Ensuring children are able to speak, read and write confidently is one of the absolute core jobs of formal education. We take this duty seriously, and have several schemes and systems in place to ensure high quality teaching and learning of English skills throughout the school.
We used topic-based learning in all year groups, and the majority of the English learning we do stems from this. Children read, discuss, debate, role-play and plan their ideas before writing. Linking this to their topic ensures writing is purposeful and richly contextualised.
- In Reception and Key Stage 1, children have daily phonics lessons using the ‘Read Write Inc.‘ programme. More information here
- In Year 1 and 2, until they are assessed as having finished the RWInc programme in Year 2, children are grouped for phonics each day
- Beginning in Year 2 and through Key Stage 2 we follow Hackney’s Destination Reader programme, which we have adapted to meet our children’s needs
- In Years 4, 5 and 6 children also take part in the Accelerated Reader programme, which motivates and monitors their home reading
A current school priority is developing children’s oracy – that is, their speaking and listening skills – and we are tackling this in several ways. Destination Reader, mentioned above, has a big focus on reading aloud, children articulating their ideas orally and structured conversations about their reading with a partner. In Key Stage 1 a ‘Talk for Writing’ approach as promoted by Pie Corbett is used in Topic English sessions, and throughout the school sentence stems are used across the curriculum to help children structure their speaking clearly. Discussion guidelines are introduced in every class to allow children to develop their skills in formal structured conversation proficiently and confidently.
Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar
The teaching of these key planks in the current national curriculum is primarily embedded in English lessons. However, in order to give children additional opportunities to rehearse their skills and develop their understanding, we also follow the Nelson handwriting scheme and Read Write Inc’s spelling programme throughout the school.
The two presentations at the bottom of this page are from this year’s Open Classroom events, and give a little more information about how phonics and reading are taught in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 respectively.
Resources for parents
Handwriting phrases for helping your child to form letters
How we teach reading – answers for parents
Ten top tips for reading stories to your child