At Woolavington Village Primary School, we aim to ensure that English lessons develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and grammar and vocabulary. English is taught using the class novel/picture book as a starting point, linking up with other areas of the curriculum. We teach our pupils to speak clearly, to convey their ideas fluently and confidently and to ask questions. Vocabulary, spelling and handwriting are developed systematically.
A range of extra activities are used to promote English within the school including 100% Reader certificates, World Book Day, class trips, poetry slams, class debates, author visits and Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 productions.
At Woolavington, we deliver the Unlocking Letters and Sounds phonic scheme. The progression of Unlocking Letters and Sounds is structured to allow the teaching of Phases 1 to 5 across EYFS and KS1. You can see a summary of the progression here.
Whole class phonic lessons are taught daily in Reception and Year 1 to promote and support early reading. Our teaching of phonics follows a revisit, teach, practice, apply and revise sequence. This ensures that children have the opportunity to not only read but spell using the GPC’s that they have been taught.
We provide children with fully decodable reading books which allows them to independently practice the skills taught within phonics. In the early stages of reading children are taught specific strategies such as decoding and blending that will support them whilst reading. Our fully decodable books have a broad range of fiction and non-fiction texts to support a love of reading.
Teachers carry out ongoing formative assessments throughout every phonic lesson to ensure that any gaps in learning are quickly identified. Alongside this, summative assessment also takes place to allow children’s reading books to be accurately matched. Our assessment allows us to immediately put 1:1 interventions into place, where necessary, to support children’s individual needs.
In addition to our daily phonic lessons, children also develop their reading skills through guided reading sessions. Guided reading gives opportunities for children to practice decoding, fluency, comprehension, and prosody. You can see the structure of a guided reading lesson here.
At Woolavington, we have developed our own approach to spelling which has been tailored to best address the common difficulties our pupils currently face and drive progress. In Reception & Year 1, children are taught to spell through their daily phonics lessons which follow the Unclocking Letters and Sounds program. As they move into Year 2, children revise all previously taught sounds in the Autumn Term and then focus on learning spelling strategies. In KS2, instead of learning a list of spellings each week, children focus on four to six spelling patterns per week which are then repeated over a 4-week period. This approach is designed to give pupils a better chance to commit taught spellings to long-term memory. To encourage our pupils to see the continuation of phonics into spelling, lessons follow the same structure as phonics lessons. As well as giving children time to become familiar with the words they are learning and practice spelling, we also ensure that children are explicitly taught spelling patterns, rules and strategies.
Our pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure and to read widely. Each year, our teachers create Recommended Reading Lists using high-quality children’s texts for each year group and we ensure that all of these books are available in the classrooms for our children to access. Our classrooms celebrate reading and we strive for our pupils to leave Woolavington as ‘Lifelong Readers’.
We use a whole class reading approach for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils. This approach has a quality text at its centre and covers poetry, fiction, and non-fiction texts. Our Whole Class Reading lessons focus on teaching pupils six key reading skills (VIPERS) and building confidence in developing comprehension strategies. To promote a love for reading and celebrate reading for pleasure, the whole school takes part in a ‘Lifelong Readers’ session every Friday morning. Children have the opportunity to read books based on their interests and share books they have enjoyed with each other. Each term, we have a KS1 & KS2 Reading Challenge which encourages children to explore a variety of text types and genres.
The children are read to by an adult daily and heard reading individually on a regular basis. In KS1 pupils begin on phonetically decodable books and progress to books supported by Accelerated Reader, which is available to all Key Stage 2 pupils. Children’s reading is assessed four times each academic year, using the Star Reading Assessment and NTS reading papers. We expect our pupils to practice reading independently at least five times per week - both at school and home - to develop fluency and comprehension.
High-quality children's literature is at the heart of everything we do, and we use a wide-range of text types and genres to inspire our children to write. We incorporate elements of Talk for Writing and our own skills-based writing sequence (TRY IT, USE IT, PROVE IT) to encourage pupils to express their ideas, apply taught SPaG and to develop more sophisticated vocabulary. We provide opportunities for writing for purpose and we encourage pupils to see themselves as authors. We promote the status of written work by providing opportunities for children’s writing to be displayed on boards, both within the classroom and around the school - to be read by a real audience.
Our Woolavington Curriculum will teach me to...