The Statutory Communication and Language and Literacy section of the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage (2017) and the content of the National Curriculum English Programmes of Study (Key Stages 1 and 2) form the basis of the English curriculum here at Huttoft Primary and Nursery School. From this statutory national documentation, our English curriculum has been devised, developed and personalised to our school community.
Language and English is fundamental to the overall development of the child and their access to all areas of the curriculum. We understand how the acquisition of English, both spoken and written, will empower our pupils and provide the foundation for all future learning. We promote a culture of reading, not simply as a life skill, but also to develop a love of books and literature that will not only support their learning across the curriculum, but also enrich their lives, a passion which we hope will continue into adulthood.
We believe that our children learn best when given the opportunity to apply their skills across the entire curriculum in rich and varied ways. We aim to develop pupils’ abilities within an integrated programme of different English elements: phonics, reading, writing, grammar, punctuation, spelling, handwriting and oracy. We teach our pupils to speak clearly, to convey their ideas fluently and confidently and to ask questions. Their vocabulary is developed systematically.
We aim for all readers and writers to:
- Read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding, with a range of independent strategies to reflect and correct.
- Have a positive interest in books and read for enjoyment.
- Have an interest in words, their meanings; develop a growing and diverse vocabulary in spoken and written forms and be courageous in its use.
- Understand a range of text types and genres and be adaptable when writing in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation.
- Understand grammar and linguistic conventions for writing and be resilient when using these.
- Have a suitable technical vocabulary to articulate their responses, demonstrating respect and kindness in their assertions.
Our Vision for Reading
Reading underpins our curriculum and provides the gateway to accessing other areas.
Reading is at the core of our curriculum at Huttoft Primary School and Nursery. Our pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure and to read widely. As a starting point and introduction to reading, we use Monster Phonics for our phonics programme. Children are taught at a stage appropriate level and this allows them to understand how the sound of each letter (phoneme) links to the way in which that letter is written (grapheme). In EYFS (Reception) and Key Stage One, all pupils take part in a daily phonics session, building on and extending their knowledge. They are taught to blend words together and read/ spell tricky words, which are the ones we cannot sound out. In phonics, children are supported in their reading by the use of phonetically decodable reading books created by Monster Phonics. Each week children are sent home with a book to practice phonemes and blends at home, as well as a library book to encourage reading for pleasure with carers.
Whole class guided reading sessions will cover both fiction and non-fiction books. As a school, we use the Literacy Tree programme to support guided reading and reading comprehension this ensures children are exposed to high level reading texts and receive effective questioning and accompanying resources.
At Huttoft we focus on using whole class guided reading, which has many benefits including: higher engagement, wider discussions, increased exposure to challenging texts and increased time for deep exploration of a text. This is supported by research from the Educational Endowment using Fund and the Open University. This process begins in in Key stage 1 and is further developed into Key stage 2. Each class works on a three weekly cycle ensuring children are exposed to different texts with a structured lesson progression. The books are chosen for their diverse nature as we feel it is imperative that each child can see themselves within a book and that they reflect our school values of friendship, respect, resilience, individuality and ambition.
We strive for all of our children to be confident and creative writers who write for a range of audiences and purposes. In Key stages one and two there are daily writing lessons based on a Literacy tree text. Our writing process generally lasts three weeks and the class text is used as inspiration for two writing units per half term. Early on in the writing sequence, teachers and children establish the purpose and audience for writing to ensure the writing is meaningful and relevant.
In addition to daily writing lessons, writing opportunities are embedded across the curriculum with opportunities for the application and progression of writing skills in cross-curricular contexts.