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English

We aim to develop all aspects of English to enable every child to develop their skills and knowledge to communicate and explore, understand and be understood in the world around them. Competence in English is a life skill which we develop not only in English lessons but also throughout the whole curriculum. The areas of speaking and listening, reading, spelling, grammar and punctuation and writing (transcription, handwriting and composition) are developed in a variety of forms and experiences. The National Curriculum sets out the profile components. Those children for whom English is an additional language will have relevant support where appropriate.

Spoken Language

At Mill Lane we aim to develop your child’s ability to speak to a variety of audiences and for different purposes as a key process of communication. We want each child to be valued, grow in confidence and learn skills appropriate to their age, ability and context. Alongside speaking, children are taught how to listen – for information, for developing relationships, to form ideas, for following instructions. From a very early age your child will be encouraged to speak clearly, share information and ask questions.

Phonics

Mill Lane have taken the very important decision to adopt the Read, Write Inc Phonics programme written by Ruth Miskin.  This is a synthetic phonic scheme which offers a vibrant and fun way to teach the 44 common sounds in the English Language.  If you want to find out more about this how we teach phonics, see our Read Write Inc link

Reading (word reading & comprehension) 

We want children to find pleasure in reading and therefore we prioritise the teaching of reading throughout school. All children from Reception – Y6 take part in a daily reading task in the form of Reciprocal Reading or Guided Reading Activity.

Children take home a reading book from our newly purchased reading scheme, and we ask parents to record in a reading record any constructive comments they would like to make.  In order to develop a love of reading as early as possible, we have chosen books from a scheme by Oxford University Press, which contain stories the children will know, written at a level the children can understand.  We recognise and value our shared role with you in encouraging your child in reading, not only in the strategies for learning to read but also to develop understanding, give opinions and extract information.

Classrooms at Mill Lane contain a variety of books for reading or sharing and class readers are enjoyed by teachers and pupils alike. We want children to develop a love of books, an enjoyment of reading for pleasure and a mastery of this essential life skill.

Vocabulary Development, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation

From the earliest stages in a child’s learning we encourage them to be interested by words and language. We help them to develop their vocabulary and to understand how words are made from a series of sounds blended together (phonics). This enables children to begin early reading and to spell simple words. As they move through school, children learn about word classes and derivations, sentence structure, grammar and spelling conventions. We teach them technical vocabulary associated with the different subjects in the curriculum and its use is encouraged and expected.

Writing (transcription, handwriting and composition)

Children are encouraged to write as soon as they start nursery in the form of mark making, becoming aware that writing carries meaning. Children are encouraged to plan and draft their work on some occasions and also to use the word processor and other information technology equipment we have available. Children will complete a piece of sustained writing at least fortnightly through their Big Write lessons.

At Mill Lane we have adopted a cursive style of handwriting which concentrates on correct letter formation and joining up of clusters of letters. A copy is available from your child’s teacher. In order to match the new Read Write Inc Scheme, our current EYFS will start to use the Nelson Handwriting script, this will be encouraged as the children progress through out school.  We value, encourage and expect well-presented work for on a daily basis.

At Mill Lane we use the Read Write Inc Spelling Scheme for children who have completed the phonics programme.  This is used in Year 2 and throughout KS2 with the exception of Year 6 who do additional spelling to help supports SATs preparation.  Each year group has a list of spelling patterns and conventions from the National Curriculum appendices for each year group. As you would expect these become more difficult as children move through school.

 

For more information, please go to long term plans.

English Intent Statement 

At Mill Lane Primary School, English and the teaching of English is the foundation of our curriculum. Our main aim is to ensure every single child becomes primary literate and progresses in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening.

We recognise that each child has their own starting point upon entry to every year group and progress is measured in line with these starting points to ensure every child can celebrate success.  The majority of our pupils have EAL, however we still ensure that English is a cornerstone of our entire curriculum.  It is embedded within all our lessons and we strive for a high level of English for all. We believe in the creation of language rich environments, which celebrate and reinforce vocabulary across the curriculum, across every age range.

Through using high-quality texts, immersing children in vocabulary rich learning environments and ensuring curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met, the children at Mill Lane will be exposed to a language heavy, creative and continuous English curriculum which will not only enable them to become primary literate but will also develop a love of reading, creative writing and purposeful speaking and listening.

We believe that a thorough grasp of literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.  At Mill Lane, our vision is for creativity to be at the helm of our English curriculum and for children to learn new skills in a fun and engaging way.

Implementation

Reading

The importance of the effective teaching of reading is vital in our English Curriculum.  All children from Year 2 – Year 6 partake in a whole class reciprocal reading session 4 days per week.  Children in EYFS and Year 1 have a dedicated phonics session.  All reading/phonics sessions are in addition to separate English lessons, which also take place daily.  Vulnerable groups are identified through ongoing teacher assessments and if needed, additional PiXL or Phonics interventions are put in place to ensure that pupils have chance to catch up.  This is of particular importance to new arrivals to school who may have little or no English and might not have attended formal schooling before.  We use a range of interventions to help support vulnerable pupils including Sound Training, Toe-by-Toe and Phonics 1:1 support to ensure progression and specific year group skills are secured.

CPD has been put in place and staff can ask for additional support through observing subject ‘champions’ etc.  All staff are proficient and skilled in delivering these sessions effectively.  With a structured timetable of learning tasks during reading sessions rotated throughout the week, children are not only learning comprehension skills but also clarification, independence, a love of wider reading and exposure to rich vocabulary.  This is absolute in all sessions for all learners.

Developing a love of reading is a primary aim for our school:

  • Reading areas have been developed in every classroom. These contain new books linked to topics, and books which children have requested.
  • A dedicated library area is visited weekly by each class and children are able to borrow additional books to take home.
  • The £1 Book shop runs each half term to allow children to choose a book to purchase.
  • A central display shows which books teachers are currently reading and enjoying.
  • Story time takes place in every class daily – without exception.
  • Links have been made with a local bookshop to ensure new releases, author visits etc can go ahead.
  • World Book Day is celebrated each year with children given the opportunity to come ‘off timetable’ and enjoy books.

Writing

As we believe consistency and well-taught English is the bedrock of a valuable education, at Mill Lane we ensure that the teaching of writing is purposeful, robust and shows clear progression for all children.  In line with the national curriculum, we ensure that each year group is teaching the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for that age group.  As well as teaching the objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in cross-curricular writing opportunities and ensure that most children are achieving the objectives at the expected level and that some children can achieve at a greater depth standard. In this sense, assessment of writing is also more fluid as teachers can assess against a set framework.  All year groups use the same format for assessing writing; the PIXL yearly statements.  Teachers also complete SPAG style assessments and a writing task from Year 1 – 6 termly.

Writing is taught through the use of a quality text or visual literacy, which exposes the children to inference, high-level vocabulary, a range of punctuation and characterisation.  Each text is purposefully selected in order to promote a love of reading, engagement and high quality writing from each child.

Impact

The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills.  With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.

As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives.  We hope that as children move on from us to further their education and learning that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.

Spelling Intent Statement 

Intent

At Mill Lane Primary School, English and the teaching of English is the foundation of our curriculum. Our main aim is to ensure every single child becomes primary literate and progresses in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening.

With regards to Spelling, teachers will show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language. They will also teach pupils how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than one meaning. Pupils will be taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English.

Implementation

The importance of the effective teaching of spelling is vital in our English Curriculum.

Most people read words more accurately than they spell them. The younger pupils are, the truer this is. All children from Year 1 – Year 6 partake in a discrete whole class spelling session at the beginning of the week. Children are taught rules from English Appendix 1 of the National Curriculum. Every child is then given a set of spellings, taken from the statutory word lists for their relevant year group, to take home and learn in preparation for a spelling test at the end of the week. Children’s progress is monitored closely by class teachers and reported half termly to our schools spelling lead.

Children in EYFS are being taught spelling through our phonics scheme.

Impact

As the implementation of spelling across both key stages is becoming firmly embedded our children are becoming more confident in their own abilities and are striving to become accomplished writers.