English - Intent and implementation statement
English skills are the skills we use every day of our lives. As outlined in our school aims, we want every child to have opportunities to challenge themselves, and experience success, through the careful development of the skills of reading, writing speaking and listening.
Every child needs to be a fluent reader and writer in order to understand the world around them. These skills create a bridge between our internal ideas and imaginings, and the communication of these with others through the written word. Literature plays an important role in the intellectual, social, emotional and cultural development of children, by presenting ideas outside the child’s direct experience.
At Bowerhill School we aim to help all children become confident, enthusiastic, critical and independent readers, thereby equipping them with the necessary skills to understand and respond to a range of literature. An effective reader is someone who uses a variety of strategies appropriately, is interested in, and excited by, books and who can express an opinion about what they’ve read. Children will have opportunities to experience the printed word in a variety of forms and serving a variety of purposes.
We aim to enable all children to be confident writers, with the skills of transcription embedded so that they are able to use inspiration from their reading in compositions that flow naturally. Children will have repeated opportunities to write within a range of fiction and non-fiction genres. These will be linked to our topic ‘drivers’ where possible.
Speaking and listening are a crucial part of the writing process. We ensure children are given opportunities to immerse themselves in the world of drama. At Bowerhill School we believe drama provides children with a strong basis on which they can feel confident to write and explore ideas, both verbally and non-verbally.
We aim for all pupils to:
- Become fluent in reading so that meaning can be made from any text.
- To enjoy reading, and experience a range of high-quality texts during their time at Bowerhill.
- Write in a range of genres – both fiction and non-fiction – applying the skills they have learnt from their study of texts.
- Increase their vocabulary as they practise reading, writing and speaking in a range of contexts.
- Have opportunities to convey their thoughts through drama, presentations and discussions, in order to prepare for written work.
- Have a range of spelling rules and strategies embedded so that writing fluency is not hindered.
- Use a range of punctuation accurately in order to convey meaning effectively in writing.
- Write in a fluent handwriting style.
Typical English writing unit design:
- Read a high-quality text (enabling them to visualise features, layout and language usage—ensuring as far as possible a love of reading) or have a first-hand experience/hook in (role play, drama, trip, picture, video clip or artefact as a visual stimulus)
- Have a real-life audience and purpose
- Have a learning journey to follow that is referred to daily, and is based on Pupil Asset criteria generally including: 2x compositional, 1x vocabulary, 1x grammar and 1x punctuation
- Opportunities to examine texts and talk about texts, their construction, vocabulary, grammar and effects
- Opportunities for high-quality speaking and listening experiences, including drama and group interaction
- Opportunities to apply grammar skills in context
- Plan, including modelled and shared writing
- Draft (i.e. oral rehearsal) and write (including guided writing)
- Share, evaluate (modelled, then independent), revise (modelled, then independent) and edit (p. & sp.) before teacher marking
- Publish (where appropriate)
(This sequence could be used for between 1-3 weeks depending on the unit.)
A typical reading unit design:
- 1. Teacher reads aloud to the class and models specific skills from Pupil Asset.
- 2. Children share the practice of these skills with the teacher, and with partners.
- 3. Teacher models writing answers to comprehension questions using evidence from the text.
- 4. Children write answers to comprehension questions.
- 5. Repeat 1-4 as necessary.
- 6. Children answer comprehension questions about an unseen text independently, practising the skills practised in modelled and shared work.
Read Write Inc (RWI)
Children in EYFS and Y1 follow the RWI Phonics programme. This provides them with a solid reading foundation, giving them secure phonic knowledge and opportunities to practise and apply comprehension skills. Children in later year groups, who need phonics support, are also able to access this at an age appropriate level through the use of the Fresh Start materials and Fresh Start trained Teaching Assistants.
Read Write Inc. Spelling is a 15-20-minute daily, or every other day, programme for Years 2 to 6, who can read with accuracy.
Using a proven approach underpinned by phonics, fast–paced lessons and an online subscription, Read Write Inc. Spelling prepares children for the higher demands of the statutory spelling assessments.
A more detailed approach to the strategies described above is contained within the policy documents for each aspect of English. These policy documents are reviewed regularly (usually annually) against the standards of attainment and progress shown by assessments of children. The policies are updated or revised when they do not seem to be helping children make the best progress or when new and more effective strategies are to be adopted.
Hannah Polan (English Leader)/ Hannah Chivers (Assistant English Leader)