The Huntspill Primary Academies Intention for English
At The Huntspill Primary Academies we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and to use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
At The Huntspill Primary Academies, we strive for enthusiastic and motivated readers that gain confidence in reading a wide variety of genres and text types. We encourage a love of literature and an enjoyment of reading for pleasure. It is a crucial area which will allow children to access all areas of the curriculum successfully.
All classes timetable guided reading for 30 minutes at least three times throughout the week. In Key Stage 1, these sessions are carefully led by an adult to teach children to read fluently, with expression and understanding. In Key Stage 2, guided reading sessions focus on concepts that include summarising, predictions, author’s intent and inference.
Teachers read aloud to their classes for at least 10 minutes every day. They carefully select rich texts that will support children to engender a love of reading, whether fiction, non-fiction or poetry. By reading aloud, teachers model expression and pronunciation as well as the concept of reading as a worthwhile and pleasurable activity.
We highly value the support of parents and carers in hearing their children read at home as research tells us that the more children read, the better their life chances.
Writing is a complex process that enables children to communicate their ideas on paper. Teachers teach a range of genres across each year to ensure children write for a range of purposes, for example to entertain, to inform or persuade.
Writing lessons take place for an hour each day, with at least 30 minutes per week allocated to the direct teaching of spelling. Units of work are carefully planned to model excellent writing and vocabulary that children can use as scaffolds for their own work before they move on to write independently. At all stages, and in context whenever possible, children are explicitly taught the appropriate grammar, spelling and punctuation for their year group. Teachers strive to link writing in English to other areas of the curriculum at every opportunity.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening is central to learning, culture and life. We acknowledge that high quality talk leads to high quality literacy. Speech, language and communication play a vital role in our lives.
During their time at The Huntspill Primary Academies, we aim that children should become fluent and confident communicators, increasingly matching their style and responses to their purpose and audience. The skills of speaking and listening are therefore included in the key expectations for each phase. Children should:
- be encouraged to speak with confidence, clarity and fluency
- recognise the value of listening
- be encouraged to have the self-esteem to be confident in the value of their own opinions and to be able to express them to others
- be able to adapt the use of language for a range of different purposes and audiences, including using Standard English
- learn to converse, sustain a logical argument and respond to others appropriately
- be encouraged to concentrate, interpret and respond appropriately to a wide range of listening experiences
- be prepared to be open-minded, to value the contribution of others and to take account of their views
- develop empathy through drama