We CARE • Curiosity - Aspiration - Respect - Enthusiasm
We CARE • Curiosity - Aspiration - Respect - Enthusiasm
The overarching aim for English at Cholsey Primary School is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils: ‘read easily, fluently and with good understanding; develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information; acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language; appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage; write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences; use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas; are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.’
We want to teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. We place high importance on the opportunity for classroom talk and discussion. Pupils are actively encouraged to listen to their peers and respectfully challenge and affirm their ideas.
Across the school, there is a focus on the four purposes for writing: to entertain, to discuss, to inform and to persuade.
Through this, the children develop their understanding of the importance of knowing their audience and how this can affect language choices. The children have the opportunity to write across a range of genres, often using high quality texts as a starting point. Analysis of these quality texts and the teaching of spelling, punctuation and grammar have been embedded into our curriculum so the children are exposed to the components that lead to creative and technically accurate writing. Elements of Talk for Writing ensure this as the children are encouraged to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally, before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version. The children have been encouraged to plan and develop their own writing through editing at specific stages in the writing process. This has been achieved through self and peer assessment to establish the effectiveness of writing against a set of success criteria. The children have also journaled their understanding of the language features taught to encourage self-reflection.
All children in KS1 and 2 have a Free Writing Book – this allows them to express themselves in a variety of ways that suit their ability and preference. For example, some children choose to write comic style whilst others love the opportunity to write a chapter book.
Reading is a fundamental life skill – we place a huge amount of importance on the development of good phonological knowledge and the acquisition of early reading skills at Cholsey. (see Early reading/phonics section)
As well as daily reading with the class teacher or Teaching assistant, additional reading occurs each week with parent helpers or older children from Key Stage Two listening and supporting the younger children in their reading. Targeted groups are identified each term to support the development of reading for those children who may be falling behind.
Through whole class reading sessions, the children are exposed to and enjoy a variety of text types that have linked to the genres studied in Literacy lessons. They explore different question types through the use of VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising) to develop comprehension skills and deepen their understanding of what they have read. The children learn to structure written responses by providing an answer, proving it by making references to the text and providing evidence and then explaining it further by applying their inference skills and using clues from within the text to shape their answer. The different question types require a different level of answer and the children learn to do this through consistent development of comprehension skills in context.
A huge priority for us is reading for pleasure. Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. In fact, reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background. Children are encouraged to read whenever they have a spare moment at school. Many take the opportunity to write book reviews for their peers which are displayed in the School Library. We actively encourage home reading from the moment they join us and encourage parents to read aloud as well as listening to their children read. We organise a Book Swap event each year to allow children to bring in books they have read at home that can be swapped for a different book and this is a hugely popular event. Daily class reading is always prioritised and enjoyed by young and old.
Visiting authors have also inspired children to read a wider range of genres.
An excellent recommended list of children’s books can be found here.
Progress in all areas of English is regularly checked and moderated both across the school and with our partner schools. SLT and the Literacy Coordinator speak to adults and children and review work samples across the school to gain an understanding of progress.
We aim to ensure that children in Year 6 leave us with the necessary skills and knowledge to ensure they are ready for secondary education and have developed a long-term interest in this subject.