We 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. We strive to ensure that all pupils:
· Read easily, fluently and with good understanding;
· Develop a love of the written word and enjoy reading for pleasure;
· Develop the habit of reading widely and often;
· Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language;
· 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 whilst having a common respect for others' opinions.
· Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
We teach English with reference to the National Curriculum English Programme of Study, but teach it the 'Roseberry way' to ensure we meet the needs of our children with reference to their context, experiences and needs, ensuring they reach at least age related expectation and make great progress in relation to their starting points. We start teaching speaking and listening, reading and writing from Nursery and pride ourselves upon consistency of approach across the school which results in our children being great speakers, listeners, readers and writers!
How do we teach Writing at Roseberry?
Writing is taught using teaching principles from the Power of Reading, where children are immersed in high quality texts to produce writing of different genres in response to the book they are reading. All of our books have been matched to the children's current topics so that the skills and knowledge they are learning may be interwoven across the whole curriculum, allowing children to make links, thus making learning more memorable. Within writing, children are given specific targets to focus upon, resulting in their learning being tailored towards their individual needs and allowing for continuous progression. In order to implement and embed high quality language and vocabulary, children are encouraged to use vocabulary that extends their writing, and words used are age appropriate whilst offering challenge to extend their thinking. The grammar content of the National Curriculum is interwoven into English lessons along with a 'grammar focus' lesson each week, which focuses on a specific grammar objective. Children are taught all aspects of grammar (vocabulary, word meaning and spelling) which they apply to their writing, resulting in constantly improving standards. Spelling is taught using the No Nonsense Spelling Scheme where children are taught different strategies to help them to learn spelling rules that they can transfer to their writing. Learning walls within classrooms offer support and scaffolds that children use to improve the content and quality of their work; these develop and change constantly depending upon the needs of our children at any given time.
We consider the teaching of grammar to be of great importance for children to succeed in both spoken and written English. Teachers choose a grammar focus for the week and this is displayed in classrooms. Teachers choose their focus from the grammar programme of study and/or previous assessments. This becomes the focus of text interrogation within the first writing lesson of the week. Teachers to use teaching strategies outlined in Literacy Shed resources, using film and pictures to aid the teaching of grammar.
How do we teach Reading at Roseberry?
We are acutely aware of the barrier to learning that the inability to read (decoding and comprehending) can have upon a child’s ability to access learning. Our rigorous and sequential approach to the reading curriculum, as well as a consistent approach to the teaching of reading, develops pupils’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment in reading. Individuals are swiftly identified for additional support and intervention (including those children in KS2 who struggle with phonics).
Our approach to teaching early reading and synthetic phonics is systematic, with a clear phonics flightpath developed by the EYFS/Phonics Leader, and ensures that all children learn to read words and simple sentences accurately by the end of Reception and that they are Year One ready. Phonics is taught exceptionally well by well-trained staff, using the Read, Write Inc scheme which is introduced in Nursery, with the aim of ensuring that no child is left behind and that all children become confident and fluent readers, regardless of their developmental starting points. The phonics flightpath ensures that teaching and resources are matched and sequenced to enable children to make rapid progress, ensuring children are tracked against expectations of levels of attainment at set points in the year. Children from Nursery to Year Six access a wide range of engaging books linked to the curriculum, through the Power of Reading, with high quality texts matched to each unit taught throughout the year, providing children with a wealth of vocabulary and a love of books. As a result of this, the majority of pupils read widely and often, with fluency and comprehension appropriate to their age.
Reading is taught using the six main reading domains of the National Curriculum, which we feel are the key areas that children need to know and understand to improve their comprehension of texts. VIPERs is an acronym used to recall these domains and stands for: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Sequence or Summarise. VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and children become familiar with, a range of questions. They allow teachers to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allows for further targeted questioning. Children are taught these skills through a range of high-quality texts, videos, and images to promote high level thinking. We believe that children should read widely and so do not have one specific reading scheme that all children follow once children have graduated from our phonics programme, Read Write Inc (this is usually when children are in Year One but the scheme may be used for children who need additional support to master phonics). A wide range of banded books is available for children to read so that they are exposed to different text types and genres. Once they have completed reading through specific bands, via banded books, children become 'free readers' where they may choose from a vast array of books within our school library. For independent reading, children are benchmarked so that the books that they read are tailored to meet their level of reading competence. We are also mindful that the emotional content of reading material is age appropriate. Reading is a top priority at Roseberry, as we see it as an important key to the curriculum, and we celebrate reading across the school from Nursery to Year Six - all classes have an engaging reading area, dedicated reading time throughout the school day (Everyone Reads In Class) and certificates to celebrate individual children's achievements.
We strive for our children to develop their voices and share their ideas with others, ensuring children are exposed to rich and varied vocabulary to help prepare them for life. The national curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. We recognise that spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing and ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. We enable them to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and prepare their ideas before they write. They are guided towards making their thinking clear to themselves as well as to others, and secure foundations are built by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions. Pupils are also taught to understand and use the conventions appropriate for discussion and debate.
All children are encouraged to participate in and gain knowledge, skills and understanding associated with drama. They are encouraged to adopt, create and sustain a range of roles, responding appropriately to others in role. They have opportunities to improvise, devise and script drama for one another and a range of audiences, as well as rehearse, refine, share and respond thoughtfully to drama and theatre performances.
Children have a love of writing and are able to implement what they have learned effectively, writing with enthusiasm for a range of purposes and audiences. They have a passion for the written word and are confident to write in a range of genre across the curriculum. They love reading and are confident and enthusiastic when speaking of what they have read, recommending books to others. They speak
with confidence and are able to articulate their thoughts and feelings, as well as listening, and responding, to others.
All children make progress in line with the expectations of the National Curriculum.