Houghton Primary School

"Working hard to achieve our best"

English

Our English curriculum is made up of the essential components of Reading, Writing and Communication.

Details of the English Curriculum for each term can be found on the class webpages

READING

Essential characteristics of readers
We have identified the following essential characteristics which we aim to develop to enable children to become independent and confident readers:
Excellent phonic knowledge and skills.
Fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum.
Knowledge of an extensive and rich vocabulary.
An excellent comprehension of texts.
The motivation to read for both study and for pleasure.
Extensive knowledge through having read a rich and varied range of texts.
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Essential opportunities for reading
In order to ensure that our children are provided with a range of opportunities to enable them to become readers we provide:
Key Stage One Key Stage Two
Opportunities to:
  • Listen to traditional tales
  • Listen to a range of texts
  • Learn some poems by heart
  • Become familiar with a wide range of texts of different lengths
  • Discuss books
  • Build up a repertoire of poems to recite
  • Use the class and school libraries
  • Listen to short novels over time
Opportunities to:
  • Read, listen to and discuss/take part in conversations about a wide range of styles of texts, including fairy stories, myths and legends
  • Learn a wide range of poetry by heart
  • Increase familiarity with a wide range of books including myths and legends, traditional stories, modern fiction, classic British fiction and books from other cultures
  • Use the school and community libraries
  • Look at classification systems
  • Look at books with a different alphabet to English
  • Read and listen to whole books
 
Essential learning objectives for reading
We have idenitifed are two essential learning objectives for reading:
  1. To read words accurately
  2. To understand texts
Reading Diary
The essential approach to teaching reading
At Houghton Primary School reading is taught within a culture where reading is valued and celebrated. Adults share their love of reading with the children and work to make reading 'irresistible'. They read to and with the children across the school. They seek opportunities to bring reading 'alive' across the curriculum and aim to promote enjoyment alongside skill development.
Phonics are taught systematically to all children from Reception and through Key Stage 1. They continue to be taught systematically in Key Stage 2 as necessary to children who need to continue to develop their phonic knowledge and understanding. 
Reading is taught within English and across the curriculum within a skills based curriculum. Teachers ensure that the core skills identified within the essential learning objectives are taught and assessed across the curriculum, within individual subjects and within ‘topic’ work.
Children read both to themselves and out loud in group and guided reading sessions with an adult at least once a week. Within these sessions they discuss a range of texts and are taught specific reading skills.
From mid-Year 2 children read independently for a minimum of 20 minutes each day. They participate in the Accelerated Reader programme in order to motivate children and to encourage the reading of whole books. 
Teachers use the essential learning objectives and milestones for their class, planning according to the needs of the children identified through ongoing and half termly assessments.
 Reading with adult
In Key Stage 1 we use Oxford Reading Tree (ORT) materials to support our teaching of reading. Children read within a band on ORT, but can choose from a range of books outside of ORT which have been 'book banded' within the same band. Phonics is taught using Letters and Sounds. In Key Stage 2 children choose books from our Accelerated Reader library within a band relating to assessment of their reading. 
WRITING
Essential characteristics of writers
We have identified the following essential characteristics which we aim to develop to enable children to become independent and confident writers:
The ability to write fluently and with interesting detail on a range of topics throughout the curriculum.
A vivid imagination which makes readers engage with and enjoy their writing.
A highly developed vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or description.
Well-organised and structured writing which includes a variety of sentence structures.
Excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented and punctuated, spelled correctly and neat.
A love of writing and an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values.
 In order that our learners are enabled to develop the essential characteristics of writer we teach writing within a contextual approach which provides opportunities children to write independently and fluently on a range of topics throughout the curriculum. We use a range of techniques, inspirations and activities to promote writing.
Writing 1
We support our children by teaching them specific transcription skills, such as handwriting and presentation. We develop their knowledge and understanding of key aspects of excellent writing, such as grammar and spelling. We teach them how to structure and organise their writing. 
Essential opportunities for writing
In order to ensure that our children are provided with a range of opportunities to enable them to become writers we provide:
 

Key Stage One

Key Stage Two
Narrative

Opportunities to write:

  • Stories set in places the children have been
  • Stories with imaginary settings
  • Stories and plays that use the language of fairy tales and traditional tales
  • Stories that mimic significant authors
  • Narrative diaries

Opportunities to write:

  • Stories set in places the children have been
  • Stories that contain mythical, legendary or historical characters or events
  • Stories of adventure
  • Stories of mystery and suspense
  • Letters
  • Plays
  • Stories, letters, scripts and fictional biographies inspired by reading across the curriculum
Non-Fiction

Opportunities to write:

  • Labels
  • Lists
  • Captions
  • Instructions
  • Recounts
  • Glossaries
  • Non-chronological reports

Opportunities to present information

Opportunities to write:

  • Instructions
  • Recounts
  • Persuasively
  • Explanations
  • Non-chronological reports
  • Biographies
  • In a journalistic style
  • Arguments
  • Formally
Poetry

Opportunities to write:

  • Poems that use pattern, rhyme and description
  • Nonsense and humorous poems and limericks

Opportunities to write:

  • Haiku
  • Cinquain
  • Poems that convey an image (simile word play, rhyme and metaphor)

Opportunities to learn by heart and perform a significant poem

 
 Essential learning objectives for writing
We have identified 10 essential learning objective for writing:
Composition:
  1. To write with purpose
  2. To use imaginative description
  3. To organise writing appropriately
  4. To use paragraphs
  5. To use sentences appropriately
Transcription:
  1. To present neatly
  2. To spell correctly
  3. To punctuate accurately
Analysis and Presentation:
  1. To analyse writing
  2. To present writing

Writing 2

The essential approach to teaching writing
Writing is taught within English lessons and across the curriculum within a skills based curriculum. Teachers ensure that the core skills identified within the essential learning objectives are taught, marked and assessed across the curriculum, within individual subjects and within ‘topic’ work.
Skills are applied at least fortnightly within a ‘Big Write’ task which is unaided. ‘Big Write’ tasks are planned across the curriculum. Teachers use the essential learning objectives and milestones for their class, planning according to the needs of the children identified through ongoing and half termly assessments. 
COMMUNICATION
Essential characteristics of excellent communicators
We have identified the following essential characteristics which we aim to develop to enable children to become independent and confident communicators:
An exceptional talent for listening attentively so as to understand what is being said.
A rich and varied vocabulary that gives clarity and interest to conversations.
Clear speech that can be easily understood by a range of audiences.
An excellent grasp of the rules used in English conversation, such as tenses and the grammatical structure of sentences.
A highly developed ability to tell stories that capture the interest and imagination of the audience.
A delight in initiating and joining in conversations.
Respect for others when communicating, even when views differ.
Communication
Essential opportunities for communicating
In order to ensure that our children are provided with a range of opportunities to enable them to become communicators we provide:
Key Stage One and Key Stage Two

Opportunities to:

  • Engage in meaningful conversations in all areas of the curriculum.
  • Listen to and learn a wide range of subject specific vocabulary.
  • Through reading identify vocabulary that enriches and enlivens stories.
  • Speak to small and larger audiences at frequent intervals.
  • Practise and rehearse sentences and stories, gaining feedback on the overall effect and use of standard English.
  • Listen to and tell stories often so as to internalise the structure.
  • Debate issues and formulate well-constructed points.

Essential learning objectives for communication

We have identified 5 essential learning objectives for communication:

  1. To listen carefully and understand
  2. To speak with clarity
  3. To develop wide and interesting vocabulary
  4. To tell stories with structure
  5. To hold conversations and debates
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The essential approach to teaching communication
Communication skills are taught within English and across the curriculum within a skills based curriculum. Teachers ensure that the core skills identified within the essential learning objectives are taught and assessed across the curriculum, within individual subjects and within ‘topic’ work.
Teachers use the essential learning objectives and milestones for their class, planning according to the needs of the children identified through ongoing and termly assessments. They provide a range of opportunities for communication within small groups, within the class and to larger audiences across the year.
 

 National Curriculum Programme of Study for English


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