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William Cobbett Primary School

English

It is our intent for all children at William Cobbett to access an exciting, relevant and purposeful English curriculum that allows them to become life-long readers, writers and communicators. We intend to give children opportunities to showcase their creativity and imagination and express themselves in different ways. We strive to immerse children in high quality texts that will develop a love for reading and expose them to new words and meanings. We want to encourage children to be readers for life and we want to foster an innate love of reading. Furthermore, we want to ensure that our English teaching gives children the confidence to share ideas and feelings with others through reading, writing, speaking and listening and therefore equip them with the essential tools to continue to achieve and thrive after life at William Cobbett Primary School.

We aim for all pupils to:

  • read, write and communicate orally with confidence, fluency and understanding
  • have an interest in books and literature; whilst practising reading for enjoyment
  • discuss reading and writing comprehensively by expressing opinions, explaining techniques and justifying preferences about a wide range of literature, using appropriate vocabulary
  • understand a range of text types and genres; develop knowledge to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write using a variety of styles and forms
  • use grammar and punctuation accurately
  • understand and apply spelling conventions accurately within all written work

Our overarching aim is to promote high standards of spoken and written language, high quality writing skills with an emphasis on spelling, punctuation and grammar and a life-long love of reading for learning and pleasure. 

 

Writing
We deliver English using Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing approach. By focusing on the oral retelling of various text types, familiar structures become fully embedded in the long term memory so that the children can later apply these structures to their own writing whilst developing the language techniques taught for the particular area of focus. For example, children may be writing using the structure of a portal story whilst developing their understanding of what makes an effective setting description.

Core quality texts stand at the core of our English planning, where we strive to intrinsically integrate the teaching of reading and writing. Children engage deeply with these carefully selected texts as we foster their ability to: read as readers, read as writers and finally write as readers and writers. In this way, we are able to assist the children in their development of a rich vocabulary and of texts which are written with careful precision to captivate their audience. Teachers create model texts for specific writing units which aim to demonstrate to the children the language techniques which are to be taught and developed. Typically, in a unit of work, the focus will be developed through internalisation and contextualisation of the model text where children deepen their understanding of a particular text type, exploring other examples through wider whole-class reading and later creating a ‘tool-kit’ for purposeful writing. Following sessions of deliberate practice, where children use ‘short-burst writing’ to develop the writer tools and receive timely feedback in order to improve, children then write independently in order to fulfil their planned purpose.

Early Reading

To support early reading, we use a synthetic phonics programme called Monster Phonics, which is an inclusive programme for all children learning to read and spell. The scheme is a multi-sensory, fun and engaging programme, which uses scientific linguistic research to colour-code for sounds. This helps children to understand and recall complex phonics and spellings more easily. The colour coded grapheme system is unique to Monster Phonics; each coloured grapheme is paired with a monster character that makes the same sound to give audio-visual prompts that help children ‘see’ each sound within a word and pronounce it correctly.

In Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, all children take home at least one fully decodable book, if working within or below phase five phonics.  Once the children make their way through the book bands, they will progress onto ‘free reader’ books which they can choose from the school library or bring from home.

 The colour banded scheme will be used to support children’s reading development. Children who are not ready to advance to the next band will be encouraged to read more broadly at their appropriate level. We will support and encourage children through these bands but we will not rush or push children through them when their decoding and/or their comprehension skills are not sufficiently developed.

Reading

In Year 1- 3, we have weekly guided group reading sessions to help the children develop their comprehension, vocabulary and love of reading. In group guided reading, the children will all read the same book at a level suited to them. These sessions will have a learning focus and will be largely discussion based and will feature a range of comprehension questions. In Years 4-6, there is a move to whole class reading; the children will read through a carefully selected text (book, image, video etc.) together so that every ability can access it. This will then be followed by discussions and questions around a particular objective to develop the children’s fluency, expression, ability to determine the meaning of words in context and their comprehension.

Class stories

We also encourage all classes to have daily ‘Story time’ where they may read a picture book or a chapter book over many sessions. During this shared reading, the children can access a text which may be challenging to them individually.