The English Curriculum is delivered using the 2014 National Curriculum. Early Learning Goals are used to ensure continuity and progression from the Foundation Stage through to the National Curriculum.
In Key Stage 1 we have daily phonics sessions for all Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children; we also have phonics sessions for children who will benefit from them further up the school.
Our daily phonics sessions are delivered by teachers and teaching assistants to groups of children, which are organised by the phase they are currently working within.
We use the Letters and Sounds framework to teach phonics, and in some of our sessions, we use Jolly Phonics songs to teach early phonics.
Speaking and Listening
The four strands of Speaking and Listening (Speaking, Listening, Group Discussion and Interaction and Drama) permeate the whole curriculum. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise reading and writing standards. All of our children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life.
At George Washington Primary School we see reading as an integral part of the school curriculum that impacts on all learning. We value the importance of being a confident reader and work hard to develop children’s reading skills. We want children to enjoy reading a wide range of different books and be able to talk about books and authors.
We teach reading from Foundation Stage to Year 6. This can be in the form of one-to-one reading with an adult, shared reading, guided reading sessions and independent reading. In Foundation and Key Stage 1 we have daily phonics sessions and use the Letters and Sounds framework to support this. We use a range of reading schemes to broaden children’s understanding, interest and enjoyment of reading. In Key Stage 2, as their reading develops, children are encouraged to read from a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books.
All children are able to take books home to read with an adult, this shared learning will help children to practice their reading skills and develop a lifelong love of reading.
As well as teaching the skills necessary to become confident readers, we have our own library full of exciting books, which children access and use on a regular basis.
Exciting ‘hooks’ and writing stimuli are key to our children becoming confident and accomplished writers. Children make great progress when they are fully engaged by their work. Teachers plan sequences of English work based around the interests of the children in their class. Children have writing opportunities across the curriculum and produce high quality writing in Science, Topic and Maths lessons, as well as in daily English lessons. The teaching of writing happens in shared writing with the whole class, or groups, when the teacher will model the use of grammar, punctuation, vocabulary choices and specific genre features, incorporating the ideas of the children. Children also have access to small guided writing groups with their teacher, or another member of staff, to address individual needs. These groups may happen in class or out of class as an intervention group. Sometimes children will work one-to-one with a teacher or other staff member as and when the need arises. Children often work together to generate, share and develop ideas.
At George Washington, we teach handwriting as a skill, which enables children to use a clear, well-formed style in which to record their thoughts for themselves and others to read. We aim for a clear, legible, well-formed, joined-up writing style, which children can produce quickly and comfortably.
We use the Collins Primary Focus (previously Spectrum) handwriting scheme to support our work and teach individual letters with cursive flicks from the earliest stages.
We want all our children to develop a personal style of joined-up handwriting in which they can have confidence and pride.
The majority of children from Years 1 to 6 are given lists of spellings each week to learn at home. Weekly spelling lessons teach the spelling rules and skills children need to build up a knowledge of key spellings and the strategies to spell words independently. Regular spelling games consolidate children’s knowledge. Children may also be given unseen spelling quizzes of National Curriculum spelling list words, or words which are chosen as important for an individual child or group of children.