“The value of English in the curriculum? What can I say? Without English, nothing. And without good English, nothing very well”. Anne Fine, Author
“Our community sits between two rivers”, offering a diverse range of experiences, families and children. Knowing this, our responsibility is to ensure that every child leaves our school with a love of reading, writing and the confidence to use the spoken word.
Through our vision of “believing it’s possible” every child is entitled to high quality learning opportunities which enable them to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in order to become independent and imaginative individuals. Children leave us with a love of English, they are confident, literate and ready for the challenges ahead.
The English Curriculum at Stoke Bishop Primary School has been carefully developed alongside the requirements of the National Curriculum and the needs of our local community.
In Reception through to Year 6, children are taught English within their classes. Through differentiation and the support of teachers and Teaching Assistants, all children will receive high quality teaching and appropriate support in order for every child to reach their full potential. Children may receive additional support if necessary outside of the English lessons. Children that have an ECHP or IEP may also be withdrawn in order to receive intervention that focuses on the child’s more specific individual needs.
Reading at Stoke Bishop Primary
Pupils have opportunities to undertake guided, shared and independent reading throughout the school. A diverse range of real books and a staged reading scheme are available. We do not use any one published scheme to teach reading, instead we believe that it is important to provide pupils with a selection of reading books and experiences from different genres and subject matter, therefore we operate using ‘book bands’ in line with Oxford reading tree complemented by thematic books. As well as phonics matched books for early readers.
In order to have strong communication between teachers and parents/carers, each child has a reading record book where both the staff and parents can write comments about how the child is progressing with his/her reading. Children have the opportunity to use books from the library for independent research.
Reading challenges are offered within school and pupils are encouraged to undertake the annual county library reading challenge. World Book Day is celebrated along with a book fair to further promote reading.
We passionately believe that all children will develop a love of reading. Children receive high-quality teaching and learning opportunities which enables them to enjoy learning to read and empowers them to be confident independent readers. By the end of Year 6 children will be fluent readers who possess a well-developed tool kit of reading strategies which include: phonological awareness, decoding and comprehension. Children acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar alongside a knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language. This will include an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage from not only the United Kingdom but also the World.
The whole school community understands that the development of reading is at the heart of our school curriculum. Teaching staff will model a positive attitude towards the teaching and fostering of a love of reading and literature. Teaching Staff will use high quality texts to plan and facilitate English Lessons. Wherever possible reading will be incorporated across the entire school curriculum. All children regularly frequent the school library and are encouraged to use it as a learning resource.
Phonics is taught discreetly in Reception, Year 1 and 2. Reading materials are matched to a child’s phonic knowledge. EYFS and KS1 children are regularly benchmarked to assess a child’s reading / banded level. As required children in KS2 are also regularly assessed on their reading level. Teaching staff will ensure that children are reading at the correct level and that this is consistently monitored to maintain continuity, progression and challenge.
Children in EYFS, KS1 and KS2 read regularly with an adult in school. Through our home school partnership, we have an expectation that parents and carers read with their children regularly at home, there is an understanding that reading attainment and progression is a collaboration between home and school.
To support reading comprehension KS1 and KS2 use age appropriate VIPERS. The children are able to talk about their understanding of the VIPERS teaching and learning sequence.
Termly assessments are conducted to track: attainment, progress, gaps in understanding and any misconceptions.
Our pupils are confident, able, lifelong readers who have a passion for reading. They understand the importance and empowerment of reading for pleasure and academic success. They are literate, confident and ready for the challenges ahead. Parents and carers are actively involved in developing their child’s ability to read, comprehend and interpret what they have read. The importance of reading is understood by all members of staff and as such is interwoven throughout the school and curriculum. Amongst the whole school community there is a passionate belief that reading is the key to unlocking a child’s future success.
Writing at Stoke Bishop Primary
Pupils are treated as writers, from the earliest stage, who have ideas that they want to communicate, building on reading skills they have acquired and their knowledge of print from their environment. Children are given daily opportunities to acquire confidence and a positive attitude to writing. We aim to provide a range of purposes and audiences for writing enabling children to develop and sustain writing skills.
Writing is a crucial part of the curriculum at Stoke Bishop Primary School. By the end of Year 6 we intend for all children to be able to express themselves through the written word, clearly and creatively, for a range of purposes. We want all pupils to have a firm understanding of English grammar and spelling rules to allow them to effectively communicate. We aim to expose children to a wide range of vocabulary encouraging them to use words imaginatively to create the best effect. At Stoke Bishop Primary School we promote a strong sense of pride in writing, both in the content and presentation.
We believe it is possible “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world” Malala Yousafzai
In order to achieve our intent, our teaching of writing is often cross-curricula linked to our topics. We use a wide range of quality texts and resources to inspire our pupils. Children are taught using guided writing sessions to model writing skills, teaching children how to compose, amend and revise their writing. We teach children to become critical readers of their own writing by using self-evaluation and checking their work independently for sense, accuracy and meaning. We use a three-week planning proforma which allows children the time and space to develop their writing and editing skills. This follows a “I do, we do, you do” pedagogy, which ensures a consistent and systematic approach to teaching the skills of writing across all year groups.
Alongside this we teach grammar and punctuation in the context of children’s own writing, as well as through discrete lessons. From the onset children are taught strategies for spelling to enable them to become confident and competent spellers. The school follows the Letters and Sounds phonics programme and the Schoffield & Sims Spelling programme which enables the children to recap on the previous year’s spelling patterns and then introduces new patterns and sight words. This programme is in line with the National Curriculum for spelling. Identified children receive extra spelling and phonics support from teachers and TAs.
Handwriting is taught from mark making in Reception through to their own style in Year 6. In Reception children are taught the correct letter formation as they learn each new sound. In Year 1 children are introduced to the continuous cursive writing style and initial joins. This is then followed through into lower Key Stage 2. In Key Stage 2 children are awarded a “Pen Licence” when their teachers deem their handwriting sufficiently neat and joined.
Teachers use developmental feedback in order to identify where children have included elements of the success criteria (which are highlighted in green), set next steps targets (which are highlighted in pink) and to give children the opportunity to revisit their work in order to make improvements.
Children at Stoke Bishop will make good progress in their writing from their own personal starting points. Children will enjoy writing across a range of genres, using vocabulary and style effectively. Ongoing formative and summative assessment will be used to identify misconceptions and areas of development to narrow the gap for each individual child. Most importantly, the children will develop a love and command of writing that will equip them for their ongoing education and lives
Reading – Our System
When children arrive at our school in Reception they are initially given lilac word less books. These are to support the children in book skills such as turning the page and telling the story. They are then given phonic-matched reading books to support early reading, namely decoding the words. Once they have reached a confident level they will move onto the coloured book boxes. These go from pink to white.
Once the children finish white level they move onto the “Rainbow Library” which has 4 levels within it; emerald, hazel, graphite, indigo. These are all real books which have been levelled to ensure an appropriate reading challenge. When the children become free-readers they can access the school’s main library for their reading books.
Throughout their reading journey they can all access the library for books to share with adults and for pleasure.
Monitoring and Progression
The skill of reading is paramount to your child’s development as is fostering a love of reading at home and at school. To ensure this is at the centre of our curriculum and home-school partnership we expect your child to read at least 5 times a week at home.
We are exploring ways to offer support to parents around decoding, comprehension, reluctant readers and book recommendations. However due to current restrictions we are unable to offer this in school at the moment, but are hoping to offer something online.
Supporting reading in school
We would really appreciate your free time to support us by hearing readers in school. We hope to have at least two adult readers for every class this year. Please note that due to present COVID19 restrictions you would be assigned to a particular class within the bubble until we have guidance otherwise. Please contact us if you are available during the week, even if its only half an hour!
Reading Guidance for Parents
Reading During Lockdown
We are aware that it is difficult during lockdown to access books, especially as we are unable to provide them from school. We have put together a list of useful websites which have books suitable for the children when they are at home (click the images to visit each site).
http://www.childrenslibrary.org/icdl/SimpleSearchCategory?ilang=English Lots of stories, written in lots of different languages.
There is also the possibility to download books to ipad or kindle from amazon which are free of charge. However, whilst some of the books are suitable for upper key stage 2 children (Year 5 and 6) some may be inappropriate for Primary age children so we would ask that this is only accessed with the support of an adult. https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?rh=n%3A21173577031&fs=true&ref=lp_21173577031_sar