from the Oxford Reading Tree banded books scheme, which are phonetically decodable. In Year 3 to support transition, ‘real’ banded books are used to continue the progression in reading. In Y4-Y6 children are able to select appropriate texts from a range of high quality books in class libraries.
Throughout KS2 (and from the Spring term of Year 2), Guided Reading is taught using a ‘whole class approach.’ Teachers carefully select texts from a range of genres before planning schemes of work in order to support the children’s progress in the key reading skills of Decoding, Evaluating, Retrieving, Inferring and authorial Choice (DERIC). Whole Class Guided Reading sessions use high quality selected whole texts or text extracts based on End of Year expectations which are prescribed by the National Curriculum. We are committed to enabling our children to be confident in the skills of reading meaning that Whole Class Guided Reading sessions focus on these key reading skills and through modelling both verbally and in written form, teachers provide clear structures for children to learn the skills of reading. Therefore children at Eltham C of E will become confident in accessing learning that takes place across the curriculum and have a knowledge of a range of different genres of texts that they will be exposed to in their daily lives.
We further support the teaching of vocabulary through the ‘Word Aware’ scheme where children learn a new tier 2 or 3 word related to a curriculum area each week. The new word is learnt through a multi-sensory approach including a rap and action!
In response to parent and child surveys and informed by the significant amount of research identifying the benefits of reading for pleasure, Eltham Church of England School has a Reading Pledge. Its aim is to ensure reading for pleasure is established securely in our children’s lives and within our whole school community. Click here to have a look.
At Eltham Church of England Primary School, we use a whole-text approach to teaching Literacy and the writing curriculum which is also linked to a creative curriculum topic. Literacy texts form an important part of our curriculum review cycle, which ensures they are well matched to children’s reading preferences and emerging themes. This ensures that engagement is maximised as children enjoy the texts studied and are well motivated to learn. Alongside engaging texts, we use the early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework. Development Matters (non-statutory curriculum guidance for the early years foundation stage) and the English National Curriculum to plan and design exciting and imaginative opportunities for learning.
The programmes of study for writing at Key Stages 1 and 2 consist of:
- transcription (spelling and handwriting)
- composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).
Writing has a well-developed profile at Eltham Church of England Primary School. In order to make good progression in writing, children need to:
- Enjoy writing and recognise its value,
- Write with confidence, clarity and imagination,
- Write grammatically correct sentences that are punctuated accurately,
- Understand the features of and how to write in a range of genres and non-fiction texts,
- Plan, draft, revise and edit their own writing,
- Develop an adventurous and broad vocabulary,
- Know their next steps and how they can make their writing better,
- Develop fine motor skills to ensure consistent mark making with increasing dexterity, to produce recognisable letters, developing into a continuous cursive style of handwriting,
- Use phonological knowledge and spelling rules to spell accurately.
Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar, Punctuation and Glossary
There are two statutory appendices in the English National Curriculum on Spelling and Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation. In Key Stage 1 and 2 Spellings are taught weekly and are sent home for them to learn. At the end of the week there is a weekly spelling test. Grammar and punctuation is taught as part of the literacy lesson. Punctuation and Grammar is contextualised within a writing planning sequence so that children are able to make a link between the grammar being introduced and how it works in the writing being taught. This enables children to establish a purposeful learning intent for addressing grammar, and connect grammar with meaning and effect. As and when is needed grammar teaching is supported by stand-alone skills based work that focusses on specific skills that need to be pre-taught or revised. Teachers ensure end of Year expectations for Grammar Punctuation and Spelling are met in line with National Curriculum and Appendices 1 and 2 which outline the Statutory requirements for each year group in these areas. Grammar and Punctuation is also taught through shared and guided reading and writing sessions.
At Eltham Church of England Primary School, we aim to ensure that all pupils develop a fluent, cursive handwriting style that enables them to write legibly for a range of given purposes in line with their stage of development. Pupils take pride in their handwriting, showing an understanding of the high status given to presentation skills across the curriculum. In EYFS the teaching of handwriting is linked to the letters (graphemes) taught in Phonics lessons and follows the Essential Letters and Sounds teaching sequence. In Year 1, Children continue to learn accurate letter formation and move from printed letters, to pre-cursive and by the Summer Term begin to learn some of the cursive letter joins. From Year 2 a continuous cursive style of handwriting is taught at least once a week and letter formation, joins and fluency (speed) are focussed on so that children meet National Curriculum end of Year/Key Stage expectations.