English

Our mission is to ensure every child can read fluently and comprehend what they are reading. Within our daily English lessons, each pair of children have a copy of each book we study. Having the opportunity to read as a class every day is vital to children’s development as readers. Teachers teach reading well. They give expert help to those that finding reading more difficult, enabling pupils to catch up and keep up. We have found exposure to a range of high-quality books (click on specific Year Group tabs to see a list of these books) to be the best way to ensure that all pupils are able to increase their vocabulary as well as their knowledge and understanding of the world. Churchfields Junior School consistently produces outstanding results for reading, far exceeding national averages.

 

Adults and pupils talk passionately about the books that they read. We have developed the innovative ‘Reading Express’ which incorporates the tube map of London and instead of tube lines assigns a genre to them. The map has 250 books which we would like children to read before they leave the school. Our library is well stocked with these and 1000s of other books with opportunities every day to visit and change books. When a book has been read, a parent or carer signs the reading record to confirm this and the teacher stamps the corresponding page in the child’s reading passport.

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.

Illustration of British flag and books

How do we teach English?

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.

 

Through reading a range of different writing styles from Roald Dahl and Shaun Tan to Eva Ibbotson and Charles Dickens, children practise reading, spelling, punctuation as well as crafting written pieces in one 90 minute lesson. Learning to write in the styles of successful authors whilst developing their own style, enables children to write with authenticity which we believe contributes towards so many of our pupils achieving greater depth for writing.

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 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.

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.

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

Our English Leader is Mr Warmoth

Our English Link Governor is Mr Wilson

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

Our English Team

Mr Warmoth
English Leader
Governor Deon Wilson
Mr Wilson
English Link Governor