Subject Leader: Mrs Law
English is split up into writing; reading; speaking and listening; spelling, punctuation and grammar; and phonics.
Reading and Phonics
Please see our Reading and Phonics page for more information on how we teach these subjects.
We believe in the importance of reading at Lindale School. In KS2, we are using Scholastic Reading Pro to motivate children and foster a love for reading at a level that is right for them. Each term, the children take an adaptive and responsive online test which provides them with a Lexile score so that they can choose from a wide range of books at the correct level for them. When the children finish a book, they take an online comprehension quiz to assess their understanding, and by completing these quizzes, they collect points.
At Lindale CE Primary School, our aim is for all children to see themselves as writers, understand the process that writers go through and enjoy writing.
Each year, children develop their understanding of a range of genres and styles including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays. Writing skills are taught rigorously across the school, and we ensure that we use rich texts at the heart of the curriculum to inspire writing. Cross-curricular writing is used to inspire the children and give our writing a context: we do a lot of writing through our topics and other subjects.
We teach reading and writing closely linked together using the Read Write Inc. programme. This provides a structured way of working using a unique layered approach to build children’s comprehension and writing, teaching grammar in context, and by engaging children and developing their vocabulary through using drama and discussion.
As well as Read Write Inc, we use units from Jane Considine’s ‘The Write Stuff’ and CLPE’s Power of Reading. This puts high-quality texts at the heart of the curriculum – the children will become immersed in a range of activities around a book through our English lessons, meaning the children really get the most out of each text.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, children learn to edit and redraft their work. We use green pens to improve and respond and pink pens for the children to use self-assessment to highlight the good features in their work. As much as possible, we promote peer-marking and editing in pairs in order to share ideas and help each other to improve.
Children are taught joined-up cursive handwriting. Each child participates in handwriting lessons to practise correct letter formation and joins. From year 4, all children use a pen. From Reception to Year 6, the children can work towards and achieve handwriting certificates from stage 1 to stage 5:
Stage 1 – Write your name with correct letter formation.
Stage 2 – Forming all letters and numbers correctly.
Stage 3 – Writing on the line and using basic joins correctly.
Stage 4 – Keeping letters a consistent size with clear ascenders and descenders. Use all joins correctly. Can use a fountain pen when achieved.
Stage 5 – Fluent flowing handwriting. Be developing your own style. Using your fluent style in all your work.
The National Curriculum for Writing
The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:
It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these two dimensions. In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition.
Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
At Lindale CE Primary School, we spend a lot of time ensuring that children master these key skills for writing. Children begin to understand grammar concepts and start to apply them in their own writing when they begin to read with a writer’s mind. Punctuation rules and techniques are drawn from shared texts which the children have been immersed in and have a good understanding of.
Focussed lessons are taught to cover punctuation and grammar objectives for each year group as well as embedding these skills into our English lessons.
We assess pupils on the common exception words for their year group regularly and following this, words may be sent home to practise. Those children who have not yet mastered the spelling of the common exception words from previous year groups have quick 1-1 interventions to boost these skills.
The National Curriculum for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
Opportunities for teachers to enhance pupils’ vocabulary arise naturally from their reading and writing. As vocabulary increases, teachers should show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language. They should also teach pupils how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than one meaning.
Pupils should be taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English. They should be taught to use the elements of spelling, grammar, punctuation and ‘language about language’ listed. This is not intended to constrain or restrict teachers’ creativity, but simply to provide the structure on which they can construct exciting lessons.
Throughout the programmes of study, teachers should teach pupils the vocabulary they need to discuss their reading, writing and spoken language. It is important that pupils learn the correct grammatical terms in English and that these terms are integrated within teaching.