Benjamin Hargreaves CE (VA) Primary School
English and Literacy Policy
We, at Benjamin Hargreaves, strive for excellence in education by providing a safe, secure, caring family environment, where all are valued and respected as individuals, enabling them to reach their full potential, whilst growing in their love and understanding of the Christian Faith.
This policy aims to ensure that all children at Benjamin Hargreaves CE (VA) Primary School are offered a curriculum in language and literature including opportunities to interrelate the requirements of English within a broad and balanced curriculum which includes application of English across the curriculum with opportunities to consolidate and reinforce taught literacy skills.
We also strive for children to be a ‘Primary Literate Pupil’ attaining the highest possible attainment throughout their time at our school.
By the age of 11 we aim for a child to be able to:
Statutory requirements for the teaching and learning of English are laid out in the National Curriculum English Document (2014) and in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2012).
In the Early Years Foundation stage (Reception) children are given opportunities to:
At Key Stage One (Years 1 and 2) children learn to speak confidently and listen to what others have to say. They continue to read and write independently and with enthusiasm. They have opportunities to use language to explore their own experiences and imaginary worlds.
At Key Stage Two (Years 3 – 6) children learn to change the way they speak and write to suit different purposes and audiences. They read a range of texts and respond to different layers of meaning in them. They have the opportunity to explore the use of language in literary and non-literary texts and learn how the structure of language works.
The English curriculum at Benjamin Hargreaves CE Primary School is delivered using the National Curriculum English Document (2014). The Early Learning Goals are followed to ensure continuity and progression from the Early Years Foundation stage through to the National Curriculum.
Using the English curriculum teachers throughout School will follow the units set out for their year group every year.
Teachers group children according to their abilities and work should be differentiated accordingly using effective methods such as support, outcome and task. Where appropriate, literacy units will link to creative curriculum themes to promote cross curricular learning.
Units are generally planned over a three week period using the model provided by Lancashire consultants and include 3 distinct phases – reading, gathering content and writing. These phases allow the children to thoroughly explore the text type and its features before practising aspects of writing and then writing more independently to produce their own version of the text type.
Approaches to Speaking and Listening
The School aims to help children:
The Four Strands of Speaking and Listening: Speaking; Listening; Group Discussion and Interaction, and Drama permeate the whole curriculum. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise reading and writing standards. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life.
Approaches to Reading
The School aims to:
Reading is an important part of the English curriculum in our School. Home reading books are organised on a banding system ensuring the children read books appropriate to their level (the children’s reading should be 99% accurate in these books). These books will be provided and sent home on a daily basis for parents to read with their children. Reading resources will provide enriching vocabulary, correct grammatical structure and interesting content.
Each parent is given the opportunity to liaise with teachers through reading record books which record when the children have been listened to in School by a member of staff or a volunteer, and at home, and any issues or positives there may be. Children who have moved on from the reading scheme have access to the class book selection and School Library or they can bring a book to read from home.
Children in our School are encouraged to read widely and our School Library offers the children the opportunity for wider reading through the borrowing of a variety of books. The children have weekly access to the School Library which offers a wide variety of texts to capture interest. They also have access to listening to a range of texts through their class novel which the teacher reads to them as much as possible throughout the week.
Shared reading taking place within English lessons will provide enriching experiences through more challenging texts. Teachers will also share stories with the class displaying an enthusiasm for reading and setting a positive example as a reader.
Phonics is taught daily in Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One following the framework ‘Letters and Sounds’. This will involve a 20 minute daily session of planned systematic phonics’ delivery, with a wide opportunity for application of skills through the environment and other lessons.
As part of the Literacy curriculum each child across School will take part in at least one guided reading session each week outside of the English lesson which will be led by the class teacher allowing the children to develop their reading and comprehension skills. Following their Guided Reading session the children are allocated an activity to complete in their reading journals which supports the learning objective. This is assessed against Lancashire’s KLIPS guidelines for reading allowing teachers to make accurate judgments regarding a child’s progression and attainment.
Approaches to Writing
The School aims to:
Classroom writing situations should emphasise to the children the purpose of Writing and give the children the opportunity to write in a variety of genres and for different purposes and audiences.
Shared and modelled Writing, taking place within English lessons, allows the teacher to demonstrate good writing practice to the children while using their ideas. Teachers must ensure that the writing demonstrated shows high expectations and covers the success criteria they would expect to see in the children’s writing including across the ability groups.
Children are expected to write daily in a range of forms. Throughout the Reading Phases this may be responses to a text, filling in text feature grids or short writing tasks such as writing as a character. In the gathering content phases the children are writing with the purpose of practising new skills learnt appropriate to the text type they are learning about. In the Writing Phase the children are writing at length with the aim of producing a finished outcome. As part of writing assessment the children write a piece of extended writing independently at the end of a unit of work which is assessed using the Lancashire KLIPS for writing.
In our School we have high expectations of presentation. The children follow the DUMTUMS rule when beginning any new piece of work in their books and they are expected to use cursive writing. To support this handwriting, practice is undertaken regularly across School and children write in pencil until they obtain a pen licence. Teachers and Teaching Assistants are expected to demonstrate high quality presentation and handwriting when marking, working with children or scribing in a lesson.
In the new English curriculum grammar and spelling now plays a key role in the children’s writing. To support our children’s grammar and spelling progression and attainment the teachers integrate time to practising these skills within their English lessons. There is also the opportunity for the children to put these skills into practice during Basic Skills lessons where the children will practice the application of skills and a GPS time in Guided Reading when the children may practise the skills independently.
Teachers take the skills for their year group from the Lancashire KLIPS to ensure progression throughout the year groups.
Cross-curricular English Opportunities
Teachers will seek to take advantage of opportunities to make cross-curricular links. They will plan for pupils to practise and apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through literacy lessons to other areas of the curriculum.
The Use of ICT
Opportunities to use ICT to support teaching and learning in English will be planned for and used as appropriate ensuring the activity has a strong English base.
Assessment and Target Setting
Teachers will be set annual targets for their children’s progression and attainment as part of their performance management. Pupil progress meetings will be held half termly and assessments against the national criteria will be made at the end of each term (December, March and July).
The statutory tests will be taken at the end of Key Stage 1 and 2 and in EYFS assessments are carried out in September and July to monitor progress made.
At the end of Year 1 the children sit the Phonics Screening Test and those who do not pass re-sit it at the end of Year 2.
Assessment is a critical part of teachers’ planning and work will be assessed in line with the Assessment Policy.
Intervention programmes are implemented to support children where appropriate and for children identified by the class teacher and the SLT during Pupil Progress Meetings. These may include ELS, FLS, Quest, Phonics Booster Groups and additional 1:1 reading. They may however be planned specifically to a group’s needs using assessments from the teacher.
All children are provided with equal access to the English curriculum. We aim to provide suitable learning opportunities regardless of gender, ethnicity or home background.
This policy also needs to be in line with other School Polices and therefore should be read in conjunction with the following School Policies:
Review date: December 2017