At Warren Park, we believe that English is at the heart of our children’s learning. We are determined that our learners, no matter their starting point or circumstance, have the same opportunity to be successful as any child of their age would. Together, we work tirelessly to provide an inclusive, inspiring and uniquely motivating curriculum, allowing every learner to be challenged to reach their full potential. At Warren Park, it is our mission to equip children with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading – nurturing qualities that the children will be able to carry forward into successful lives.
Our intent is to enable our children to:
- Become confident in the art of speaking and listening, engaging in debate and making formal presentations to others to demonstrate their understanding.
- Participate fully in active peer discussion in order to further their learning.
- Read easily and fluently, developing comprehension skills in line with year group expectation.
- Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
- Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.
- Acquire a wide vocabulary and appreciate the linguistic conventions and differences for reading, writing and the spoken word.
- Develop a love of writing and be able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively, through the written word.
- Write accurately and coherently, adapting language and style for a range of contexts.
- Edit and re-draft effectively to improve the impact of their own writing.
English is taught daily across the school. In KS1, the children are taught in a variety of groupings including both target and mixed target groups, with a high ratio of staff to children. In KS2, English is taught in three separate target groups to ensure all children can access their appropriate year group curriculum, but with varying degrees of support. The target 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. The English curriculum has been planned carefully through our Progressions of Skills for both Reading and Writing, and shows clear development from Year 1 to Year 6. We use these documents for both planning and assessment, and are confident that they sit in line with the Hampshire Assessment Model for both disciplines.
Speaking and Listening at Warren Park…
At Warren Park, we strive to create a language rich environment and seek to maximise the quality of conversations that children have with both adults and their peers each day. We appreciate that our children need to learn the routines of back and forth talk, through skills of listening to and talking with a partner as well as giving feedback to the group. Alongside maintaining this practise day to day, we have a dedicated Speech and Language Therapist who provides both individual coaching for children, as well as support for parents to work with their children at home. In our Reception classes, targeted children follow the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) programme to support their language development and early literacy skills. We also have many staff trained in the Elklan programme so that we can best support those children identified with speech, language and communication needs.
Phonics at Warren Park…
We recognise that a systematic approach to teaching phonics is the only pathway to ensure we develop fluent readers amongst our children. Excellent phonic teaching and learning is crucial in allowing children to develop the skills they need for all areas of the English Curriculum. This is achieved through faithful and consistent use of the Monster Phonics programme – including all resources, planning and the full reading scheme. Daily lessons are delivered with enthusiasm and confidence to inspire progress amongst all our Warren Park children.
Throughout the Early Years and Key Stage 1, we use the Monster Phonics Programme which is a systematic, synthetic phonics programme for teaching phonics skills, starting with initial sounds, blending and segmenting. It also introduces children to ‘tricky’ words that cannot be decoded phonetically alongside high frequency words which are integral to building sight vocabulary. Each vowel sound has an animated, colourful character to stimulate children’s engagement and memory.
Meet our monsters:
Monster Phonics has a clear philosophy:
- Colour-coded to support memory and facilitate understanding.
- Monster sound cues and actions to support memory and increase engagement.
- Rapid teaching of graphemes, grammatical rules HFW and CEW to improve reading fluency and access to the curriculum in all areas.
- Consolidate and apply learning in meaningful and purposeful ‘real’ contexts.
- Formative assessment to provide opportunities to quickly identify those children who need additional support to keep up.
Early Reading at Warren Park…
We have a dedicated phonics library that runs separately from the reading rainbow to ensure that all children in KS1 are reading phonically decodable books. These books will serve to reinforce their phonics teaching, develop confidence and promote success for all. All books within the phonics library are organised to match exactly the order in which GPCs are introduced in Monster Phonics.
Reading at Warren Park…
“Reading is the one ability that, once set in motion, has the ability to feed itself, grow exponentially and provide a base from which possibilities are limitless.”
At Warren Park, there is strong staff efficacy in nurturing a love of reading for all our children and we work passionately to support this positive approach to reading in the home. 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 regularly 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, we also run our own book shop, with each and every book costing only £1. We believe in providing our children with access to their own, chosen literature which they can read, enjoy and which will then become a part of their childhood experience of stories. Alongside this, each and every child receives the Christmas present of a suitable book to take home and add to their collection.
Reading events throughout the year further help us to maintain the profile of reading at Warren Park. These include Reading Festivals, visiting authors, reading cafes, World Book Day celebrations and team events. We also invest in support from the Schools Library Service in order to provide our children with specific reading materials to support their wider learning.
Writing at Warren Park…
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.
We use high quality text drivers in all year groups to broaden children’s exposure to literature and to drive the writing curriculum.
Alongside these, we follow the key principles laid down by Hampshire for their English Learning Journeys. We use 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 vocabulary and the writing journey being undertaken.
Children are captivated in the text through the ‘Stimulate and Generate’ phase – allowing them to gather good examples from a range of writing styles; to try things on for size. They then move through a phase of ‘Capture, Sift and Sort’ whereby they are able to analyse writing styles for impact – assessing the use of vocabulary, grammar and overall structure. Finally, the children have the chance to ‘Create, Refine and Evaluate’ as 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. Throughout this process, opportunities are provided for the children to engage in short burst writing activities where they can experiment and build confidence.
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.
Assessment in English…
In EYFS and KS1, the Monster Phonics programme of assessment is followed and the phonics screening check is undertaken in Year 1. Year 1 to Year 6, children are assessed in Reading, using the school’s Progression of Skills as well as the New Group Reading Test (NGRT) where appropriate. Writing is assessed against the school’s Progression of Skills document, and frequent opportunities are given for moderation – both at a school and cluster group level. Progress for both reading and writing is recorded and tracked at four milestone points throughout the year, using the Hampshire Assessment Model. Once summative assessments are completed, pupil progress meetings are undertaken to analyse trends, both from a year group as well as a school perspective. Key children are identified on our provision mapping and provided with additional support. EYFS, year 2 and year 6 also complete statutory assessments in line with the DfE assessment calendar.
Smaller class teaching for English allows careful formative assessment to flow through all lessons. Children’s knowledge, application and understanding of skills is carefully monitored, allowing timely feedback to be given and informed changes, if necessary, to be made. All adults contribute to the knowledge of each child’s attainment, their next steps and their talents to enable effective support, intervention and opportunities to deepen understanding.
The impact on our children is thus: sustained and steady progress made by all children who are settled in their learning behaviours, and who are developing transferable skills which they will establish for life. We are so proud of the success our learners achieve by the end of their primary journey, and how well this prepares them for their transition to secondary school.
Long term pupils will:
- Be confident in the art of speaking and listening, and to be able to use discussion to communicate and further their learning at the next step.
- Be able to read fluently both for pleasure and explore their learning further.
- Enjoy writing across a range of genres to create impact for their chosen audience.
- Pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because work will be appropriately supported and inclusive for all.
- Have a wide vocabulary and be adventurous with choices within their writing.
- Have a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context and audience.
- Make good progress from their starting points to achieve their full potential, achieving age related expectations or better at the key milestones.
It is our hope that as our children move on from Warren Park to further their education, their creativity, passion and high aspirations for English will travel with them, and continue to flourish.