English - Intent Statement
A quality English curriculum starts with reading. Early reading and phonics are fundamental to a child’s education and as such is given high priority at Wren Park. Teaching the skills of reading opens the door to learning and is fundamental in developing children’s writing, language and love of reading.
We endeavour that all our pupils at our school enjoy reading and writing, to value their learning and to be proud of their achievements. We believe that English and communication are key life skills and through the English curriculum, we will help children develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language and equip them with the skills to become lifelong learners. Through speaking and listening, reading and writing children learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and communicate with others effectively. We strive to provide an engaging and enriching sequential learning experience, which immerses the children in their learning and fosters a love for reading, a passion for discovery and confidence to explore the world around them. We aim to make sure the children continue to improve in their ability to communicate effectively in speech so they can talk appropriately with confidence to different audiences and listen attentively with understanding.
A language rich environment in the early years and the continued extension in a range of vocabulary enables children to develop themselves as communicators who are able to read, write and speak in a variety of ways. We believe that developing these early skills will enable the children to articulate themselves, be successful and confident both within the primary curriculum and in their future lives. By being exposed to high quality, rich texts (fiction, non-fiction and poetry) both modern and classic, children will be given the tools and skills needed to become successful readers and writers.
At Wren Park we aim to make every child a reader. We want children to be able to read, understand and interpret any text. We are committed to instill a love and enthusiasm for reading for pleasure in every child. We want to provide children with the opportunity to explore the world around them and widen their experience and imagination through reading. Through reading, pupils are able to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually and socially.
From the early steps of learning the sounds made by individual letters and groups of letters, to reading whole words and sentences and to reading paragraphs and whole books, all children will be taught the skills to read and understand the books of their choice.
Early Reading and Phonics in EYFS and KS1
At Wren Park, we use a validated systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) teaching programme called Bug Club Phonics. Bug Club Phonics mostly follows the Letters and Sounds (2007) progression, starting with satpin in Phase 2, following onto Phase 3, 4 and 5 with alternative sounds. The children have daily phonics lessons for 25 minutes in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.
The children are then given a decodable reading book that is matched to their phonics knowledge, which also reflects the sequence of sounds taught in school. Decodable books, are books that contain either decodable or common exception words.
Our aim in Phonics, is to develop children’s skills of listening, speaking, word reading and writing through teaching them phonetic knowledge and the skills of segmenting and blending, to decode words. This will enable them to become confident, independent, fluent readers which will greatly assist their comprehension skills. Phonics is the key to understanding spoken language and early reading, as it allows children to unlock their potential as independent learners and it opens the door to endless literature. In many areas of the curriculum, opportunities are used to inspire children to apply the skills they have learnt in phonics, as well as develop a love of reading and broaden their oral and written vocabulary.
Reading in KS2
Children will be exposed to high quality texts across the curriculum and reading skills are taught explicitly through VIPER lessons and shared reading sessions. These sessions allow staff to expose children to varied texts from a range of genres and time periods. Children are taught how to decode tricky vocabulary and meaning, retrieve, interpret and analyse an author’s choice.
In Key Stage 2, we use a computer-adaptive reading test called Star Reading to assess pupils' reading ability and to determine their recommended reading range for Accelerated Reader (AR). AR is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Children freely pick a book at their own reading range and read it at their own pace. When finished, children take a short quiz on the computer - passing the quiz is an indication that your child has understood what has been read.
While we continue to teach the skills of reading in class through VIPERS, the AR books chosen by your child will provide them with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have developed. Pupils using AR are encouraged to progress at their own pace and they have personalised targets based on their reading ability. The aim of AR is for all children is to develop their comprehension skills but mostly we want the children to develop a love of reading.
Our intent is for all children to enjoy writing and view themselves as confident and successful writers. All children from Foundation Stage to Year 6 are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum. Writing is taught through a range of engaging stimuli including books, artefacts, video clips, visitors or real-life experiences. We want our writing lessons to be designed so that they are ambitious for all our children and ensure that our disadvantaged pupils have access to the same opportunities.
At Wren Park we intend to provide all children with the basic skills which will ignite their enthusiasm to enable them to be successful writers, starting with the teaching of phonics in EYFS. The writing process is to be modelled regularly so that pupils see the adults as writers. Teachers will expose children to a wide range of high-quality genres and texts, allowing them to analyse language, text structures and key features. Shared writing opportunities help to build children’s confidence and generate ideas collaboratively.
We aim to provide children with opportunities to develop their vocabulary skills to enable children to bring their writing to life. Writing is an excellent opportunity to allow children to express themselves. We celebrate and encourage children to use their imagination and put their personality into their writing.
Grammar and punctuation lessons are built in to the writing process, ensuring that children take sequenced steps towards the genre of writing. The final stages of the writing process involve the children completing an independent piece of writing. Children use their knowledge and everything they have acquired when analysing high-quality texts, grammar teaching, planning and drafting to complete their final piece of independent writing. Children are given feedback and targets based on their writing, they are then given dedicated time to edit and improve based on the feedback given.