Our English Subject Leaders are:
Writing and Grammar: Mrs Robinson and Mrs Grindey
Phonics and Early Reading: Miss Proctor
Reading for Pleasure: Mrs Jardine
At Disley Primary School, we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and to be able to use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
We value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe reading is crucial for academic success and so we ensure we have a holistic approach to the teaching of reading. It is our intention that the children at Disley:
- become enthusiastic and motivated readers
- develop their confidence in reading a wide variety of genres and text types
- have the skills to decode words in order to be able to read fluently with understanding of what they have read.
- have a love of literature and an enjoyment of reading for pleasure
- use reading to provoke thought
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge base in English, 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 participate fully as a member of society.
We teach English as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. Within lessons, teachers and teaching assistants offer targeted support to enable all children to achieve at an age-related level wherever possible. This may involve a greater level of scaffolding and access to additional support materials such as scaffolded materials, Word Banks or a greater level of modelling.
The format from ‘Read to Write’ is utilised across the school. Children are given opportunities to extend their writing in a variety of ways, including through showing greater control in their writing, a deeper understanding of the impact that their writing has on the reader and by using a higher level of vocabulary and grammar features.
We have recently introduced and are beginning to embed a new Oracy skills based curriculum called Voice 21. We aim to provide children with a high-quality and progressive oracy education starting from EYFS through to end of KS2. Our short term and long term outcomes are to improve children’s communication, literacy and oracy skills alongside increasing children’s engagement in learning and therefore improving their overall academic outcomes. Children will regularly engage in collaborative activities and discussions where they will model age differentiated talk tactics and develop their exploration and presentational talking skills. Teachers will mark children’s oracy skills and development through the use of oracy praise guidelines and formative assessment using the Oracy framework.
We have a skills based approach to reading using VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explain, Retrieve and Sequence/Summarise) skills within regular Whole Class Guided Reading lessons. We use a variety of high quality texts some of which are taken from our school reading spine to ensure that the children experience the 5 main text types, which link to our topic when applicable. All children in the class will access the text together. Once an understanding of the text is in place, we work on the VIPERS skills. In our school, our reading curriculum links closely with our writing curriculum; we use a text-based approach that enables us to create opportunities for reading, discussion and writing within English and reading lessons.
In EYFS and early KS1, there is a greater emphasis on phonics; this is then applied throughout the rest of the school to consolidate what has been learnt. Within daily phonic sessions, children have the opportunity to revisit previous learning, practise and apply new skills in structured but engaging ways. We use the ‘Monster Phonics’ SSP scheme throughout the school, beginning from when the children first start Reception. The colour-coded aspects of the scheme enable the children to engage in a multi-sensory way. Phonics lessons take place 5x per week in Reception and 5x per week in KS1.
We encourage reading for pleasure through children having a choice of challenging and enriching texts as well as building in time for children to read independently and as part of a whole class. All children have daily opportunities to read a variety of material in school, including regularly with an adult.
Each week, the children are given a decodable Monster Phonics book to take home that reflects the learning taking place in school. The children are also provided with a ‘reading for pleasure’ book that they can share with an adult or read independently.
The National Curriculum makes clear that learning vocabulary is key to ‘learning and progress across the whole curriculum’ since it allows pupils to access a wider range of vocabulary when writing, and for them to understand and comprehend texts efficiently. Vocabulary is not only taught discretely within writing lessons, but also during lessons across the curriculum. A bank of vocabulary is available to each year group in the curriculum overview and the science vocabulary progression document.
Spellings are taught according to the rules and words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum. In EYFS and KS1, spellings are taught in small groups through phonic sessions. In KS2, teachers use ‘The Spelling Shed’ to focus on a spelling rule for children to practise. The children also practise spellings, which have been identified by themselves and their class teacher as words which they need to work on. Children may practise these spellings from the National Curriculum at home and in school. They have their personal spellings displayed on a ‘Focus Five’ sheet and are encouraged to use them within their lessons. Once spellings have been used correctly on three occasions, children will move onto a new spelling to practise. Children will also have opportunity to practise spellings at home using digital resources accessed through ‘The Spelling Shed’.
Grammar and Punctuation:
Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible. Teachers plan to teach the required skills through the genres of writing that they are teaching, linking it to the genre to make it more connected with the intended writing outcome. Teachers sometimes focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as standalone lessons, if they feel that the class need additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills.
English Lesson Sequence:
Each year group have a yearly overview of the writing genres, both narrative and non-fiction, that they will teach. These have been planned to ensure correct coverage of the key genres as well as build on skills from year to year. Units will take between two and four weeks to complete, and the outcome of each unit will be an Extended Write, which will be used to assess the pupil’s skills against the agreed success criteria. Every narrative unit is linked to a carefully chosen text that acts as a stimulus for teaching the identified text, word and sentence level features that children will be expected to include in their extended writing outcome for that unit. A WAGOLL – What a good one looks like – is created based on the stimulus text and supports pupils to identify and mimic the identified features in their own writing. Non-fiction units are also taught through a quality WAGOLL that may be based on a stimulus text or may be related to another curriculum area.
Throughout the school, the ‘Penpals’ scheme is used to teach handwriting each week from EYFS to KS2. This is an interactive resource that allows children to use gross and fine motor skills in preparation for handwriting as well as teaching the joins required at each stage. Children in Years 1-4 will practise joins in handwriting books, whilst those in Years 5 and 6 will practise handwriting in exercise books.
At Disley Primary School
- Resources will be given to support less able and extend more able pupils
- Children with learning difficulties will be recognised and provision made for their particular needs in consultation with the school SENDCO. Where necessary outside agencies will be involved
- Parents will be kept informed and encouraged to assist in helping their children
- Teaching Assistants will be used to give additional support to individuals or groups of children when this is deemed appropriate
Marking and Feedback:
Oral feedback is provided within the lesson and following marking of work. All marking and feedback is given in line with our marking and feedback policy.
Summative Assessment and Recording:
Assessment is conducted on a continuous basis and used to inform future planning and target setting. At the end of each school year, assessment information is passed on to the child’s next class teacher.
Teachers will be expected to complete a Writing assessment grid for each child as the year progresses. A minimum of six pieces of work should be used to inform judgements made by teachers at the end of the year. In EYFS the children are assessed against the Development Matters Literacy guidance half termly and then against the Literacy Early Learning Goal at the end of the Reception year. Children’s progress and end of year attainment levels are clearly communicated to KS1 staff during the end of year transition phase.
For all pupils from Year 1 to Year 6, reading and writing progress is formally assessed termly and these assessment results are fed back to the Headteacher, in order to provide the necessary data for our school tracking system. Staff are therefore aware of the progress that their children are making and how well they are achieving towards their end of year targets.
Summative assessments will be entered into the OTRACK system each term. Teachers will use their professional judgement alongside year group assessment grids to determine whether a child is working within age-related expectations, above or below. They will base their judgements on the quality of the extended write that pupils produce at the end of each unit, and determine to what extent pupils have met the agreed success criteria for each genre of writing.
Regardless of background, ability or additional needs, by the time children leave Disley:
- Pupils will be enthusiastic and motivated readers who are confident and will enjoy reading a wide variety of genres and text types
- Pupils will have the skills to decode words, infer and retrieve information, predict, explain and summarise in order to be able to read fluently with a secure understanding of what they have read
- Pupils will be inspired by literature and will read for pleasure
- The majority of children in EYFS will achieve the Literacy Early Learning Goal at the end of Reception
- The majority of children in Year 1 will be in line or above national standard for phonic screening
- The majority of children in Years 2 and 6 will be in line or above national standard for reading
- Pupils will enjoy writing across a range of genres
- Pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because work will be appropriately scaffolded
- Pupils will have a wide vocabulary that they use within their writing
- Children’s developed oracy skills will improve children’s language, communication and vocabulary choices, therefore supporting their reading and writing abilities
- Pupils will have a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context and audience
- Pupils will be able to effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught
- Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support spelling, grammar and composition at home, and contribute regularly to homework
- The % of pupils working at ARE will be at least in line with national averages
- The % of pupils working at Greater Depth will be at least in line with national averages
- There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non-disadvantaged)