At Ravensworth Church of England Primary School all children have access to opportunities for speaking, listening, reading, writing, spelling, phonics and grammar through daily English lessons. Our lessons are delivered by making each session as fun and as hands on as possible and by using a range of resources such as movies, novels, artefacts, newspapers, photographs and ICT! We aim to provide as many real life writing opportunities as possible and we love our reasons to write. We learn how to write to instruct, inform, excite, convince, persuade, to argue and to scare! Our children are then encouraged to use their skills in English across the whole curriculum which are linked to our creative curriculum themes.
We encourage our pupils to speak clearly and confidently and articulate their views and opinions. We teach children to learn to talk and about talk through a Voice 21 approach to Oracy and believe that all children, regardless of their background are entitled to oracy education. We teach the children to express themselves orally in an appropriate way, matching their style and response to audience and purpose. Our pupils develop the skills of participating effectively in group discussions in the following ways:
- Activities which are planned to encourage active participation by all children, irrespective of ability.
- Encouraging talk-time in the classroom and encouraging reading and discussions about texts.
- Opportunities for talk partners, circle time, role play, drama and school performances.
- Contributions during collective worship and school events within the community
- Discussions during School Council meetings
- Guided and group reading activities
- Opportunities to express thoughts and feelings, such as during SEAL activities
We teach our pupils to read fluently, understand extended prose, and they are encouraged to read for pleasure. There are two aspects of reading development: reading/decoding and comprehension. Our pupils develop their reading skills in the following ways:
- Children in Nursery and Reception have opportunities to develop their communication, language and literacy skills on a daily basis in both adult-led and child-initiated activities.
- Pupils learn to read easily and fluently through daily phonics in EYFS and Key Stage 1, as well as regular reading to adults in school and at home. We use the Letters and Sounds scheme to teach phonics.
- Pupils develop comprehension skills during Guided Reading activities. They study a text which is more challenging than their independent book, and they are given tasks to fulfil at school and home. We use a variety of reading schemes in school, including: Oxford Reading Tree, Read Write Inc and Rigby Star.
- Pupils are encouraged to read widely, through independent books, class texts and the school library.
- Pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure during quiet reading time and by listening to an adult read.
- Ours is a reading school, where reading is cherished and celebrated and where attainment across the curriculum improves due to an increased engagement with text.
- Pupils are expected to use their reading skills in order to find information during lessons in all areas of the curriculum.
- Pupils are given opportunities to experience a wide range of texts in a variety of genres.
We provide opportunities for our pupils to develop the stamina and skills to write at length; use accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar; write in a range of ways and purposes; and write to support their understanding and consolidation of what they have heard or read. There are two aspects of writing development: transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition. We recognise that both of these elements are essential to success and we support the acquisition of both sets of skills through various methods:
- We teach grammar, punctuation and spelling as discrete lessons and within other lessons as appropriate.
- Pupils move from ‘Letters and Sounds’ to ‘Read, Write Inc’ spelling. Pupils learn spelling patterns and learn how to spell common exception words.
- We correct errors in pupils’ written work (see Marking and Feedback policy).
- We revisit key learning and build upon it in all areas, from phonics through to grammar, punctuation and spelling.
- We use high quality texts.
- We use teacher modelling and collaborative writing to demonstrate good practice.
- We provide writing frames to support pupils when appropriate.
- We provide time for planning, editing and revising.
- We mark extended pieces of work in-depth and set appropriate targets with the pupil.
- We use checklists for pupils to self-assess or peer-assess, when appropriate, so they can evaluate effectively.
- We teach joined handwriting from Term 2 in Reception and expect pupils to use joined handwriting in their written work.
- Structured support is provided for pupils with learning and physical difficulties.
The development of vocabulary is key to learning and progress across the whole curriculum since it allows pupils to access a wider range of words when writing and for them to understand and comprehend texts effectively. Our pupils develop their vocabulary in the following ways:
- Spelling lists/key words to learn and apply to their writing.
- Extending vocabulary through reading high quality fiction daily.
- Display of key words and vocabulary linked to creative curriculum themes and subjects.
- Encouraging and expecting the use of correct vocabulary orally and in written tasks.
- In-depth word based lessons looking at specific patterns.
- Promoting the use of dictionaries, thesauruses and similar resources.
- Using a range of texts to explore vocabulary choices and the effect they have on the reader.
- Targeted one-to-one or group support, where appropriate.