English is taught daily across the school. In KS1, the children are taught in a variety of groupings including both ability and mixed ability groups, with a high ratio of staff to children. In KS2, English is taught in three separate ability groups to ensure all children can access their appropriate year group curriculum, but with varying degrees of support. The ability groups are organised according to the needs of the children; they vary in size and are subject to fluid movement throughout the academic year. English is taught as a subject in its own right and is developed further within the wider curriculum.
At Warren Park, it is our aim to equip children with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment – nurturing qualities that the children will be able to carry forward into successful lives. Our teaching will enable children to:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, and an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; elaborating and explaining clearly their understanding and ideas
- participate confidently in presentations and debates, demonstrating effective listening and speaking skills.
At Warren Park, there is strong ethos in promoting a love of reading for all our children. We aim to ensure that our children become analytical readers with the skills to comprehend and discuss fiction and non-fiction texts with confidence.
With the new National Curriculum split into three key areas: Reading for Pleasure, Vocabulary Development and Oral Comprehension, our reading approach allows children to develop their skills within each of these.
All children will be given the opportunity to read aloud, listen to texts read by a teacher or peers and develop their ability to discuss what they have heard in a constructive way. Children take part in daily guided reading sessions as well as other opportunities to read with adults around the school. All adults model high expectations of discussion, an enjoyment and pleasure in reading, and a desire to learn and experiment with new and unfamiliar vocabulary.
Alongside this, children are encouraged to read with different adults at home – including older siblings. Our colour coded reading rainbow allows children to select appropriate books to take home and share. Children select from a wide range of books from a variety of commercially produced reading schemes, including Oxford Reading Tree, Start Reading, Jelly and Bean and Collins Big Cat. Children are rewarded for their positive attitude to reading through certificates, team awards, and prizes of books.
At Warren Park, developing children as positive and confident writers is embedded throughout the school, and is a value which we all hold dear for their futures.
The English curriculum has been planned carefully through our Progressions of Skills to show clear development from Year R to Year 6. We use high quality text drivers in all year groups to broaden children’s exposure to literature. Alongside these, we follow the key principles of Talk for Writing – using model texts to help our children develop a mastery of grammar alongside their broadening vocabulary, both in the spoken and written language. We pride ourselves on a consistent approach throughout the school and working walls can be seen in each and every classroom to reflect the key principles.
Children have the opportunity to ‘imitate’ good writing styles; to try things on for size. They then move through a phase of ‘innovation’ whereby they still have a map to work from whilst building in their own ideas. Finally, the children become ‘independent’ writers: having the freedom to show their learning; to demonstrate the impact of the feedback they have been given; and, most importantly, to develop their own voice as young writers.
As the children journey up through KS2, the emphasis on independent writing becomes paramount. The children are encouraged to read works by a variety of authors and then to consider how these styles might impact on their own writing. They are encouraged to make conscious choices to enhance the effect of their writing and are given time to carry out the drafting process so that they may realise their full potential.
At Warren Park, we believe that developing a strong phonetic knowledge amongst all our children forms the solid foundations for reading, spelling, grammar and writing. Excellent phonic teaching and learning is crucial in allowing children to develop the skills they need for all areas of the English Curriculum. We have a consistent approach to the structure of daily phonics and spelling teaching.
We follow the Letters and Sounds programme of teaching, using phonics play and LCP to support our teaching, and to give children a broad and exciting range of activities to support their learning. All phonic lessons include a wide range of opportunities for children to develop their communication skills and to extend their vocabulary.
Teachers follow the ‘introduce, revisit, teach, practice and apply’ model, working towards all children being confident in in oral blending and segmenting, so that they are able to immediately apply their phonic knowledge in reading and writing.
When the children have completed Phase 5 of the phonics programme, we follow the No Nonsense programme for spelling from the end of Year 2, and throughout KS2. No Nonsense Spelling meets the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum and has a clear progression through blocks of teaching units across the year. It is our aim that all children, by the end of KS2, will be accurate spellers, who have the ‘tools’ to address new vocabulary with confidence.