English

“English isn’t just about reading, writing, and comprehension. It’s about culture, professionalism, and social outlook.” – Taylor Ellwood, Pop Culture Magick

“High standards, especially in English, are the backbone of success in learning and in life.” – Excellence and Enjoyment

At Knowles Primary School, we strive for a creative and engaging approach to English that will encourage a lifelong love of the subject. Teachers use stories, film, drama and role play to allow children to become immersed in their English lessons and give their reading and writing a real-life purpose. They also take advantage of the many other inside and outside spaces available to them to enhance children’s learning and enjoyment of English. Links to other curriculum topics are made when possible to deepen understanding and apply important skills.

English is taught on a daily basis from Foundation to Year 6. In the Foundation Stage children develop their English skills through a mix of adult led reading and writing activities and child initiated learning. Children learn independently, in groups and as a whole class.

Teaching and learning in Years 1-6 mostly takes place within a whole class setting, where children are taught fundamental reading, writing and speaking and listening skills by their class teacher. They learn about the ingredients of a successful piece of writing including grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and structure for various text types. Children are also given regular opportunities to share high quality books within Guided and Shared reading sessions, where they have the opportunity to enjoy and discuss different genres.

Homework is given in line with school guidelines. It is important that children gain further experience of reading writing outside school and homework will ensure that these opportunities are provided. Parents are encouraged to read with their children on a regular basis and find other chances for writing to aid children’s learning.

Phonics

At Knowles Primary School our approach to learning phonics in EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) and Key Stage 1 is based on the ‘Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics’ as well as Jolly Phonics. We use this multisensory approach from Foundation to Year 2 and by using Jolly Phonics the pupils are provided with pictures and actions to help them learn each different phonic sound together with the letter/letters that represent that sound. This is an effective and interactive way for learners to recall phonemes.

Letters and Sounds’ provides us with games and resources to support our teaching of phonics. It aims to develop pupils’ speaking and listening skills, as well as prepare pupils for reading by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed programme for teaching phonic skills.

Children are grouped according to their individual needs for daily phonic sessions. These groups are fluid and flexible according to children’s progress and need. Children’s progress is tracked regularly and lessons follow a clear pattern of ‘revise, learn and apply.’

Pupils are provided with a range of fiction and non-fiction books which are regularly changed to aid progression with their reading including the acquisition of phonic skills to enable them to decode and encode words. We use Oxford Reading Tree books which consolidate and extend these skills.

Any children in Key Stage 2 who are not fluent readers will also receive daily phonic sessions as an intervention group.

Handwriting

At Knowles Primary School we follow a cursive handwriting style. We place great emphasis on handwriting and presentation skills across the school and have high expectations of this in all subject areas.

From Foundation, children are encouraged to express their own ideas in a written form in order to communicate with others for different purposes. Children progress from making simple marks on paper to recognisable letter shapes. They learn the alphabet and letter sounds and begin to spell the first high frequency words.

Handwriting is so important in a child’s educational journey. It is the way in which they showcase their wonderful writing.

Handwriting sheets illustrating correct formation are available from school – just ask your child’s teacher.

Library

Our libraries at the heart of our school. They are a place where the children have opportunities to know the pleasure of reading and where they can become immersed in a wide range of authors and illustrators. We are creating a welcoming environment for children to access and enjoy. All children will have access to the libraries during curriculum time and after school. They will have their own library accounts to borrow books. Our new libraries have facilities for creating ‘wish lists’ for books, reserving books and writing reviews.

Technology will also play an important role in the libraries. Tablets will be used to read, review and discuss books. There will be the opportunity to listen to stories through ‘storyphones’ and role play equipment available to act out and retell. We are using a software programme called ‘Junior Librarian’ on our library computers. All children will learn how to use this programme from Key Stage 1.