As a core curriculum subject, English is a priority in our schools. This encourages pupils to become resilient readers and confident communicators.
In every academy, reading is prioritised to enable all children to access the curriculum. Our consistent and rigorous approach to teaching early reading enables children to master the key skills that research suggests is important early on. To do this, we follow the Read Write Inc. programme; this sets out a sequence of lessons that teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. They also learn to form each letter, spell correctly and compose their ideas step-by-step.
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While your child is learning to read, they will be given the storybook that they have read in class so that they can practise re-reading it at home- this is done to help them build their confidence and fluency. They will also be given a ‘book bag book’ which will be an exciting text that they will be able to read themselves; this is because they will have learnt all the letters and ‘red words’ already in class, but you can offer some help if they need it. It is really important you listen to your child read at least three times a week. Finally, your child will be given a library book; this book is for you to read to your child and crucial at helping them expand their vocabulary and develop a love for reading.
If you would like to know more about how your child is taught to read, or how you can support at home, ask to speak to the academy’s Reading Leader, Mrs Parker.
The study of English promotes reading as a way of acquiring knowledge and as a way of exploring the world in different ways which enriches pupils’ understanding. A major focus of our English curriculum is to encourage the habit and enjoyment of reading – whether this is to explore new fictional worlds and characters, to engage with unfamiliar experiences through literature, to learn about our literary heritage, or to gain information from a variety of sources. Pupils will be immersed in a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry throughout their primary journey. Reading is prioritised to allow access to the full curriculum offer, as it is our belief that reading is a necessity for pupils as it lays the foundations for many of the skills they will explore on their academic journey.
In order to teach pupils to develop their reading fluency and comprehension skills further, we believe it is vital that pupils experience high quality modelling from adults in school. They are given support where appropriate and the opportunity for independent practice of skills. As a class, the areas of development are identified and focused intervention takes place during the lesson.
Across the academic year, all classes will cover the content domains as set out in the national curriculum. The aim of each session is to tackle questions in detail, with reference to explicit strategies for each area of focus. The majority of pupils will access the same text, with support provided by the adults in the room. This text must be age-appropriate, but could also be an example of cross-curricular reading (either fiction, non-fiction or poetry).
Accelerated Reader is a computer-based reading programme which quizzes pupils on the books they have read in order to recommend new books appropriate to their ability and reading age. This is used in Years 2-6 with books from a variety of genres across fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
These Accelerated Reader books will be taken home as a home reader. The Outwood Primary Academies have agreed that home reading will be recorded in homework planners by an adult three times a week. Teachers will check these planners regularly, ensuring pupils are reading at home to consolidate and embed the skills learnt in school, including the development of reading fluency.
Our English curriculum provides many opportunities for writing with real purpose, including poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Pupils are actively encouraged to challenge themselves in writing lessons to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of different text types and genres. Across the study of English, pupils will be exposed to excellent examples of a wide variety of texts, and will be given many opportunities to explore the role of the author. Across all writing activities, pupils will be encouraged to enhance and extend their vocabulary, grammatical accuracy, and will develop their ability to construct and manipulate sentences for effect. The development of spelling, punctuation and grammar is also a key part of our English curriculum, and is embedded within our writing lessons. From letter formation at the beginning of their academic journey, to crafting sophisticated narratives in Year 6, teachers encourage pupils to have nothing but the highest standards in English.