At Noak Bridge Primary School we follow the National Curriculum for English, in discreet, daily lessons.
Purpose of study
English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach 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. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to 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; pupils who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that 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
Our English curriculum is implemented by:
- High quality teaching - staff have high expectations of all children.
- Lesson sequencing - ensures that staff are teaching in the same format across the school to aid continuity.
- The revisiting of key skills to aid consolidation and mastery.
- The use of key vocabulary to aid recall of key learning.
- The use of class books.
- Cross-curricular topics.
- Imparting knowledge accurately and with enthusiasm which generates high levels of commitment from children.
- Providing constructive feedback to children.
- Display and celebrate the pupils’ English work in their class and around the school.
- Organise experts and outside visitors lead workshops to inspire and motivate the children.
- Take part in English-related theme days such as World Book Day and Poetry Day.
- Take part in competitions across different schools in our community.
The Teaching of Reading & Phonics
“All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.”
Our School Approach
Everyone at Noak Bridge recognises reading as one of the most important skills that children can develop. Reading allows children to learn knowledge for themselves, and in the 21st Century an interest and ability in reading is sometimes all that is needed for us to unlock a wealth of information. It is an essential part of our everyday lives, but it is also a thoroughly enjoyable activity.
At Noak Bridge, reading is celebrated throughout the school and pupils are encouraged to read on a regular basis. Children are taught reading skills from the Early Years Foundation Stage. Our aim is that the children will quickly become skilled and confident readers and show enjoyment in developing independent and successful reading skills.
The school follows the sound coverage guideline produced by ‘Phonics Bug Club’. This ensures coverage of the sounds in a manner that is supported by the reading materials the children take home. The sounds taught will therefore correspond with those that they will encounter in their reading books.
We teach word reading through using a systematic synthetic phonics approach. The scheme we base our phonics teaching on is Read, Write Inc which has been adapted to accommodate additional sounds exposure. This initially teaches individual letter sounds (phonemes) and then builds up to blending these sounds together to read the whole word, for example, c-a-t ‘cat’. The children are taught to sound out each letter sound and blend the phonemes together to form the word. The sounds are taught in a specific order to enable children to be able to read words quickly and effectively. As pupils progress, they begin to learn phonemes that are made up of two letters, e.g. sh. Eventually, the pupils are then taught to recognise alternative spellings for sounds, e.g. recognising the vowel sound /a/ as ay, ai, or a-e in words.
Alongside the skills to decode words, children are taught tricky words (words that don’t lend themselves to decoding rules) e.g. the. Comprehension and vocabulary skills are taught throughout topics, shared stories and reading sessions.
The school reading scheme has been organised to reflect the sounds taught through the Phonics Bug Club scheme. It incorporates a variety of books from various published reading schemes. The books are banded into colours which reflect the progression of sounds and words taught. Initially, the children will take home phonics reading books and will be able to select a challenge book from the appropriately coloured band to share with parents/carers. It is expected that the children will progress through these colour bands as their exposure to different sounds increases. Upon completing the book band colour scheme, the children will progress onto the banding system that the school have implemented to cater for their KS2 pupils.