Goat Lees English Curriculum
We have 6 terms in the academic year.
Each half term is split into 2 halves. (2-3 weeks in each depending on the length of the term).
Breakdown for each of the six terms:
Part 1 (2-3weeks): Reading for Writing: writing from a text. During this time, we use a high quality text appropriate to the individual year groups. We focus on modelling and use of author's language and ways in which we can use this in our own writing. This might be in the shape of a short story in the same style or perhaps letter writing, diary entries of descriptive writing. There is a heavy emphasis on drama, spoken language and oracy.
Part 2 (2-3 weeks): Topic writing:narrative and non-narrative writing based around our topic work.
This does not have to be based on a specific text. There will be a variety of genres covered in this part of the term.
Our curriculum map for English, shows which books the children will be using, their writing links across the curriculum as well as spelling, punctuation and grammar. Please click here to have a look.
Please click on the links below to have a look at our progression in writing and punctuation.
We hold the highest standards for presentation from the children. This is the individual child’s best presentation – this will vary from child to child. Every child (where possible) is to use either pre-cursive or cursive letter formation. Children may join up their writing when their letters are all orientated correctly, are of a uniform size and when the ascenders and descenders go above and below the line respectively. When they are confidently joining and their writing is neat, legible and tidy (where appropriate for the child) they may begin using a black handwriting pen. A presentation award is given out for most improved/effort which applies to all subjects.
Phonics and Spelling
Phonics - The phonics method of reading and spelling is taught to pupils in Reception and Year 1 in accordance with the Letters and Sounds document which has been integrated with the objectives from the National Curriculum 2014. This is taught on a daily basis. This system provides a synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics. We prepare children to be able to take on the challenge of the KS1 phonics assessment in year 1. Phonics is an interactive experience for children, with kinaesthetic and practical approaches to cater for all learning styles. Pupils are taught within the phase that is appropriate to their level of learning. They are assessed regularly and groupings are sorted accordingly. The children have the opportunity to practise these skills at home as one of the reading books they take home is fully decodeable and chosen for the phase in phonics they are working in. If you would like to have a look at our phonics planning, please click on the links below:
If you would like to see the progression in skills for phonics, please click here.
Spelling - In years 3 – 6 we use the 'No Nonsense Spelling' program. The children have between 3-5 spelling lessons per week, taught by the class teacher and based on the National Curriculum 2014 objectives. During these lessons, the children have the opportunity to learn spelling rules as well as time to practise them before applying them in their writing. In Key Stage 1 and 2 weekly spellings are set and are tested in school on Friday. Spellings are based on the current weeks teaching and contain both spelling patterns and common exception words – tricky words. Additional support for spelling is given in a small group or 1:1 basis according to need which is in addition to the whole class spelling lesson. We also support the learning of spellings at home through using Spelling Shed. Please click here to see our progression in spelling overview.
At Goat Lees Primary School we encourage a love of books and reading. We provide the children with many daily opportunities to enjoy and share books with others. Our whole school provides the pupils with a language rich environment, enabling pupils to access reading of different types on a daily basis. Each classroom has an inviting reading area with a wide range of reading materials to support all reading abilities.
In KS2, we use the 'Reciprocal Reading' technique during our Guided Reading sessions with a teacher. During this time, the children read carefully selected fiction and non-fiction books, as well as a wider range of texts for older children, which are matched to their current reading ability. Within Reciprocal Reading, the children learn how to summarise the main points, clarify words they're unfamiliar with, predict what they think will happen next and also ask questions which can be found in the text or by using their inference skills. Every child is heard to read in this manner on a weekly basis and explicitly taught the skills needed to develop their reading further during whole class reading sessions. Pupils are also given the opportunity to explore these books independently to enable them to practise the skills learnt with the teacher.
Within our CARE group, the English leads met to create a progression in skills document (for reading) to be used across our schools. This supports the class teacher in planning for groups as well as identifying gaps in learning for some children. If you would like to see this, please click here.
Other reading opportunities throughout the day occur through a wide range of activities such as whole class 'shared reading sessions' focusing on a text (fiction or non-fiction), story time when books are shared and enjoyed, opportunity to listen to books in class listening areas, text linked to cross-curricular work and IT. Children in year 6 have the opportunity to support children in year 3 and 4 with their reading as well as sharing a book with their buddies in Year R.
We also hold a book swap three times per term. The children are invited to bring in a book from home which they have finished reading and swap it with another one. The reading ambassadors run the book swap and help children to choose a new book.
Home Reading Books
Children take home a range of fiction and non-fiction books from a range of reading schemes and are levelled to match ability. This allows the children to independently access the books which have been selected to match their current reading ability. Parents are requested to fill in an individual reading record daily in order to give the school feedback on their child's reading progress. The scheme that we use is from Oxford Reading Tree which includes Tree Tops and Project X.