At Washingwell we provide a high quality English education which teaches pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Reading also enables pupils to both acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society.
Our school bases its core work in English upon the National Curriculum. Our overarching aim in teaching of literacy is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop a love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
We aim to ensure 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.
We teach English through the main elements of:
- spoken word
- reading – word reading & comprehension
- writing – transcription (spelling & handwriting) & composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)
- spelling, vocabulary, punctuation and glossary
English underpins all we do at Washingwell. The basic skills needed to secure excellent reading, writing, speaking and listening are taught in all areas of our curriculum and also as specific, discrete subjects.
We teach the following:
Synthetic Phonics – this aspect of teaching begins in Early Years and continues throughout Key Stage 1. Phonic teaching takes place every morning 9.10am -9.30am, with children split according to the phase they are working within. We follow Letters & Sounds to ensure all children achieve phase 1-6, then go onto using the National Curriculum for Spelling.
Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar – this aspect is taught as a stand-alone 20 minute lesson in Key Stage 2, and as part of literacy lessons in Key Stage 1. We have used the National Curriculum to develop our own teaching scheme ‘Good to Great Grammar Structure’ which runs from Reception through to Year 6.
Handwriting – is taught as a discrete subject throughout school. In Early Years, children use rainbow letters to develop consistent and accurate letter formation. From Year 1 – Year 6 children are taught cursive handwriting following the Berol Handwriting Scheme. In Key Stage 1 children write in pencil, then move onto writing in pen in Key Stage 2. From Year 2 onwards, once children have developed their own handwriting style, they are encouraged to use joined handwriting in all subject areas.
Writing – From the first day of school, children are taught to write in all areas of the curriculum, for a range of audiences and purposes. We use ‘Talk for Writing’ as a tool to encourage good oral rehearsal of sentences and idea generation, prior to writing. Children are expected to write extended pieces of writing weekly through literacy or topic activities, showing application of spelling, punctuation, grammar, composition and effect.
We teach a range of genre throughout the school year.
Our English curriculum is further enhanced through visits, visitors and themed events. We seek out every opportunity to enrich our curriculum to meet the diverse needs of all our children.