Knutsford Primary AcademyInspiring our children to be happy, successful learners and responsible citizens
February 2 2015

English

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The English curriculum helps children to develop key skills that they will need to help them throughout their lives. It includes speaking, listening, reading and writing.

English is taught in a creative way to help fire the children’s imagination and enthusiasm to want to be readers and writers. We include plenty of opportunities for the children to role play stories, act out alternative endings, question characters from the texts in role, work as a group to solve problems raised and plenty of other exciting speaking and listening opportunities.

Click on the links below for information about the English curriculum in Years 1 – 6

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Writing Intent

At Knutsford Primary Academy, we strive to help our children become confident, imaginative and effective communicators, who are well equipped with the basic skills they need to become life -long learners. Our English curriculum helps children build the key skills they will need to help them throughout the rest of their lives.

Links are made wherever possible with reading and across the curriculum to ensure that children’s English learning is relevant and meaningful.

Our intention in writing is for the children to;

  • Write for a purpose
  • See themselves as writers
  • Take ownership of their writing
  • See writing as an interesting and enjoyable process
  • Acquire the ability to organise and plan their written process
  • Take pride in their presentation

Writing Implementation

At Knutsford Primary Academy, we believe writing is just as important as reading as it is through this our children can deepen their ability to confidently communicate and express their knowledge, ideas and emotions.  This begins with our youngest children, who are given a wide variety of opportunities to develop their writing skills through play, both indoors and out, as well as more discrete writing sessions to teach the basic skills of early writing. In KS1 and KS2, we teach the national curriculum for writing (including vocabulary), spelling, grammar and handwriting, ensuring that the skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. In order to achieve this our children have a discrete daily writing lesson, and it is through these our pupils are able to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words effectively. Teachers clearly model the writing skills the children are being taught. These skills are embedded further across the curriculum, when children are expected to use the writing skills they have been taught in their English lessons throughout the curriculum, as well as use the key vocabulary provided on curriculum overviews. Children are given the opportunity to develop their writing stamina and to write at length in extended, independent writing sessions which allows them to apply the skills learnt in an unsupported piece of writing.

Throughout Early Years, Keys Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, we ensure the children are exposed to a wealth of high quality texts and a range of genre as a stimulus for their writing.

Spelling

Spelling is taught in focused sessions in each class. The youngest children are taught to recognise high frequency words on sight as a crucial part of developing reading fluency and then move on to learn to spell these words. Children are then taught how to use their phonics knowledge to segment words in order to spell simple words. From Y1 the children follow the National curriculum for spelling and begin to look at word structure, patterns and rules and apply them in all their writing.

Writing impact

By the time children leave our school they will;

  • Make good progress in writing
  • Have a love of writing and write for enjoyment
  • Be able to produce written work in all areas of the curriculum to a high standard
  • Be confident to write for a range of different purposes

Reading and Phonics

Each year we organise a phonics awareness session aimed primarily at parents and carers of nursery and reception children. The presentation from that session can be viewed below:
Phonics session for parents

At Knutsford Primary Academy we see reading as an integral part of the school curriculum that impacts on all learning. We value the importance of being a confident reader and work hard to develop children’s reading skills. We try to encourage a love of reading by integrating reading into cross-curricular topics, holding an annual book week that includes events such as author visits, and by hosting visiting book fairs. Reading is taught in a variety of ways: one-to-one reading with an adult, shared reading, guided reading and independent reading. The children are encouraged to decode words and read fluently and with expression.

During guided reading the children are encouraged to discuss, pose questions, analyse texts, give reasons and develop their vocabulary. The children are encouraged to use phonics for blending as the main strategy for decoding unknown words. Each guided reading group reads with their teacher or teaching assistant at least once a week. On the days a group is not reading with an adult they complete independent tasks, such as:

  • reading for pleasure
  • phonics / spelling activities
  • reading comprehension
  • exploration of the text they are reading in guided reading sessions (ie. a character description)
  • listening to and following a story on a CD
  • retelling stories using puppets

In each classroom there is a library which contains books of interest to the children and the topics they are studying. There is a very well-resourced school library which contains a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books.

All children take books home to read with an adult; this shared reading experience helps children to practice their reading skills and develop a lifelong love of reading. Our aim is that the children should be able to read these books with at least 95% accuracy. Our main reading resource is Oxford Reading Tree and this is supplemented with books from other schemes including: Collins Big Cat, Songbirds Phonics, Fireflies, Ginn All Aboard, and Discovery World. All of these books are banded in ability levels. Once a child is fluent at Lime band they will move on to free readers where they can make their own choices, with support from staff if necessary, about their reading.

Letters and Sounds, a DfE publication, is our main resource for teaching phonics. Phonics is taught in a daily discrete lesson of 20 – 25 minutes with each lesson split into 4 parts:

  1. revisit / revise (previous learning)
  2. teach (new GPC or tricky word)
  3. practise (differentiated activity)
  4. apply (read or write sentences or text)

Children are taught in groups according to the phase they are working on. Children also have the opportunity to work as part of their class, where they all focus on one aspect of spelling. In Year 2, children who did not meet the standard in the Year 1 phonics screening check have extra phonics lessons. Children who met the phonics standard in Year 1 have a daily spelling/grammar lesson based on the expectations in the 2014 National Curriculum.

Recommended Book Lists
The following book lists are provided to parents as a guide to the range of books we recommend children should read in each year group.
Foundation Stage
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Year 6