Our English lessons develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary. English is taught in a cross-curricular way, linking up with other areas of the curriculum. We teach our pupils to speak clearly, to convey their ideas fluently and confidently and to ask questions. Their vocabulary is developed systematically.
Within reception and key stage 1, children have daily phonics teaching to develop their word reading/decoding skills. At Wixams Tree, we have developed our own systematic synthetic phonics provision, based on the progression in the DfES Letters and Sounds programme.
To practise the application of decoding skills and develop comprehension skills, classes have regular timetabled reading workshop sessions. Reading workshop sessions may be planned as a carousel of reading activities, incorporating a guided group, or as whole class guided reading. The chosen approach is dependent upon the age and stage of the children, the focus skill or the genre being studied. There are further opportunities to develop reading skills within English lessons and the wider curriculum, as well as story and library time and independent reading opportunities. We aim to ensure that our children enjoy reading and read widely whilst at school in order to instil a love of reading that will last a lifetime.
Our approach to speaking and listening is cross-curricular and holistic. There are also discrete opportunities for the development of spoken language through show and tell, formal and informal presentations, discussion, debate and drama
Much of the writing at Wixams Tree Primary School is cross-curricular in nature, giving children a real purpose and context in which to write, also covering a variety of genres. Writing can be produced individually, as a pair or in groups with a variety of inspirations to reflect the wide variety of reasons to write in everyday life. Children enjoy many opportunities to share their work with each other and, at times, other year groups.
Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar
Spelling, punctuation and grammar are taught discretely to enable children to use language more creatively and with greater understanding and confidence. Spellings are tested on a weekly basis.
At Wixams Tree Primary School, we strive to ensure that children are able to access information and the curriculum whilst finding pleasure in reading. All classes, from Reception are read with on a regular basis and we find that sharing a book together is a precious experience. Phonics form the daily basis of reading development in EYFS and phonically decodable reading books, as well as simple fiction or non-fiction books, are used to develop children’s reading skills.
At Wixams Tree Primary School we use a variety of resources to support reading, children are listened to on a daily basis through a guided reading group with a teacher or teaching assistant. Children who struggle with reading are listened to with 1-2-1 adult support. Phonics is taught on a regular basis. In Years 1 and 2 there remains a focus on individual readers to begin with and children continue to work through the stages of, Collins Big Cat and Oxford Reading Tree until they are fluent enough and, most importantly, have sufficient understanding of text to move on to chapter books. As well as individually, children read in guided reading sessions.
In Key Stage 2, as children become more fluent readers, there is a more independent emphasis on reading. Weekly guided reading and discrete comprehension sessions help children develop strategies to explore texts and respond to a variety of questions.
Parents are encouraged to become involved in the development of their child’s reading by sharing books with and reading to their child/ren. Your child will bring home a variety of books to read and share with other family members. This valuable link between home and school can help enormously and be rewarding for the parent or carer as well as for the child.