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Westgate Primary

English

Westgate Primary School recognises that the teaching and learning of English is an essential part of a child's whole development and this enables all pupils, including SEN and disadvantaged pupils, to develop their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

English enables pupils to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate effectively. The teaching of English is broken into three strands - Reading, Writing and Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar, with reading being the key to developing the other skills together with skills and knowledge development across all other curriculum subjects.

Our teaching and learning in English is intended to help mitigate the barriers to learning identified in the School Development Plan. Speaking and listening skills are developed at every opportunity through all lessons, especially English and reading lessons and through our assembly programme, which is based on debating a range of issues related to current news events (Picture News scheme). The expectation is that any written work, including for topic work, is of the same high standard as the writing in the pupil’s English books. Reading across the curriculum is also encouraged, with topic related books being available in each class, to help pupils relate their learning in English to learning in the foundation subjects.

At Westgate, we want all pupils to leave Year 6 reading and writing with confidence, fluency and understanding. We teach pupils to use a range of independent strategies, taking responsibility for their own learning, including monitoring and correcting their own errors. Across our reading and writing curriculum, we promote a love of reading and a desire to read for enjoyment, encouraging an interest in words and their meanings.

Reading and Writing Overviews

Reading

  • The teaching of reading starts in EYFS and continues throughout KS1, where the pupils have daily phonics sessions as part of the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme of systematic synthetic phonics. For further information please see the Phonics section of our website: Westgate Primary School - Phonics
  • From KS2, if pupils are unable to read fluently (approximately 90 words per minute) when assessed as part of the RWI programme, pupils are targeted for support.
  • Throughout Year 2 to Year 6, daily reading lessons are taught focusing on developing fluency and the understanding of vocabulary. The books chosen are listed in our Westgate Reading and Writing Unit Overview document and pupils are encouraged to finish reading each text independently.
  • Home reading is strongly encouraged and parent meetings and letters keep parents and carers informed of the school’s expectations and provision.
  • In KS1, pupils take home the RWI book they are working on, a matched RWI story book and a colour banded book. They are expected to reread them and become familiar with them. In KS2, pupils take home a colour banded book and another book they have chosen from the class reading area. 
  • Across KS1 and KS2, the book of their own choice is a book for parents to read to their child to expose them to new vocabulary. 
  • In order to further develop a love of reading, pupils are also read to daily by the teacher in a timetabled session. A wide range of books are also available in the classrooms that specifically connect to the current foundation subject topics and these are displayed so that pupils are encouraged to read them and develop their knowledge and understanding of the topic.

 Writing

  • In EYFS, children are taught the letter graphemes as they learn the sounds in RWI and are encouraged to have a go at writing by sounding out words and recording the sounds they hear. This takes place during teacher led sessions and there are also plenty of opportunities during child initiated sessions, with a range of materials and writing prompts available.
  • In EYFS and from Year 1 to Year 6, the teaching of writing is connected to core texts that sometimes will also link to the curriculum topic (please see our Reading and Writing Unit Overview document). We expose pupils to a range of inclusive and diverse fiction texts, non-fiction texts and poetry, as well as giving them opportunities to identify different genres of writing.
  • Across each year group, units of work are based on different genres focusing on an intended purpose and audience. We ensure there is progression within and across year groups, providing opportunities for pupils to build upon their prior learning.
  • When planning a sequence of Writing lessons, although the overall unit outcome focuses on a specific genre, we aim to develop pupils writing skills by planning in opportunities for ‘short bursts’ of writing so the pupils can develop their use of vocabulary and punctuation, as well as refine their grammatical skills. Pupils are encouraged to build upon the concepts taught in previous lessons by combining different writing skills together, e.g. writing a letter including expanded noun phrases, fronted adverbials and conjunctions, having been taught these key skills throughout the weekly teaching sequence.
  • The final piece of writing – the Hot Write – is then written using learning from the previous sessions. This is written in draft form and is then edited and improved by the pupils before a final version is written. 
  • Teachers provide regular constructive feedback through live marking. Peer and self-assessment is also planned into lessons and pupils are provided with the time to respond to marking and feedback.

Speaking and Listening

From the very beginning of their time in school, pupils are encouraged to develop their speaking and listening skills by working collaboratively with their peers through the use of co-operative learning techniques, such as paired and group discussions, role play activities and debates. These skills extend the pupil’s vocabulary and understanding, strengthening the connections with their learning in English, as well as their learning within Mathematics and the foundation subjects.

These skills are further strengthened through our debating assembly programme where current issues from the news are discussed in whole class assemblies and then debated at the end of the week in Key Stage assemblies. All pupils are provided with the opportunity to participate in these debates and they are given a chance to share their opinions and views.

At the end of each term, pupils take part in presentations linked to their topic. During this time, the pupils use their speaking and listening skills to deliver information which answers a key question, e.g. The Roman's made life in Britain better - agree or disagree?

Spelling

Our spelling lessons are based on units that follow clear patterns to aid understanding. Throughout the school, a spelling rule or new letter sounds are introduced weekly and relevant spellings are taught, e.g. through mnemonics, word sorting and spelling games. Teachers provides pupils with regularly opportunities to practise their spellings, through dictation and transcription.

Key word banks, high frequency words, dictionaries and topic related vocabulary resources scaffold children as necessary. When marking, spellings are identified by teachers and support staff using an agreed code and children practise spelling corrections as part of their response to marked work.

  British Values 

By connecting our British Values through the teaching of English, we explore issues that affect us all in our lives and this helps the children develop skills they will need to be effective citizens now and in the future, e.g. tolerance and respect are modelled through debates and discussions where pupils are encouraged to listen to their peers and share their own views, understanding that all individuals have different opinions. 

World Book Day 2024

 

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World Book Day 2022