Aims of the National Curriculum – DfE Programme of Study 2014:
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:
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
Our English curriculum is derived around a sequence of high quality age-appropriate texts. We use each book to create opportunities to develop reading fluency and comprehension with a focus on key reading strategies and skills; develop grammar and punctuation knowledge and understanding to use and apply across the wider curriculum; explore the writing structure and features of different genres; plan and write an initial piece of writing with a clear context and purpose before evaluating the effectiveness of writing by editing and redrafting.
The impact can be seen through the pupils’ confidence in talking about the curriculum as well as the way in which measurable targets have been put in place to ensure that we aim for learners to be reaching age-related expectations.
Writing at Waterside
At Waterside, we encourage the children to become authors, crafting their own style to become fluent in writing.
Our children are taught a range of genres covering both fiction and non-fiction writing styles. The writing and reading curriculum is very closely linked as we value the importance of reading to aid writing.
Our children are immersed into the genres through a variety of texts, film clips, posters and books - and above all we encourage daily writing.
Your child will then publish their work giving them a sense of pride in their presentation.
They are encouraged to write independently for a sustained length of time using prompt mats, word mats and the working wall to help them.
As stated in the National Curriculum “Opportunities for teachers to enhance pupils’ vocabulary arise naturally from their reading and writing. As vocabulary increases, teachers should show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language.
Throughout the programmes of study, teachers should teach pupils the vocabulary they need to discuss their reading, writing and spoken language. It is important that pupils learn the correct grammatical terms in English and that these terms are integrated within teaching.”
At Waterside we ensure the grammatical skills that are needed are taught within the English lessons – allowing for contextual learning linked to the class text – enabling the children the opportunity to transfer skills and show the knowledge acquired in other areas.
Spelling is taught in a separate lesson, where the children are given creative tasks around the spelling patterns and meanings of words. Children have a spelling journal which is part of their homework whereby they practise their spellings and tested each week. The parents are encouraged to support with this – and the children’s scores are sent home each week allowing children the opportunity to practise any errors.
Reading at Waterside Primary
At Waterside Primary School we believe that each child should receive a high standard of education that is broad, challenging, exciting and encourages creative thinking. We encourage every learner to be the best they can be, to reflect and plan the next steps in their life- long learning journey and to contribute to the communities of which they are a part. Reading is a key life skill which enables children to express themselves, communicate with others and access other areas of the curriculum.
We aim to show the school’s reading ethos and how it is practiced through reading sessions in Reading Skills as well as other areas across the school and curriculum. We aim to set out a series of expectations for teachers so that there is clarity for all members of staff to ensure that all our pupils are provided with a rich and varied learning experience that aims develops the children as lifelong readers.
Through the curriculum and our practice, we strive to develop a culture of reading through consistently using high quality texts, that demonstrate aspirational language and grammatical structure; a variety of texts that inspire and enthuse children; texts with themes that help our children to develop and promote the school’s values as well as ensuring their personal, social, spiritual and emotion needs are met and where children are able to progress and reach their full potential.
The Learning Environment
All classrooms all have reading areas in their classrooms from EYFS to Year 6. These vary in provision opportunity based on age and need. All areas are linked to themes and offer role play, challenges linked to curriculum and topic books. They aim to be engaging and stimulating, whilst still promoting a place for children to sit and read.
Teaching and Learning
Children have a daily english lesson planned around a creative theme, inspired by books. Reading is a key part of the writing curriculum. Teachers plan for this using the objectives and teaching sequence in the new curriculum. We believe that children can be inspired by their love of reading and encourage children to read a range of texts to develop their breadth of skills but also their deeper understanding of the author’s craft. This helps them to develop their own creative style by magpieing ideas.
Application of reading skills
In KS1, children have a daily guided reading session working with an adult and access independent activities linked to reading. Independent activities may be phonics linked or comprehension based.
Children in KS1 also take part in daily phonics lessons. Please see the separate Phonics Policy.
In KS2, children have weekly sessions with the teacher in groups, reading texts that are set at their reading stages and complete tasks in groups, pairs and independently.
In KS2, a reading skills session is taught 3 times a week to teach the skills needed to understand and comprehend the texts and how a range of questions can be used to deepen knowledge.
An application of reading skills session is also carried out with the children linked to their book band. This may take place as a guided reading session or a chance to apply the skills taught in the Reading Skills sessions.