The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
At St Budeaux Foundation, we aim to ensure that all pupils:
We recognise the importance of Spoken language in the development of reading and writing. We aim to continually develop pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills by creating a wide range of opportunities: explaining their understanding of books and other reading; discussing their ideas before they write; reading their own work to others; discussion and debate and through role play and Drama.
Our teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both word reading and comprehension.
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. Good comprehension draws from knowledge of language (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world.
Our aim is to develop good comprehension skills 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. We encourage all pupils 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.
Children at St Budeaux Foundation School now read in school for 20 minutes, three times per week, as part of the Accelerated Reader Program. This program has not only been specifically designed to improve pupils’ reading ability and continue to raise their reading age, but also to encourage and nurture a love of reading that will continue into secondary school and beyond. We want reading to be fun.
The Accelerated Reader Program works by identifying a pupils' ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) which is essentially a selection of books that will not only match their ability, but will also challenge them and develop their vocabulary. Pupils then choose books that fall within this range (the children are encouraged to choose books from a range of genres). When they have finished the book, they take a short, electronic quiz that assesses their understanding of the book. This enables teachers to have meaningful discussions with pupils about their reading and how we can help them to develop. It also enables teachers to identify more efficiently, those children who may require extra intervention and support with their reading.
Teachers continuously monitor the pupils’ progress and achievements. After three successful quizzes (pupils need to score 80% to be successful), children are moved onto the next book level. Every six weeks, each pupil takes a STAR test which provides teachers with a precise record of a child’s current reading age and new ZPD.
Pupils are also expected to read at home daily. The impact of this cannot be underestimated with pupils who read regularly making the most progress in class.
Please see the attached, Accelerated Reading Document for further detail
Our programme of study aims to develop pupils’ competence in these areas of transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (expressing ideas and structuring them in speech and writing). Additionally, pupils are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing.
Apart from being able to spell more speedily and accurately by the end of Key stage 2, children will be writing more fluently and legibly. They will also become much more confident and efficient in organising and communicating ideas and become more aware of their audience and the purpose and context of their writing. They will also have a wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.
Writing (including grammar) is assessed informally each day and more formally on a two-weekly basis through an Independent Write or an 'End-of-Unit' piece of writing. Grammar is formally assessed every six weeks.
In order to support the development of children’s spelling in school and a range of individual learning styles, children are taught a wide variety of strategies, within a rich, literate environment. Spelling is modelled consistently within the wider teaching of English – shared and guided reading; shared writing; word and sentence level work; opportunities for independent and group work. These all offer valuable opportunities for teaching spelling.
In addition to the direct teaching of spelling, we correct spellings in children’s work and give weekly lists of spellings to the children to learn. Children also have daily opportunites to practise.
The word-lists for years 3 and 4 and years 5 and 6 are statutory. The lists are a mixture of words pupils frequently use in their writing and those which they often misspell. Some of the listed words may be thought of as quite challenging, but the 100 words in each list can easily be taught within the four years of key stage 2 alongside other words that teachers consider appropriate (also within statutory requirements).
Follow the link below to the spelling appendix of the National Curriculum: