English at Arnside National C of E School
Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement
English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.
National Curriculum 2014
By the end of year 6, pupils’ reading and writing should be sufficiently fluent and effortless for them to manage the general demands of the curriculum in year 7, across all subjects and not just in English.
Department for Education (2013). ‘The national curriculum in England. Framework document, September 2013’ London: Department for Education
English and the teaching of English is the foundation of our curriculum at Arnside National C of E School. We aim to ensure every single child becomes primary literate and progresses in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Our intention is to build an English curriculum which develops learning and results in the acquisition of knowledge and skills so that all pupils know more, remember more and understand more. We intend to design a curriculum with appropriate subject knowledge, skills and understanding in Speech and Language, Reading and Writing as set out in the National Curriculum to help them reach and exceed their potential.
We believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and develop a habit of reading widely and often. We aim to ensure that children can read easily, fluently and with good understanding. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and are able to adapt their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying their knowledge of spelling rules and patterns. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning. We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure base in literacy skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
Speaking and Listening
By the time our pupils leave Arnside National C of E School we aim for our children to be confident, fluent speakers who are able to use a wide range of adventurous and ambitious vocabulary in the correct context. We aim for our pupils to give well-structured descriptions, explanations, presentations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings. Our pupils will refer back to their original thoughts when their opinions have changed and give reasons for their change of focus. They will maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments with confidence. They will be able to consider and evaluate different viewpoints, adding their own interpretations and building on the contributions of others. We aim for our pupils to become good listeners who can follow instructions and ask and answer questions in all lessons.
Reading is an absolute priority. We aim for all children to read easily, fluently and with good understanding. We use Twinkl Phonics as our Systematic Synthetics Phonics Programme. We encourage children to develop the habit of reading widely and often for both pleasure and information. We use a wide variety of high-quality texts, our ‘Core Reading Books’ to inspire our pupils.
We use Twinkl Phonics as our systematic, synthetic phonics daily teaching programme from nursery to year 2. We place great importance on speaking and listening in our Early Years and we teach different aspects and levels of phonological awareness in our Nursery provision. We focus on sound discrimination, rhythm, rhyme, oral blending and segmenting, sound talk and enhancing our children’s vocabulary. We identify children that need to ‘keep up’ and run phonics interventions to support these children.
The lowest 20% of readers in each class, in Key Stage 2, are identified and each year a baseline Fisher Family Trust reading assessment is conducted by the English Subject Leader in the first Autumn Term. These pupils are all in Phonics and/or Reading Booster interventions. In KS1 the lowest 20% are placed in a Phonics Booster (using Twinkl Phonics resources) to keep up and if needed, to catch up. These children are also heard read a number of times each week. In KS2 we use ‘Twinkl Code Breaker’ interventions for any pupils who need to catch up. We have Phonics Interventions as required throughout KS1 and 2 (e.g. those children who did not pass the Year One phonics screening test or when they took it again in Year 2).
Core Texts have been chosen for each year group and are updated annually, to create a Reading Canon. KS1 usually use one copy of a text whilst sitting on the carpet area, in KS2 the children have access to class sets of the text wherever possible. A wide range of effective questioning will be used during class discussions to challenge, probe and extend children’s understanding and learning. In KS1 we work from oral discussion to more formal written responses. In KS2 we analyse the text either responding in writing or completing some explicit vocabulary work using words from the text.
We have an inviting, centrally located, school library. All classes access the library weekly. KS1 children access the Westmorland and Furness Library Bus twice a year and in KS2 pupils are taken to the Arnside Library at the Educational Institute at least once per term. All classes have a ‘class library’ which is curated and organised attractively for children to select books to read for pleasure. We have lunchtime library clubs for pupils to attend weekly e.g. Infant story time, KS2, ‘book chat and browse’ and Year 6 ‘Book Club’. Year 6 pupils read to Nursery and Reception each Friday in the library.
Reading is celebrated in classrooms through weekly book promotion sessions, where children’s favourite books are recommended by the child for other children to read. In addition, throughout the school year the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day and author visits.
Teachers model writing objectives during whole class teaching and guided writing sessions will be used to meet specific objectives for individuals or groups. Opportunities will be provided to reflect and edit their work whilst drafting – teachers gauge when these times are best. Opportunities will be given to act on notes made when marking. High standards and general English subject knowledge will be reinforced continually throughout all subjects.
Spelling is taught in separate spelling sessions but also continuously throughout the school day. All children are taught their year group word list, whilst also revising previous year’s lists. Through Twinkl Phonics in KS1 and Spelling Shed lessons in KS2, pupils are taught their year groups spelling patterns including orthography (graphemes that make up words), etymology (the study of where words come from) and morphology (the study of words and their parts).
All children in EYFS and year 1 are taught to hold a pencil correctly and form all letters correctly. From year 2, children are expected to begin to join up their writing, using the diagonal and horizontal strokes. All staff from year 2 model the handwriting cursive script when they write for any purpose within the classroom. All pupils are expected to write in this style of handwriting whenever they write, in all subjects (SEN handwriting accommodations are made as per the IEPs). As needed and identified by SENCo, fine motor skills or handwriting interventions are carried out.
Writing including Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
In line with the national curriculum, we ensure that each year group is teaching the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for that age group. As well as teaching the objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in cross-curricular writing opportunities and aim for all children to achieve the objectives at the expected level and that some children can achieve at a greater depth standard. In this sense, assessment of writing is also more fluid as teachers can assess against a set framework.
All year groups use the Twinkl ‘Writing Assessment Checklists’ for assessing writing, reading and GPS in line with the end of Key Stage assessment frameworks as published by the Department for Education. Each year group has independent samples collected and assessed each half term according to the ‘Overview of Genres’. We record our assessments and track progress on our half termly tracking grids and end of term ScholarPack data base.
In order to expose children to a variety of genres which helps to utilise and embed the writing skills, teachers use a variety of recommended texts to plan, structure and teach their English lessons. This plan is designed to show progress, teach the pertinent year group objectives, apply and consolidate these skills and develop vocabulary. Writing is taught through the use of a quality text, film or experience which exposes the children to inference, high-level vocabulary, a range of punctuation and characterisation. Each text, film or experience is purposefully selected in order to promote a love of reading or engagement and high-quality writing from each child.
As we believe consistency and well-taught English is the core of a valuable education. We ensure that the teaching of reading and writing is purposeful, robust and shows clear progression for all children.
The impact on our pupils is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. We aim that by the end of KS2 all of our children have made considerable progress from their starting points in EYFS. By the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, all genres of writing are familiar to them and teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
Children are also encouraged to assess their own work. Evaluating their own progress often feeds their eagerness to reach new targets and enables children to talk freely and enthusiastically about their next steps.
Our pupils also become more confident, fluent readers and they realise the importance of reading for pleasure along with reading for information and knowledge.
As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross-curricular writing skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills, progression and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives. We hope that as children move on from us to further their education and learning that their creativity and passion for English continue to grow and develop.
Please note, that the English Curriculum Maps are being updated, and some aspects of the Reading Curriculum Map are being updated to reflect when the core texts are being used.
Phonics Pure Sounds recording.
When reading or practising phonics with your child at home, please use the Pure Sounds as shown on this video. It helps them to blend and segment words more effectively. Pure Sounds
If you were unable to attend the Infants Reading Information Evening in September 2023, please take a look at the presentation below.