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English at Carlton Colville Primary School

At Carlton Colville our children undertake a learning journey, beginning in the Early Years Foundation Stage and building on those early experiences. Language and communication underpin everything we do.

The Teaching of Reading

In the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, we teach reading through a rigorous phonics programme - ‘Letters and Sounds’. In Key Stage 2, we teach spelling and word level through the ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ and ‘Big Spelling’ schemes.  All these schemes are compatible with the requirements of the National Curriculum.

We use a range of reading books for our children: some are from published schemes and some are ‘real’ books. All of these have been book banded in order that the children can progress in their reading at an appropriate level. The teaching of reading happens in a combination of shared reading (usually whole-class) and guided reading (in small groups). Guided reading is linked to ability in the earlier years but become mixed ability when the children are ready for this.

Some children require more rigour, support and structure when learning to read.  These children may have a daily one to one reading session with a teaching assistant or learning support assistant alongside their regular guided sessions. They will follow a structured reading scheme – ‘Project X Alien Adventures’ in key stage 1 and ‘Rapid Reading’ in key stage 2. They may also be put onto an intervention scheme for a period of time at the English Learning Hub, which supports the development of reading and spelling. All our staff have been trained in Reciprocal Reading, which encourages independence in reading and the development of comprehension.

Reading for Pleasure
We understand the vital connection between learning to read for pleasure and academic success/mental well-being. Children who read, really do succeed! Because of this, throughout a child’s time at Carlton Colville Primary School, a team of adults and older children serve as role models to nurture every pupil’s reading career, to ensure they are reading for pleasure.
This ethos of reading for pleasure permeates the entire school curriculum at Carlton Colville Primary School. In particular, we intend to enhance the quality of childhood experience and expand the horizons of every child, including disadvantaged pupils. We intend to provide all children with a wealth of rich texts and, in particular, texts that they may not have otherwise encountered during childhood.

Reading to Prepare Pupils for Secondary Education and Beyond

Our intention is that by the end of Key Stage 2 pupils at Carlton Colville Primary School will be able: to read fluently and with expression, varying the tone of the voice to suit purpose and audience; to infer and deduce, so that they understand when writers are using metaphor, shades of meaning, figurative language, or are simply leaving some things unsaid; to understand texts from diverse genres and authors and to read for information in order to access the secondary curriculum.

We want our past pupils to begin high school with a lifelong love of books and reading established, having the confidence to visit the library at their secondary schools and select a suitable book; to enter secondary education with a deep-seated curiosity in books and a desire to explore and seek out new text types, authors and genres.

Ultimately, we aim for our past pupils to enter adulthood with an intrinsic love and value of reading, ready to share books with the next generation when they become parents.

The Teaching of Writing

Writing that reflects reading

At Carlton Colville, we believe that great writers emerge from great readers, so much of our wider curriculum is built around quality fiction and non-fiction.

We intend to give pupils the opportunity to:

  1. Emulate quality authors in their writing;
  2. Use the writing of quality authors as an inspiration or stimulus for their own work;
  3. Reflect on what they have read in their writing (writing about what they have read).

Pupils as Authors

We intend to enable all pupils to grow and develop their own authorship throughout their time at our school. We understand the vital importance of writing (and spoken communication) in providing children with a voice, so that they can share their ideas with the world. We know that it is especially crucial that disadvantaged and SEN pupils develop this “voice” and we intend for them to do so.

We intend that all pupils leave our school well-equipped for secondary education, with the ability to write effectively in a range of fiction genres and non-fiction text types. We understand the duality of writing: it is an invaluable life skill, yet it is also a means of self-expression (by committing words to a blank page we leave our mark on the world).

Pupils Challenged by Enjoyable Writing Opportunities

We also believe that writing should be taught using a range of pedagogical approaches that are challenging yet enjoyable for our pupils, so that our children want to write, recognising that a person can write for their own entertainment, which will then entertain the reader in turn. For this reason, our writing opportunities are often integrated into thematic work so that tasks are pertinent, contextual and for real purposes. Writing skills may be taught in isolation (eg. grammar, spelling and handwriting) but longer writing tasks are usually linked to our creative thematic curriculum. Storytelling is another engaging and inclusive pedagogical approach to writing that is sometimes employed - using the power of stories and storytelling/oracy to raise standards in reading and writing.

At Carlton, our intention is to provide children with a wide range of writing opportunities in both fiction and non-fiction, writing in every subject across the curriculum. However, our intention is also to grant classroom practitioners the professional freedom to present the pupils in their class with unforeseen writing opportunities as and when these arise. For example, (in addition to planned writing opportunities) current affairs (including local, national and global events), trips, visits, special events, topical assemblies and other experiences may provide purposeful and fresh writing opportunities.

Our approach to writing also fits in well with the ethos that underpins our school curriculum and curriculum drivers:

  • ‘What we learn with pleasure we never forget’ [our school motto]
  • Active learning
  • Reading and writing linked to curricular themes
  • Grammar taught contextually as part of writing
  • Reading for pleasure; love of stories
  • Building confidence and fluency in spoken language
  • Development of key learning skills [curiosity, communication, teamwork, determination, confidence, independence, focus, aspiration] in order ‘To Be the Best We Can Be’.
  • Authorship
  • Developing depth of learning
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