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. We use a 'Talk for Writing' approach created by Pie Corbett which enables children to orally imitate the key language they need for a particular topic, before reading and analysing it, and then writing their own 'invented' version. It also creates a bank of stories/key texts to support later writing.
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 integrate Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) into English lessons so the children are taught the appropriate skills through meaningful contexts.
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.
From Year 2 onwards, the children at Lanchester are taught spelling several lessons a week through a scheme called 'No Nonsense Spellings.' The children are taught strategies to spell words which they can then use and apply within their writing. This is supported by the use of a GPC chart (Grapheme Phoneme Chart) which is shown further down the page.
Children are grouped according to their reading needs and working as a small group they complete one guided reading task each day. The guided read is led by the teacher and gives each child the chance to read aloud. After reading with the teacher, children complete a post-reading task which is related to the text. Examples of post-reading tasks are describing the main character, creating a different ending for your story, writing a list and finding an interesting fact. During the week, the children also complete a handwriting activity based on the week's spellings. In addition to this, the children complete a grammar and punctuation task linked to the National Curriculum statements for that year group. The children are also given the opportunity for a free read which is designed to encourage them to read for pleasure.
Comprehension - Children are taught the different reading skills during their comprehension lessons. The skills are chosen from the National Curriculum and cover the different reading domains for KS1 and KS2. The session involves a whole class teaching of one of the skills before then working on an independent skill based task.
We use some of the Read Write Inc. materials that have an excellent track record in supporting children to achieve the Phonics threshold. The majority of children reach this milestone towards the end of Year 1, but there is provision for support in Year 2 for any children who have not yet reached it.
The children learn to join using continuous cursive handwriting. This is taught as a discrete lesson as well as being integrated throughout the curriculum. If you would like to support with handwriting at home, there is a website which demonstrates how the letters should be formed.
Children may visit the school library with their class and choose a book to take home. Books are issued electronically to each individual child and logged in the system. If books are not returned then we will send a reminder home. Any books that are lost or not returned may incur a £5 charge to replace the book.