English

 

How children learn English at Nailsworth

 

At Nailsworth C of E Primary School the teaching and learning of vocabulary, speaking and listening, reading and writing are inextricably intertwined. A deep, broad knowledge of vocabulary and the ability to communicate through speech, reading or writing is fundamental to our children’s ability to learn effectively. It is a central component in facilitating understanding and communication with others and in the wider world.

Vocabulary acquisition, and the reading that underpins it, is essential and therefore we ensure that we explicitly teach our children vocabulary through many means from their earliest days in Reception class, right up to their departure at the end of Year 6.

Our Oral language approach includes:

  • targeted reading aloud and book discussions;
  • explicitly extending pupils’ spoken vocabulary;
  • the use of structured questioning to develop reading comprehension;
  • the use of purposeful, curriculum-focused, dialogue and interaction.

Our rich and engaging curriculum ensures that all our children are immersed in a curriculum that prioritises high-level language, vocabulary and literacy. All pupils are supported to become confident speakers, listeners, readers and writers.

The intent of our English Curriculum is to ensure that our children:

  • are taught in a pacey, continuous and cumulative fashion that prioritises vocabulary through speaking, reading and writing;
  • rapidly build and apply phonetic skills to become confident readers and writers at an early stage;
  • develop a lifelong love of reading and engaging with a wide a variety of text types;
  • secure a concrete understanding of grammar and sophisticated vocabulary;
  • write clearly and coherently, confidently adapting language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences;
  • appraise and reflect upon their own work, that of their peers and the work of other writers.

Under each header below, there is a dropdown menu that will provide further detail on how the English Curriculum is implemented for each year group in each of the key areas for English:

READING

Reading Progression

cartoon cat in the hat's hat with rhyme: The more you Read, the more you know, the more you learn, the more places you go! - Dr Seuss

Intent

At Nailsworth C of E Primary School, we know that the reading and writing of English, alongside proficient language development, is the key to unlocking the rest of the academic curriculum. We promote reading practice across the whole school from Reception to Year 6 and across all subject areas.

In the early stages of reading, the children develop phonic knowledge (see the ‘Phonics’ page for detailed information on how we teach phonics at our school). We also developing the children’s comprehension of texts through whole class teaching through planned and deliberate practice as part of our reading sessions.

We ensure that our children become fluent and engaged readers at the very earliest stages of their school life and we also strongly encourage reading outside school.

We develop pleasure in reading by sharing with children a wide-range of texts from stories, plays and poems to non-fiction. All our children have access to the works of great authors and poets such as Julia Donaldson, Roald Dahl, Clive King, Benjamin Zephania, C.S Lewis, A.A Milne, Beverley Naidoo, Angharad Walker, Michael Morpurgo and Anthony Horowitz to name but a few!

Reading for pleasure is encouraged throughout the school to nurture a life-long love of literature.  Each class has its own mini-library and within school children have a book swap area to exchange books and to sample new reading books. Children enjoy earning reading awards, reading badges and even being selected for “high tea”!

Children at school benefit from trips to the local library, visits from local authors and celebrations of reading such as World Book day. They enjoy keeping up-to-date with publications such as “First News”, the children’s newspaper. Our children tell us that one of their favourite parts of the school day is sharing their class book.

Implementation

Impact

By the end of Year 6 children can:

  • maintain positive attitudes to reading and an understanding of what they read by:
  • read and discuss an increasingly wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books or textbooks
  • identify and discuss themes and conventions in and across a wide range of writing
  • making comparisons within and across books
  • prepare poems and plays to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone and volume so that the meaning is clear to an audience
  • understand what they read at a deep level
  • draw inferences about characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence
  • predict what might happen from details stated and implied
  • summarising the main ideas
  • identify how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning
  • discuss and evaluate how authors use language, including figurative language
  • retrieve, record and present information from non-fiction
  • explain and discuss their understanding of what they have read, including through formal presentations and debates

Information to support reading at home

Taking time to read with your child at home each day and to hear them read to you is both important for them and a lovely way to spend time with your child. Try to make sure you’re in a quiet comfortable place before you start and not rushed.

If you can ask questions, after your child has read a section, this will help to ensure that children fully understand the text before changing their reading book. You can see the types of questions we use in our guided reading sessions in school here:

Vocal expression in reading aloud is equally important so please help your child to recognise punctuation: full stops, exclamation marks, question marks, speech marks and encourage creative use of character voices. Using the contents page and the index in non-fiction books to find information, are also important in helping comprehension.

The school-wide Rewarding Reading scheme

To take part, children need to have their reading record signed 4 times a week by an adult.

Rewarding reading poster for White 'Free Reader' outlining rules, rewards and qualifying actions Rewarding reading poster for Red 'Gold Level' outlining rules, rewards and qualifying actions

WRITING

Writing Progression

Intent

At Nailsworth C of E Primary School, we deliver an inspiring, pacey and focused English curriculum. We support our children to read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively in writing. We celebrate and develop the use of rich vocabulary. Children are supported to plan, draft, revise and edit their own writing and develop their powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness.  We follow the National Curriculum in our English writing work.

Implementation

Focus EYFSwriting example Reception: write sentences for my 'One Snowy Night' story

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed;
  • Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with letter or letters;
  • Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.

 

Focus Year 1year 1 writing example: How to make a bird feeder

Children working towards the expected level will:

  • Use spacing between words
  • Segment spoken words into phonemes
  • Form some lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place
  • Use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds.
  • Write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others.
  • Write some irregular common words

Children working at the expected level will:

  • Demarcate some sentences with capital letters
  • Demarcate some sentences with full stops
  • Use co-ordination and/ but/ or to join clauses
  • Use some present and past tense correctly
  • Form most lower case letters of the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place
  • Segment spoken words into phonemes and represent these by graphemes, spelling some words correctly and making

Children Working at Greater Depth will:

  • phonically plausible attempts at others
  • Spell many irregular common words
  • Demarcate most sentences with capital letters
  • Demarcate most sentences with full stops
  • Use question marks correctly when required
  • Use because in some sentences to join clauses
  • Form capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lower case letters
  • Use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters.

Focus Year 2example of year 2 writing: The Three Little Pigs

Children working towards the expected level will:

  • Write sentences that are sequenced to form a short narrative (real or fictional
  • Demarcate some sentences with capital letters and full stops
  • Segment spoken words into phonemes and represent these by graphemes, spelling some words correctly and making phonically-plausible attempts at others
  • Spell some common exception words
  • Form lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place
  • Form lower-case letters of the correct size relative to one another in some of their writing
  • Use spacing between words

Children working at the expected level will:

  • Write simple, coherent narratives about personal experiences and those of others (real or fictional)
  • Write about real events, recording these simply and clearly
  • Demarcate most sentences in their writing with capital letters and full stops, and use question marks correctly when required
  • Use present and past tense mostly correctly and consistently
  • Use co-ordination (e.g. or / and / but) and some subordination (e.g. when / if / that / because) to join clauses
  • Segment spoken words into phonemes and represent these by graphemes, spelling many of these words correctly and making phonically plausible attempts at others
  • Spell many common exception words
  • Form capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lower-case letters
  • Use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters

Children Working at Greater Depth will:

  • Write effectively and coherently for different purposes, drawing on their reading to inform the vocabulary and grammar of their writing
  • Make simple additions, revisions and proof-reading corrections to their own writing
  • Use the punctuation taught at key stage 1 mostly correctly
  • Spell most common exception words
  • Add suffixes to spell most words correctly in their writing (e.g. –ment, –ness, –ful, -less, –ly)
  • Use the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join some letters

Focus Year 3example of year 3 writing: The Spooky Trip

Children working towards the expected level will:

  • Use the noun phrases to describe and specify people, places and things.
  • Use co-ordinating conjunctions to form compound sentences e.g. or, but, yet, so
  • Use subordinating conjunctions to add extra information e.g. when, if, that, because
  • Write sentences with different forms: statement, question, exclamation using correct punctuation.
  • Use the progressive (continuous) form in the present and past tense.
  • Use accurate verb/tense agreement
  • Use some features of standard written English
  • Consistently use full stops and capital letters to show a sentence
  • Use commas in lists.

Children working at the expected level will:

  • Use noun phrases appropriately.
  • Create interest through the use of appropriate word choices and descriptive phrases.
  • Use a range of adverbs e.g. before, next, soon, later, firstly and prepositions
  • Use a mixture of simple and compound sentences and complex sentences.
  • Use the present perfect form of verbs e.g. He has gone out to play.
  • Use commas in lists
  • Show direct speech with inverted commas
  • Use apostrophes for contractions consistently e.g. won’t, shouldn’t
  • Spell some Y3/4 words independently.
  • Write legibly.

Children Working at Greater Depth will:

  • Use paragraphs.
  • Use capital letters, full stops, question marks, commas for lists and apostrophes mostly correctly.
  • In non-narrative writing, use simple devices to structure writing (headings, subheadings, bullet points).
  • Use noun phrases expanded by modifying adjectives e.g. “Tom was fairly scared as he entered the forest”
  • Use a wider range of connectives to extend the range of complex sentences e.g. although, while, however
  • Control tense, including the perfect.
  • Use inverted commas (speech marks) and other punctuation accurately to indicate direct speech
  • Write legibly

Focus Year 4writing example, year 4: The Sunny News Daily - Children riding wheel-chairs! 70mph!

Children working towards the expected level will:

  • Use noun phrases appropriately.
  • Create interest through the use of appropriate word choices and descriptive phrases.
  • Use a range of adverbs e.g. before, next, soon, later, firstly and prepositions
  • Use a mixture of simple and compound sentences
  • Write complex sentences by using a range of conjunctions accurately
  • Use the present perfect form of verbs e.g. He has gone out to play.
  • Use commas in lists
  • Show direct speech with inverted commas
  • Use apostrophes for contractions consistently e.g. won’t, shouldn’t
  • Spell some words from the Y3/4 spelling list.

Children working at the expected level will:

  • Write for a range of purposes.
  • Use paragraphs.
  • In Narratives, describe settings and characters.
  • Use capital letters, full stops, question marks, commas for lists and apostrophes mostly correctly.
  • In Non-narrative writing, use simple devices to structure writing (headings, subheadings, bullet points).
  • Use noun phrases expanded by modifying adjectives e.g. “Tom was fairly scared as he entered the forest”
  • Use fronted adverbials for effect e.g. Later that morning…
  • Use figurative devices such as similes and hyperbole e.g. The branches stretched out like witch’s fingers. He was so tired he slept for days!
  • Use an appropriate variety of simple, compound and complex sentences
  • Use a wider range of connectives to extend the range of complex sentences e.g. although, while, however
  • Control tense, including the perfect.
  • Use commas after fronted adverbials e.g. Later during that day, After pouring the milk into the jug,
  • Use inverted commas (speech marks) and other punctuation accurately to indicate direct speech
  • Use apostrophes to indicate plural possession e.g. the children’s playground.
  • Spell most words from the Y3/4 spelling list.
  • Write legibly.
  • Use onomatopoeia personification, powerful verbs and sensory language.

Children Working at Greater Depth will:

  • Integrate dialogue in narratives to convey character and advance the action
  • Use expanded noun phrases across writing to convey complicated information concisely
  • Write effectively for a range of purposes and audiences, selecting language that shows good awareness of the reader (e.g. the use of the first person in a diary; direct address in instructions and persuasive writing)
  • Use modal verbs to suggest degrees of possibility
  • Use a range of devices to build cohesion (e.g. conjunctions, adverbials of time and place, pronouns, synonyms) within and across paragraphs
  • Spell correctly words from the year 5 / year 6 spelling list,* and use a dictionary to check the spelling of uncommon or more ambitious vocabulary
  • Maintain legibility in joined handwriting when writing at speed

Focus Year 5Example of writing Year 5: The British Empire

Children working towards the expected level will:

  • Write for a range of purposes.
  • Use paragraph
  • In Narratives, describe settings and characters.
  • Use capital letters, full stops, question marks, commas for lists and apostrophes mostly correctly.
  • In Non-narrative writing, use simple devices to structure writing (headings, subheadings, bullet points).
  • Control tense.
  • Spell most words from the Y3/4 spelling list and some words from the Y5/6 spelling list.
  • Write legibly.

Children working at the expected level will:

  • In narratives, describe settings, characters and atmosphere
  • Integrate dialogue in narratives to convey character and advance the actions.
  • Use expanded noun phrases across writing to convey complicated information concisely
  • Write effectively for a range of purposes and audiences, selecting language that shows good awareness of the reader (e.g. the use of the first person in a diary; direct address in instructions and persuasive writing)
  • Use modal verbs to suggest degrees of possibility
  • Use a range of devices to build cohesion (e.g. conjunctions, adverbials of time and
  • place, pronouns, synonyms) within and across paragraphs
  • Use the perfect form of verbs to mark relationships of time and cause
  • Use formal language structures in speech and writing, including the subjunctive and question tags
  • Spell correctly most words from the year 5 / year 6 spelling list,* and use a dictionary
  • to check the spelling of uncommon or more ambitious vocabulary
  • Maintain legibility in joined handwriting when writing at speed
  • Use onomatopoeia, sibilance and anaphora

Children Working at Greater Depth will:

  • Use figurative devices such as extended metaphors and colloquialisms.
  • Use the passive voice deliberately
  • Use the full range of punctuation taught at KS2 including semi-colons, colons or dashes to mark boundaries between independent clauses accurately
  • Use a colon to introduce a list and semi-colons within a list
  • Use hyphens to avoid ambiguity e.g. man-eating shark (a shark that eats a man) man eating shark (a man eating a shark)
  • Use onomatopoeia, sibilance and anaphora

Focus Year 6example of writing year 6: Frankenstein The Modern Prometheus

Children working towards the expected level will:

  • Write for a range of purposes

  • In non-narrative writing, use simple devices to structure the writing and support the reader (eg headings, sub-headings, bullet points)
  • Use paragraphs to organise ideas
  • Use capital letters, full stops, question marks, commas for lists and apostrophes for contraction mostly correctly
  • In narratives, describe settings and characters
  • Spell correctly most words from the Y3/Y4 spelling list, and some words from the Y5/Y6 spelling list.
  • Write legibly.
  • Use onomatopoeia, sibilance and anaphora

Children working at the expected level will:

  • In narratives, describe settings, characters and atmosphere
  • Integrate dialogue in narratives to convey character and advance the action
  • Use expanded noun phrases across writing to convey complicated information concisely
  • Write effectively for a range of purposes and audiences, selecting language that shows good awareness of the reader (e.g. the use of the first person in a diary; direct address in instructions and persuasive writing)
  • Use the passive voice deliberately
  • Use modal verbs to suggest degrees of possibility
  • Use a range of devices to build cohesion (e.g. conjunctions, adverbials of time and
  • place, pronouns, synonyms) within and across paragraphs
  • Use figurative devices such as extended metaphors and colloquialisms.
  • Use the perfect form of verbs to mark relationships of time and cause
  • Use formal language structures in speech and writing, including the subjunctive and question tags
  • Use the full range of punctuation taught at KS2 including semi-colons, colons or dashes to mark boundaries between independent clauses accurately
  • Use a colon to introduce a list and semi-colons within a list
  • Use hyphens to avoid ambiguity e.g. man-eating shark (a shark that eats a man) man eating shark (a man eating a shark)
  • Spell correctly most words from the year 5 / year 6 spelling list,* and use a dictionary
  • to check the spelling of uncommon or more ambitious vocabulary
  • Maintain legibility in joined handwriting when writing at speed
  • Use sibilance, onomatopoeia, anaphora, personification, powerful verbs and sensory language.

Children Working at Greater Depth will:

  • Write effectively for a range of purposes and audiences, selecting the appropriate form and drawing independently on what they have read as models for their own writing (eg literary language, characterisation, structure)
  • Distinguish between the language of speech and writing³ and choose the appropriate register
  • Exercise an assured and conscious control over levels of formality, particularly through manipulating grammar and vocabulary to achieve this
  • Use the range of punctuation taught at KS2 correctly (eg semi-colons, dashes, colons, hyphens) and, when necessary, use such punctuation precisely to enhance meaning and avoid ambiguity
  • Use sibilance, onomatopoeia, anaphora, personification, powerful verbs and sensory language.

Impact

By the end of Y6, pupils should be able to:

  • plan their writing by:
    • discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar
    • discussing and recording ideas
  • draft and write by:
    • composing and rehearsing sentences orally (including dialogue), progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures
    • organising paragraphs around a theme
    • in narratives, creating settings, characters and plot
    • in non-narrative material, using simple organisational devices [for example, headings and sub-headings]
  • evaluate and edit:
    • assessing the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggesting improvements
    • proposing changes to grammar and vocabulary to improve consistency, including the accurate use of pronouns in sentences
    • proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors
  • read aloud their own writing, to a group or the whole class, using appropriate intonation and controlling the tone and volume so that the meaning is clear
SPELLING, PUNCTUATION AND GRAMMAR

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) Progression:

In EYFS and Year 1, our children learn to spell as part of the Little Wandle Revised letters and Sounds Phonics Teaching Sequence.

Spelling Y2 – Y6

Spelling is taught from years 2-6 using National Curriculum objectives.

Our teaching of spelling is guided by the progression set out by the Rising Stars Teaching Sequence. Teachers provide a range of opportunities to learn and embed the spelling of common exception words and spelling objectives. Each day spellings are explicitly taught in the classroom. These spelling lessons embed the spelling objective/rule using familiar and unfamiliar words. A selection of the National Curriculum Year Group spellings are also learned: 

Children are tested in these spellings weekly. Spelling is also addressed in children’s writing, as children are supported to correct misspelt words and practice the correct spelling.

Grammar

We recognise that a secure understanding of grammar is vital for children to make sense of the written word. It is essential that as children develop their skills in Reading and Writing, grammar is taught implicitly and explicitly so that they can employ the correct grammar in their own work.

Our teaching of Grammar is guided by the National Curriculum Programme of study: 

By the end of Year 6, our children can:

  • recognise vocabulary and structures that are appropriate for formal speech and writing, including subjunctive forms
  • use passive verbs to affect the presentation of information in a sentence
  • use the perfect form of verbs to mark relationships of time and cause
  • use expanded noun phrases to convey complicated information concisely
  • use modal verbs or adverbs to indicate degrees of possibility
  • use relative clauses beginning with who, which, where, when, whose, that or with an implied (ie omitted) relative pronoun

They can also indicate grammatical and other features by:

  • using commas to clarify meaning or avoid ambiguity in writing
  • using hyphens to avoid ambiguity
  • using brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis
  • using semicolons, colons or dashes to mark boundaries between independent clauses
  • using a colon to introduce a list
  • punctuating bullet points consistently


PHONICS

Phonics Progression

At Nailsworth C of E Primary School, we aim to provide children with the skills they need to read fluently, accurately and confidently whilst also developing their understanding and interpretations of texts to support the curriculum.  We use ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’ validated synthetic phonics scheme to give each child the best possible start with their reading and literacy.

For more information or support, please see the following documents to help your child with their learning.

You may also find these pronunciation videos helpful:

HELPING AT HOME

In these dropdown menus you will find helpful resources to use when supporting your children at home:

Reading at Home

Taking time to read with your child at home each day and to hear them read to you is both important for them and a lovely way to spend time with your child. Try to make sure you’re in a quiet comfortable place before you start and not rushed. Please do encourage your child to get their reading book changed regularly – it really helps with their progress.

If you can ask questions, after your child has read a section, this will help to ensure that children fully understand the text before changing their reading book. You can see the types of questions we use in our guided reading sessions in school here: 

Vocal expression in reading aloud is equally important so please help your child to recognise punctuation: full stops, exclamation marks, question marks, speech marks and encourage creative use of character voices. Using the contents page and the index in non-fiction books to find information, are also important in helping comprehension.

The school-wide Rewarding Reading scheme.

To take part, children need to have their reading record signed 4 times a week by an adult.

 

Useful Website Links

Here are some links to useful websites that you could use at home with your children to develop their proficiency in English further. All children have the potential to learn English to the highest level and maybe these links will help them get there:

Key Stage 1 – Phonics:

Government pack outlining an approach for teachers
https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/ (the validated phonics programme that we follow in school)
http://www.familylearning.org.uk/phonics_games.html  (n.b. most of these games use Adobe Flash Player)
https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk (n.b. most of these games use Adobe Flash Player)
The National Literacy Trust – Resources and activities for home and school
http://www.communication4all.co.uk/http/PhonicsWeb.htm (printable phonics cards)
YouTube video channel: ‘Mr Thorne’ does phonics
http://www.free-phonics-worksheets.com/
https://www.education.com/games/phonological-awareness/ (free games to play)
http://www.ictgames.com/literacy.html (free games to play)
Video of articulation of all sounds – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqhXUW_v-1s

Key Stage 2:

 www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2
 www.topmarks.co.uk
 BBC Bitesize (Spelling and grammar)