Teaching English at Over Hall Community School
Speaking & Listening, Phonics, Reading & Writing
Through the teaching of English, we intend for pupils to encounter a curriculum that is ambitious for all, is coherently planned and sequenced, is successfully adapted, designed and developed for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and is broad and balanced for all pupils. Our curriculum will ensure that pupils can read and respond to texts in an instructional and emotional way, communicate coherently, effectively and accurately when speaking and/or writing and equip them with the skills they need to achieve well and lead happy, successful lives beyond the school gates.
Phonics and Reading
All children from Reception to Year Two have a daily phonics lesson in school. We follow the Oxford Reading Tree scheme called Sounds and Letters through which children are taught about letters and the sounds that they make using a variety of approaches. These sounds are taught in a specific order to equip children with the knowledge and skills they need to decode words and read them accurately. The content of the phonic scheme is split into stages of which there are six across Key Stage One.
Generally, levels one to four (inclusive) are taught throughout Nursery/Reception and level five throughout Year One. Pupils in Year Two will consolidate level five (where appropriate) alongside their Year Two reading and spelling objectives. The scheme requires children to be supported in their learning at home through the use of reading books, sound tiles and activity sheets.
Children will be assessed regularly during the implementation of the scheme and, if required, intervention will be timely and focused on a particular "gap" in learning. Daily phonics lessons are taught as a whole class with additional, targeted support for those pupils requiring it.
In the Summer of Year One, children will take a statutory phonic screen to assess how they are progressing with their knowledge of sounds and letters.
We will hear children read individually at least once a week to support their letter-sound and word recognition alongside developing other skills for reading such as the context, the sense of the sentence, fluency, expression etc. as children's reading skills develop.
We use a variety of reading schemes for children to access and we provide a mixture of fiction, non fiction and poetry titles. Most of the books used, especially for our early readers, are published by the Oxford Reading Tree. These books are colour banded so that children are reading a text with 90% accuracy and a matched level of understanding. Children are assessed, as deemed appropriate, to ensure that they are reading the correct level of reading book.
We have a home-school agreement and expectation that children will be supported with their reading at home. It is expected the children will read daily and, in KS2, complete a reading response activity once a week.
Sometimes in school, children may read in a guided group where they and their peers access a text appropriate to the level at which they can read. These sessions enable children to apply the letter-sound knowledge they are acquiring to decode words, recognise exception words on sight and read accurately.
In Key Stage One and Two, we deliver regular, whole class, shared reading lessons where we focus on the comprehension aspect of reading. Our sessions facilitate pupils' understanding of vocabulary and their skills of inference, prediction, retell and summary. The lessons may also be used to model how to read aloud clearly, with intonation, expression and awareness of an audience.
As a school, we use the scheme Read to Write to teach writing. https://literacycounts.co.uk/resources/read-to-write/
This scheme ensures that teaching and learning begins from a high quality, language rich text and teaches the writing skills that children need to acquire in a coherently planned and sequenced way. The progression of writing skills we teach year on year is documented in the attachment below.
The impact of our English curriculum will be that pupils can communicate effectively through speaking, listening and writing in an accurate, clear, coherent and engaging way.
Pupils will secure knowledge of a variety of genres in reading and writing, use a wide, ambitious vocabulary and apply their English skills to access the wider curriculum.
Pupils will achieve, at least, expected standards for their age and take their enjoyment of and achievement in English beyond the school gates and into their future lives.