English at ESJ
At ESJ we believe that a successful English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We actively promote reading for pleasure and ensure the children have access to a wide variety of high quality texts for both adult-led and independent reading. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing as we support them to develop the skills needed to write clearly and accurately. A focus on enhancing vocabulary means that our children are able to adapt their language and style for a range of activities. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and be able to discuss and debate in order to communicate and further their learning.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in literacy skills, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to thrive.
We ensure that our English teaching and learning provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. We use a wide variety of experiences, quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. Reading has a high priority and is taught through a mixture of guided groups and whole class reading sessions. Teachers ensure that cross curricular links with concurrent topic work are woven into the programme of study.
- Pupils in EYFS and KS1 have daily phonics lessons. Phonics and early reading is taught using the Twinkl Phonics scheme, a high quality systematic synthetic phonics programme that has been validated by the DfE. This is supported by the use of the Floppy's Phonics and Twinkl Phonics reading schemes.
- Teachers create a positive reading and writing culture in school, where both are promoted, enjoyed and considered ‘a pleasure’ for all pupils.
- Teachers in all year groups promote reading for pleasure by reading out loud regularly to their class.
- Age appropriate spellings are sent home weekly for pupils to practise. In EYFS and KS1 these are closely linked to phonics teaching.
- Pupils are given regular opportunities to develop their communication skills, to discuss and to present their ideas to each other.
- Classroom displays promote key vocabulary and support children to compose and record text at age appropriate level. Pupils are encouraged to be adventurous with vocabulary choices.
- Vocabulary mats and other visual supports are used where needed to support independent writing. Thesauruses and dictionaries are easily accessible for pupils to use.
- A range of genres is taught across the school both in English and other curriculum areas, resulting in pupils being exposed to, and knowledgeable about, literary styles, authors and genres.
- We run information sessions for parents and carers that cover the key literacy skills taught in each year group. This information is also available in the year group areas of the school website.
- The teaching of vocabulary, spelling and grammar is embedded in English lessons throughout the year groups. More information about the teaching of these literacy skills can be found in the appendices.
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives.