English Intent, Implementation and Impact
Our Curriculum Drivers: Respect, Relationships, Aspiration and Wisdom.
At Grade Ruan C of E School, we aim for all children to become confident and fluent readers, writers and speakers, equipped with the skills and knowledge to enable this to happen. Developing a love of reading and books underpins our curriculum.
We teach English so that: children write in a range of genres with an awareness of their audience; children can speak clearly and audibly, taking account of their listeners; children listen with concentration to enable recall of key learning; children become effective communicators; children become enthusiastic, confident and independent readers; children enjoy writing, and can adapt it for a range of purposes; children apply a range of writing skills and techniques to their writing, children empathise with a diverse range of people, cultures and world issues.We aim to deliver an inspiring and engaging English curriculum through high quality teaching and exciting lessons. English lessons are led by choices of books from our book spine which then lead to exciting writing opportunities. All children from Foundation Stage to Year 6 are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across all areas of the curriculum.
At Grade Ruan, we aim to create a positive reading and writing culture in school, where both are promoted, enjoyed and considered a true pleasure for all pupils. Our English curriculum is led by ‘class books’, which are chosen depending from our reading spine and help to ensure that reading is always a focus. They also lend themselves to a wide range of drama, speaking and listening and writing opportunities.
We follow the Letters and Sounds programme for phonics, supplemented with additional reading materials. Our approach is systematic, consistent and rigorous in order that all children become readers as quickly as possible. When children are ready, they will take home a book that they can practice at home. This will be made up entirely of decodable words, using the sounds that they have leant in school.
In key stage 2, most children will be supported to choose their own reading books, further developing the children’s love of reading. Time is given each day to listen to children read and to ensure that they are reading a book at the right level for them.
Early writing is taught through early mark making, then they are taught the correct letter formations. This begins with writing (whether with a writing tool or in the air) cvc words, moving onto short sentences using the sounds they have been taught. EYFS children are encouraged to write independently during continuous provision. We use the same phonics program across the school providing continuity and a vehicle for guaranteed progression. Pupils are taught in year groups from Reception to Year 2 ensuring that everyone has a firm foundation in phonics.
Writing is assessed consistently throughout the year through hot tasks to end each unit of writing. Teachers use this to assess the areas that their children will need to be specifically taught, even if this means tracking back to objectives from previous years, in grammar and text type. Interventions on specific areas of weakness will be carried out by the class teacher or teaching assistant. Annual moderation of writing happens at a meeting for English leads for all the schools in the MAT.
In whole class guided reading, teachers choose books from our reading spine ‘The 5 plagues of reading’. The ‘5 plagues’ are 5 areas of reading that children find difficult, so by giving children access to these they can develop into confident readers. Books from the spine are chosen carefully to align with the broader curriculum and to help children understand diversity, inclusion, tolerance, disability and to enter into lives that are different from their own. Guided reading is taught using VIPERS, to cover the 6 reading domains of vocabulary, inference, predictions, explanations, retrieval, sequencing and summarising.
We are gold members of the Cornwall library service, which enables us to choose new books for our class libraries each term, project boxes to support our foundation subjects (books and resources) and support with ensuring our books are well-stocked. Each year, we also receive a 'diversity box' from the MAT office, which includes books by authors from diverse backgrounds.
There is an expectation that grammar will be modelled and used correctly by all teachers. To ensure progression in grammar skills, all teachers use a progression of grammar document, on which they highlight the grammar skills that have been taught. Any areas of weakness that are identified as a result of independent writing or the hot or cold tasks, are taught as part of the next modelled text, in focused SPaG lessons or during grammar starters.
Around the school, there are displays of writing to encourage pride in work, give a purpose and audience and to show that work is valued. Pen licenses are awarded to those with excellent presentation in all their books.
In years 2-6, we follow the spelling scheme ‘Spelling Shed’. The children have weekly spellings introduced each week, which they work on for ten minutes each day in class, as well as practising at home. Spelling Shed provides online activities which children can access at home and provides teachers with resources that can be used in the classroom. In reception and year 1, the children work on common exception words and tricky words in class as part of their phonics sessions and they are displayed around the classroom.
At Grade Ruan, it is clear that pupils enjoy reading regularly, for information and for enjoyment. Pupils discuss books with excitement and interest. They enjoy writing and use the features of different genres and styles. Pupils can confidently write for different purposes and audiences.
Half-termly, teachers moderate pupils work in school and in cluster meetings with other schools to ensure accurate assessments are made. The quality of writing in English and curriculum books is evaluated by learning walks, drop ins, pupil conferencing and book looks. These inform future areas for improvement and the impact of new initiatives. The English subject leader provides an action plan for the subject and addresses areas for development and improvement which is then shared with all staff.