At Painters Ash Primary School we aim to equip all our pupils with the English skills required to be successful learners and citizens in an ever-changing world. We aim to ensure that all pupils achieve well and in reading, writing, phonics, spelling, grammar, punctuation, speaking and listening.
We teach an English curriculum that is bespoke to the needs and interests of pupils at our school and as defined by the 2014 current national guidance.
The ethos of Painter’s Ash Primary School is centred around 5 core values. These values drive our English education.
Excellence – The children have many and varied opportunities to learn to read and write well, ensuring that they are prepared for the next steps in their education.
Determination – The children are encouraged and supported by all members of staff and by their peers to show resilience in their learning.
Community – Our school community celebrates reading and writing around the school and through home school links. We build links with our local secondary schools and our wider community.
Self-confidence – The children have opportunities to showcase their work through a range of performances, displays and show and shares.
Success – The children are congratulated for their achievements in our weekly Celebration Assemblies.
Our approach to the teaching of English embraces “GROW” - good reading into outstanding writing and forms the basis by which we aim to support our children to become literate, confident, communicators. We aim to support our children to develop a love of reading and the desire become lifelong learners.
Children will experience a variety of learning styles and will be able to develop their skills through a range of opportunities; reading for pleasure and writing for a purpose – speaking with confidence and authority, are key to the development of effective communicators.
Our overarching aim for English is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
Reading is promoted as an enjoyable activity and a life skill throughout the school. Our aims are to enable children to develop positive attitudes towards reading so that it is a pleasurable and meaningful activity; using reading skills as an integral part of learning throughout the curriculum.
Across the school children undertake both guided and independent reading. In the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, the skill of decoding is taught through daily phonics sessions where children are grouped according to their phonics ability. Little Wandle Letters and Sounds is a government approved phonics programme chosen by the school because it meets the needs of our pupils. Please see the Phonics Policy for further details.
The love of reading and reading skills are taught through daily story sessions, shared reading where staff model the application of reading skills, and through whole class and small group sessions following the VIPERS approach to teaching comprehension skills.
In EYFS and Key Stage One children are encouraged to read regularly at home as well as in school and the decodable texts that are sent home are matched to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds scheme. Children are also given the opportunity to self-select a text to share with their family from our class library of age appropriate picture
In Key Stage 2, once children have completed the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme, we use Book Bands as we feel that it is important to provide pupils with a selection of reading books and experiences from different genres and subject matter. Children who require further support to learn to read, read books from the Dandelion Readers book sets.
Whole Class Guided reading is taught daily and is based upon a range of high quality texts - a common planning format is followed across each key stage and the Vipers programme ensures balanced coverage of the key parts of the reading process. Age appropriate texts are selected, with each book displayed on the white board using the class Kindle.
Paper copies of the text are also available. Lessons last for 30 minutes and take place Monday to Thursday, Friday is “Book Talk Friday” and provides children with an additional opportunity for individual reading using their own reading books and staff to hear 1:1 readers.
We also use an online program to support the teaching of reading called Reading Plus. The Reading Plus program can be available for children from the end of Year 3 and above that teaches them to be stronger readers. It does this by developing silent reading fluency (reading speed), then introducing more complex stories (for comprehension), and advanced vocabulary (for knowledge).
Children have access to high quality online texts that are constantly updated and adapted to meet every child’s needs, regardless of what level they are reading at. Teachers monitor exactly what and how children are reading, meaning they can offer targeted support when needed. There is an expectation that children will have the opportunity to complete Reading Plus lessons at school per and at home.
An integral part of the child’s development – Home Reading is actively encouraged. “Busters Book Club” held in conjunction with the Kent Messengers schools’ initiative project is a weekly celebration of Home Reading, where children are set reading targets and parents hear them read and record if the target has been read. This is marked in our celebration assembly where winning classes and individuals are rewarded with trophies and badges.
In EYFS and KS1 children also have a class reading caterpillar to reward regular home reading. They are able to move their named peg up to the next segment of the caterpillar if they have read at home more than three times each week. Upon reaching the caterpillar’s face the children are presented with a caterpillar reading certificate to share with their family and friends.
How we approach the teaching of writing
Our approach embraces “GROW” - good reading into outstanding writing and forms the basis by which we aim to support our children to become literate, confident, communicators. To develop our children as writers, we encourage them to view themselves as writers from the earliest stage.
They have ideas that they want to communicate, and we build on the writing skills they have acquired and their knowledge of print from their environment. We strive to provide experiences where the children can acquire confidence and a positive attitude to writing.
Children are provided with opportunities to write for a range of hooks, purposes and audiences. Thus developing their ability to showcase their talents and provide evidence of this by producing sustained writing.
To utilise and embed their writing skills, our teachers use a writing journey to plan, structure and teach their English lessons. This journey is designed to show progress, teach the pertinent year group objectives, apply and consolidate these skills and develop vocabulary. Writing is explicitly taught using the Model, Share, Try and Apply approach outlined below:
Model– A short model/exemplar text is displayed. The text is analysed for vocabulary and grammar choices e.g. fronted adverbials, power of three, use of long or short sentences, alliteration, smile, adjectives etc. A checklist of features is created to be used in their own writing.
Share – The teacher models writing their own short piece using the success criteria as a guide. Pupils offer suggestions to be included.
Try – Pupils practise new skills taught in the lesson.
Apply – Pupils independently apply and integrate the features into their own writing. Children are encouraged to ‘magpie’ vocabulary and phrases from one another.
Teachers use guided writing sessions to model writing skills, teaching children how to compose, amend and revise their writing. Colourful semantics is used across the school to scaffold writing for all learners.
We also encourage our children to become critical readers of their own writing by using self-evaluation and checking their work independently for vocabulary, sense, accuracy and meaning.
This is evidenced through the use of their “purple polishing “pen, from year 2 onwards where improvements can easily be identified. Children are taught how to edit and up level their work – the development of this specific skill is key if children are to become confident, independent writers.
All children are taught to use a range of planning formats (depending upon the genre of writing) for extended pieces of writing – these are designed to support the inclusion of key features appropriate to the text.
Some examples of our whole school writing week, where all classes read the text Rhythm of the Rain.
KEY STAGE 1 HANDWRITING
KS1 is the time to introduce new letterforms (capital letters, numbers, printed letters and punctuation) and Letter-join animates all of these to show the correct formation and provides ready-made worksheets for labelling and form-filling using capital and printed letters.
As a school, we are looking for our pupils to improve their handwriting so that they are able to produce 'display-quality' work daily in their writing books. We look for neater presentation, writing on the line consistent size and spacing.
For more information on Letter-join and all of it's features and benefits, please use the link below to learn more.
What can be more fun than learning to draw spirals and zig-zags? Patterns and pre-cursive shapes can be challenging for young pupils, but Letter-join in Reception, introduces joined-up handwriting to our youngest pupils.
Via our collaborative & interactive touch displays, we share Letter-join’s animations that demonstrate the pre-cursive patterns that we are learning that week. the children then either trace these with pencils onto printed sheets, use interactive styluses to draw directly onto the classroom display, can be copied by air-writing or by tracing on our classroom chromebooks or iPads.
Watching and copying the shapes of letters and the various joining techniques will enable pupils to learn to write simple words in a cursive style at this early stage in their education.
LETTERJOIN HOME ACCESS
Please use the details below to access letter join at home with your child.