English Curriculum Intent Statement
Through reading, writing and the spoken language, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know; writing and spoken language allow them to communicate confidently and well with a range of audiences. At Denfield Park Primary School, we value both reading, writing and spoken language as key life skills, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers and communicators. We believe literacy is the bedrock of success in education. To support early literacy, we use a synthetic phonics programme called Read.Write.Inc, which is an inclusive literacy programme for all children learning to read and spell. Through this, children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and how to blend them to read and spell. We use Talk for Writing and Talk for Reading as a methodology. They are fully inclusive methods of teaching both reading and writing, with progressive movement from imitation/introduction to innovation/investigation to independent application, that can be adapted to suit the needs of learners of any stage. Alongside this, Reading for Pleasure is a key driver at our school and all teachers at Denfield Primary School are responsible for promoting this.
The aim of our English curriculum is to promote the highest standards of language and literacy by equipping children with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature.
We aim for children to be able to:
● 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 talk in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
● be competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in performance and debate.
Our school uses Read, Write Inc. for the systematic teaching of phonics. Pupils begin to learn their letter sounds in the summer term of Nursery. Daily sessions are taught in Reception and Key Stage One classes. Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their prior learning, be taught new skills and practise and apply what they have learned. We provide phonically decodable books for pupils to take home and practise their skills being taught, alongside a personalised phonic book that shows their current learning of sounds in school. Termly assessments ensure that we are able to track pupils’ progress and that we can quickly identify pupils that may need additional support. Any pupil who is not making expected progress receives additional support and intervention through Read, Write Inc. one to one sessions or bespoke intervention to suit the individual’s needs.
Any pupils in Key Stage 2 that did not pass their re-take of the Phonics Screening Test or are identified as requiring additional support are supported by ‘One to One’ R.W.Inc phonic interventions and/or Nessy phonic support.
Reading for Pleasure
All pupils are expected to complete home reading supported by their family with new books being sent home at least once a week. Home reading is tracked via home school reading records and additional reading is provided for those unable to read at home, those who are struggling to progress or those who are entitled to additional support.
We promote reading for pleasure at our school by:
● Incorporating daily storytimes by the teacher and reading for pleasure slots within the timetable
● Reading rewards
● Reading events including: Star Author Day, World Book Day, competitions, local library incentives and book fairs
● Accessible school library with a range of fiction and non-fiction books
● Our Reading Spine ensures pupils’ experience a range of ‘essential reads’ that is supplemented by other books including picture books and novels.
Talk for Reading
The Talk for Reading method enables children to gain an understanding of a text with huge emphasis on vocabulary, reading fluency and the teaching of specific comprehension foci during each unit, although all content domains are touched upon.
Phase 1: Baseline assessment and planning
Teaching is focused by initial assessment (a ‘cold’ task) The aim of this is to assess what the children already know and can do independently at the start of a unit, drawing on their prior learning. Through the assessment of their reading skills, teachers work out what to teach and adapt the model text and plan.
2. The Introduction phase
The teaching begins with a creative ‘hook’ which engages the pupils with a sense of enjoyment, audience and purpose and also provides context for the text they are about to study. During the early stages of the process, children are given opportunities to share their initial thoughts about the text and raise questions which can be referred back to throughout the unit. The main focus of the Introduction phase is to ensure that children can access the key text, have a good understanding of the vocabulary used and gain a basic understanding of the key text. The teaching in this stage is influenced by the work of Aidan Chambers, Isabel Beck and Alex Quigley.
2. The Investigation phase
In this phase pupils’ begin to develop a deeper understanding. They are taught how to answer key questions linked to each content domain through modelling and the shared writing of answers. Once confident, the children are then encouraged to answer key questions about the text independently with the support of shared writes. Drama is also used within this stage to deepen understanding, and extended writing opportunities are also incorporated with children putting themselves, for example, in the shoes of key characters or into a particular setting. At the end of this phase, the key comprehension foci are taught explicitly with the teacher modelling and answering questions with the support of the children.
3. Independent application
As children move on to the third phase, they apply independently what has been taught and practised in another context. The children will be asked questions linked to the comprehension focus based on a new text with a link to the first, for example, same author, next chapter or next paragraph or a text with a similar theme.
Implementation: The Long Term Overview
The long term overview, maps the texts being studied from Nursery – Year 6.
Please see class pages for the long term overview.
Talk for Writing
The Talk for Writing method enables children to progressively understand, and gain confidence and competence with, different fiction genres and plot patterns, and non-fiction text types. Each year group cover a balance of Narrative, Non-Fiction and Poetry text types. The National Curriculum (2014) is used to support coverage of the English skills and this is supported by the key principles of Talk for Writing:
● making explicit the processes and thinking involved in the writing process so that ultimately they can be internalised and applied by children in their own writing.
Phase 1: Baseline assessment and planning
Teaching is focused by initial assessment (a ‘cold’ task) An interesting and rich starting point provides the stimulus and content but there is no initial teaching. The aim of this is to see what the children can do independently at the start of a unit, drawing on their prior learning. Through the assessment of the writing teachers work out what to teach the whole class, different groups and adapt the model text and plan. Targets are set for individuals. which encourages pupils and helps us track the impact of teaching.
2. The Imitation phase
Each unit begins with a creative ‘hook’ which engages the children and gives a sense of enjoyment, audience and purpose. The model text, from which teaching is drawn, has built into it the underlying, transferable structures and language patterns that children will need when they are writing. This model is learned using a pictorial ‘text map’ with actions to strengthen memory and help children internalise the text. Activities such as drama are used to deepen understanding of the text. Once children can ‘talk like the text’, the model, and other examples, are then read for vocabulary and comprehension, before being analysed for the basic text structure, language patterns and writing techniques. This phase is underpinned by rehearsing key spellings and grammatical patterns. Short-burst writing is used to practise key focus skills.
3. The Innovation phase
Once children are familiar with the model text, this phase leads them into creating their own versions. A new subject/angle is presented and the teacher leads children through planning. With our younger children, this is based on changing the basic text map and retelling/drawing/writing new versions. Out older children use boxed-up planners and teachers demonstrate how to create simple plans and orally develop ideas prior to writing. Shared and guided writing is then used to stage writing over a number of days so that children are writing texts bit by bit, concentrating on bringing all the elements they have been learning together, writing effectively and accurately. Feedback is given during the lessons to individuals, and whole class feedback is given on a daily basis, so that children can be taught how to improve their writing, make it more accurate, until they can increasingly edit in pairs or on their own.
4. Independent application
In this phase, children apply independently what has been taught and practised in the prior phases. A rich starting point that taps into what children know and what matters to them is provided so that their writing is purposeful. Writing can be staged over a number of days and there is time for several independent pieces to be written. With non-fiction, children also apply what they have been taught across the wider curriculum. The final written piece is used as an assessment of progress across the unit.
Implementation: The Long-Term Overview
The long-term overview, maps the texts being studied from Nursery – Year 6.
Please see individual class pages.
Career and Professional Development
At Denfield Primary School we develop strong subject knowledge amongst all staff which is achieved through: working with expert teachers; CPD linked to the Talk for Reading, Talk for Writing and R.W.Inc phonics processes for all staff; rapid induction of new staff through planning and training, and a relentless drive on improving the standards of teaching English.
By the time children leave Denfield Primary School they are competent, lifelong readers and communicators. Attainment will be assessed using:
● The independent task which is completed by children at the end of each unit. Teachers must use this to assess the impact of the teaching.
● Termly phonics assessment.
● Whole school and national writing moderation inc. No More Marking
● Teacher Assessment Frameworks and exemplification documents are used as a reference during the in-school moderation.
● Quality Assurance of reading and writing is completed by the Reading and Writing Lead alongside class teachers during regular progress meetings.
● Phonic Screening Check.
● KS1/2 SATS and moderated teacher writing assessment.
● PiXL reading and SPAG tests
● Key word trackers.
A Talk for Writing/Reading team, who are expert teachers, will work with teachers in all aspects of the reading and writing curriculum through bespoke support, based on their areas of development to continually improve practice.
SEND and Disadvantaged pupils
Our ambition is for all pupils to access the full reading curriculum. These pupils will be supported to provide them with full accessibility to the reading lessons.
Mrs J Quincey - email@example.com - Reading Lead
Miss K Noble - firstname.lastname@example.org - Writing Lead