English

At Huyton with Roby we believe the exposure of children’s literature within the primary school setting is vital as a rich context for learning; not only within English as a subject but to support building a reading culture throughout the school. We aim to use high quality books that offer opportunities for empathy and can aid philosophical enquiry, as a means of developing the spoken language requirements through debate, drama and discussion using the issues raised through, and within, the text.

By placing books at the core of our English curriculum, we are allowing teachers to use the text as the context for the requirements of the national curriculum. We believe that a context for learning is vital – and this is where our chosen approach can support teachers with ensuring that objectives for reading and writing, including those for grammar can have purpose. We will always aim for our writing opportunities to be meaningful; whether short or long and that the audience is clear. Books offer this opportunity: our final aim would be that children have real reasons to write, whether to explain, persuade, inform or instruct and that where possible, this can be embedded within text or linked to a curriculum area. Writing in role using a range of genres is key to our approach as is writing a critique of the text and making comparisons. Our expectations for writing ensures that by the end of their primary education all pupils can write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

Our Aims and Connected Provision for Reading:

  • Pupils learn to read easily and fluently through daily phonics in Key Stage One using the scheme ‘Read Write Inc.’ This is used to discretely teach phonics throughout Reception and Year 1 and for those children who require further practise in Year 2.  Regular reading to adults in school, reading partners, whole class reading  lessons and parent helpers.
  • Children in Reception are currently grouped from November into 4 groups for a half hour daily phonics session with intervention for those children who are identified as needing extra support.
  • Children in Year 1 are assessed at the end of their Reception year in July and are grouped accordingly to continue phonics sessions in September.
  • Phonic lessons are delivered by class teachers and teaching assistants from across the department all of whom have had training in the Read Write Inc. scheme.
  • In Reception the children are assessed half termly against the phonemes taught during that half term. During the Spring term, the Read Writ Inc. assessment sheets will be used to assess those ready to access.
  • Children in Year 1 and those in Year 2 who did not pass the phonics screening test will be assessed using the phonics screening test in September, November, January, March and May. This data is analysed and shared during pupil progress meetings. This data informs future planning. The children are also assessed half termly using the Read Write Inc. assessment by class teachers and this will inform the phonic groupings. 
  • Children are expected to read at home daily and are able to change their reading book weekly. Children are also encouraged to choose a book to read for pleasure from the school library or classroom libraries.   
  • Comprehension lessons take place daily from Y2 – Y6.
  • Children in Y2-6 are expected to complete written comprehension practise 3 times a week.
  • In years 2 -6 comprehension lessons are taught over a three-week cycle with a focus on fiction, non-fiction, songs and poetry.
  • Teachers will make links appropriate to the writing curriculum or wider curriculum where appropriate however the focus of comprehension lessons will be to focus on the teaching of the national curriculum content domains. Content domains are statements that break down the approach to reading into aspects in which children should become skilled. These domains will explore vocabulary, language structures, literacy knowledge, and word recognition. They will help to ensure that our children develop a clear understanding of the different aspects of reading.
  • Teaching staff will plan weekly ensuring that lessons provide the opportunity to cover all content domains. Questions stems are used from the Literacy Shed VIPERs collection to support planning.
  • Reading material is taken from a variety of online resources including extract from www.lovereading4kids.co.uk, online tourist leaflets, author biographies and book reviews.
  • Extracts are also used from school novels and from HeadStart English Reading Comprehension.
  • Pupils are encouraged to read widely, through our use of differing class texts and high-quality attractive books in classrooms.
  • Pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure within the classroom, at lunch times and at home.
  • Every class has an inviting Reading Area with a selection of books aimed at the children’s interests.
  • Reading certificates are awarded weekly during Friday’s reward assembly. Children are encouraged to share their thoughts on the book they are reading.
  • Reading Champions are chosen every half term by the class teacher and receive a book reward in assembly. Rewards are based on effort both in school and at home.
  • Every class will have to opportunity to listen to a class novel.
  • Comprehension is assessed in a formal way every term using NFER reading tests and KS1, KS2 reading SATs papers.
  • Teaching staff are expected to analyse data and match teaching during comprehension lessons to respond to any gaps in learning.
  • The teaching of reading in Key Stage 2 is supported through access to Reading Plus. This is an online reading programme aimed at developing reading speed and comprehension skills. 
  • Reading Plus is also used for intervention for targeted pupils in Key Stage 2.
  • Phonics intervention is provided for targeted pupils in Key Stage 1 and 2. 
  • Pupils are exposed to a range of texts from their literacy heritage during their school career. 

Our Aims and Connected Provision for Writing:

  • Literacy Tree Planning Sequences have been adapted to develop stimulating, hands-on learning activities based on high-quality texts that model effective and exciting writing to develop reading, writing, listening and grammar skills.We use class novels and picture books as a stimulus to writing.
  • We correct grammatical errors orally/ written work (where appropriate.)
  • Writing is regularly modelled to demonstrate good practice.
  • Whole school texts are used during the Autumn Term. This provides the opportunity for every class to focus on the same text and allows children to see how writing develops across the school. 
  • We provide time for planning, editing and revising.
  • We use writing criteria to support extended writing opportunities
  • Writing skills are provided for every child in Key Stages 1 and 2. A copy of these can be seen below. These are accompanied by target ladders. The children receive writing targets half termly.
  • Writing is assessed and moderated half termly. Class teachers use assessment documents based on end of year expectations. These documents have been adapted from the Lancashire KLIPs (Key Learning Indicating Performance). 

Vocabulary Development:

We encourage our pupils to have a wide and growing vocabulary in a number of ways, these include:

  • Spelling lists/ key words to take home and learn.
  • Display of key words linked to writing displayed on class writing walls and curriculum working walls
  • Weekly comprehension lesson focusing on vocabulary
  • Using the correct vocabulary orally.
  • Using dictionaries, word logs, thesaurus and similar programmes.
  • SPAG starters before Extended Writes.
  • Targeted one to one/ small group support, where appropriate.

Spelling

At Huyton with Roby we teach the statutory requirements as set out in the New English Curriculum Spelling Appendix.

  • In Key Stage 1, children are taught, alongside phonic sessions the statutory word lists for their year group during spelling sessions.
  • In Key Stage 2, spellings are based on the Assertive Mentoring spelling lists. This allows the children to be taught a weekly spelling rule.
  • Children receive a daily spelling session where they are given the opportunity to practise, explore, investigate and apply the spelling rule. Spellings are assessed through dictation and a test at the end of the week.
  • Weekly spelling scores are shared with parents.
  • Common exception words for years 3 and 4 and years 5 and 6 are taught in addition to the spelling requirements.
  • Each year group has a designated list of common exception words. These words are separated into half termly lists. Set lists will be taught and tested at the beginning of every half term.
  • A selection of words from the half termly list will be added to weekly spelling throughout the half term. This will ensure children are constantly exposed to common exception words. The final week of the half term will be used to reassess children. It is expected that all children should be able to read, spell and use each word in context. 
  • IDL is used for spelling intervention in Key Stage 2.

Handwriting

At Huyton with Roby, we value handwriting as an important part in the development of writing and the presentation of work. The fundamental purpose of handwriting is to enable all pupils to equip themselves with a basic life-skill. In order to prepare children for the adult world and contribute to their personal development, they must learn to write clearly and legibly. It is essential that all adults model the agreed handwriting script in this policy at all times including when writing on the board and in marking.

We will teach our pupils to:

  • Correctly hold a pen or pencil.
  • Write from left to right and from the top of the page to the bottom of the page.
  • Start and finish letters correctly.
  • Put regular spaces between words.
  • Correctly form both lower and upper case letters.
  • Write legibly and fluently in a cursive script.
  • After learning the basics of handwriting, develop their own personal style.
  • Handwriting is taught as a discrete subject (although opportunities obviously present themselves for combining handwriting with spelling patterns, letter strings and blends). Timings will vary depending on the age of the child.
  • Children will be taught using the school script.
  • Collins Handwriting Scheme is used in Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and 2
  • The handwriting joins are displayed in all classes.
  • Joined handwriting does not take place until a pupil has mastered correct letter formation.
  • Children are taught correct formation before they are expected to practise it.
  • All handwriting practice undertaken in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 will be in pencil though of course, children should have experience of using a variety of writing tools as part of the general curriculum.
  • In Key Stage Two, once a child has developed fluent cursive handwriting, a pen may be used for best writing – indeed, ‘earning a pen’ should be seen as something to be celebrated by children. Pen licences will be awarded during Friday’s assembly and celebrated as a whole school. 
  • Teachers ensure that all pupils will have a handwriting book and individual copies of the handwriting script are available for individual children if necessary.

Writing Skills