English

Intent

At Westfield, English and the teaching of English is the cornerstone of our curriculum. We aim to inspire children in their writing by providing opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills both in English lessons and across the wider curriculum. Through the use of high-quality texts, the children at Westfield are exposed to a vocabulary-rich, broad English curriculum which aims to develop a love of reading and writing, speaking and listening.

We value reading as a key life skill and we are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe that through supporting our children to learn to read, they will be able to read to learn for the rest of their lives. Reading is key for academic success. We believe in developing reading fluency and all comprehension skills coupled with promoting a love of reading so all of our children can access the delights and rewards that reading provides.

By the end of Year Six, we intend our children to have developed a love of writing and to be able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through the written word. We also intend to create writers who can re-read, edit and improve their own writing, and adapt their writing style for a range of contexts. We also believe in setting high standards in the presentation of writing. and enabling pupils to be able to confidently use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling in their writing.

We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.

Implementation

With these aims in mind, English and separate reading sessions are timetabled daily across all year groups. Throughout the school, daily reading sessions provide the children with opportunities to develop word reading and comprehension skills, incorporating all strands of reading comprehension based around the VIPERS questioning model. In reception and Key Stage 1, daily phonics sessions support the development of early reading skills. This is supported by Read, Write, Inc. Phonics, which teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. They learn to form each letter, spell correctly, and compose their ideas step-by-step.

In addition to the discrete daily reading sessions, a diverse range of reading opportunities are embedded across the curriculum including in the main English lesson. Quality texts are used as a lead into many writing opportunities where new vocabulary can be learnt and applied and whole class texts are shared with the children to allow time to listen to and enjoy stories.

Vulnerable groups and those needing additional reading support are identified by class teachers and reading interventions are put in place to support the development of their reading. This may be small group comprehension work or additional daily reading to develop fluency and build confidence. Purchases of lower level, older interest books have been bought to support our less confident readers in KS2.

Reading is celebrated at Westfield and there are many opportunities for the children to develop and enhance their love of reading across the school year. Accelerated Reader is used for some children in Year 2 and all children in Key Stage Two. Reading quizzes monitor comprehension, while literacy skills and vocabulary quizzes extend student learning and build skills mastery. We have a fantastic, recently restocked library that all children visit regularly to take out books. A recent overhaul of our free reading books has led to substantial new purchases from a variety of different publishers and complete re-banding of our individual reading books. In classrooms, children are able to choose their own book from the ZPD or banded level that they are currently working, enabling them to choose a book that is of interest to them and at the appropriate level of challenge.

At Westfield we ensure that the teaching of writing is purposeful and there is a clear progression for all children. In line with the national curriculum, we ensure that each year group is teaching the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for that age group. Grammar objectives are mainly taught through the process of writing and as a tool for writing. Spelling is also taught as part of this process, as well as being taught through and alongside handwriting. The implementation of No Nonsense Spelling has successfully raised the profile of spelling across the school, and Letter-join is used to support the teaching of handwriting. As well as teaching the national curriculum objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in cross-curricular writing opportunities and ensure that most children are achieving the objectives at the expected level and that some children can achieve at a greater depth standard.

Writing is taught through the use of quality texts, which exposes the children to inference, high-level vocabulary, a range of punctuation and grammatical structures. Each text is purposefully selected in order to promote a love of reading, engagement and high quality writing from each child. Writing is celebrated across the school with displays of high quality writing along with sharing successes for the children in our celebration assemblies.

Impact

● Our pupils enjoy reading and are exposed to a broad range of texts and authors.

● Successful readers are nurtured through both language comprehension and word reading.

● Pupils have a good range of vocabulary that they are able to apply in their writing.

● Pupils have a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing for different purposes and audiences.

● Pupils have a solid foundation in spelling and have a tool kit of different strategies to support the continual learning of their spelling after they leave us.

● Pupils are able to identify, use and apply grammatical features in their writing effective across the curriculum.

● In KS1, pupils achieve above national and local averages in reading and writing both at and above age related expectations and at greater depth.

● In KS2, pupils achieve above local averages in reading and writing both at and above age related expectations and at greater depth.

We foster a community of enthusiastic and engaged readers and writers who we hope will carry forward the high aspirations and creativity that has been encouraged at Westfield as they move forward in their education.