English

At Coleridge Primary School we aim to promote high standards of language and literacy whereby all children are equipped with the skills to use the spoken and written word with confidence and flair and who develop a love of literature.

We started our journey to improve the teaching and learning of English for every child in September 2018. There are several elements which have influenced improvements in attainment and progress in English for our children.  English is led by Mrs J. Bowns who is an accredited Oracy Leader and uses current research and pedagogy to drive and improve standards. This document sets out our approach and the reasons behind our approach to English at Coleridge.

Novel Study

We adopt a ‘Novel Study’ approach to the teaching of English which means pupils connect with high-quality, age-appropriate texts which hook pupils in and increases engagement and enjoyment in all areas of our English curriculum. Taking on the novel study approach to the teaching of English promotes opportunity for children to be exposed to experiences outside their current reality and exposes children to varied situations, confrontations and challenges which they may otherwise not face. By using this approach, all aspects of our English curriculum are taught through the text and pupils use and apply skills and understanding in spelling and grammar, reading and writing.

Text Selection and Progression

With pupil’s experiences and interests at the heart of all selected texts, we have a scheme of work which is progressive, offers exposure to a broad and rich range of vocabulary, introduces them to a variety of authors and contexts and tackles many themes. All of this ensures we purposefully create reasons, motivations and audiences for writing.

Planning

In the planning stage, teachers consider the scaffolding and varied approaches that will be required for children to become fully immersed in the text and have a deep and embedded understanding.  Lessons are planned based on formative assessments and teachers ensure they adapt lessons to meet the needs of their learners. Staff have been supported in the planning process to ensure there is an effective and progressive journey through learning.

Within the initial planning stage, teachers embark on a 3 step journey which is outlined below.

Part 1: After staff have read the text, they will individually map out their initial ideas: themes, motifs, text ideas, key ideas, launch ideas and immersion. This stage is important to ensure that all members of the team are engaged in the planning process and expertise can be drawn on from across the whole team.

Part 2: This is when the whole team will combine all ideas selectively through meaningful discussion: reviewing and adapting for what is right for that particular year group or cohort. This forms the basis for the learning journey.

Part 3: The learning journey maps out the journey through the text, across a number of weeks, whether that be 3+ weeks for a picture book or 7+ weeks for a novel. We plan with the final outcome as our focus and ensure that all learning is supportive of that pre-planned final outcome. We ensure many writing opportunities are incorporated throughout the journey and we ensure appropriate time is spent on vocabulary development, immersion and planning before we move into the writing phase which includes opportunities to edit and redraft work.

Direct Teaching of Writing

There are 4 stages of the writing process which is a gradual release from teacher directed to independent.

Editing and Redrafting

We know that effective writers need strong editing and proof reading skills so children are taught the need to edit and proofread their writing fromKS1. This begins with evaluating their writing with the teacher and others and proofreading their work for sense and proposing changes to grammar and vocabulary. Children are also taught to proofread their work for spelling and punctuation errors – any changes to children’s own writing is made in green pen. Children continue this journey throughout KS2 by developing their understanding of the need, as a writer, to continuously reflect on writing making edits as appropriate to their year group and begin to redraft their work for publishing. Children in KS2 have a published work book which showcases their final pieces of writing from across the curriculum.

Questioning

Questioning is used to probe understanding whilst also taking some children’s learning deeper. Teachers use questioning throughout every lesson to check understanding. A variety of questions are used but you will hear the same ones: How do you know? Can you prove it? Are you sure? Can you think of another way of looking at it? Can you explain that? What does your partner think? Children’s responses are expected in full sentences using precise vocabulary, talk frames and sentence stems.

Discussion and Feedback

Pupils have opportunities to talk to their partners and explain and clarify understanding and thinking. They use talk guide lines, sentence stems and talk frames, as modelled by the teacher, to support their discussions. Teachers consider the physical structure of discussions in every talk activity. These groupings have varied numbers of students involved.

Recording the Learning In children’s English books, you will see a range of outcomes focusing on speaking and listening, reading and writing all of which are supportive of immersing the children in the text they are studying so that the children are equipped to be successful writers.

Handwriting and spelling

A new scheme of work (Nelson) has been introduced. Handwriting has been regularly timetabled and also the introduction of pen licenses has brought competition to improve the standard of children’s writing. Teachers have high expectations of handwriting and children are acutely aware of this. In terms of spelling the ‘No nonsense’ spelling pathway is used to ensure children are taught spelling rules and patterns correctly.

Learning environment

At Coleridge you will see common practices across school. Working walls support the children’s metacognition skills and enables them to draw upon modelled and worked examples. EGPS examples and high quality ARE examples are also on display. Children will independently use the working walls and access the resources on it and from the helpdesk.

SEND pupils – May be supported by additional adults, different resources, differentiated activities. They will also complete additional activities outside of the English lesson if necessary.

We do not label our children. We have high expectations of all children and strongly believe that all children are equally able in English. Some may take longer to grasp concepts and may need careful scaffolding or extra time/support (guided groups, same day catch-up, additional homework, pre-teaching, intervention group, specific parental support).

At Coleridge Primary School we aim to promote high standards of language and literacy whereby all children are equipped with the skills to use the spoken and written word with confidence and flair and who develop a love of literature.

We started our journey to improve the teaching and learning of English for every child in September 2018. There are several elements which have influenced improvements in attainment and progress in English for our children.  English is led by Mrs J. Bowns who is an accredited Oracy Leader and uses current research and pedagogy to drive and improve standards. This document sets out our approach and the reasons behind our approach to English at Coleridge.

Whole Class Reading

In KS2 there is a ‘whole class’ approach to reading therefore maximising challenge and engagement for all. The children have the opportunity to practise and embed the ERIC skills across a teaching sequence so that the children have depth and knowledge of each skill. Each lesson begins with the sharing of key vocabulary whereby children explore this vocabulary in depth. This is then transferred to the working wall for children to refer to. The structure of the reading lesson enables the children to engage in shared, paired and individual reads. The use of modelled language structures and APE sheets support children’s responses and enable them to answer higher order questions. Non-fiction days take place once a week so children are exposed to different texts type and not just fiction. Poetry is also taught in the sessions when this links to the English plan.

Read, Write, Inc

In KS1 reading is taught using the Read, Write Inc phonics programme developed by Ruth Miskin. It is a structured programme that is designed to ensure all children learn to read accurately and fluently. The children have phonics delivered everyday and is pitched and differentiated appropriately and the content is bespoke to meet the children’s reading needs. Children also have access to high quality phonics books that support and develop their phonic knowledge and fluency. They are able to read these books both at school and take them home to share with adults.

Guided Reading

In KS1, when a child exits the RWI programme,  we teach reading in focused guided reading groups: teachers work with a small number of children, who are grouped according to their reading level, to analyse a text in detail, making sure each child can read each word and discussing meaning of the text with them. Within the sessions, teachers will focus on both decoding and comprehension. Where pupils are working on decoding strategies teachers make explicit the strategy to be practised and model it. They encourage children to read the text independently, using the appropriate strategies. Where pupils are working on responding to the text and focusing on comprehension, teachers ensure that the explicit modelling of  the reading skill is linked to the objective and questioning is designed to embed and deepen understanding, pupils are encouraged to give extended answers and teachers will model back incorrect use of language and grammatical structures.

Reading Skills

Underpinning all reading are the ‘DERIC’ reading skills. In all reading sessions, we explicitly talk about and teach reading skills to the children and we have taken on Rhonda Wilson’s ‘Read with DERIC’ which we link to all areas of the reading curriculum. We use and refer to these skill icons in all reading sessions.

DECODE: word reading

EXPLAIN: discussing vocabulary in contexts and discussing understanding of the text

RETRIEVE: finding information directly from the text

INTERPRET: Inference skills with an emphasis on using evidence from the text

CHOICE: focus on author’s choice of words and layout

Key Principles

In all reading sessions, teachers follow 5 key principles: promote an enjoyment of reading; have rich and meaningful conversations about the texts; pitch high & scaffold for all; build talk around responses and questioning; challenge responses and encourage children to think critically.

Questioning

Questioning is used to probe understanding whilst also taking some children’s learning deeper. Teachers use questioning throughout every lesson to check understanding. A variety of questions are used but you will hear the same ones: How do you know? Can you prove it? Are you sure? Can you think of another way of looking at it? Can you explain that? What does your partner think? Children’s responses are expected in full sentences using precise vocabulary, talk frames and sentence stems.

Recommended reads

Our aim is to build cultural capital, therefore, within all classrooms there are recommended reads. These texts have been carefully chosen and give the children access to unusual, inspiring and thought provoking texts which in turn promotes and ignites a passion for reading beyond the classroom.

Foundation Stage – Reading Overview

Year 1 – Reading Overview

Year 2 – Reading Overview

Year 3 – Reading Overview

Year 4 – Reading Overview

Year 5 – Reading Overview

Year 6 – Reading Overview

Reading at home

Read every day displays are now high profile in school and children are motivated by the certificates they can achieve for reading consistently at home. Reading records have been introduced and class teachers encourage children to read with parents consistently. Volunteers also attend school on a weekly basis to read with children that are identified as non-readers at home. Children have taken part in reading challenges set at home and a weekly reading homework is now set to try and promote a love of reading.

School library

At Coleridge we recognise and value the importance of reading which is why we have developed a library within school. It has been filled with books that are pitched at the correct level so now all children are regularly taking a book home to read that is their reading ability. In addition, a large investment has been made in phonics books to support early reading skills which the children are able to take home. Furthermore, our children who are 2 – 5 years old will receive a free book every month through the Imagination Library.

How can you help?

  1. Set aside a regular time for reading afterschool.
  2. Ask questions about the book they are currently reading and their class novel.
  3. Encourage a wide variety of reading materials which are appropriate to them.
  4. Take them to the library.
  5. Ask your child’s class teacher about their progress in reading.
  6. Show an enthusiasm for your child’s reading.

 

At Coleridge we always like to look into the latest research about what are the most effective ways of teaching. Here are several documents that have helped guide our practice over the past 12 months.

Dialogic Teaching in Brief

Improving Literacy in KS2

Principles of Instruction