It is our intent at Grovevale Primary School to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English that will teach pupils to speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively. We intend to encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live. We intend to establish an appreciation and love of reading, all of which will ultimately impact and improve their ability to write coherently.
The Importance of English
The development of speech and a varied vocabulary is a key life skill. Competence in English enables children to communicate effectively at home, at school and in the wider world and leads to improved life opportunities. Through our Key Stage assemblies and topic showcases, GV children are encouraged to speak and perform in front of an audience and so develop their confidence, clarity and fluency. The skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing enable children to organise and express their own thoughts and to access the knowledge and ideas of others. Being fully competent within all areas of English removes barriers and takes away any limitations on how ambitious, resilient, curious and creative our children can be within the wider world.
At GV Primary School our aim is to ensure that reading is at the heart of all that we do. We encourage and support all children to read a variety of genres and authors in order that they become lifelong, avid readers and use adventurous vocabulary in their speech and their written work. We follow the Letters and Sounds Phonics scheme which we use to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. We celebrate children’s enjoyment of books and reading by dedicating various areas around school to spaces where children can read comfortably and happily. As spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing, we aim to foster exploratory talk and good listening skills. Drama and role-play is regularly used in lessons to encourage creativity in writing. We adapt a talk less teaching approach whereby children develop their spoken language in order to enhance their written skills and we have adapted the ‘Word Aware’ approach to ensure that our classrooms are vocabulary rich and enthuse the children to make ambitious vocabulary choices when writing. Children are curious about new vocabulary and are keen to develop their understanding of words that they are not familiar with. We have developed our curriculum to incorporate good quality and engaging texts that interest and inspire readers. We would like GV Primary children to be ambitious, resilient and creative writers with an innate desire to read for pleasure. We use our cross-curricular topics to provide a platform for talk and deliver enriched activities for writing. Application of key literacy skills are therefore taught across all foundation subjects. Writing is celebrated and displayed in classrooms and around the school and rewards for taking pride in handwriting and presentation are given weekly through initiatives such as ‘Handwriting Hero’.
Grove Vale aims to:
- Create readers and writers who are ambitious. They make ambitious vocabulary choices and always aim to write interesting and engaging texts and who read a variety of authors and genres to enable them to become lifelong, avid readers.
- Create readers and writers who are resilient. They enjoy the task of editing, redrafting and refining their work. Their resilience enables them to be fluent writers who have developed the skills of transcription and composition. Who challenge themselves to take on a variety of challenging texts and books. They question new vocabulary to expand their knowledge of words. Create readers and writers who are curious. They read regularly for pleasure and are curious about the way that other writers create their work. They are empowered by the texts that they read and influences from key writers can be seen within their writing.
- Create readers and writers who are creative. They develop their imagination through reading widely. They are creative with the language that they choose and their ever-developing vocabulary allows them to make apt word choices which ignite the imagination of the reader.
The National Curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
National Curriculum Coverage
At Grove Vale Primary, our curriculum is mapped out directly in line with National Curriculum requirements for English.
The national curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically.
The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of 2 dimensions:
- word reading
- comprehension (both listening and reading)
It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.
It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.
The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:
- transcription (spelling and handwriting)
- composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)
It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these 2 dimensions. In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition.
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.
Spelling, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and glossary
The 2 statutory appendices – on spelling and on vocabulary, grammar and punctuation – give an overview of the specific features that should be included in teaching the programmes of study. At Grovevale we have incorporated this into our English overviews.