Our English Curriculum provides all pupils with high quality lessons aligned to the National Curriculum for English 2014, so they are equipped to communicate through spoken and written language, not only here at Huttoft, but also for the next phase of their education and beyond. Our aim is to immerse children in a world of rich and expressive language – we want them to love words and be able to articulate their ideas and knowledge confidently and competently!
Lessons on grammar, punctuation and spelling ensure pupils understand the conventions and terminology they need to meet age related expectations as set out in the National Curriculum English Programmes of Study. Lots of opportunities to practise these important aspects of writing take place throughout the week, with children developing skills to edit and improve their own writing. By modelling Standard English in written and spoken forms, we show children the formal style needed for their writing, and they learn when it is appropriate to use informal language. Through our exciting Cornerstones projects, children have real purpose for writing across a range of genres; they learn to present their writing in different ways, using presentational features that guide their reader and adapt language and style to suit their audience and purpose. Our children love to read their finished pieces with expression and pride; they can evaluate their work and that of others making reference to learning objectives. Children are encouraged to ‘magpie’ ideas from their reading and this highlights the overarching importance of reading every day in school!
New and exciting vocabulary, linked to project learning is displayed in each classroom. Children are encouraged to practise the spelling of these words through purposeful writing tasks across the curriculum. Grapheme Phoneme Correspondences (GPCs), Common Exception Words (CEW), High Frequency Words (HFW) and spelling rules are taught in daily Phonics and Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS) lessons. We help children develop legible handwriting from their first steps with mark making in Early Years then through correct pencil grip and sitting position, they learn to form letters in the school’s handwriting style so that by Key Stage 2 children are able to write neatly at speed with correctly formed letters in a cursive hand. In our EYFS children develop early mark making and writing skills through a mixture of adult-led activities and continuous provision opportunities that have been carefully planned to ensure mark making is purposeful, independent and progressive.
At Huttoft we agree wholeheartedly with Dr Seuss: reading opens the door to imaginary and real worlds, echoing our purpose in broadening horizons. The journey begins with picture books and hearing stories and rhymes in Nursery and the pleasure of being read to continues throughout our school for we believe strongly in children hearing skilled practitioners modelling reading. Each class has a class story /author linked to their Cornerstones’ project and this facilitates discussion and cross curricular learning.
Reading takes place daily through shared and whole class guided reading activities, and one to one reading sessions. We follow the National Curriculum programmes of study: word reading and comprehension and use VIPERS in KS1 and KS2 to help children develop reading skills . From reading books linked to Phonics phases through to independent free readers, children at Huttoft benefit from a growing and diverse library; every classroom has a dedicated reading area and junior children also access the school library at least weekly. Each child has a reading record and we expect parents and carers to listen to their child/ children read every day; we encourage this for all children, not just early readers, so that reading skills continue to grow. It is essential that by the end of Y6 all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence and stamina, in any subject thus preparing them for the secondary phase of their education.