At Emsworth Primary School, we aim to promote high standards of 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.
Through our carefully planned, learning journeys, we draw together all aspects of the English curriculum so that children will:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- develop a rich and wide vocabulary
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- be competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
Speaking and Listening
We strongly believe spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. Through stimulating language at the beginning of learning journeys, children are equipped with rich and varied language they can use in discussion. They are able to ask questions to peers, generate subject specific vocabulary and refine language choices before applying this in their writing. We are aware of the impact of the pandemic and multiple lockdowns on children's speaking and listening and strive to provide rich opportunities for talk in the classroom.
We aim to ensure all children become fluent, confident readers with a developed love of reading. In every year group, learning journeys are planned using a text stimulus that children can immerse themselves in throughout the topic. This text-based provision provides a strong hook linking together the strands of speaking and listening, reading and writing in order to provide a rich and embedded English curriculum. Love of whole class reading and organic language acquisition provides inspiration for writing.
Guided reading sessions are planned to build upon phonics teaching in Early Years. High quality teaching of early reading is taught through the Letters and Sounds programme. Through small group and whole class reading children focus on applying their phonics skills to decode and build their fluency. High level questioning encourages comprehension skills and children are encouraged to justify their responses with reference to the text. Guided reading sessions are often linked to English texts and themes, further enhancing the learning journey.
Reading is celebrated at Emsworth Primary and children are encouraged to develop a love of reading. Every class enjoys class reads by their teacher and this time is treasured and valued by all. Through class systems children are rewarded for reading and celebrated in assembly. Termly reading events give pupils opportunities to share books with loved ones and read together in a relaxed and friendly environment. Book club, run by an English leader at lunchtime, is an extra opportunity for children to read for pleasure and to share favourite texts.
Learning journeys provide a process for all children to be able to secure steps to successful, well-structured writing. Children begin the learning journey 'stimulating and generating' vocabulary from high quality texts, before 'capturing and sorting' expected sentence structures and finally 'creating and refining' their own writing around the modelled text. As a product of carefully planned learning journeys, children are able to select high level language and learn grammatical elements of writing before integrating them in apprentice and final writing outcomes.
Every term, all children take part in a whole school writing focus. Although the stimulus and style of writing is the same throughout the school, each year group responds in an age appropriate manner producing high quality writing for all. Written outcomes are then celebrated by displaying final pieces in prime position in the school. Children enjoy having a strong theme that can be accessed by all and being immersed in a whole school celebration of writing. Writing outcomes are celebrated across the school and children feel proud to show school leaders their learning. Many children are issued with a special Headteacher's sticker when they have shown her their writing!
Early Years teaching staff support children in letter formation from the start of their time at Emsworth Primary School. Before writing, children are exposed to a range of tasks to build fine motor control such as cutting skills and funky fingers. Throughout Year 1, children then practise pre-cursive writing before joining letters in Year 2 to meet national expectations of cursive handwriting. We believe that this gradual process enables children to write without the limitations of cursive writing in EYFS. Similarly, we support a progressive approach to spelling whereby children in Early Years learn common exception words alongside their phonics teaching. With an emphasis on phonics application and common exception words in EYFS and Year 1, children then move onto spelling in Year 2. Throughout Year 2 and Key Stage 2, children are then set spellings weekly by their teacher and these spellings are expected to be applied in their writing.
Here is our whole school curriculum map for English:
Follow the link for access to the National Curriculum content for English: