Reading Scheme and English
Our reading approach, starting in the Early years and Key Stage 1, begins with phonics. This is taught following the Floppy’s phonics scheme which provides the structure and resources needed to deliver effective synthetic phonics teaching. Children move through a structured reading book scheme, which begins with developing their decoding skills and fluency, moving on to developing their comprehension of texts.
In Key Stage 2, we continue to secure and further develop their key comprehension skills. By the time children leave us, we aim to have developed fluent readers who are interested in reading and are able to use it as a key life skill for a successful future.
In addition, in all years from Reception - Y6, reading is taught using a ‘whole class reading’ approach. This replaces the traditional guided reading carousel groups. This approach exposes all children, regardless of reading ability, to age-related texts that the whole class can enjoy, explore and discuss: along with differentiated comprehension activities to complete.
At St John’s, writing is taught through text based units.
At least one text is studied each half term and used to create a wide genre of writing opportunities. Children are exposed to a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, including visual and classic texts, as well as poetry.
A text based English curriculum allows the children to become fully immersed within a book and explore the language, structure and writing techniques used by the author. These are then used to influence their own writing.
Spelling is taught using a proven approach underpinned by phonics, fast–paced lessons and an online subscription, Read Write Inc. Spelling prepares children for the higher demands of the statutory spelling assessments in England. Children are taught in targeted groups within Key Stage 1 and 2 matched to their ability to ensure the most progress is made. Regular assessments are done to ensure children are making progress.
Grammar and Punctuation
Each year group teaches grammar and punctuation as either discrete lessons or integrated into English writing sessions. Teaching follows a progression routeway, which is in line with the National Curriculum requirements, culminating in the end of key stage tests.
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum 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
The National Curriculum requirements for each year group are set out below.