Vision Statement : English
It is our intention that the English curriculum at Bellingham encourages our pupils to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to become lifelong learners and excellent communicators so that they are well equipped for the next stage in their education. We offer children an exciting, broad, balanced and engaging curriculum which takes account of National Curriculum requirements and recognises the individual developmental needs of our children. We endeavour to ensure that we provide pupils with a ‘language rich’ environment, ensuring that vocabulary is taught across the curriculum and addresses gaps in pupil’s knowledge and skills. Reading is at the core of our English Curriculum, immersing pupils in the wonders of quality texts to instil a love for reading, a passion for discovery and a confidence to explore their imagination. Everyone at Bellingham values the importance of reading for pleasure, understanding the importance of how reading impacts on learning and communication. We want to empower children to respect each other and themselves, show respect and understanding for people of all faiths, race and gender, the environment and all living things, ensuring children are well prepared for life in a rapidly changing world.
By implementing the current legal requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and the National Curriculum (NC), we aim:
- To ensure that every child becomes a reader, a writer and confident speaker by the time they leave Bellingham Primary School.
- To promote and instil a love for reading, writing and high-quality literature into pupils at all ages.
- To derive an English curriculum, which develops the acquisition of knowledge and skills in line with the National Curriculum expectations.
The Power of Reading is a whole school learning and teaching approach which engages teachers and children in the literacy curriculum through using high quality books and proven teaching approaches. The project offers multi-layered professional development drawing on Centre for Literacy in Primary Education's (CLPE's) highly regarded classroom-based research and experience of working with teachers. The Power of Reading project combines the use of outstanding books for teachers and children with an approach to teaching the English curriculum that is creative, engaging and develops a love of literacy. The Power of Reading resources enable our teachers to contextualise language, grammar, phonics and spelling in meaningful ways and plan for progression, enabling children to work at greater depth in both reading and writing. The Power of Reading meets all requirements of the English national curriculum.
We encourage reading for pleasure and support all children to read a variety of genres and authors in order that they become lifelong, avid readers and use adventurous vocabulary in their speech and in their written work. We teach our pupils to listen attentively and speak clearly to convey ideas fluently, confidently and to ask appropriate questions. We use the Power of Reading programme which uses quality children’s literature and creative teaching approaches to foster a whole school love of reading and writing.
In Early Years and Key Stage One we use Read, Write Inc. a phonics programme, which supports the development of reading by segmenting and blending words. Co-operatively working with parents supports reading at home and workshops give guidance to support and advise, as well as suggesting age appropriate book suggestions. All children are heard reading individually and in small groups.
Across KS1 and KS2, children further develop their reading skills by completing comprehension activities, in Early Years, children begin to comprehend a written text through verbal discussion with each other or an adult.
As spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing, we aim to foster exploratory talk and good listening skills. Drama and role play are regularly used in lesson to encourage independent creative writing.
Engaging whole class texts form the basis of English lessons and inspire a wide range of activities both reading and writing across the whole school.
Writing skills are developed through subtle grammar, punctuation and spelling sessions, as well as, enjoyment through the class text/novel – this method is used throughout school.
Children are encouraged to write on a regular basis developing stamina and independent skill and creativity.
We provide numerous opportunities to write for purpose in a range of subjects and encourage children to see themselves as authors. We use cross curricular topics to provide another engaging platform to talk and deliver enriching activities for writing.
Handwriting is taught discretely for older children and as part of English lessons for younger children.
At Bellingham we strive to deliver a range of extra activities promoting literacy within the school, such as World Book day, Poetry Day, author visits, book fairs, Christmas Nativity and summer performances, writing competitions and library visits.
- Reception Class teachers ongoing observational assessments made early in Autumn Term 1 ascertain a baseline which then informs subsequent teaching and learning for each child.
- Future attainment is noted using photographs and observational notes. Progress is recorded in each child’s Learning Journey and the next steps to be taken are identified. Progress is monitored termly.
- Statutory assessments are made on entry and on exit of the FS.
KS1 and KS2
- Pre/ post assessments take place for each new unit of work using CLPE Reading and Writing scales
- Summative assessments are made at the end of each term to monitor children’s knowledge and understanding of concepts taught. PIRA tests are also used termly as a mini partnership.
- Progress is discussed at termly ‘Pupil Progress Meetings’ and focus children are indicated.
- ‘Pupil conferencing’ involves 5 children from Year groups 1 – 6 who are interviewed during the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms by the English subject leader.
- Statutory assessments are made at the end of each key stage.
The Head teacher and English subject leader play a central role in the monitoring and evaluation of the quality of teaching and learning of English in the school.
The monitoring strategy:
1. Children’s work and medium term planning scrutinies are conducted.
2. Pupil progress meetings are held termly.
3. Lesson ‘drop ins’ and observations take place in all classes throughout the year.
4. Pupil conferencing takes place termly.
The subject leader is responsible for monitoring attainment and progress, the outcomes of which are collated in the subject leadership folder and fed back to staff at an appropriate time. Teaching and learning is monitored at a time indicated in the School Improvement Plan: Monitoring and Evaluation timetable.
We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment is in line, or exceeds, their potential when we consider the varied starting points of all our children. We measure this using a range of materials, whilst always considering the age-related expectations for each year group. Children will make at least good progress in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening from their last point of statutory assessment, or from their starting point in Reception. We intend that the impact of our English curriculum will ensure our pupils are academically prepared for life beyond primary school and throughout their educational journey.