At Cheetwood Community Primary School a programme of study for English is provided by the National Curriculum for English at Key Stage 1 and 2. This identifies 3 main aspects of learning: spoken language; reading (word reading and comprehension) and writing (transcription/spelling; vocabulary, grammar and punctuation).
In KS1 and KS2 English is taught through a daily lesson and the skills gained through the teaching of literacy are reinforced through study in other lessons for example science, history and geography.
Pupils are encouraged to take a great deal of pride in the presentation of their work. A presentation policy is followed from Y1-Y6 and all pupils are taught handwriting skills as part of the teaching of English.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening is seen as an integral part of the whole curriculum and is central to literacy development especially at the early stages of reading and writing. Pupils are encouraged to develop the use of a ‘writing voice’ to help them use the correct speaking and listening skills in their writing. Speaking and listening activities and the understanding of language is a huge focus in the EYFS and this focus provides a foundation on which future skills are developed moving through the school.
In KS1 and KS2 whole class guided reading sessions provide pupils with the opportunity to read independently, practise decoding skills, discuss texts with their peers and their teacher and develop the skills needed to have a greater understanding of texts. The importance of reading independently, along with the understanding of texts and reading for pleasure, is endorsed by the variety of books available in school. Our library has further enhanced pupils’ reading choices and given them greater access to books across a range of subjects. All pupils are actively encouraged to continue their reading at home and they are expected to share their school reading book with parents/carers at home at least 3 times per week. Home-school reading diaries are monitored each week and reading achievements in school and at home are recognised and celebrated.
In order to fully develop the pupils’ early reading skills there is a daily phonics session taught in the EYFS and KS1, with pupils working with others at the same level as them. Pupils come together for a fast-paced active 20 minute lesson where new sounds and graphemes are introduced. Previously learnt sounds are also practised and pupils are given the opportunity to apply their phonics skills through reading and writing activities. The school follows the Letters and Sounds programme for teaching phonics which is adapted to the needs of pupils. Pupils’ phonics skills are then built on in KS2 through a clear spelling programme (No Nonsense Spelling) where pupils receive a variety of spelling activities totalling at least an hour per week. In addition to this, pupils are given a half termly spelling test from Y1-Y6 and are encouraged to spend time learning their high frequency words/statutory word list (for their year group) as part of their homework.
Written skills are developed weekly through our English lessons. Pupils also have a weekly lesson focussing on grammar, punctuation and spelling to improve their basic literacy skills.
In all aspects of pupils’ learning at Cheetwood our partnership with parents/carers reinforces that learning process. English workshops are held to support parents/carers in helping their child at home. Parents/carers are given advice about how they can foster a love of reading in their child, how to provide their child with meaningful opportunities to write in the home setting and how their child can improve their speaking and listening skills.