English at Town Field
At Town Field, we understand that literacy has the power to enrich lives. Therefore, we strive to ensure that every child develops the confidence and competence to embrace literature in its many forms. Our aim is to ensure that learning is inspirational and allows our children to fulfil their potential while giving them the skills to understand and use language in all its aspects.
Developing English is at the heart of what we do at Town Field and that is why English is a key priority in our School Improvement Plan this year. We have a team of English leads who ensure there is full coverage, teaching and tracking of all aspects of English.
Current educational research and development underpins our practice and draws on research by the Education Endowment Foundation, building on good practice taken from ‘Effective Characteristics of Literacy’ research findings. Working alongside EEF and other practitioners, we are also part of research projects for developing oracy and the writing process across all key stages.
The national curriculum for Literacy aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
Our Approach to Reading:
The National Curriculum for English states that, ‘Reading widely and often opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious minds.’ Here at Town Field, we pride ourselves on children become active, critical readers and promote reading for enjoyment across all key stages.
Whist developing reading for pleasure through a text-lead approach to teaching, children are also developing skills in stamina, fluency and comprehension needed to become an effective reader in a range of subject areas.
A wide ‘diet’ of reading is provided for our children at Town Field including whole class guided reading, shared reading, individual reading and group reading. We consider storytelling and the sharing of stories to be the keystone to develop the enjoyment of reading as well as modelling fluent reading and comprehension skills therefore plan in a shared reading experience each day from nursery right up to year 6.
Each year group takes part in an ‘Author Study’ each term where children are introduced to novels and story books written different age-appropriate authors. This is to support children in making a wider choice when it comes to books they might be interested in as well as reflecting on different author styles of writing and genres of books.
Author Study Overview
There is also a set of ‘Core Books’ that each year group supports the children in accessing through class readers, home readers or guided work.
At Town Field, children reflect in their reading habits, accomplishments and next step by completing their ‘Reader on a Page’. Reader on a Page, supports children in having a discussion about their preferred authors, home reading challenges and which books they might like to read in the future. It is also a place where children’s reading accomplishments can be celebrated.
It is essential for children to practice reading regularly to become fluent readers and comprehenders, therefore, reading at home to support the development of these skills is vital. Each week reading with, alongside or to your child three or more times a week will support their development as they move through school and enable them to become confident and wide readers. Each class supports and promotes reading at home through challenges such as ‘Read Around The World’, where children can earn stickers, certificates and prizes when they read at home.
Our Approach to Phonics
At Town Field Primary School our main focus is to teach the children the phonic skills required to be able to blend words fluently. Throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 we use the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme to deliver high quality activities to help children learn to recognise letters and say the sounds that they make.
Children start to learn phonics in Foundation Stage, engaging in daily 20-minute sessions where they begin to learn the range of graphemes (letters or groups of letters) that symbolise the 44 phonemes (sounds) in the English language. Children in our Foundation Stage use actions and Jolly Jingles to help remember the sounds and these are carried up with them in to Key Stage 1. Pupils learn how to use these phonemes to blend together the sounds to read a word and how to segment a word into the phonemes in order to spell it.
These initial skills are further developed in Year 1 through daily phonics sessions. In Year 1 pupils begin to learn there are a range of different spellings for a phoneme and that a grapheme can be pronounced in different ways (e.g. the ‘ow’ in cow is different to the ‘ow’ in crow). By the end of Year 2, pupils’ daily phonics sessions begin to focus on grammar and spelling rules, as their blending and segmenting skills reach a more fluent level. They begin to investigate spelling rules and use their reading skills to proof read their own work.
Parents are encouraged to support their children in learning their new phonemes and graphemes and the learning of new sight vocabulary through spellings and home reading books linked to our reading scheme.
For further information on how to pronounce each letter and to see how some of the sounds are written in different ways, please visit the following link. Pronouncing Sounds Link
Please note that some letters may be pronounced differently in school due to our local accent.
Text-led Approach to Writing
The school have adopted a text-lead approach to the teaching of English which immerses pupils in quality, age-appropriate texts, hooking pupils in increasing engagement and enjoyment and ensuring that children have quality outcomes from their learning. By using this approach, all aspects of the English curriculum are taught through the text and pupils use and apply skills and understanding in spelling and grammar, reading and writing to make accelerated progress.
Texts are selected by pupils and teachers ensuring they are age-appropriate, have opportunities for writing and to develop vocabulary. These also form the basis for our cross-curricular medium term plans. The English leaders monitor coverage of genres in reading and writing and ensure pupils receive a broad and balanced curriculum through this approach. We make sure writing is purposeful so that pupils understand the context and the audience that their writing is for.
We hope that through Quality First Teaching and Learning (using a range of different strategies) that our pupils will aspire to authors of the future.
Spelling and Grammar
Mastering the skills of spelling and grammar are the pillow stones of effective writing and essential for children to use and develop right from the early stages of writing.
At Town Field, we use the ‘No Nonsense’ Spelling scheme to support teaching and learning. Through this, children are introduced to spelling patterns appropriate for their age and stage and then supported in applying this in their writing.
Each year group introduces and builds on grammatical concepts through use of quality texts, focusing on the use of grammatical features within the text and how they enable it to become a successful piece of writing. Children are then supported in applying this within their own writing.