English Intent Statement
At Woodlands we believe in delivering an English curriculum that develops a love of discussion, reading and writing for all pupils. Quality texts are at the heart of our Curriculum and give our pupils the opportunity to develop empathy for characters which they can relate to their own lives and offer them an insight into the world around them. We feel English teaches our children:
- To foster a love of reading, where the children have opportunities to read for pleasure, offering them escapism and a chance to relax.
- To appreciate a rich range of texts that they can delve in to, understanding the key themes and morals within them.
- To use language from the texts explored to express emotions and ideas that they have gained from the text which them can apply to themselves and their learning in all areas of the curriculum.
- To use language to enable them to become confident speakers allowing them to articulate themselves and their opinions whilst showing respect for others that may have differing opinions.
- To use ideas from explored texts to develop their own writing style and to show a passion for this process.
- To use the editing process to understand that we learn from mistakes and these will ultimately improve their writing.
- To take pride in all pieces of work, having high expectations of what they can achieve enabling them to identify what they are proud of.
At Woodlands, we have a well-structured English Curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for discussion, reading and writing. High quality, lexically challenging texts are at the heart of our English Curriculum and we use these to motivate and inspire our children.
Early reading is supported through the Read Write Inc. phonics scheme. Staff receive weekly in house training to ensure they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to deliver high quality phonics sessions which promote accelerated progress. These direct, focused phonics sessions begin in Nursery and take place daily for pupils in EYFS and KS1. This carries on into KS2 for pupils who have not met the expected standard by the end of Year 2. Assessment of phonics is rigorous and takes place every 4-6 weeks. If teachers feel children are ready to move on before this time frame, they liaise with the English Subject Leader who assesses the children. Movement between the groups is fluid. Regular assessment helps us to keep track of children who are making slower progress (the lowest 20%). Teachers and our 1:1 phonics tutor provide extra practice throughout the day for these pupils. While our children are learning to read, we ensure they read from books with the sounds they know.
Once pupils are secure in their sound knowledge, they begin Reciprocal Reading. Teachers complete medium term plans for Reciprocal Reading which outline the focus skill for each week. These plans are informed by the ‘bug club’ tests which are carried out half-termly. At the start of each week, a whole class reading session takes place which teaches the focus skill. Once this is taught, pupils then participate in a daily carousel. The carousel includes: read and think, think and write, reading with the teacher, an independent task and free reading (using bug club or the book corner). The Reciprocal Reading expectation for each year group is progressive and builds on the children’s knowledge.
To foster a love of reading, pupils across the school take part in daily ‘cosy reading’ sessions, weekly library visits and teachers read to pupils each day. To support teachers with selecting high quality texts and making tailored text to child recommendations, a KS1 and KS2 book club takes place each month.
When planning daily English lessons, teachers make links to other areas of the curriculum. This helps the children to contextualise their learning. Our writing assessment descriptors support teachers with planning and give them knowledge and understanding of pre-requisite skills. These descriptors ensure the national curriculum is covered and are used to inform marking-enabling teachers to plug gaps and provide next steps.
Throughout the year, children are exposed to different genres including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Spelling, punctuation and grammar is embedded into each English lesson and handwriting is modelled and taught for 10 minutes a day using the Collin’s Handwriting Scheme. English lessons are well sequenced and build progressively towards extended pieces of writing. As part of the learning journey, children have many opportunities to develop their oracy through drama and whole class discussions (including P4C). It is vital that our children are able to articulate their ideas before writing. Children then plan, draft, edit, redraft and publish their work. Published pieces of work are celebrated in ‘Writer of the Month’ assemblies. We place an emphasis on children sharing their work across the School and with the local community.