At Whitchurch Combined School, we recognise that English is a core subject within the National Curriculum and that the focus of all our teaching is to develop pupils’ abilities to use language to think, explore, organise and communicate significant meanings to enable every pupil to achieve their potential and develop self-esteem. We also recognise the importance language plays in social, emotional and imaginative development of pupils as they use language to make meaning of the complexity of human experience, and to communicate with the world at large.
Pupils are given opportunities to inter-relate the requirements of English within a broad and balanced approach to the teaching of English across the curriculum. They are given opportunities to consolidate and practise taught literacy skills.
We aim to:
The ability to read is fundamental to pupils’ development as independent learners. In order to read across the curriculum with fluency, understanding and enjoyment pupils need to orchestrate the range of strategies: applying phonic knowledge and skills, applying graphic knowledge and developing word recognition, drawing on knowledge of context and grammatical knowledge.
Reading development is closely related to that of writing, for it is by reflecting upon and talking about the texts they encounter that children come to understand how writers write and the special relationship that exists between author and reader.
Teaching and Learning
The reading objectives are taught explicitly in the shared session. The teacher models the reading process to the whole class as an expert reader, providing a high level of support. Sentence and word objectives can be addressed implicitly within the context of the text. Teachers’ questioning is differentiated to enable all children to access the text at an inferential and deductive level. Talk partners are used to shift the balance of teacher / child talk. Drama is used to exemplify character behaviour, response to setting and development of plot, and in non-fiction to support the understanding of text features. In KS2, a class novel is used as part of their shared sessions, although shorter texts / extracts are also used.
In Guided reading, the responsibility for reading shifts to the learner. The teacher structures all reading tasks with the children, who are grouped by ability. Guided Reading is delivered outside of the normal English lesson.
The reading objective is differentiated through the choice of matched texts. Activities related to the text are used to support access to the text.
Under guidance of the teacher, Teaching Assistants work with an ability group to deliver reading objectives.
In KS1 (and in lower KS2 for children who still need support with reading) a Reading Record Book Mark is used in class to record children’s reading strategies as readers. Reading Record Books are used to generate dialogue with parents regarding their child’s progress. Independent reading books are changed once a week, with 2 to 3 books being issued to last the week. A library book is also issued once a week, as selected by the children. Teachers or Teaching Assistants work individually with identified children requiring support to decode text to develop reading strategies.
Phonics are taught daily in EYFS and KS1 using the Letters and Sounds material and the Jolly Phonics scheme. Phonic work is given appropriate priority in the teaching of beginner readers and children are taught grapheme-phoneme correspondences in a clearly defined, incremental sequence (Letters and Sounds Phases 1-6). Phonics is streamed in Reception and KS1 so that children are in a phonics group suitable for their ability.
GPS (Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling)
Please find links below for guidance about GPS for each year group. Please do take a look at the spelling activities guidance as well, as it provides a whole bank of interactive and fun ways to learn spellings.