Purpose of Study
English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
The overarching aim for English in the Primary National Curriculum and at Holy Trinity CE Primary School is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
At Holy Trinity CE Primary School we aim to ensure that all pupils:
Teaching and Learning Style
At Holy Trinity CE Primary School we teach to a phase called ‘The Writing Cycle’. Pupils immerse themselves in a given text type, independently gaining a first-hand understanding of the language and structural features of the text. Drama plays an important part in ensuring pupils are ‘in role’ to write from a given perspective. Once pupils have an understanding about what they are writing about and what it should look like and contain they then plan and write before self-editing through the use of teacher, self and peer feedback before presenting a final, published copy.
Pupil’s writing is supported by shared, guided and paired writing and a variety of resources including images, word mats, talk mats, dictionaries and thesauri.
At Holy Trinity CE Primary School pupils read and write a variety of different narrative and non-narrative genres both independently and through taught guided reading sessions. Pupils use ‘Accelerated Reader’ to test their understanding of texts read independently and are taught key ‘reading skills’ through daily guided reading sessions which include a teacher and teaching assistant led group and stimulating and challenging independent activities.
There are pupils of differing ability, disability, race, gender and social origin in all classes at Holy Trinity CE Primary School. We recognise this fact and provide suitable learning opportunities for all pupils by matching the challenge of the task to the pupil. We achieve this through a range of strategies. In some lessons we do it through the use of scaffolding, resources or mixed ability group activities.
English Curriculum Planning (Writing)
For the teaching of writing we use objectives from the National Primary Curriculum and Cornerstones learning projects to generate learning intentions and success criteria and plan using ‘The Writing Cycle’.
We carry out the curriculum planning in English in three phases (long-term, medium term and short-term). The National Primary Curriculum programme of study for each year group details what we teach in the long-term.
Our medium-term plans, generated through the Cornerstones ‘Hub’ then annotated, give details of the main teaching objectives, text types covered and aims for each term. These plans define what we teach and ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of learning across each term. The English subject leader is responsible for keeping and reviewing these plans.
Class teachers complete a weekly (short-term) plan for the teaching of English. This lists the specific learning intentions for each lesson and gives details of how the lessons are to be taught. The class teacher keeps these individual plans, and the class teacher and subject leader often discuss them on an informal basis. These plans are to be hand written in collaboration by both class teachers using the cycle format. Weekly plans are to be kept in the class planning file and are to be copied and discussed with each member of the class’ support team and displayed on the English working wall.
Spelling, punctuation and grammar is taught through the ‘No Nonsense Grammar’ and ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ schemes. SPAG sessions are taught in daily 15-20 minute sessions with learning recorded in a journal.
Spelling word lists are taken from the ‘Rising Stars’ scheme and are sent home termly for each week and are then tested weekly as a whole class.
Handwriting is taught explicitly through the ‘Letter Join’ scheme. Further information on the teaching of handwriting can be found in the handwriting guidance.
English Curriculum Planning (Reading)
Reading is taught through daily, planned guided reading sessions. Pupils are grouped relating to the current attainment levels are set meaningful and challenging reading related tasks. All tasks relate to an objective set out in the National Curriculum tracking statements. All reading related evidence is kept in one, centralised guided reading folder. In this folder each pupil has a tracking statement which is to be tracked against following each guided reading session.
Guided reading activities are a mixture of adult-led and independent activities. Guided reading sessions will include at least five of the following ten activities: adult led group; 1:1 reading, an Accelerated Reading quiz, Stile, listening to an audio book, watching a film / programme with only sub-titles, Picture Prompts comprehension, free reading, comprehension (SATs paper practice) and independent tasks which follow up an adult-led session (see below for adult led and follow up pro-formas).
At Holy Trinity CE Primary School we believe that all pupils deserve the opportunity to develop a love of reading; to cultivate this pupils are read to from a class text daily.
Here at Holy Trinity CE Primary School we are very proud of our pupil’s handwriting and take particular care in our cursive/joined-up handwriting style. We use Letter-join as the basis of our handwriting policy that covers all the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum.