English

 

The ability for a child to communicate effectively is vital across all aspects of their learning and is at the heart of everything we do at Prendergast Primary school, so our English learning is one that is threaded throughout our curriculum. We want our children to leave school as confident and skilled readers, writers, listeners and communicators. Emphasis on this starts in Reception and continues right the way through to Year 6We provide children with a broad range of daily activities to develop and apply their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Included in this provision are opportunities for public speaking and drama activities and reading and writing in different styles and for different purposes. 

 

Reading

At Prendergast Primary school we promote and encourage the love for reading throughout the school. Every day the children are given time to enjoy books on their own and hear stories. In each classroom there is a reading area with a range of fiction and non-fiction texts which children can access throughout the day. Each class is allocated a time to go to the school library where there too, they have access to quality texts which they can borrow and take home.  

 

Starting in Reception, children are taught to read with daily phonics session using the Ruth Miskin Read Write Inc programme. In addition, children read in small, guided groups with an adult, where the focus is on decoding and comprehension.  

In KS1 children continue to use the ReaWrite Inc programme to develop their phonetic knowledge. Our children are also given the opportunity to choose reading books from a range of schemes, including Collins Big Cats which are banded by level of difficulty 

In KS2, the expectation is that children select their own reading books, with support given from class teachers in choosing appropriate texts as needed. Class core texts are chosen using the inspiring ‘Power of Reading’ scheme as a starting point, with class teachers also reading aloud to the children on a daily basis. 

 

Writing 

In our writing curriculum, children are immersed with engaging, high quality texts, which act as a stimulus to develop their writing skills. All children’s writing wherever possible is linked to the themed, half termly topic questionChildren are taught to write with purpose, using a range of fiction and non-fiction genres throughout the year. Writing toolkits are established so that children are aware of the features of different text types. In addition to this, children develop speaking, listening, vocabulary and grammar as well as children’s creative writing skills through the Talk for writing approach. Using both the Power of reading approach and Talk for Writing, it ensures our children are fully immersed in their English learning.  

 

The teaching of writing is taught in 5 stages:  

 

 

 

Phase

What?

Why?

1

Cold Write.

This is an independent attempt at the text type the children are working towards.

The cold write is an excellent opportunity to assess what they children already know about the given writing style. It is used to inform future planning.

2

Immersion.

This involves reading model texts and identifying features. Drama is used to, for instance, explore characterisation. In a non-fiction unit, research may take place. Children are given ‘Have A Go’ writing opportunities. These are not scaffolded by success criteria and include a range of text types other than the main focus for a unit. They generally follow on from a drama activity.

Drama and speaking and listening will lead to a higher quality of writing. ‘Have A Go’ writing gives children the chance to write more freely than when working to success criteria

3

Shorter Writing Opportunities.

By this phase of a unit, children are familiar with any core texts and with the given text type. The writing they produce at this stage leads towards the final outcome, e.g. sentences about a setting to be used in their story.

These writing opportunities help to deepen children’s understanding of a text/text type. It is also a good opportunity to write in role. For instance, writing a diary entry or a letter.

4

Drafting the Final Written Outcome.

Children are guided through the planning, drafting, editing and revising process to write their own piece of extended writing based on the focus text type. Success criteria are used, with colour-coding to ensure accuracy. Children’s editing is in purple pen.

This is what the children have been working towards. Through using shared and guided writing approaches, the children are supported in producing a high-quality written outcome based on their learning earlier in the unit.

5

Publishing the Final Outcome - Hot Write

Children are given the opportunity to publish a final draft of their main written outcome. This is not marked as it is a celebration of learning. Teachers may also wish to ask children to produce a ‘hot write’ which is a further independent attempt at the text type taught.

This helps the children to embed their learning from their unit, and gives teachers the chance to assess progress, by comparing with the cold write.