English at Northwood
At Northwood Community Primary School we aim to ensure English is a key factor in promoting children’s ability to communicate for a range of purposes and audiences in order to provide them with life skills for the future. We aim to ensure we foster a love of the subject by providing engaging lessons and exciting stimuli through a range of cross-curricular means.
The teaching of phonics, one of the strands of English, is taught through the use of the Read, Write, Inc [RWI] phonics scheme. Starting with our youngest children in Nursery. The programme allows children to learn letter sounds in a systematic way and develops their ability to read accurately and fluently whilst also teaching handwriting and spelling. The children enjoy learning to read and write through praise, participation, purpose, passion and pace and with the help of ‘Fred Frog.’
. The teaching revolves around instruction (with the help of online alien characters), partner and group practice, and competitive group challenges that help children commit new words to memory. Children are regularly tested to support the assessment of spelling and will regularly take spellings home to learn.
At Northwood Community Primary we strive to create a text-rich environment for all of our children which appeals to their interests. Lessons are linked to a high-quality text through ‘The Power of Reading’ teaching sequence which is continued in other lessons across the curriculum to ensure children are immersed in the text. We also use ‘Accelerated Reader’ to allow children to read a book, take a quiz and receive immediate feedback. This program also provides invaluable data to help teachers guide the learning of pupils in the future.
In EYFS, children begin to read books linked to their phonics focus with children beginning small guided reading groups . As children progress into Key Stage 1, they continue to work in small groups but also begin reading sessions as a whole class focused upon the reading content domains outlined in the national curriculum. Guided reading sessions are mainly taught whole class in years 2-6, using a range of Kagan structures to encourage peer support and aid effective understanding. The teacher ensures the child understands the book by providing higher order questioning tailored at their ability level. As reading is at the core of accessing all areas of the curriculum it is essential that at Northwood Community Primary there is focused and dedicated time given to the teaching of the mechanics of reading. We require children to read at home at least five times per week and appreciate parental support in this area
We are proud to be a Centre for Literacy in Primary Education [CLPE] Associate School! There are only 13 carefully selected schools across the country who have this title. Northwood has received this as we have demonstrated a whole school commitment to delivering our English curriculum through CLPE’s Power of Reading training.
As an associate school, we teach English through the CLPE teaching sequences based around high-quality texts. Our English lead demonstrates a thorough understanding of how to implement Power of Reading throughout school and is able to demonstrate the impact on pupils’ engagement and achievement in language, reading and writing.
At Northwood Community Primary, we aim to promote a love of writing through a broad, purposeful curriculum filled with a variety of stimuli, opportunities and inspirations. At our school we use teaching sequences from CLPE’s ‘The Power of Reading’ to ensure children are exposed to high-quality texts and vocabulary.
We teach modelled, shared and independent writing in daily lessons across the school, but also incorporate writing skills across the whole curriculum. Children create a portfolio of extended independent writing which moves with them throughout school as they transition between each year group to ensure that skills are built upon from year to year. This helps children to develop writing stamina, confidence, independence and helps them to apply their learning from their spelling and grammar lessons throughout the week. Each child receives specific individual feedback and precise targets as a result of this to help to move their writing forward. Oral storytelling and story mapping is introduced in all year groups to promote understanding of text type and extend speaking and listening opportunities.
Grammar and punctuation
Throughout school, grammar and punctuation is taught in every English lesson, either as the focus of the lesson, or discretely as part of the writing process. In addition to these lessons, all other teaching and learning linked to English will provide an opportunity to embed punctuation and grammar skills. EGPS-related starters should be used where appropriate and through modelled writing, specific punctuation and grammar concepts should be taught.
In cross-curricular work, there is an expectation that grammar and punctuation skills will be demonstrated and taught concepts applied precisely and accurately.
Speaking and listening activities in all subjects enable pupils to practise correct grammar in the form of recounting stories and information and constructing sentences effectively. This in turn will impact on children’s ability to write using correct punctuation and grammar and is intended to develop the ‘writing voice’ of all children throughout school.
Interventions are provided where necessary to support children who may have gaps in spelling knowledge or need additional challenge or support.
For further information about English at NCPS, please see the English Policy or speak to Mrs Lisa Green (English Lead)