Aim: That all children read fluently and can communicate well, using spoken and written English.
The curriculum drivers: Vocabulary, Identity, Locality and Personality (VILP) tackle the challenges our pupils face and are interwoven throughout the learning.
Vocabulary: the development of a rich and specific vocabulary is vital to being able to communicate in a written form, with detail, nuance and appeal.
Identity: as a child writes, as with any author they put themselves into their work. This develops self-awareness and build the ability to communicate to others.
Locality: writing about what and where we know brings a richness to our work and children have a sense of place. Personality: we learn from others: we need to read widely and extensively; we can copy and try out the words from those that inspire us to help us develop our written voices.
We use language to build our view and opinion of the world and our community. We believe that developing a love of our language in our children is vital in achieving success at school and later in life. The exploration and enjoyment of the English language is our priority and we value all its aspects – speaking, listening, reading and writing.
English is taught daily across the whole school with work appropriately differentiated to match all abilities. Developing early reading and a pride in writing is key to the start the children have in their learning at Halwin School. Fundamental to success at school and in reducing disadvantage in life is the depth of vocabulary and its usage.
Halwin Primary aims to develop a rich vocabulary in our pupils and this will be tackled primarily within English lessons and reinforced across the broader curriculum. Speaking, listening and talking are fundamental to learning. Pupils are encouraged to speak clearly, confidently and with expression in order to state their ideas and opinions. Just as important is the need to listen carefully to others and respond in appropriate ways. At Halwin Primary, pupils are given opportunities in all areas of the curriculum to develop their oracy skills, in talk partners, group or whole class situations.
Spelling We aim for accurate spelling. Read/Write/Inc starts pupils on their journey and this is supplemented with work from the Literacy shed and then on to the expected words for each age group.
Grammar and punctuation There is a grammar and punctuation focus within English lessons, linked to the specific form of writing being studied. When pupils complete the Read/Write/Inc they move on to a programme from The Literacy Shed and stand-alone grammar and punctuation lessons to supplement the learning. Higher up the school the development is identified from pupils’ writing and individual and group learning identified and covered.
Writing At Halwin Primary we aim for children to be independent writers. We encourage them to write clearly and with confidence for a chosen audience in any given form. We teach them to use punctuation and grammar accurately, to be able to proofread their own work and make amendments and improvements.
We place value on the development of correct letter formation and neatly presented handwriting. A continuous cursive style is used through the Letter-Join programme after they move on from Read/Write/Inc.
Through our English curriculum, we aim to nurture in the children a love of literature and language, and the confidence to continue reading and writing throughout their lives.
Pupils who succeed in English have developed:
- Phonic strategies of encoding and decoding words
- Spelling, punctuation and grammar for writing
- Reading for enjoyment and meaning
- Speaking and listening skills
- Clear and cursive handwriting.
Writing starts from the start when children join the school. They learn about story telling, nursery rhymes and other oral work.
Moving on into reception, the children formally start the RWI programme. Children work on writing tasks within the Rainbow challenges. Both the Reception and year 1 work on the Write Stuff units. Reception work in a floor book together and produce some individual work. The Year 1s follow the scheme as intended.
The Write Stuff programme continues in Owls and Kingfishers classes. Units are chosen according to the Write Stuff Year group recommendations and match where feasible with learning in science, history or geography. In addition, units are selected to give the pupils a variety of forms of writing to learn with narrative the main focus – particularly in the younger years.
Teachers assess progress termly; end of each unit independent writes are in the children’s progress book.