In the first two years, the focus is placed equally on spoken language, reading (word recognition and comprehension) and writing (transcription, handwriting, composition, plus vocabulary, grammar and punctuation). Full details can be viewed below.
Year 1 English Overview
Year 2 English Overview
At St Gildas’ we aim for excellence in literacy achievement throughout the school. We will foster and develop this with an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing. We will ensure that National Curriculum (2014) Key Stage 2 requirements in English are met and where appropriate enriched and expanded upon to inspire children to have the ambition to develop a wide range of talents and skills.
Pupils at St Gildas’ will be able to:
Communicate effectively and confidently in Standard English.
- Be able to listen to the spoken word with understanding, pleasure and empathy
- Read a variety of texts for pleasure and information and develop the skill of being able to analyse verbally and in writing what they have read
- Be able to write for a variety of purposes and audiences
- Use and understand a variety of spelling, punctuation and grammar accurately and with confidence
Children are taught separate writing and reading lessons. Each day a 45-minute reading lesson is taught with one main written response to text a week. A further one-hour writing lesson is taught each day with embedded grammar and spelling. Further discreet handwriting and spelling lessons are taught. A session of reading aloud a class novel is also daily. Literacy is developed across the curriculum. Provisions are made for those children who require further support through targeted teaching and interventions whilst maintaining the importance of Quality First Teaching.
Reading is taught across Key Stage 2 through the Destination Reader Scheme. They key principles of this method of teaching are:
- Enable quality experience
- Promote enjoyment
- Increase reading mileage
- Build firm foundations
- Develop thinking and understanding
- Make talk central
Independent learning is taught based on Learning Behaviours and Partner Work. There is an emphasis on modelling by the teacher as an experienced reader. The focus is on partner talk. Reading Walls are prominent and interactive. Lessons are taught with enthusiasm, clarity of focus and high expectations of oral language through good questioning from both the children and teachers. High-quality texts and resources support children’s learning. Reading is assessed by mainly formative assessment and each child is read with at least once a week with an adult. Children working below age expected levels are read with on a regular basis via Target Readers and volunteer programmes.
Writing is taught through a mixture of strategies, drawing on Pie Corbett and The Power of Reading as well as the Wordsmith scheme of planning and resources. Talk, drama and discussion are valued before undertaking a written task. Videos and music are used wherever possible to inspire, such as The Literacy Shed. Shared Writing is used to model a writing task and style. Guided Writing sessions are used to target specific groups and support needs. Children are given opportunities to write at length in extended writing sessions regularly. Children are given the opportunity to write in different contexts and shown quality texts to model for a variety of purposes. Children are encouraged to edit and redraft their writing. In Lower Key Stage 2 this is more directed, working towards a more independent redraft in Upper Key Stage 2.
Children learn to write in a cursive style with a ‘Lead-in’ and ‘Lead-out’ stroke to aid fluency of writing and spelling patterns. Examples are taken from the Twinkl website and Kidszone. The script is displayed in each classroom. Teachers model the cursive style and interactive plans use ‘Twinkl cursive’ font.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
The teaching of spelling and grammar is taught in line with the 2014 National Curriculum. Spelling is taught through the Spelling Shed scheme throughout the school, children are encouraged to access the resources at home to further support the development of their spelling skills. These lessons are short and regular. Wherever necessary, further spelling targets are taught to supplement in line with Target Tracker objectives. Spelling homework is given weekly to cover specified year group lists.
Punctuation is taught discreetly through all subjects, as well as stand-alone lessons where necessary. Dictation lessons included in spelling lessons cover punctuation as well.
Grammar is taught at least once a week, either explicitly or discreetly. Wherever possible the grammar lessons should link directly with the writing topic to give some relevance to the lesson.
Wherever possible, teachers will make links with other subjects across the curriculum. Topic books and themed books can be used to support reading. Lessons are planned for pupils to practise skills, knowledge and understanding obtained through literacy lessons. Extended writing opportunities will be apparent in humanities and RE topics.
Children are assessed with both formative and summative assessments. Teachers monitor the children’s progress and record this on our internal assessment program.
Once a term an extended piece of writing is completed throughout the school as an opportunity to moderate collaboratively as a staff. Files of example writing are kept by the Literacy Coordinator. They are marked against the Writing Toolkit Standards. Reading is assessed formatively in line with the Destination Reader program.