Within Folkestone Primary, our English programme of study follows the National Curriculum, covering recommended objectives for each year group, and is implemented through a range of whole school approaches, ensuring progression across the school. Our English lessons develop pupils' spoken language, reading, writing and grammar and vocabulary. We teach our pupils to speak clearly and use Standard English, to convey their ideas fluently and confidently and to ask questions. We have a huge emphasis on vocabulary in all subjects and children are encouraged to read for pleasure and to read widely.
Our phonics teaching follows a programme of synthetic phonics with Read Write Inc., which takes the learner incrementally through phases into full proficiency as confident readers.Children’s phonic knowledge is carefully tracked across the school using a bespoke phonics tracker to ensure progress is being made. Reading books match phonics teaching so children can practise applying their phonic knowledge. Our teaching of reading ensures that comprehension develops at the same rate as decoding of print.
At the same time as the teaching of reading skills, we are determined that a love of reading and good literature is taught to the children, promoting a life-long love of reading for enjoyment and as a source of information and knowledge. Reading plays a key role in our English lessons, which are centred around texts that offer rich opportunities and include a variety of genres, including poetry. Class texts are used throughout the school and are chosen in order to expose children to a range of contexts including refugees in Year 6, shipwrecks in Year 4 and traditional tales in Year R. Lexile levels are considered to ensure texts are challenging as children progress through the school, whilst maintaining children’s interest. Children engage in reading activities daily in school, either reading directly with an adult or through guided reading experiences. Children are also benchmarked regularly to ensure they are reading challenging texts and that their progress is carefully tracked.
We use the Talk 4 Writing (Pie Corbett) approach across the school to develop children’s writing and knowledge of different genres. During a three week block, children learn to imitate, innovate and invent using a model text. Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. We teach all of our English through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing. This enables them to choose the writer tools they want to use in their independent writing, which in turn helps them to develop their own literacy voice. All of our writing is taught with a clear audience and purpose in mind.
Criterion scales are used to assess children’s writing against National Curriculum objectives which again ensures progression across the school – this includes developing a secure knowledge of punctuation and grammar and ensuring children are equipped to apply these within their writing.
Spelling rules are taught daily in accordance with the National Curriculum guidelines. High Frequency Words are taught systematically and monitored regularly to ensure children have personalised words to practise reading and apply within their writing. Children are taught to write in a pre-cursive script from Year R in preparation for writing in a fully cursive style when they are ready.