At Warren Farm we place great importance on English. Our teaching of literacy skills is based on the 2014 National Curriculum. We aim to ensure that by the time our children leave us for the next stage of their education, they possess high standards of spoken and written English. We also aim to develop children’s love of reading and to turn them into ‘life-long’ readers.
We do this by:
At Warren Farm we teach high quality phonics to ensure the children have the best start possible in reading and writing. We understand that good quality phonics will enable children to secure the key skills of word recognition and decoding which will enable children to read both accurately and fluently.
We teach phonics systematically using the 'Bug Club Phonics' scheme. Phonics sessions are planned and delivered building on prior progress to ensure the best start for reading and writing. This ensures confident application for skills which results in fluency.
Speaking and listening:
At Warren Farm we promote and teach speaking and listening by:
- Encouraging pupils to take part in small group and whole class discussions.
- Encouraging pupils to ask relevant questions.
- Encouraging pupils to provide answers to questions that are well thought out and that they can justify.
- Prompting children to use Standard English.
- Ensuring that children feel able to contribute to discussions knowing that their contributions will be welcomed and respected.
- Helping children to develop an ‘ever growing’ vocabulary.
- Giving pupils the opportunity to take part in debates, acknowledging alternative viewpoints, and presenting their own counter viewpoints in a polite and respectful manner.
Throughout their time at Warren Farm the children will write for a range of purposes and for a range of audiences. The skills and knowledge for the different types of writing are taught through looking at examples (both good and bad) and through teacher modelling.
Across the school the children use class novels as a stimulus for writing. The novels are chosen carefully to ensure that the children enjoy both the experience of having good quality literature read to them and also having the opportunity to read the books independently. The novels cover a range of genres ensuring that the children are exposed to books that they might not choose for themselves. Furthermore, the books are selected both to entertain the children and encourage a love of reading as well as to extend the children’s vocabularies.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar:
The ability to spell, punctuate and to use appropriate grammar is an integral part of writing. These skills are taught as part of any lesson that involves a written outcome but they are also taught in isolation where spelling patterns, National Curriculum words, punctuation and grammar are the main focus. Once a skill has been taught and the children have had the opportunity to practise it, they are then tasked to include it in their independent writing.
Spelling of the National Curriculum words is taught weekly in key stage 2 and reinforced through activities in literacy.
As a school we recognise that reading is a life-long skill and that children who are widely-read are often more able writers. These children are also more able speakers as they develop a wider vocabulary. We encourage children to read as often as possible not only for pleasure but also to further their learning as well as to develop a wider vocabulary.
We use a range of resources to engage the children with reading and to support their progress. Our ultimate goal is to create independent readers.
Children start their reading using Bug Club Phonics / Bug Club in reception. This continues into year 1. Bug Club books are matched to children's generic phonic phase, whereas Phonic Bug books are specifically matched to the sounds children have already learnt. Bug club can be accessed by the children at home so that parents can support their child’s development.
By the time children are entering year 5 they are reading books by a range of authors. Children in years 5 and 6 still have access to Bug Club which caters for their ever-growing confidence and independence as readers.
Every child takes part in a guided reading session with a teacher each week. In these sessions they will read a wide variety of genres including non-fiction and poetry. At the end of the day children are read to by their teacher; this ensures that they hear more challenging books as well as hearing fluent reading.
Assessment of progress in English:
We constantly monitor the progress made by all children; we do this through both formal and informal assessments. If necessary, children receive additional support to help them achieve and make appropriate progress. This additional support can include: the use of differentiated resources, extra adult support in class and additional adult supported learning opportunities. Interventions to help children who need it include: Rapid Phonics, Talk Boost and Switch on Reading. We also access external professional support when required.