Our English lessons are comprised of cross-curricular text based units. We aim for our English lessons to feed into other areas of learning as we believe children learn best through applying their knowledge across different learning areas.
Our text based units allow us to explore both fiction and non-fiction and we cover different components and genres from the one text. We also have specific Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) lessons where children are explicitly taught writing requirements from the National Curriculum.
Marking is completed with the children within each lesson and children know specifically where and how they can improve their writing through our marking criteria and one to one verbal feedback with a teacher or LSP. Target Fridays are a chance for every individual to determine what their personal target will be for the following week.
Big write occurs at the end of a unit of English learning (not always the end of a text based unit)- generally each Friday. It is a chance for children to showcase their knowledge and writing skills. It is done independently and then marked with the children to allow them to develop their own next steps. Big write books start in Reception with children (where Child Initiated writing is also included to showcase independent writing and progress) and continue with children up through to Year 1. Each year children take their Big Write books with them from the following year.
A 60 word spelling list is sent home every half term. It is comprised of phonetical words, high frequency words, tricky words and contextual learning words. We believe children learn better when they are given the chance to revisit words and word families in a variety of different ways, on several occasions, over a sustained period of time. Knowledge of these words are tested through dictation, conducted every Friday within the phonics lesson. Writing the words within a sentence, gives more meaning to the children and helps them to develop their spellings further. Children have a final spelling test of the 60 words at the end of the half term.
Guided reading consist of 5 activities throughout the week: pre-reading, guided reading with the class teacher, post-reading, journal writing/comprehension and free reading. Children are grouped according to their reading needs and as a group they complete one task each day, rotating through each task, so that by the end of the week they have completed all five. In the pre-read children read their books independently and work through set questions about the book. The guided read is led by the teacher and gives each child the chance to read out loud. The post read is related to the text Examples of tasks are: create a story map, describe the main character, create a different ending for your story, write a list and find an interesting fact. Journal writing is a chance for children to write about themselves by answering a question each week and the free read is designed for children to read for pleasure.