The teaching of English is structured through the use of units or blocks of learning. Each unit of work is focused on either narrative, non-fiction or poetry from high-quality texts and these are arranged across the year to support progression in learning and forge strong cross-curricular links where appropriate. This is because the skills taught through daily English lessons are not isolated to this area of the curriculum, and different ‘aspects of English’ exist. The skills taught during English lessons need to be acquired in meaningful contexts, and therefore opportunity for further development is promoted in all subject areas. The progressive objectives of our Long and Medium term plans provide a clear, but flexible scaffold, organised into twelve key strands of knowledge, understanding and skills. These can be grouped to form the following key areas: sentence structure; punctuation; text structure and organisation; creating and shaping texts; word structure and spelling; presentation and handwriting.
These are often closely linked and simultaneously contribute to a child’s understanding of the reading, writing and speaking process. Teaching blocks are custom designed by clustering learning objectives taken from the twelve strands, and can vary in duration from two to six weeks. As a result, a highly personalised learning experience is provided.
The medium-term and short term plans are adapted from the curriculum and give details of the main teaching objectives for each unit. These plans define areas taught, and ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of work across each unit covering a range of genres. These plans include weekly short term planning which clearly states the learning objectives and the differentiated activities, including support, where appropriate for the week. This is followed through with both pupil and teacher assessment against the learning outcomes.
Guided reading occurs daily at the beginning of the English session and is based on a whole class guided reading activity that occurs each day, lasting for a minimum of 20 minutes. The guided reading will be linked to the high quality class text taught in the main English lesson. Various activities will be used within the sessions, ranging from comprehension, to answering a big question about a text, to identifying features of a particular genre of book. All children will have the opportunity to participate within the lesson and record their work within a guided reading and spelling book. Staff will regularly share ideas and discuss good practice to ensure guided reading sessions are up to date and have a variety of enriching activities that stimulate and involve all children.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) is to be taught both discretely and integrated throughout the curriculum. It is taught discretely at the beginning of each English lesson with a focus that links to the piece of writing planned through the week. It is thus a tool to support and raise achievement within writing as well covering the content domain provided in each year groups file. When opportunities arise, SPaG will be taught within both topic and science work to maximise impact.
English is taught both discretely and integrated throughout the curriculum. Discrete subject based lessons will also be taught alongside English. English is timetabled for 6 hours per week; additional work may be covered in other subject lessons and at an appropriate point within the geography, history and RE unit a non-fiction essay will be answered by the children showcasing their writing for a purpose in an analytical form.