"Let us remember: one book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world."
At Ewyas Harold, our aim is to provide all pupils with an engaging, motivating and inclusive English curriculum that enables them to become confident communicators, enthusiastic readers and creative writers. We have developed our curriculum to include a range of exciting and cross-curricular texts that we hope will inspire and motivate the children to enjoy reading. Through use of engaging texts and a variety of genres, we aim to provide children with purposeful and exciting writing opportunities. Children are encouraged to think and write creatively and share their opinions in many forms.
We intend for children to become enthusiastic and motivated readers who read for pleasure;
- to develop pupils’ confidence to discuss the books they have read and to enable them to acquire vocabulary and new information that encourages a love of learning;
- to develop their reading fluency and comprehension skills within whole class, group and independent activities;
- for children to become reflective writers, using a cycle of planning, discussing, drafting and editing to understand the writing process;
- to encourage children to take pride in their work and to present their learning in such a way that reflects the high standards we all know they can reach in English;
- for every child to have the right to freely express her or his views, in all matters affecting her or him, and the subsequent right for those views to be given due weight, according to the child's age and maturity (Article 12).
Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously. This right applies at all times, for example during immigration proceedings, housing decisions or the child’s day-to-day home life.
At Ewyas Harold, all pupils have a daily English lesson which is carefully planned and differentiated to ensure that children are able to build upon prior knowledge and make good progress in reading, writing and spoken language. In addition to this, some children will receive additional intervention in English to support them to make accelerated progress or to close the gap in learning if required. Interventions are planned by teachers and support staff and are monitored closely to ensure that progress is tracked and next steps are planned for.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, Reading for Meaning is taught each day. Whole class reading sessions are carefully planned to ensure that pupils are provided with opportunities to develop their comprehension, inference and thinking skills, as well as reading fluency and expression. Reading for Meaning provides children with thinking time to explore author techniques, themes and plots within texts as well as the vocabulary used and the impact on the reader.
Pupils take home banded books at their level each day, using a variety of reading schemes, including Bug Club, Barrington Stoke and Dandelion Launchers. A dialogue with home is encouraged as teachers record comments about a reading session in children’s Home Reading record. Parents are also encouraged to record when they have read at home in these records. Incentives are given to those children who read regularly, including certificates and prizes.
A love of reading is fostered in many ways, including story sessions, recommendations from staff, stories read by staff online, World Book Day and library trips so that children are immersed in literature. Each class has a shared class reading for meaning book, which is read every day, linked to the year group’s English sessions, to encourage reading for pleasure. Classes are able to visit the school library weekly and borrow books in addition to reading books sent home. We have our own library to encourage children to select books and share stories together.
In Reception and Key Stage 1, Phonics is taught daily using the ‘Jolly Phonics’ and ‘Phonics Play’ used to support children’s phonics learning. Children are supported to develop the skills needed to segment and blend confidently which enables them to develop reading fluency and spelling skills which enable them to become confident writers. ‘Read, write, inc.’ is also incorporated to help children remember the different graphemes to form letters correctly.
At Ewyas Harold, we provide children with a wide range of opportunities for writing across the curriculum. Children are taught how to structure and present their written work and are taught grammar and spelling as part of English lessons, as well as through discrete spelling, punctuation and grammar lessons when required. Children are provided with differentiated spellings each week, using National Curriculum word lists to develop their use of common and technical vocabulary. Pupils are taught handwriting, using pre-cursive letter formation in EYFS and Year 1, moving onto cursive letter formation in Year 2 to ensure that they end Key Stage 2 able to use joined, legible writing at speed.
Progression in writing is planned for carefully to enable children to develop creativity and to progress in their writing skills. Drama, visual resources and cross-curricular themes are used to develop the children’s vocabulary and imagination. This allows children to become immersed in a text. By exploring the techniques used by the author, children can apply these features and grammatical techniques to a range of genres across the curriculum.
Shared and modelled writing sessions, including the planning of extended narratives, support children to apply features and techniques using their own creative ideas. Pupils are encouraged to reflect on their own writing and that of their peers using the editing approach. This process enables children to ‘think as a writer’ and develops their independence. We value the children’s writing highly; each week children produce a creative piece of writing. This provides them with the opportunity to apply the techniques they have learned to a range of text types.
The impact of our teaching of English will ensure that children:
- are enthusiastic and motivated readers who are confident and will enjoy and understand a wide variety of genres and text types;
- become reflective writers who can use a range of features and techniques to produce creative and original writing across a range of genres and subjects;
- can communicate their ideas, opinions and views confidently both orally and in writing.
At Ewyas Harold, children's progress and attainment in English is continually assessed through on-going teacher assessment of reading and writing, using the written work in their English books, their reading records and their contributions in lessons. Teachers and support staff assess daily and provide opportunities for children to respond to marking to build on learning and to identify next steps and gaps in learning through bubble purple questions to demonstrate reasoning skills.
Children take ownership to edit their writing, allowing them to reflect on their learning. Teacher assessments are recorded on Insight Tracking each term. This is reported to parents and carers in termly consultation evenings and in end of year reports.