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ENGLISH

Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow... Lawrence Clark Powell

English is a fundamental life skill that cultivates learning in all other curriculum areas. At Killinghall we believe that a high-quality education in English develops children’s abilities to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, including the communication of their ideas, views and feelings. Children are taught to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, as they become enthusiastic and critical communicators of stories, poetry and drama; as well as non-fiction and media texts. Our children gain knowledge of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. They apply this knowledge in speaking, listening, reading and writing across a range of different contexts and through a range of cross-curricular opportunities.

Reading

At Killinghall, we promote a love of reading and a curiosity for language by equipping our pupils with the skills to develop as confident readers. We are determined that every pupil will learn to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension skills. We constantly look for opportunities to engage children in reading - a popular story time is during our 'listening lunches where children listen to a BBC story while they wait for their lunch. All classes have story sessions built in to their timetables, simply to enjoy hearing their teacher read. Children from Yr2 upwards enjoy studying class novels.

We follow Read, Write, Inc which is a systematic and effective approach to the teaching of phonics. Children implement their learning through reading phonically decodable books resulting in all children learning to read, providing foundations for future learning. Phonics is taught daily in discrete lessons throughout EYFS and KS1 where existing knowledge is revisited and built upon. We assess and track children’s phonetic development throughout EYFS and KS1 and we use this information to inform our teaching and provide additional support. At the end of Year 1, all children take a national phonics screening assessment and any child who does not achieve the pass mark receives additional support to re-take the screening at the end of Year 2. Children’s progress in phonics is closely monitored in EYFS and KS1 and this is continued into Year 3 and through KS2.

In KS2 children have regular opportunities to read aloud to adults and peers. This enables us to monitor mastery of sight vocabulary, application of phonics, development of fluency, prosody and expression, knowledge of the structure of language and audience awareness. Following our review of lost learning and our high priorities for reading, we have invested in new guided reading books to ensure that fluency and prosody are taught effectively in year 3 and 4. In doing so we have ensured that the consistency and fidelity in KS1 continues for all children into KS2.

We use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. Teachers also ensure that cross curricular links with current topic work are woven into the programme of study. As part of our bespoke English curriculum we teach reading sessions twice weekly based around Jane Considine ‘The Write Stuff’ approach and class novels. During these reading sessions children are explicitly taught comprehension strategies which are then applied during class novel sessions.

Throughout the school year the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author and poet visits, parent reading workshops and a range of trips and visits which enrich and complement children’s learning. We have close links with Settle Stories who visit for workshops during National Storytelling Week and The Little Ripon Bookshop who have provided us with virtual author visits. Reading at Killinghall is not only celebrated in classrooms but around the school; we have an EYFS/KS1 library and a new KS2 library where children can enjoy some quiet reading time. Our parents see reading as a high priority too, resulting in donations of £2000 for books for our new library, as well as the PTA funding furniture and books. Children in EYFS and KS1 also have the opportunity to visit Bilton and Woodfield Library to enhance and support their learning in school. Our Reading Buddies scheme is widely enjoyed with children looking forward to reading to a buddy, or hearing fiction and non-fiction texts read to them by older children.

The children enjoyed the challenge of reading in the most unusual place

Writing

Children develop their writing skills in their English lessons and have opportunities to write for a range of audiences and purposes across the whole curriculum. Children write in a range of contexts for example, letter writing, emails, reports, persuasive texts and fiction writing.

We use Jane Considine’s ‘The Write Stuff’ approach to teach writing. In this approach writing is broken down into 3 key components: ‘The Fantastics’, in which children use their senses to develop vocabulary; ‘The grammaristics’, where grammar is taught in context and ‘The Boomtastics’, where children are taught a range of language techniques to enhance the quality of their writing. Lessons are broken into ‘Experience/Reading sessions’ where children are able to gather more ideas to develop their vocabulary and understanding of the context, ‘Sentence stacking’, where children learn the craft of sentence construction and independent writing sessions where the children apply their learning in the context of an indepedently planned, drafted and published piece. Children have sentence stacking books, drafting and editing books and writing books, where there ‘published’ work appears. Examples of children’s writing is displayed across the school. Children apply the writing skills they are taught across the curriculum.

Children in EYFS develop early mark marking and writing skills in a range of adult led and child initiated activities. Children are taught the skills of writing through short whole-class lessons and teacher-led small group sessions. As they move through the year, they develop their early writing skills by learning letter formations and writing familiar words and short sentences. Children are given a range of opportunities to practise their writing through focused writing tasks and independent activities through the continuous provision in both the indoor and outdoor environments.

Following the success of Read, Write Inc phonics in EYFS and KS1 this year we have adopted their approach to spelling in Years 2-6. This is a highly engaging and interactive method to teach the different spelling rules as children progress from phonics. This resource uses revisits to ensure knowledge if remembered and varies activities to ensure that children are motivated to learn. 

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