INTENT – Why do we teach English?

At Ludham Primary School and Nursery, our English curriculum is designed to develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion, to enable our pupils to become articulate citizens who can communicate effectively. We aim to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • develop a wide vocabulary, using their linguistic skills to communicate effectively and coherently
  • write clearly, imaginatively and accurately, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts and purposes
  • be confident when speaking and listening and use discussion to communicate and further their learning in all areas of the curriculum

Our carefully sequenced curriculum ensures progression in and across year groups, providing opportunities to embed and extend their learning; pupils are given opportunities to use and apply the skills they learn across all areas of the curriculum.

IMPLEMENTATION- What do we teach – what does this look like?

Phonics:

From Reception, EYFS and KS1 pupils engage with daily Read Write Inc Phonics sessions, teaching them to read accurately, fluently and with understanding. Every day, pupils learn new sounds and review previous sounds and words; texts are matched to the sounds that they know, ensuring that children are always able to decode the books they are reading. Pupils are assessed every half term and grouped according to their ‘challenge level’ (Ruth Miskin, 2022); regular assessment means that they work through the levels quickly and pupils who might be struggling are quickly identified and interventions put into place. Daily interventions enable pupils to ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’.

Reading and Writing:

In addition to daily phonics sessions for EYFS and KS1 pupils (and daily Speed Sounds Sessions for pupils in lower KS2), our daily English lessons are built around the use of high-quality texts. Exposing pupils to quality literature lies at the heart of our English curriculum and so sequences are planned to ensure pupils are introduced to new and more contemporary texts, as well as including some traditional favourites and archaic classics. Reading and writing skills are taught together, with lessons focusing on different learning throughout the sequence and drawing their learning together through one or more written pieces. Pupils are expected to write every day, across the curriculum, developing the speed and stamina required as they approach secondary education.

Accelerated Reader:

In KS2, Renaissance Star Reading is used as an online assessment of our students’ reading growth. Star Reading indicates the skills each student needs to focus on to meet or exceed expected standards, and is computer-adaptive, meaning that it adapts to each student’s abilities. From the data collected during these assessments, pupils are assigned a ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development), which indicates the range of difficulty level of books a child should read to allow for independent reading. Children are encouraged to read these books at least three times a week at home, and are also listened to by adults at school. Once they have finished a book, they take an online quiz which assesses their comprehension. Star Reader assessments are repeated termly to track progress.

Additionally, children are encouraged to select a ‘free reader’ book, which may be a different level to their ZPD. A range of fiction and non-fiction books are also available on class bookshelves for independent reading.

Fluency:

Fluency is the bridge between decoding and comprehension; at Ludham Primary School and Nursery we explicitly teach fluency to develop children’s ability to read with automaticity (rapid word reading without decoding), accuracy and prosody (expressive, phrased reading). During these sessions, the teacher models the reading of a short text to the children, who listen carefully to expression and phrasing. They then have the opportunity to echo-read the text, practise with their partner, and finally perform the extract themselves if they wish.

Spelling:

In EYFS and KS1, spelling is taught within daily Read Write Inc sessions, focusing on spelling words containing sounds that children have learned. Using ‘Fred Fingers’, they learn to identify the number of sounds in each word, to say each sound out loud and write the letters for each sound.

In lower KS2, Spelling is taught through Read Write Inc – a proven approach underpinned by phonics in a series of fast–paced lessons, which prepare children for the higher demands of the statutory spelling assessments in England. Spelling is taught in daily sessions through a range of activities designed to embed spelling rules.

In upper KS2, children are given opportunities to practise their spellings at school and Spelling Shed can be used as a revision tool at home.

Handwriting:

In EYFS and KS1, handwriting is developed initially through RWI, with additional practise taking place regularly throughout the week. Once pupils are able to form their letters correctly and to a consistent size, they will be introduced to cursive handwriting. At Ludham Primary School and Nursery, we use Nelson Handwriting, Oxford Owl as a tool to support pupils’ development, with teachers modelling how to correctly form and join letters.

Enrichment:

Author visits are always an exciting opportunity and prove very popular with pupils: hearing from a real-life writer provides children with the opportunity to ask questions about their writing journey, as well as being able to participate in the workshops which follow.

Family Reading Cafes provide the opportunity for us to welcome parents, carers and younger siblings into school to enjoy a story and complete an activity with their children in an informal environment.

Reading assemblies extend opportunities for reading for pleasure for all pupils. Everyone Reading In Class (ERIC) time is a celebrated and much-looked-forward-to reading for pleasure time each week.

Every March, we celebrate World Book Day, and we are delighted to be able to welcome travelling Book Fairs back into school this year.

Teachers recommend a range of books for children to read on the ‘Bookflix’ board which is situated in the school library. Children can also recommend books to each other through a system of ‘book belts’ and the Junior Librarian initiative.

The school has links with local private booksellers and the Norfolk Library Service.

IMPACT

Children leave Ludham Primary School and Nursery as happy, confident learners who have developed a love of reading and writing with the key skills and knowledge necessary for the next stage of their learning.  They have high aspirations and are confident in the art of speaking and listening, able to successfully use discussion to communicate and further their learning.

Our pupils will leave Ludham Primary School and Nursery:

  • enjoying reading and writing across a range of genres
  • enjoying reading regularly, for information and for enjoyment and being able to discuss books with excitement and interest
  • enjoying writing, using the features of different genres and styles and are able to write confidently for different purposes and audiences
  • having a wide vocabulary that they use within their writing
  • having a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context and audience
  • being able to effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught

In addition:

  • Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support pupils’ reading development at home
  • Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support spelling, grammar and composition and home
  • The % of pupils working at ARE within each year group will be at least in line with national averages
  • The % of pupils working at Greater Depth within each year group will be at least in line with national averages
  • There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non-disadvantaged).