The English curriculum comprises three core areas: speaking and listening, reading and writing. At Kettlefields Primary School we aim to develop children's understanding and learning across all of these areas simultaneously, enabling them to practise and develop their skills and become confident in all aspects of English.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening skills not only develop oral fluency, pronunciation, expression and presentation skills; they underpin the development of ideas for writing and provide a means for understanding characters and situations in texts. This is nurtured in the foundation stage where a range of drama activities allows children to explore topics and themes in greater depth, giving them the opportunity to learn in role and explore the feelings of others.
As the children progress throughout the school, these skills are further developed with a range of opportunities to broaden oral skills within their English lessons, through drama activities such as hot seating and internal monologues, performing in assemblies, plays and stories, reciting and performing poetry and preparing for debates and discussions.
We believe these opportunities not only broaden children's knowledge and understanding of their learning but they also enhance their skills in articulation and presentation to an audience.
At Kettlefields we see reading as an integral part of the school's curriculum that impacts on learning. We value the importance of being a confident reader and work hard to develop children's reading skills. Whilst we believe that it is every child's right to learn to read, we anticipate that our children surpass this and develop an intrinsic, lifelong pleasure for reading.
Reading is taught across the curriculum through shared reading, guided reading and reading aloud to children. Staff are reading role models who demonstrate and nurture a love for reading, through engaging children in stimulating class texts and sharing their own reading experiences.
Children have access to a wide variety of quality reading materials in the classroom reading areas, key stage libraries, guided reading books, the school newspaper and carefully selected core texts used in the teaching of English. We also ensure that children have the opportunity to experience access to good quality literature through author workshops, book fairs and monthly visits from the library van.
Staff track the progress of children through out the year using objectives from the new National Curriculum (2014) and Early Years profile for our foundation stage children, ensuring that each child is supported and challenged at an appropriate level. For those children who need extra support with their reading, regular intervention sessions are provided on an individual or small group basis. To ensure that each child is reading across a range of genres and at a suitable level of challenge, the books the children read are organised into coloured book bands, which is consistent across the school.
Across the school, children take part in regular shared and guided reading lessons every week and have their own reading books to practise their skills at home. We encourage children to read or share books regularly at home, to consolidate and build on skills learnt in school. Parents are encouraged to comment on progress and liaise with the staff through their child's reading record book.
Through our 'Eager Readers' reward scheme, the children are further encouraged to read by collecting 'reads'. Each time they read 25, 50, 100, 150, 200 or even 300 times they add personalised book spine to the house team display and are rewarded with certificates and prizes in achiever assemblies.
At Kettlefields we believe it is essential for children to develop a love and flair for creative writing, as well as becoming confident writers who can write for a range of purposes. To achieve this aim, writing is embedded across the curriculum and opportunities for extended writing are provided not only in English lessons, but through all topics and genres.
English is at the heart of our creative curriculum. There are strong links between subjects and children see learning as being connected, relevant and purposeful. Teachers plan for pupils to practise the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired in English lessons through other areas of the curriculum. Mastery of English is developed through this approach and pupils have the opportunity to practise writing skills in extended pieces of English work, as well as in a range of other subject areas.
Kettlefields aims to raise standards in writing through the implementation of the methodology known as 'Big Writing' and in the Early Years Foundation Stage 'Big Talk'. Talk for Writing is also valued and recognised as tool to promote discussion in the readiness for writing in all areas of the curriculum.
This concept ensures that opportunities for speaking and listening and familiarisation of quality texts are planned for through a phased planning approach. Writing is taught through shared writing, guided writing and peer assessment activities, which is underpinned by an appreciation of our rich and varied literature heritage. VCOP (vocabulary, conjunctions, openers and punctuation) is promoted through teaching and is visible on classroom working walls, showing consistency and progression across the school.
Working walls display current learning and progression across the phased approach, as well as good examples of pupils' and the teacher's modelled writing, which is annotated with success criteria.
The 'Purple Pen' marking is used to inform the children of their next steps, and thus encourage them to reflect, edit and improve their writing.
Every child is also given the opportunity to respond to feedback and is aware of their writing targets. Through marking and assessment teachers detail grammatical and spelling targets and inform pupils how to develop further creativity through interesting sentence structures and quality of vocabulary. These targets aim to continually inspire and challenge children to improve their writing.
Children are provided with English Toolkits appropriate to their writing development which can include alphabet/phoneme mats, word banks and examples of text types and VCOP prompts.This not only supports learning but also encourages independence and self-autonomy. Writing is celebrated in every classroom, with all of the children's writing displayed and valued, included in this is our Champion Writer reward which celebrates high quality writing for others to aspire to.
Our full English Policy can be found below.