English

We, as a school, have decided upon whole class guided reading as we feel it is the best way to ensure all children are able to increase their vocabulary, understanding and enjoyment of texts. It allows in-depth discussion of high quality books daily for every child. This is a huge difference to carousel guided reading which will only allow children the chance to discuss a text with an adult once a week. Through whole class guided reading linked to a text the children see the process of English as not being three separate entities. The children are unable to produce high quality writing unless they have been exposed to high quality discussion and ‘rich talk’ conversations about the book. Having the opportunity to do this every day is vital to the children’s development as readers and we believe it complements the aims of the National Curriculum perfectly; daily high quality discussions around a whole breadth of genres encouraging them to be independent and fluent readers who can read silently.

How do we teach English?

Books

Each lesson is focused around a specific book that has been chosen very carefully for each year group. Within the lesson, the first part is a spelling, punctuation or grammar (SPaG) starter which will be linked to the current book and the writing task that will take place. These skills will then be expected to be used by the children in the writing later in the lesson.  Following on from this, the reading activity will also look to build on what has been started within SPaG and is designed to support the writing process as writing and reading are not viewed as two separate entities. For example if the writing task is to write a character description, within the reading lesson we will have looked at making inferences to understand how we can interpret various characters. That means within SPaG we may have looked at verbs to understand why the author has used certain words and what these words convey about the characters. Indeed we teach the children to ‘know a word by the company it keeps.’ This process allows the child to then practise their reading skills within their writing. As far as possible this is the intention for every lesson throughout each year group.

Writing for a Range of Purposes

Throughout the week the children will be building on the previous day’s learning and will be learning how to construct a different piece of writing each week. This ensures that throughout the year we teach the children how to write for a range of purposes and the children get lots of practice at the different writing types and the writing process in general.

Non-fiction

Teachers will also read non-fiction with their children on a regular basis due to the use of high quality textbooks designed to support the learning within geography, history, R.E and science. Here children are taught to analyse non-fiction writing as well as gain excellent knowledge of the topics. Once again, it is done as a whole class and exposes children to another very important genre and helps teach them the skill of picking out key information from the text. This is a school wide policy and teaches to the children that Reading is a vital skill across the curriculum.

Spelling

Why Do We Teach Spelling?

When we enable children to spell  with confidence we equip them with a life skill that is highly valued by employers. Spelling is assesses in the end of Key Stage assessments, along with grammar and punctuation.

 

Children who receive regular “Guided Spelling” sessions enjoy investigating spelling rules and spotting patterns while learning about the meaning of new words the their etymology. They are set spellings each week that are learnt in class and as part of homework.

How Do We Teach Spelling?

Children have Guided Spelling sessions within school. These lessons consist of 10-20 minutes of spelling activities and allow children to investigate and learn the rules, strategies and meanings behind the words taught each week.

 

For all spelling activities children are encouraged to use joined up handwriting. This allows the brain to memorise the movement and pattern in writing as well as remembering the lettering itself.

How Can I Help My Child with Spelling?

You can help your child at home by helping them to learn to use the new words they are learning in context. Help them to understand what each word means and how it can be used day to day and in their written work.

 

You could also ask them to explain to you any patterns and spelling rules they have identified.

Girl and boy testing spelling with card

Spelling Elements

Guided Group Work

Children have spelling sessions in class, guided by the class teacher, within the school day. These consist of ten to twenty minutes of spelling activities and allow children to investigate and learn the rules, strategies and meanings behind the words taught each week. Children develop an understanding of both the context in which words are used, how they are spelt and in some cases the origin of the word.

Dictionary Work

Once a week children must complete dictionary work to help understand the meaning of words they are studying. Once they have located words and researched their meaning they write sentences to show the words in context. Children are then encouraged to use these new words in their wider weekly writing tasks.

Read Our English Policy

Meet the Bookworms

We are a group of pupils who care deeply for our library and are enthusiastic about book reading. We meet every week to discuss everything our plans about how to make or library as good as it can be. We discuss how the library works as well as thinking of great ideas of how to get more people reading.

Girl reading outside by a tree

Meet the Finding Your Voice Group

We are the Finding Your Voice group. We are here to help and support each other find our voice when we are in the face of adversity. By teaching each other strategies on how we can cope with stressful situations, we want to ensure all pupils at Churchfields Junior School are happy and have a positive outlook on life.

Max, member of Finding Your Voice

Beyond the National Curriculum