Subject Leader: Mr French
English National Curriculum
Purpose of Study
- English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them.
- Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know.
- All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
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.
You can download the full National Curriculum for English by clicking the link below:
English Curriculum Intent
Our most up to date policies for writing, SPaG and reading are here:
Teachers plan learning opportunities around novels, animations, poems and experiences that will engage and encourage children. When teachers plan these learning experiences and opportunities they must ensure that children are being taught in line with the statutory National Curriculum and the school's English policies.
The programmes of study for writing at key 2 is constructed similarly to that for reading:
- transcription (spelling and handwriting)
- composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)
It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these 2 dimensions. In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition.
Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.
At Anston Park Junior School, we encourage children to see writing as a process. We teach children to follow the 'Think, Say, Write and Read' model to develop ideas before writing them down and to be reflective when reading their work back identifying and editing errors and making changes to their writing that improve their first draft. Children learn to write for a range of purposes. You can find out more about these purposes for writing, covering a range of genres by downloading the document below.
For whatever purpose they are writing, we aim to ensure children have the ideas, tools and techniques to make authorial choices to write effectively for a range of audiences. Lessons are sequenced to build these skills leading to a final, published piece of writing. Teachers plan a model text ensuring that relevant objectives for grammar are included where possible and model this writing to children. Teachers also make use of shared and guided writing to help children understand the authorial process.
Spelling, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation
The 2 statutory appendices of the National Curriculum – on spelling and on vocabulary, grammar and punctuation – give an overview of the specific features that should be included in teaching the programmes of study.
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. They should also teach pupils how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than 1 meaning. References to developing pupils’ vocabulary are also included in the appendices.
Pupils should be taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English. They should be taught to use the elements of spelling, grammar, punctuation and ‘language about language’ listed. This provides the structure on which teachers can construct lessons.
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.
We aim to cover grammar objectives in a progressive manner - building on pupils' prior knowledge. You can see how objectives progress here:
If you are not sure about some of the grammar terminology used in school this glossary might be useful. Please click to download.
Children work hard at Anston Park Junior School to be confident and accurate spellers. Being able to spell correctly presents a confident, knowledgeable front to the world. Children are taught spelling in line with the National Curriculum. In school, children engage in spelling sessions every day. They will also bring spellings home to practise. Children learn about the etymology of words (where they come from) and morphology to deepen their understanding of both vocabulary and spelling. Our spelling lessons are sequenced into week blocks. You can see the overview for each year group below.
There are some words that children have to know by the end of year 4 and a collection of words that children have know by the end of year 6. These words are in your child's reading record. You can find these by clicking on the links:
Teachers make use of assessment in learning an Independent Writing to make a judgement about a child's writing using the following statements:
The programmes of study for reading consist of 2 dimensions:
- word reading
- comprehension (both listening and reading)
It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.
Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics should be emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (ie unskilled readers) when they start school.
Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world they live in, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.
It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.
At Anston Park Junior School, we want our children will leave school with a love of books and reading. We encourage children to explore a range of literature - both fiction and non fiction - and to develop their ability to critically think about works of literature and evaluate their reading. Children take part in reading activities every day based on key skills. These key skills are the VIPERS skills. Teachers plan reading opportunities with these key skills in mind.
Children follow our reading journey. Children will read their way through the coloured book bands. To encourage reading for pleasure, when children are assessed as age related we aim to encourage children to make their own choices around their reading material rather than being confined to banded books. A copy of our reading journey is here:
Reading opportunities at Anston Park Junior School aim to develop fluent and confident readers by securing the necessary skills.
Building these skills to ensure fluency, happens during our reading day. There are lots of opportunities for children to read a wide range of novels, picture books, poems, fiction and non-fiction texts in English, guided reading and fluency read sessions as well as reading in small groups and one to one with adults. Guided Reading is adult led, with the adult selecting a text on a weekly cycle of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. Fluency read is child-led and aims to develop a love of reading where children can make their own informed choices. The class story is read by an adult and aims to develop critical thinking about texts and to expose children to vocabulary and structures that may be beyond their own reading ability.
You can find lots of information, ideas and resources to support reading at home and reading for pleasure by visiting the Open University website by clicking on the image below.
Hearing children read is important to support their development. Reading to and with children is also still important to develop their love of reading and experience literature at its best. Talking to your child about books is a really important part of their reading journey. Click on the image below to visit the Book Chat website.
This resource comprises three short films and support materials to help parents, families and carers read books conversationally and creatively to children. Working with Macmillan Children’s Books, the films use a selection of their picture books and a poetry collection to support families with reading to different ages of children.
Book chat and discussion about books is really important with any book. Here are some ideas that you can use:
You may also find these tips from the Education Endowment Foundation useful when reading with children at home.
Some children will continue to need support with their early reading including phonics. Phonics teaches children to understand the relationship between written letters and the sounds they make allowing children to blend sounds together to read words. We use the Little Wandle scheme to support children who need extra support with phonics
Your child may be working on sounds that are identified in the scheme as Reception or Year 1 sounds. Please don't worry. This just means that we have identified some gaps in children's knowledge and we will be helping them to fill in these gaps to become a confident reader.
You can find more information about phonics by visiting the Little Wandle parents page by clicking here. You can also visit the phonics area of our website to find information and resources to support your child. Please click here.
When supporting children at home, it is important that we all pronounce phonemes in the same way. Below is are two video clips to help. The first demonstrates how to pronounce phonemes and the second explains how we teach children to blend these sounds together to read words.
As children grow in confidence with phonics and begin to decode more complext texts, to prepare children for reading examinations, teachers plan guided reading sessions to include key question stems that often appear in examination papers. By working with children to understand the question vocabulary children are more able to successfully demonstrate their understanding of text in test situations. Important questions stems that teachers will share with children are shown below. At home, you can question children about their reading books using the same question types and modifying some of these examples: