English

What can you do?

There are many things you can do to help your child in English:

  • The most important thing to do is spend time talking with your child. Try to have dinner together as often as possible and ask them about their day. Encourage your child to answer in full sentences and ask for more detail. 
  • Reading a book together is one of the most valuable ways to spend time together and help your child progress. Your children are never too old to listen to an adult read to them! 
  • Encourage your child to write about anything that interests them. Different colour pens or notebooks can motivate children. 

At the bottom of the page are some booklets which provide lots of ideas for you. If you would like more help for your child, ask any member of staff who will be able to give you specific ideas. 

 

Our Aims:

Our overarching aim for English is to promote a love of literature and to equip children with literacy skills for the next step of their education. High-quality English lessons ensure that all aspects of the National Curriculum are taught and that our children are well supported and motivated at every stage of their learning.

Our commitment to teaching English ensures that children:

  • listen and respond to conversations appropriately
  • speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • read widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary
  • have a confident understanding of grammar so they can apply it fluently and for effect
  • appreciate a rich variety of literature from British heritage and beyond
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently
  • understand how to engage the reader
  • can adapt language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences

 

English Lessons

 

Talk 4 Writing

Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the rhythm of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, children are helped to write in the same style.

Our children learn to write through the three I’s: Imitation, Innovation and Invention

 

How the three I’s work (Pie Corbett)

Imitation:

We begin with some engaging activities based around a text to help children internalise the pattern of the language required. This is often followed by talking an exemplar text, supported visually by a text map and physical movements to help the children recall the story or non-fiction piece. In this way the children hear the text, say it for themselves and enjoy it before seeing it written down. Once they have internalised the language of the text, they are in a position to read the text and start to think about the key ingredients that help to make it work. This stage could include a range of reading as-a-reader and as-a-writer activities. Children analyse the features that have helped to make the text work. In this way, the class starts to co-construct a toolkit for this type of text so that they can talk about the ingredients themselves.

Innovation:

Once the children have internalised the text, they are then ready to start innovating on the pattern of the text. This could begin with more advanced activities to warm up the key words and phrases of the type of text focused on so the children can magpie ideas. Younger children and less confident writers alter their text maps and orally rehearse what they want to say, creating their own version. The key activity in this stage is shared writing, helping the children to write their own by “doing one together” first. This could begin with using a boxed-up grid (innovating on the exemplar plan) to show how to plan the text and then turning the plan into writing. This allows the children to see how you can innovate on the exemplar text and select words and phrases that really work.

Demonstrating how to regularly read your work aloud to see if it works is important here. This process enables the children to write their own versions through developing their ability to generate good words and phrases and also, hopefully, develops the inner judge when they start to decide why one word or phrase is best. During this process a teaching assistant records words and phrases on flip-charts which are put on a washing line alongside the shared writing so when the children come to write they have models and words and phrases to support them. Throughout the shared writing, the children strengthen the toolkit so they start to understand the type of ingredients that may help.

Once they have finished their own paragraph/s children are encouraged to swap their work with a partner. Then with the aid of a visualiser, the whole class also discuss some of the more successful work.

Invention:

Our teachers carefully assess the children’s work and adapt their planning in the light of what the children can actually do. We continue to deliver daily word and sentence games. Children now start to invent their own piece of writing utilising all the tools that they have been learning. Each day, the adults in class respond to the needs of the children. At the end of the unit, the children’s work is published or displayed.

 

EYFS

In the EYFS children are immersed in a language-rich environment; children are provided with a wide range of activities to support and inspire them. At this early stage, we place a huge emphasis on mark making and run multiple interventions such as ‘Funky Fingers’ to improve fine motor control to support good pencil grip.

Speaking and Listening

Throughout the day children hear adults speaking in Standard English and also learn texts by heart through the Talk 4 Writing approach. Children are able to share narratives orally which are recorded electronically and transcribed so that teachers can identify progress and areas for development. In Reception, children work towards writing their own narratives.

Where children find speaking and listening difficult, we employ the services of a speech and language therapist who will give help and guidance through 1-1 or small group sessions, thus ensuring that all our children have the opportunity and advantage of being able to communicate clearly.

Phonics

Our school has created its own approach to phonics by utilising the best resources and planning from a range of quality schemes including Letters & Sounds, Jolly Phonics and Read Write Inc. Children receive daily phonics lessons which engage them through fun activities. We provide a variety of resources in class to support children in transferring their learning into their writing, and our marking helps to address any misconceptions.

 

Spelling

Once children are ready, they learn spelling rules at an age and stage appropriate level. We use a scheme called, ‘No Nonsense Spelling’, supported by ‘Spelling Bank’ and ‘Support for Spelling’, to ensure good coverage in each year group.

 

Writing Across the Curriculum

Children are provided with quality opportunities to apply their learning across the curriculum. In foundation subject lessons, teachers still scaffold children’s writing, often modelling responses. This enables children to access the learning and so we find that children’s work is of a very high standard.

 

Marking

We have reviewed how we respond to children’s marking and created guidance (see below) which ensures that marking is meaningful, motivating and manageable. Children spend time every day responding to marking during ‘Purple Polish’ time.

 

Reading

We want children to love reading! We offer multiple opportunities for children to read in school. We have created a literature spine which can be viewed in the files below. Throughout their education, children will listen to adults read. We model good expression and show children how to read ‘tricky’ words. This is often done as a whole class and we call this Shared Reading.

Children are also given the opportunity to read in small groups to address different skills which we call Guided Reading. This starts when a child is ready which is often in Reception or Year 1. Children look over a text (non-fiction or fiction) and explore different questions.

In addition to Guided Reading, children are listened to individually at least once a week. We have found that this time, spent on a 1:1 basis, is really important and is something that both adults and children enjoy. In Key Stage 2, children choose books which are tracked through an electronic programme called Accelerated Reader. The programme tests children's understanding each time they finish a text and then rewards them with points. It also tracks the number of words a child has read !

We have a fabulous library which was funded by FOWs (Friends of Whitley) and is open at lunchtime and for Friday 'Stay and Play' with Class 1. 

Throughout the year we celebrate reading either by welcoming parents to school to observe the children listening to a Shared Read; dressing up to celebrate writers such as Roald Dahl or World Book Day and through a weekly ‘Reader of the Week’ and ‘Accelerated Reader’ certificate and prize giving.

Files to Download

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Contact the School

Whitley Primary School

Village Lane
Whitley
WA4 4QH

Main Contact: Mrs Hannah Mansfield (Executive Headteacher)

Tel: 01606 288255
head@acornswhitleyfed.cheshire.sch.uk

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