The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
At Botley School we value good quality texts and as you walk around the school you will notice a fine selection of books to support all areas of learning. As children learn to read we have a number of scheme books, however the school does not follow a discrete reading scheme, but instead we encourage children to read a variety of books through progressive ‘bands’. Many of these early readers are part of the ‘Oxford Reading Tree’. Under the guidance of their class teacher, the children choose books at a particular band until it is agreed they should move on to the next one.
We try to incorporate reading areas where possible in all classrooms, have whole class guided reading sessions alongside individual reading sessions on a 1:1 basis. Reading to the children at the end of the school day is another chance for us to ensure that children are developing good reading habits from first class texts.
The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 include:
It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these two dimensions. In addition, pupils will be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing.
Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.
Phonics - reading
Children learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes.
They experience success from the very beginning. Lively phonic books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases.
Along with a thought-provoking introduction, prompts for thinking out loud and discussion, children are helped to read with a storyteller’s voice.
Phonics - writing
The children write every day, rehearsing out loud what they want to say, before spelling the words using the graphemes and ‘tricky’ words they know.
They practise handwriting every day: sitting at a table comfortably, they learn correct letter formation and how to join letters speedily and legibly.
Children’s composition (ideas, vocabulary and grammar) is developed by drawing on their own experiences and talking about the stories they read.