English

Lead teacher - Miss Kaplan

Intent: To provide a high-quality curriculum that will teach pupils to speak, read and write fluently, so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively.

English is used across the whole curriculum, so learning is not restricted to the daily English lesson. All lessons contain opportunities for developing speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

In English, we follow the programme of study for the National Curriculum. In KS1, spelling and handwriting is linked to the taught phases of phonics. The Phonics scheme we follow in KS1 is Little Wandle. Children have daily phonics teaching for oral blending & segmenting, and also Grapho-phonemic skills. Please click on this link to see the parents page on the Little Wandle site. 

1. Speaking and Listening 

It is essential that children are good communicators and are taught to listen to their peers and adults. Pupils are given a variety of experiences and activities to develop their confidence and competence in speaking.

Listening skills are developed alongside speaking skills, enabling the children to comprehend, follow instructions, assimilate knowledge and listen for pleasure.

Pupils have the opportunity, throughout the school day, to work with Talk Partners and in small groups in order for ideas to be shared. We encourage pupils to:

  • Use Standard English
  • Speak clearly
  • To wait for their turn to contribute
  • Develop listening skills through oral comprehension
  • Pose relevant questions and respond to what they hear

Drama lessons, and learning poetry by heart to perform, also reinforces the development of pupils’ confidence in speaking clearly to an audience.

2. Reading

Reading skills are considered a priority, thus enabling pupils to read fluently and with understanding, to read for information and to use with confidence a wide range of printed material. We have a range of attractive books and a variety of reading scheme books (which are all phonetically decodable in Reception and Year 1), which we add to and update regularly; the books are colour-coded into bands of similar difficulty. Reading is taught in 1-1 and small group situations as well as in whole class set phonics lessons. In Reception the focus is on building phonological skills and learning sight vocabulary, while in Year 1 the children continue to 'grow the code' by learning alternative digraphs for sounds, but build on their prosody to support comprehension.

Children are encouraged to discuss, predict and reflect on what they have read. Children are expected to read daily and we ask parents to write comments in their child’s Reading Diary. The school library and class libraries have a large selection of both fiction and non-fiction books which the children may borrow on a regular basis.

At Sharnbrook Primary we use the Little Wandle scheme for teaching phonics. We have a variety of reading scheme books that the children can acess to support them developing their reading skills. For example, we use Oxford Reading Tree, Dandelion, Big Cat, Ginn and Project X along with free choice when reading for pleasure. Throughout Reception and Year 1 the books chosen are phonetically decodable working alongside the phonics scheme. In following the Little Wandle scheme, the children only access books that contain words with digraphs that they have been taught so far; this enables the children to practise using their decodable skills as well as building on their comprehension.

LW LS Accredited Logo HOR

Virtual Author Visits

As part of Black History Month in October, Year 6 met author Keeren Getten author of Two Sisters: A Story of Freedom which is part of the Voices series edited by Tony Bradman (a previous visiting author). Keeren talked about her inspiration for writing the book and also explained the writing process to the children. They were thoroughly engaged.

Kereen Getten  Two Sisters Keeren Getten

In January, Year 5 and 6 both benefitted from another workshop with the author Stephen Pass who has written two books: Madge the Mermaid, and the sequel, Attack of the Twins which are about a mermaid made of washed up items found in the sea. In this workshop, the children recited Madge's song and learned how to use shorthand. Stephen again shared his inspiration for his books and the process he goes through when writing. Both authors have really helped the children to understand that there are many steps to writing a story, including lots of editing!

 

Stephen Pass

Refugee Week 2022

In June, Year 5 and 6 took part in the National Literacy Trust's Refugee Week webinar with author Tom Palmer. This year's theme for Refugee Week is 'Healing'. To find out more about Tom's books or to send him a question, click here.

tom Finn

Each class from Year 1 to 6 also received a VIP Reading book box containing stories all about refugees. The boxes included one of the following books: My Name is not Refugee (Year 1); Tomorrow (Year 2); The Boy at the Back of the Class (Year 3); No Ballet Shoes in Syria (Year 4); The Unforgotten Coat (Year 5); and Boy, Everywhere (Year 6). The boxes also came with lots of lovely merchandise to share with the children. In addition, each of the authors created videos about their books which we have shared with the children too. If you want to watch them, please click this here. #SpreadHope

Refugee Week VIP

World Book Day 2022

This year for World Book Day, classes celebrated in different ways: Year 1 dressed up as their favourite characters and spent the week acting and writing about Grandma Bird by Benji Davis; Year 2 wrote some fantastic poetry; Year 3 created comic strips about their favourite books; Year 4 brought in their favourite books and carried out a book scavenger hunt as well as drawing pictures of their favourite characters; Year 5 watched a live presentation callled 'Using Your Imagination' featuring the World Book Day authors; and Year 6 did some maths linked to James and the Giant Peach and designed World Book Day tokens. Examples of some of these activities are below.

A selection of Year 3 Comic Strips

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A selection of Year 6 WBD Tokens

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3. Writing

Our children are given many opportunities across the whole curriculum to write for different purposes. To support writing we teach children their letter sounds and blends following the “Letters and Sounds” approach that starts in Preschool and goes through to Year 2. 

Children are taught spellings through the use of letter clusters, using the LOOK, COVER, WRITE, CHECK, technique i.e. LOOK carefully at the word, COVER the word, WRITE the word down, CHECK to see if you were correct. Spellings are sent home to reinforce learning. This year we have also subscribed to Spelling Shed to provide additional practise using an online platform. We encourage pupils not only to learn spellings but extend their vocabulary through the use of a dictionary and thesaurus.

We have formal Handwriting lessons as this plays a key part in the presentation of work. It is hoped that most children will join their handwriting by the end of Year 2.

In the files below, you will find examples of children's work which shows you what writing should look like by the end of each Key Stage. There are examples for working towards the standard, working at the expected standard, and working at greater depth within the expected standard.

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English  English 1

English 1