At Springfield Academy, we strive for excellence in English achievement throughout the school. We hope to develop children’s abilities within a cross curricular programme of Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening.
Across all classes, pupils are given opportunities to develop their knowledge, understanding and use of spoken and written English, within a balanced and exciting curriculum. There are lots of opportunities for children to consolidate and reinforce taught English skills and to apply them in a range of contexts.
We value reading as an essential life skill that empowers children to achieve their full potential. We have high expectations of our children as readers and as a staff, we deliver a curriculum based on Government recommendations, the interests of our children and the differing ability groups within each cohort.
It is our intent that every child will learn to write by being given real and exciting materials and opportunities. To develop the appropriate subject specific knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum and beyond, so that children can flourish, reach and exceed their potential.
Children at Springfield Academy will;
Most importantly, children will have the opportunity to develop their creativity and imagination.
Theatre visits and enrichment activities such as
author visits will allow learners even greater opportunities to find and
develop their individual interests and personal talents. Visitors and parents
coming into school to help at regular opportunities bolsters our offer and
deepens experiences further.
The aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by allowing children to develop a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature.
In EYFS children are given opportunities to:
• speak and listen and represent ideas in their activities;
• use communication, language and literacy in every part of the curriculum;
• become immersed in an environment rich in print and opportunities to communicate.
In EYFS, children have daily Letters & Sounds lessons to develop skills like blending and segmenting in preparation for early reading and writing. A wide range of exciting Learning Areas provide children with opportunities to develop their communication, language and literacy skills on a daily basis with a focus on child initiated activities. As well as a Writing Area, which provides children with a range of materials with which to experiment and practice mark marking/letter formation (and eventually to practice taught skills), other Learning Areas are enhanced to provide children with the opportunity to read and write in a range of contexts. A range of resources in the outdoor area provide valuable opportunities to engage children in writing for pleasure. In the outdoor area children have constant access to Reading and Writing zones which are filled with engaging, exciting resources that children can use independently.
They also have access to a vast range of texts, including fiction and nonfiction. Children enjoy daily ‘story time’ so they become familiar with stories and authors and begin to develop a love of reading. Adult led activities in EYFS are usually linked to stories, poems or nursery rhymes or to cross curricular topics. From when they start school, children learn that writing can have a range of purposes and they begin to explore the features of different types of writing.
In Key Stage 1, children learn to speak confidently and listen to what others have to say. They learn to read and write independently, at length. They use language to explore their own experiences and imaginary worlds.
In Key Stage 1, Letters & Sounds lessons are continued and are taught in groups according to individual ability, with an increased focus on spelling and spelling rules. In English lessons, children explore a variety of themes such as;
• Stories in Familiar Settings
• Fantasy Stories or Funny Poems.
They study fiction and non-fiction and begin to compare characteristic features of writing. Children learn how to apply these features in their own writing and begin to write at length.
In Key Stage 1, children will write for a range of purposes, including (but not limited to):
· Newspaper reports
· Instructions – recipes, ‘how to’ guides
· Explanation texts
· Letters & postcards
· Labels, lists and captions
· Non chronological reports
Children in Key Stage 1 have daily English, Spelling, and Punctuation & Grammar lessons. These lessons are usually focused on a word or sentence type each week, for example, Verbs or Commands, with activities throughout the week linking to this. In GPS lessons, children focus on Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar objectives from the National Curriculum and learn how to use these taught rules in their own writing.
Writing skills are developed across the curriculum and children are given lots of opportunities for cross curricular writing. This may be linked to Topic (for example, Kings & Queens, the Great Fire of London, Great Explorers) or other curriculum areas such as R.E or Science.
Children have 1:1 reading sessions as well as guided reading, and use Accelerated Reader to develop their reading comprehension. Children are encouraged to develop a love for reading through daily story time.
In Key Stage 2, children learn to change the way they speak and/or write to fit different situations, purposes and audiences. They encounter a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. They explore the use of language in literary and non-literary texts and learn how the structure of language works. Children in Key Stage 2 develop their knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology.
In Key Stage 2, children have English lessons in which they focus on a range of text types throughout the year. These may be linked to topic themes or to a book or poem. Children can expect to tackle a range of writing tasks, including, but not limited to:
Children will also learn to write in a range of styles, including;
English, Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar is taught discreetly in daily sessions. Additional English sessions include guided and individual reading, handwriting and Accelerated Reader. In Key Stage 2, children continue to have a range of opportunities for cross curricular writing. English skills are developed across the curriculum so children can apply what they know in a variety of contexts. We use Read, Write Inc spelling to support the teaching of spelling from Year 2 – Year 6. We believe that helping children how to use and apply spelling patterns is the key to helping them become successful spellers.
As a school, we use the Letterjoin Handwriting scheme to help children develop fluent, clear and legible handwriting. In late KS1/early KS2, children will begin to join their writing.
As children’s reading develops at different rates, teaching is tailored to each child and their ability. Children will read daily in their classroom, during shared reading, one to one reading or guided reading groups. Children are encouraged to read a range of books in school and at home and communication between staff and parents is encouraged.
In EYFS children are encouraged to foster a love of reading through the sharing of quality texts during story time and through planned learning contexts. Towards the end of Nursery, children are taught to recognise letter sounds through the teaching of regular phonics. This is continued in Reception and when children have a secure knowledge of letter sounds they progress to blending those sounds together to read short words. As children build their bank of recognised letter sounds and can blend sounds together with confidence they progress to reading captions and short, phonetically plausible, books. Throughout this learning process children are encouraged to practise these skills at home. They take home letter sounds to learn and practise blending. Once they are ready, children will take home phonetically plausible reading books. In Nursery and Reception children are also given the opportunity to borrow books from the class reading area/library to share with an adult. During the week, adults work with children both in a group and individually to practise reading skills.
We aim to bring reading to life and give it purpose by using music, drama and performance.
In KS1, children take home a reading book daily to be shared with parents. Each child keeps a ‘Reading Record’ in which parents and teachers share information about a child’s reading. Parents are encouraged to read with children as often as possible, preferably daily, and information is provided by teachers at the start of each school year to ensure parents know how best to support their child in reading.
In KS2, children have more responsibility for selecting books to take home and read. The expectation is that children are able to read independently by this Key Stage. Children in KS2 who do not meet national expectations for their age may continue to read with a teacher or adult frequently, or intervention is put in place to support their reading. Although children in KS2 are likely to read without a parent/carer, we still encourage all readers to share books at home with their family as we want children to develop a lifelong love of reading.
At Springfield, we want to provide
children with the opportunities to share their love of reading with their
peers. In Key Stage Two, children take
part in a weekly ‘Peer Reading’ lesson.
The children are paired up with an older child who listens to them read
and ask questions about the book they are reading. There is also time in this session for the
older child to ‘model’ reading with their partner.
Whole Class Guided Reading
These lessons take place weekly, each lasting approximately 25 minutes. The lessons involve children in looking at a text more closely, discussing vocabulary, answering a variety of questions and developing inference skills. The session is teacher-led and aims to generate excitement and engagement with class novels and/or age appropriate texts linked to the interests of the class.
As a school, we recognise the value of reading aloud to children to model appropriate use of story language and reading with expression. We want to enthuse them with a love of books and inspire them as writers.
We have a progressive and varied reading scheme
that covers all genres and allows learners to choose books for enjoyment linked
to their development stage. Learners have regular access to the Learning
Resource Centre as an additional resource to enhance the love of reading with
the space and time to make choices about books, and to discover authors and
texts they might not get chance to look at outside of school.
In Key Stage Two, children access Bedrock twice weekly. Bedrock Vocabulary is a digital vocabulary curriculum that teaches essential Tier 2 words, root words and academic verbs. All new language is embedded in original stories and non-fiction texts so our children are regularly reading high-quality texts. Bedrock is a self-marking classroom and homework solution that delivers assessment data direct to our teachers who are then able to track the vocabulary learning of each child and also immediately identify trends within the whole school cohort. Children access Bedrock independently; the language each child studies, is appropriately challenging for the individual.
Lexia is embedded with children from Years 2-6. The reading programme offers differentiated instruction for pupils of all abilities and provides explicit, systematic, personalised learning in the five areas of reading instruction.
Assessment, planning, monitoring
We complete 2-3 pieces of assessed writing each half term using progression and assessment grids in line with the National Curriculum and Age Related Expectations. Letterjoin is used from Year 1 In order to allow learners to have a consistent approach to handwriting and presentation.
Children are assessed termly by their class teachers in Reading and Writing. Formative and summative assessments are carried out regularly to ensure that the teaching of Reading, Writing and GPS is focused on children’s needs. In Y1, children take a statutory Phonics Test to test their decoding skills. In Years 2 and 6, children will take statutory assessments in Reading and Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. In all other years, children take annual formal assessments in the summer term in Reading, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar.
The needs of all children are considered carefully when planning and teaching English at Springfield Academy. We want children to reach their full potential. Where necessary, teachers identify which children are not making progress and take steps to improve their progress and attainment in English, usually in liaison with the SENCO. More able and talented children are identified and suitable learning challenges are provided.
At Springfield Academy, we are passionate about ensuring all of our children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. As children start at Springfield Academy, they are provided with lots of opportunities to engage with books that inspire their imagination and interest, motivating and exciting them to learn and become competent readers.
Phonics is taught in a highly structured programme of daily lessons across Early Years and KS1, in groups, at times differentiated according to children’s phonic awareness and development. The ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme is followed, providing a synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics. This allows our phonics teaching and learning to be progressive from Nursery up to Year 2 as well as allowing children’s listening and speaking skills to develop.
In Nursery and Reception, Phonics is taught through whole class teaching input, and small group input and activities. As we progress into Year 1 and 2, the teaching of phonics is organised into groups depending on children’s prior Phonic knowledge, and looking at where individual’s need challenge or support. Where extra intervention is necessary, this is provided for children throughout Key Stage 1 and if needed into Key Stage 2. This is supplemented by home readers such as Big Cat Phonics for Letters and Sounds, Bug Club Phonics and other ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonic based home readers, which are directly matched to a child’s phonetic ability. Teach Your Monster to Read and other computer programmes supplement the children’s learning, both at school and at home. Phonic opportunities to read and reread captions, questions, sentences, as well as write and spell are part of the learning. A library book is also taken home weekly in order to share with their family at home.
Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practise together and apply what they have learned.
There are six phases within the Letters and Sounds programme: –
Phase 1 – Children in Nursery are immersed in Phase 1, which provides a range of listening activities through play, to develop their listening skills. Progress is tracked at the end of each term. Activities are divided into seven aspects. Environmental Sounds, Instrumental Sounds, Body Sounds, Rhythm and Rhyme, Alliteration, Voice Sounds and finally Oral Blending and Segmenting. This is taught alongside singing Nursery rhymes, songs, reading stories and providing a language rich environment.
Phase 2 - As children move into Reception they continue to build upon the Phase 1 listening activities and are introduced to Phase 2 which marks the start of systematic phonic work. Grapheme-phoneme correspondence is introduced, children are taught to blend in order to read words and segment in order to spell words and develop their writing abilities. It is expected that children will complete Phase 2 before Christmas.
Phase 3 – The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each and digraphs and trigraphs such as “ch”, “oo” and “igh” are introduced, developing children’s ability to read captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the “simple code”, i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language. It is expected that children will complete Phase 3 by Easter.
Phase 4 – No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump. It is expected that children will complete this phase in the summer term of Reception. This can be consolidated as children transition into Year One, if necessary.
Phase 5 – Now we move on to the “complex code”. Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know. It is expected that most children will enter Phase 5 as they begin Year 1.
Phase 6 –It is expected that most children entering Year 2 will start Phase 6 which develops a variety of spelling strategies including homophones (word specific spellings) eg see/ sea, spelling of words with prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters where necessary. Also the accurate spelling of words containing unusual grapheme-phoneme correspondences eg laughs, two. Once children are reading fluently, they will begin the Accelerated Reader programme, which will start to look at comprehension and understanding of a story, as well as beginning to develop their skills in vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and summarising.
The spelling of high frequency and tricky words are taught continuously throughout the phases.
Reception and KS1 assess on a weekly basis at the end of the week and children are given support, the following week to catch up quickly. Precision teach, extra home readers or extra activities are set up for groups or individuals where necessary.
Children’s progress is continually reviewed to allow for movement between ability groups, and children are able to move groups, to meet their needs. Children are formally assessed at the end of each term.
The National Phonics Screening check is performed in June of Year 1, support is provided for children running up to the screening to identify any issues. A Year 1 phonics workshop gives parents information about how they can best support their children at home with phonics. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. The children who did not meet the required standard for the check in Year 1, will enter year 2 with additional support for Phonics. As children enter KS2 provision is made, where necessary, for any children still requiring daily phonics.
At Springfield Academy, through the teaching of systematic phonics our aim is for children to become fluent and confident readers by the end of KS1. We encourage reading for pleasure through children having a choice of enriching and challenging texts as well as building in time for children to read independently and as part of a whole class. All children have daily opportunities to read a variety of material in school, including regularly with an adult.
We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning.