KS1 English Leader

Miss Anna Floyd

KS2 English Leader

Mr Joe Ottaway

We aim to teach our children to use language as effectively as they can in a wide variety of situations, as laid down in the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum for English. The National Curriculum breaks the subject down into the following areas:

Reading
  • Comprehension (listening and reading)
  • Word Reading
Writing
  • Composition (Articulating ideas structuring them in speaking and writing)
  • Transcription (Handwriting and Spelling)
Spoken Language

Further details on the National Curriculum, which also includes word lists for Spelling and Reading, can be found here.

The school uses the Letters and Sounds Programme as the framework for its teaching of Phonics, supplemented by other resources such as Phonics Play and Jolly Phonics.

Further information in each area can be found below:

Spoken Language

Talking is fundamental to a child’s learning and we place great importance on the value of talk. Children are encouraged and helped to talk clearly, confidently and with expression in order to communicate ideas and feelings. Similarly, and just as importantly, children are encouraged to listen to others and respond appropriately. All children are provided with opportunities in all areas of the curriculum to develop skills in speaking and listening. We use drama activities to increase children’s confidence in public speaking and to give opportunities for self expression.

Reading

One of the greatest gifts we can give a child is the ability to read, and we encourage a love of reading and books. Children need to be able to read with understanding, for pleasure and for information.

In the Foundation Stage we establish a language-rich environment and model and share reading with the children, demonstrating that it is an active part in the process of constructing meaning. We discuss how texts are structured, how to use book language and learn about the rhythm and expression needed for reading aloud. Our aim is to build on and extend children’s understanding of language so that they develop early reading skills and most importantly a love of books.

In Key Stage 1, reading is taught through a wide range of reading activities which are used to develop children’s reading vocabulary and confidence.  Through discussion and rich questioning, using quality fiction and non-fiction, children are taught the skills needed to interpret and understand a range of texts.  These comprehension skills enable children to become purposeful, active readers and develop a lifetime love of books and reading.

In Key Stage 2, reading is primarily taught through reading workshop carousels, guided group teaching and whole class teaching. Each phase of the school has its own library where children can choose to read a wide range of quality stories, plays, poetry and information books. We aim to make sure that all children can read competently, enjoy and appreciate books.

We use a combination of reading schemes with a common colour coding for level of difficulty.

The following leaflets give more detail about our reading teaching, and how parents can help at home.

Spelling

Writing

Opportunity for written work is extended through other curriculum areas as well as the children’s own direct experiences.  A key feature of writing at Eynsham Community Primary School is our Big Write sessions, once a fortnight, in which children produce an extended piece of writing on a current topical theme. In preparation, children have shared a ‘talk topic’ at home with their families: “If you can say it you can write it”. Children are taught the importance of punctuation, spelling, grammar and correct letter formation. We teach handwriting through the Penpals scheme, which provides a clear progression of skills from Foundation Stage upwards. This enables our children to develop a neat and fluent joined style, and to take pride in the presentation of their work. The link between reading and writing is strongly emphasised, as is the link with ICT.

Phonics Teaching

We teach children to read quickly and skilfully through daily phonics lessons, following the Letters and Sounds programme. Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way, starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex, it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. Children are taught how to: recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes, identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’- and blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.  Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.