At London Colney, we provide an appropriate, inclusive, engaging English curriculum. The development of children’s language is crucial to their success across the curriculum. We want all children to be excellent communicators, to listen actively and to speak with confidence. At London Colney, children are helped to develop a love of reading and to become skilful and imaginative writers. During all lessons across the school, children have the opportunity to develop their spoken language capabilities and improve their listening skills through a wide range of activities
Reading is taught as a component of the Teaching Sequence for Writing. Children are given the opportunity during some English lessons to read texts for meaning, infer perspectives and authorial intent, use what they have read as a model for writing and build vocabulary. As well as this, strategies recommended by the CLPE are also used in teaching, linked to the core text. To enhance this, reading is also taught during daily, 30 minute Book Look sessions and Daily Supported Reading (DSR) sessions. In these sessions, children are taught to develop their higher order reading skills.
Other opportunities for reading include:
- Dictionary skills – in all subjects
- Library skills; Children are taught to use the library system and to care for the books and make sure they are always returned to the appropriate place.
- Research skills including use of contents, index, etc. They are taught to use a wide range of sources so that they become competent and confident users of a variety of resources. We also ensure that the resources we provide contain the information they are searching for and are updated regularly and include the use of ICT for research.
- All children are read aloud to regularly from a selection of contemporary and classic texts.
- Each week, children have timetabled slots to read texts from the book corners. Book corners contain a wide variety of texts and the school subscribes to several magazines and newspapers which are used in book corners. Children are regularly consulted about texts they would like in their class.
- Each child has a reading record book, which is signed weekly by the class teacher and parent. It is expected that the children will read at home with their parents for a minimum of 20 minutes every day. As a school, we use home reading texts from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme and Ruth Miskin RWI texts that link directly to our teaching of phonics.
- In order to enhance the reading culture in school, the London Colney has forged several effective partnerships. Book fairs are regularly held in school and several classes visit the local library. International and national book days are celebrated in school and authors and poets visit school.
Planning writing is organised around the Teaching Sequence for Writing. This provides a clear learning sequence using a model text as the starting point to engage, exemplify and practice skills before progressing into extended writing episodes; this includes opportunities for drafting, editing and publishing writing.
Writing has a high profile in the curriculum and opportunities for writing are frequent and varied. Writing forms a key part of all subjects across the curriculum. All children get the opportunity to write for an extended period of time each week. As well as this, the writing curriculum is such that at times, writing is taught directly to pupils. This includes the teaching of writing and language skills for example technical vocabulary, spelling, grammar and punctuation. As with the reading, writing instruction is differentiated according to the needs of the children.
The teaching sequence includes opportunities for several different styles of teaching.
These include: modelled writing, shared writing, guided writing, paired writing and individual writing.
Phonics is an integral part of our daily teaching in Early Years and Key Stage One. At London Colney, we use the teaching sequences and approaches devised by Ruth Miskin in her Read Write Inc programme to deliver systematic, synthetic phonics in an engaging and positive way.
Children in Reception and Year 1 receive a daily, 30 minute phonics session, 4 x per week whereby they will learn and apply a sound a day. We can at times use a streaming approach whereby children are grouped (potentially across year groups) according to their current phonic knowledge and next steps.
Children in Nursery have daily songs and rhyme sessions before beginning to learn their Set 1 / Phase 2 sounds towards the end of their academic year. Where needed, intervention is provided for those children in Year 2 / Key Stage 2 that are still learning / consolidating the phonetic code.