English

Statement of Intent
At Greenlands Community Primary School, we are proud to offer the children a text rich learning environment where creativity and imagination can be fuelled. When our pupils leave Greenlands, we intend them to be passionate readers, who read fluently and widely and are able to express preferences and opinions about the texts that they read. We intend to mould our children to become writers who can adapt their language and style for a range of contexts and re-read, edit and improve their own writing. We aim to expose the pupils to a wide range of vocabulary so that they are able to decipher new words and use them when speaking and writing in both formal and informal contexts. At Greenlands, we set high expectations for all of our children to take pride in their work while encouraging their imaginations to flourish. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where creativity is pivotal, and provide opportunities to engage learning and celebrate the individual skills of our pupils, recognising everyone as unique with their own aspirations, talents and dreams.

Writing

From the moment the children join Greenlands Community Primary School, they are encouraged to write for a range of reasons and audiences. At all times we aim to ensure that they have authentic reasons for writing and understand the importance of this skill.

Within each year group the children are taught the skills to write clearly, accurately and coherently for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

There is an emphasis on developing the pupils’ competence in spelling, handwriting, composition, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation which they are encouraged to apply to different types of writing.

Children have regular handwriting sessions and are taught to use a legible, cursive style. At the beginning of term, a handwriting baseline assessment is carried out with pupils’ achievements celebrated in handwriting assemblies across the year.

Reading

At Greenlands, we encourage a love of books and reading and provide the children with opportunities to enjoy and share books with others.

Our whole school provides the pupils with a language rich environment enabling pupils to access reading of different types on a daily basis. We have a brand-new, vibrant library which each class loves to visit on a weekly basis to select a reading for pleasure book.

Teachers model reading strategies during shared reading sessions, and children have the opportunity to develop reading strategies and to discuss texts in detail during guided reading sessions. All English units of work follow the teaching sequence of reading and responding -> reading and analysing -> gathering content -> planning and writing. This sequence means that children become immersed in a genre and cover a variety of reading skills before writing their own example. Independent reading provides time for assessment and 1-1 teaching.

We place heavy emphasis on the teaching of phonics in a robust and consistent way to help our children to become readers as quickly as possible. There are engaging, daily phonics lessons in Reception and Key Stage One and these are continued into Key Stage Two where necessary through targeted interventions. For more information, click the ‘Phonics’ tab.

In EYFS and Key Stage One, our early readers enjoy the fully decodable Bug Club’s reading books which are aligned to their phonics phase. This alignment ensures that children can experience success as readers and gives them the opportunity to apply what they have learnt in their phonics sessions. As children progress in their reading, they will move onto a new book band. The books will vary in a number of ways, including layout, size, vocabulary and length in order to give children a rich diet of literature. The difference between each colour band is very gradual, so that children do not experience great difficulty moving up through the scheme. Progress through the bands is not automatic and it is important to ensure that children working in the early bands have secure understanding so that they remain in control of the task and well-motivated as they move on to more challenging texts. This is particularly important for children at the early stages of learning English as an additional language.

To support our vulnerable readers, who despite varied efforts and approaches still do not make expected progress, we conduct more in depth additional assessments. Interventions can then be put in place, including Project X, IDL, Bounce Back Phonics, Fast Track Phonics etc to support the children’s needs. 

We encourage all children to share a book at home with their adults. We believe that this not only helps to develop inferential skills, but also supports a lifelong love of reading. Our children tell us how much they love story time at home. It’s a warm and loving experience where the children have your undying attention as they anticipate the next part of the story. Reading with your child helps their development and helps them learn early literacy, aids imagination and helps them to express and understand their emotions. The endless benefits of reading should not be underestimated.

Exciting activities in school are arranged to promote a love of reading and celebrate World Book Day, National Storytelling Week, Vocabulary days and lots more. The FBA Club (Fabulous Book Awards) and BBA Club (Brilliant Book Awards) are an extra-curricular opportunity held every year for Key Stage One and Two pupils to borrow, enjoy and evaluate fiction. We also invite local authors into school and enjoy performances by professional theatre groups to illustrate stories.

Spelling

Our aim at Greenlands is to teach the children to develop a range of personal strategies for learning spellings, and for checking and proofreading spellings in their own writing.

We teach spelling to the National Curriculum requirements which enable pupils to:

 

    • develop a range of personal strategies for learning new and irregular words.

 

    • develop a range of personal strategies for spelling at the point of writing composition.

 

    • develop a range of strategies for checking and proofreading spellings after writing.

 

    • use further prefixes and suffixes and understand the guidance for adding them.

 

    • spell some words with ‘silent’ letters.

    • continue to distinguish between homophones and other words which are often confused.

 

    • use knowledge of morphology and etymology in spelling and understand that the spelling of some words needs to be learnt specifically.

 

    • use dictionaries to check the spelling and meaning of words.

 

    • use the first three or four letters of a word to check spelling, meaning or both of these in a dictionary.

 

    • use a thesaurus.

 

    • proofread for spelling errors.

 

Phonics

Throughout the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, children take part in daily 20 minute phonics sessions. Our daily phonics lessons follow the guidance set out in the Letters and Sounds phonics resource, which was published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read and write by developing their phonic knowledge. All children have the opportunity to revisit previous learning, practise and apply new skills in structured and engaging ways.

The Letters and Sounds programme sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by the age of seven.

What are the phonics phases?

Phase 1:

Phase 1 is divided into seven aspects. Each aspect contains three strands: Tuning in to sounds (auditory discrimination), Listening and remembering sounds (auditory memory and sequencing) and Talking about sounds (developing vocabulary and language comprehension).

Phase 2:

Phase 2 begins with children being introduced to individual letters and their sounds; sets of letters are taught each week in the sequence advised by the Letters and Sounds programme. As soon as each set of letters is introduced, children are encouraged to use their knowledge of the letter sounds to blend and sound out words. They will also learn to segment the words. Children focus on CVC words (consonant – vowel – consonant). ‘Cat’, for instance, is an example of a CVC word.

Phase 3:

Over the twelve weeks which Phase 3 is expected to last, 25 new graphemes are introduced. During Phase 3, children will also learn the letter names, although they will continue to use the sounds when decoding words.

Phase 4:

In Phase 4, no new graphemes are introduced. The main aim of this phase is to consolidate the children’s knowledge and to help them learn to read and spell words which have adjacent consonants, such as trap, string and milk. Compound words are also introduced to children in this phase. Compound words are two single words which, when placed together, make a new word. Examples of compound words include ‘starfish’, ‘butterfly’ and ‘bathroom’.

Phase 5:

In Phase Five, children will learn alternative ways for spelling sounds they have previously learned. For example, they already know ‘ai’ as in rain, but now they will be introduced to ‘ay’ as in day and ‘a-e’ as in make. We refer to the latter as a ‘split digraph’.

Alternative pronunciations for graphemes will also be introduced, e.g. ‘ea’ in tea, head and break.

Phase 6:

At the start of Phase Six of Letters and Sounds, children will have already learnt the most frequently occurring grapheme–phoneme correspondences (GPCs) in the English language. They will be able to read many familiar words automatically. When they come across unfamiliar words they will in many cases be able to decode them quickly and quietly using their well-developed sounding and blending skills. With more complex unfamiliar words they will often be able to decode them by sounding them out.

At this stage children should be able to spell words phonemically although not always correctly. In Phase Six the main aim is for children to become more fluent readers and more accurate spellers.

Fast Track Phonics
Fast Track Phonics has been devised by the Lancashire Literacy Team to support children in Year 2 who did not achieve the expected level in the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check. It is intended to close gaps in learning and run in addition to quality daily phonics teaching. Fast Track Phonics is a programme may also be used with children in other year groups who we feel would benefit from the programme.

For further information or to access free resources and games to help your child at home, visit www.letters-and-sounds.com

Spoken Language

We are committed to the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language. This underpins the development of reading and writing. We encourage children to express opinions and present ideas in both formal and informal situations. Drama, role play, discussion and debate bring language to life and are important in teaching self- expression.

100 Books To Read Before You Leave Greenlands
Useful Phonics Websites for Parents and Carers

Useful Phonics Websites for Parents and Carers

http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/question/index/3

Has lots of information and guidance for parents/carers

http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/

Has lots of information, printable resources for each of the Letters and Sounds phonic phases, and also links to games aligned with each phase.

http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/ParentsMenu.html

Offers a selection of interactive games for all phonic phases. Mostly simple games.

www.ictgames.com/literacy.html

Has a great selection of games that link well with games in Letters and Sounds.

http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/vtc/ngfl/ngfl-flash/alphabet-eng/alphabet.html

Letter names come up in alphabetical order

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/wordsandpictures/index.shtml

Activities for all phases

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ks1bitesize/literacy/phonics/index.shtml

– ‘Deep Sea Phonics’ game with choice of difficulty (some HFWs, some vowel blends, very varied).

http://www.bigbrownbear.co.uk/magneticletters/

-Make any words with this useful game.

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/hear_the_sounds/hear_the_sounds_1.html

-Useful page which demonstrates pronunciation of all sounds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ksblMiliA8

-Youtube video guide to pronunciation of all sounds.

Useful Apps for tablets:

http://www.nessy.com/hairyletters/

-A useful app with interactive activities which we use at school.

http://www.letterschool.com/

-A good app for practising letter formation. You can purchase the full version, or download the free version (LetterSchool Lite), which contains all the features of the full version for a subset of letters and numbers, at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/letterschool-lite/id481067676

Supporting EYFS children at home with reading
Supporting Year 1 children at home with reading
Supporting Year 2 children at home with reading
Supporting Year 3 children at home with reading
Supporting Year 4 children at home with reading
Supporting Year 5 children at home with reading
Supporting Year 6 children at home with reading
Useful websites to support your child's English at home

Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve and contribute to improving our quality of life.” Sidney Sheldon

At Greenlands Community Primary School, we believe that our school library is central to learning and plays a key role throughout our school. Our library is a catalyst for literacy and reading and for scaffolding inquiry learning. We believe the library makes a difference to students’ understanding and achievement, as well as continuously providing support for teaching and learning.

Our library is filled with a wealth of books; children are able to check out one book at a time. With hundreds of fiction and non-fiction books there are plenty to choose from!

The comfy beanbags are the icing on the cake!

“The more you read, the more things you know. The more that you learn, the more place you’ll go.”-Dr.Seuss