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English and Reading

English (Vision/Aims)

At St Michael’s, we believe that English should be at the very heart of our curriculum as literacy and communication are key skills in life. Our book centred approach to our thematic curriculum provides a strong basis for our themes of learning and encourages our children to enjoy literature and its rich variety.

 Together, we aim to deliver an inspiring English curriculum through lessons, which encourage pupils to read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding and have an interest in words and their meanings and a growing vocabulary. We endeavour to nurture a love of literature and language, and instil children with the confidence to continue reading and writing throughout their lives. 

 

Reading

 

At St Michael’s, we believe that ‘excellent readers become excellent writers’ and with a rich text based curriculum that we are investing in, we aim to provide inspiring reading experiences for all of our children. From as soon as our pupils join us in the Early Years, we have a structured and multifaceted approach to the teaching of reading. 

In Reception and early Key Stage One, our children ‘learn to read’ as they progress through our robust, systematic phonics curriculum; taught through the Letters and Sounds Framework; and learn to appreciate the purpose and value of print through enjoyment in themed learning, based around high quality picture books.

Once our children have mastered the ability to decode texts, our reading curriculum develops into one where our children ‘read to learn’. Through shared reading across the curriculum, we a variety of texts to engage and stimulate learning; ensuring children enjoy high quality writing that elevates their knowledge and understanding.

As part of the English curriculum, every child takes part in explicit guided reading sessions, which are led by the class teacher and allow the children to develop their reading and comprehension skills.

We believe that the key to nurturing confident and competent readers is our partnership with parents. Our structured reading scheme and Benchmark Assessment System enables us to assess our children’s fluency and comprehension as they progress through the coloured book bands. Reading record books are used to record when the children have been listened to in School, and at home. Children who have moved on from the reading scheme have access to the school’s free reader book selection located in our school library.

Writing

 

Engagement is what we believe to vital in unlocking the writers within our children at St Michael’s. Our aim is provide children with text types and relevant experiences, which proved them the opportunity to write for a purpose. Once we have immersed them in good quality examples of that text type that we dissect and explore thoroughly, we support them by using a range of methods ranging from shared and guided writing, to explicit grammar teaching that can be put into practise through the focus-writing genre. 

 

St Michael’s Three Phase Planning Unit:

Key planning points:

  • Every Unit should have a ‘final outcome’ to be achieved at the end of a unit – units may vary between 2 and 3 weeks.
  • Reading: two key reading objectives to be identified at the beginning of the unit.
  • Grammar: two/three key grammar objectives to also be identified at the beginning of each unit.

Phase 1: Immerse

  • Immersion in text/ story map when/where appropriate
  • Shared reading
  • Enjoy, explore and respond to text
  • Read Develop comprehension skills
  • Identify language/ grammatical / genre features
  •  activities – hot seating, etc.

    Phase 2: Innovate

  • Gather ideas
  • Direct teaching of Grammatical concepts
  • Planning
  • Shared writing
  • Teacher modelling

    Phase 3: Invent

  • Teacher modelling
  • Supported composition
  • Guided writing
  • Independent writing
  • Draft, revise, edit, publish