English is a core subject in our curriculum as it provides the medium through which we communicate and learn. English is all about communication and our desire is to enable our pupils, through the development of their language, to think deeply, express themselves clearly in spoken and written forms and gain enjoyment from high quality literature because they have the comprehension skills to be drawn into texts, the imaginations to see, hear and feel what is happening and the empathy skills to put themselves into the character's shoes.
Our English curriculum is divided into the teaching and learning of writing, reading and GPS. However, this includes the teaching and learning of many skills such as oracy, phonic decoding and blending, comprehension and all of our learning attributes. Whilst the development of these strands of English require a focus on specific skills and knowledge, they are also interwoven.
Phonics (Early Reading)
In Reception and Key Stage 1, children follow the 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds' phonics scheme. Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) developed for schools by schools. Based on the original Letters and Sounds, but extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme meeting all the expectations of the National Curriculum.
We use the Collins Little Wandle reading scheme. The books in this are perfectly matched to be accessible for our young readers at each stage of their development. The children will bring their weekly decodable book home on a Wednesday to share their reading with parents. The children will have practised reading the book in school, so this is a chance for children to enjoy the book together with family members. Each Monday our KS1 and reception children visit our school library, where they select a book to bring home for the week. This is their sharing book and will not be fully decodable for them independently, but is a chance to share a book together and for the children to develop good habits and a love of literature.
Following the autumn term in year 2, all children who have achieved a secure understanding of phonic strategies will move onto accelerated reader. They will take part in an assessment to determine their ideal development zone and then get the opportunity to select a reading book from with their development area. Once the book is completed they then take a quiz to demonstrate their understanding of the text.
Children who have not reached a level where they have a secure understanding in phonics by the end of year 2, despite phonic intervention strategies outlined in the Little Wandle programme, will begin to Toe by Toe structured support programme. This will be communicated with parents and is a daily intervention programme which is administered at home and in school. This will avoid any children missing out on English and maths learning, but enable catch up.
You will find information relating to our curriculum including our progression documentation, further information on our core reading scheme and details of the literary framework that we expect to cover whilst a child learns with us.
Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling
In order for every child to reach the required level of knowledge, we teach GPS through our English lessons at Abberley Parochial V.C. Primary School.
Grammar refers to the way we put words together in sentences and paragraphs to form meaning. It’s the fundamental structure of language, describing what words should go where, and why.
On the other hand, punctuation refers to all the little symbols we have used to enhance sentences and add clarity. These symbols can indicate pauses between ideas, the relationships between words, and even the emotion sentences convey, among other things.
Grammar applies to language when it's written or spoken, but spelling only applies to language when it's written.
Below is a progression document which outlines the age related expectations for pupils from year 1-6 during their time with us in line with the National Curriculum:
At Abberley Primary, we are passionate about reading. Our English curriculum is predominantly taught through a 'book study' format. Each half-term, a carefully selected book is used for the basis for learning. Books can provide the best opportunities for children to write for a range of meaningful and ‘real’ reasons… From writing letters to the mayor of Hamlin to convince him to rid the town of rats, to creating a guide to looking after your lost thing; from creating a Wikipedia page about Bluchers in Boy in the Tower to creating a conservation campaign for an endangered animal in The Journey Home. When the context feels strong and necessary then audience and purpose is easy.
Our School Library
We are very fortunate to have a such fantastic library space. This area of the school offers a huge range of age-appropriate fiction and non-fiction stories. Children feel comfortable and peaceful in our school library and have opportunities to choose from a varied collection of books.
We use Accelerated Reader Star Reading to assess pupils reading ability once their phonics learning is secure. This provides pupils with a reading range from which they can select library books, which are both accessible and challenging for them. This assessment also provides a diagnostic approach whereby teachers can adapt the English curriculum in order to work on the specific areas of development for pupils in their class.
At the end of Key Stage 1 and 2, children are formally assessed on their reading comprehension. The main purpose of these statutory assessments is to ascertain what pupils have achieved in relation to the attainment targets outlined in the national curriculum in English reading.
The content domain sets out the relevant elements from the national curriculum programme of study (2014) for English at key stage 2 that are assessed in the English reading test. The tests will, over time, sample from each area of the content domain.
The KS2 Content Domain:
The concept of 'Reading Roles' is to assign a well-known job, role or profession to each element of the reading content domain (individual reading skills). Most children will already understand what the jobs entail in real life and therefore will fairly immediately be able to gain an understanding of each cognitive domain.
Each domain has a symbol and is colour-coded so that there are further ways for the children to remember the domains and what they mean. See below:
The children at Abberley Primary have opportunities to read and write a diverse number of text types from varying genres. As previously stated, the majority of our English curriculum is literature based and therefore, many of these text types are based on the stories we read.
At Abberley, the children complete an independent extended writing task each half-term. They are provided with a carefully selected picture prompt and are encouraged to write independently. These pieces of writing are assessed against the children's age related targets and are used to inform future planning for each class to enable pupils to make progress.
In order to ensure that children write a wide range of text types, we use our school 'Text Type Progression' which outlines which text types should be covered each year to ensure children write to entertain, inform, persuade and discuss.