Statement of Intent
At Moor Hall Primary School, we recognise the crucial importance of studying the English language. Our overarching aim for English, is to promote high standards of language and literacy equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word as well as develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. We strive to ensure all children can access the English curriculum regardless of their background, needs and abilities.
As reading is the key to academic success across curriculum subjects, we ensure children are exposed to different texts carefully chosen for a variety of genre, topics and pleasure for reading. We understand the importance of ‘learning to read and reading to learn’ and throughout school we promote lifelong readers.
Through engaging lessons, we strive to nurture children who are fully literate, articulate, and prepare children for their secondary education and later life. We provide challenges for all abilities to ensure children make progress in every area of the English National Curriculum.
We teach our pupils to have a growth-mindset and to develop their resilience and perseverance which link to the fundamental qualities of ‘The Moor Hall Child’. Through reading, children can develop confidence, responsibility and a love of reading supports their mental health and wellbeing.
Throughout school, English is a key part of children’s daily routine which includes encouraging children’s learning to be creative, ambitious and reflective. This therefore ensures children are provided with the opportunity to achieve their full potential.
At Moor Hall Primary School, we believe that speaking and listening forms the foundations of learning in English. In formal and informal situations, we create opportunities for meaningful discussion around learning. Questioning is the basis of our teaching and we strongly encourage children to be inquisitive and to share their thoughts confidently in a supportive environment.
Within our school, we implement our teaching and learning of the English curriculum daily and where possible link to the wider curriculum.
Speaking and listening
Speaking and listening is implemented at Moor Hall Primary School through a range of language-rich activities using the following teaching methods:
Listening to and participating in stories, poems (including performance poetry), rhymes and songs;
Use of sentence-stems (link to P4C learning) to scaffold oral responses in class discussions;
Questioning across the curriculum;
Drama activities (re-telling and role play) alongside Talk 4 Writing lessons to enliven and enrich children’s learning;
Reflection – opportunities for children to discuss their reading and writing;
Collaborative work (including debates) and presenting work to an audience.
Teachers follow the National Curriculum of English (2014) to ensure all parts of the programme of study is being taught. The programme of study for writing includes spelling, grammar and punctuation. Children across Key Stage 1 and 2 are exposed to a range of non-fiction, fiction and poetry throughout the year which progresses year on year.
Children in Early Years participate in a range of learning experiences which focus on the Early Learning Goals that incorporate other curriculum areas.
Throughout each key stage, classrooms display a ‘Working Wall’ which reflects the current writing topic. Every term, children will complete one Talk4Writing unit as well as be exposed to a range of writing genres. Children throughout the week will also have the opportunity to practice their handwriting and spellings.
At Moor Hall Primary School, we follow the Nelson pre-cursive handwriting scheme which is taught through ICT tools as well as modelled by teaching staff. Children are set spellings weekly using the online platform Spelling Shed which follows the National Curriculum (2014) spelling guidance.
At Moor Hall Primary School, we follow the Little Wandle (Letters and Sounds) Phonics scheme of learning to plan engaging phonics sessions.The teaching of phonic skills is embedded within the curriculum through daily sessions of 30 minutes. These lessons aim to include CAPS:
Connection – linking to reading and writing activities;
Attention – quick paced sessions to keep engagement high;
Practice – children have the opportunity to practise and apply the taught knowledge and skills;
Structure - lessons throughout key stages follow the same structure to ensure consistency during lessons.
Revisit and review - to activate prior knowledge, practise recognition and recall previously taught grapheme-phoneme correspondence (GPC), practise fluent reading, spelling and tricky words.
Teach – explicitly teach a new GPC and/or tricky word, teach blending or segmenting with letters, model memorisation.
Practise and apply – practise reading or spelling words using taught letters, read or write a caption using high frequency and decodable words.
Revise key learning for the lesson – summing up learning, singing a song, recalling words on working wall.
Apply to reading – in the lesson or link to guided reading lessons with fully decodable books.
At Moor Hall Primary School, reading is taught through a variety of activities. Pupils throughout school have a daily 30-minutes guided reading session, weekly comprehension lessons and a timetabled story time for the end of each day.
Within our school, we strive to develop the connection of students learning to read and then reading to learn. Reading is not only seen in English lessons but also throughout the wider curriculum.
Reading Practice/Guided Reading
Early Years and Year 1
Early Years and Year 1 have a daily 30-minutes reading practice session. Classes are divided into groups; each group is led by a member of staff for the week. The timetable for Early Years and Year 1 reading practice session is as follows:
At the start of every session, teacher and teaching assistants practise the phonemes and tricky words which appear in the book with the children.
Day 1 - decoding lesson (focus on vocabulary in the book)
Day 2 - prosody/echo reading (focus on fluency and expression)
Day 3 - comprehension (focus on a comprehension skill)
Reading practice also takes place over 3 days following the same structure as Early Years and Year 1, but each group will complete a follow-up activity based on their book.
Once children have passed their fluency assessment, they will no longer read the Little Wandle decodable books and will be sent home with a chapter book to read.
Key Stage 2
Key Stage 2 have a daily 30-minutes guided reading session. Classes are divided into groups and the timetable for the guided reading session is as follows:
At the start of every session, teachers and teaching assistants practise the spellings and tricky words which appear in the book with the children.
Session 1 - vocabulary (focus on vocabulary in the book)
Session 2 - comprehension (focus on a comprehension skill)
Session 3 - prosody/echo reading (focus fluency and expression)
Session 4 - SPaG/ handwriting
Session 5 - spellings
Reading for Pleasure
A ‘love of reading’ ethos is promoted throughout school and is upheld by staff through the following approaches:
Daily story time sessions using books with a range of genres and rich with vocabulary;
Each classroom has a designated book corner area for reading;
Reading timeline in each classroom to display which books have been read in class;
Whole school reading river to showcase which books have been read by each class;
Reading challenge which is ongoing throughout the year with yearly prizes;
Access to Reading Challenge books every week (Early Years and Key Stage 1 have their reading practice book and home reader sent home too);
Author of the term, which widens children’s knowledge of authors and encourages children to read a range of genres;
Opportunities for reading across the curriculum;
Author visits to school;
Annual school book fayre;
Yearly celebrations such as World Book Day, Roald Dahl Day and Shakespeare Week;
Yearly ‘Book Week’ – whole school reads the same book and completes activities throughout the week deepening their understanding of the literature. At the end of the week, pupils share their work in a celebration assembly.