English

Our Reading progression map can be found here.

Phonics

Children in Nursery, Reception and Key Stage One follow the “Read, Write, Inc.” Phonics programme. This is a way of learning the sounds that letters make and blending them together to read words. The children can also break words down into their sounds so that they can write them.

In Nursery, in the summer term, children begin learning the sounds each letter makes. The children are also introduced to Fred and the way he talks in sounds.

In Reception, the children learn to read and write simple words and sentences. They learn daily in small groups. Fred continues to help the children read, and also write with Fred Fingers. This is where children can “pinch the sounds” on their fingers to spell simple words.

In Key Stage One, the children continue with their daily phonics session in small groups. They are learning to read with more fluency, and to have a clear understanding of what they read.

All children will take home reading books which match their phonics level. We would expect these books to be changed every 3 or 5 days depending on the book colour.

Sound Sets


Reading

Children in Reception and in Key Stage One follow the ‘Read Write Inc’ programme. As part of the programme, they take reading books home that match the sounds they have been learning in lessons. Children also borrow books from the school and class libraries.


Children in Key Stage two use Accelerated Reader, which is a computer programme designed to help children choose books that are within their reading ability – this ensures that children are not bored by texts that are too easy or frustrated by texts that are too difficult for them. The children are assessed and given a ZPD which shows their comfort and challenge range. Once they have read their chosen book, they take a short quiz to assess their comprehension and choose a new book. They have access to a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books across each level and are encouraged to read widely across their ZPD range.


Each class has a timetabled session for reading their class novel or books from a range of high quality texts. This is an opportunity for the children to hear excellent modelling of reading by the teacher which helps to improve their own fluency when reading aloud.


During guided reading lessons, children focus on a range of high quality texts including extracts and whole books to promote discussion using a mixture of individual thinking and partner work. This helps to develop their speaking and listening skills as well as focusing on their reading comprehension.


Each reading lesson focuses on the following skills:

  • Vocabulary
  • Inference
  • Prediction
  • Explanation
  • Retrieval
  • Summarising (Sequencing in KS1)

To remember all of these reading skills we use the acronym VIPERS.
We teach these skills so that the children learn how to use and understand the texts that they read.


Writing

At Queens Park Academy, we follow the Talk for Writing model as we believe that children must be able to ‘say it’ in order to ‘write it’. Talk is embedded at all three phases of the teaching sequence- including teacher talk, supported pupil talk and independent pupil talk. The Talk for Writing process enables children to explore the creative processes involved in being a writer, and extends oral rehearsal so that it becomes a draft for their written pieces.

The Three Phases

Imitation - Children learn a model text off by heart in order to tune into the rhythms of written language. Text mapping and gestures help children to internalise the text. After gaining a deeper understanding of the text through a range of activities, children in KS1 & 2 also investigate the text to discover what makes it work and how it is structured. Using this knowledge, and with the support of the teacher, they create a writer’s toolkit which they use to guide their own writing.

Innovation- The teacher changes parts of the original text during shared writing and explicitly models the thinking processes involved in writing. Children practise the skills and ‘writerly behaviours’ modeled by the teacher- thinking about what they want to write, saying it aloud, writing it and checking it. They edit and improve their work based on feedback given by peers and adults. This all happens over the course of a few days, so that children can focus on the quality of their word choices and sentences.

Invention- Children independently write their final piece, using the tools they had been practising. They are given peer feedback to enable them to edit and improve their work, before writing their final draft in their ‘Best Book’. Children are encouraged to celebrate their work by reading it to an audience. The star writers are chosen each half term based on this final written piece.

Foundation Stage

In the Early Years, children are encouraged to attempt their own emergent writing and their efforts are valued and praised. As their phonic knowledge increases, this will be reflected in their writing. At the same time, their knowledge of key words is supported through reading and writing activities, including shared reading and writing. A wide variety of opportunities are provided for children to engage in writing activities.

Amongst these are:

  • Shared writing
  • Role-play
  • Labels
  • Recipes
  • Lists
  • Making books
  • Writing letters

Through engaging in these activities, children become aware that writing is used for a range of purposes. They distinguish it from drawing, and learn the left to right convention of writing in English. A variety of resources are used to encourage the development of the fine motor control which is essential for good handwriting both in indoor and outdoor provision. These include using play dough, cutting, threading and tracing. Fine motor skills are also a focus in motor skills groups targeted at specific children. Gross motor skills are also developed through these groups (as well as in PE), as upper body strength is recognised as being vital to good fine motor skills.

End of Key Stage 2

By the time children leave, us we aim for them to be able to:

  • Write with confidence, fluency and understanding, orchestrating a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct.
  • Have an interest in words and their meanings, developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms.
  • Understand a range of text types and genres and to be able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation.
  • Develop the powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness.

Grammar

Grammar is taught every day in the context of English lessons in order for children to apply their learning in a meaningful way. Once a week, children in KS2 also have a discreet grammar lesson. We use the Classroom Secrets scheme for these lessons, which cover both naming and identifying aspects of grammar and also application of grammar. Built in within this, there are opportunities to revisit previously taught grammar.


Spelling

The National Curriculum 2014 contains spelling lists that should be learnt at different points in the children's primary education. We aim to teach spelling skills through the systematic teaching of spelling rules and through investigating morphology and etymology. We use the Twinkl Spelling scheme which covers the statutory requirements and enables children to revisit words they have been previously taught. We encourage parents to help with spellings at home. Children in years 2-6 have access to the Spelling Frame website which enables them to practise their spellings at home in a fun way. Spelling certificates are awarded weekly and monthly for children who are putting effort into practising their spellings.


Handwriting

Handwriting is taught formally using ‘Read Write Inc’ from the beginning of Reception until Year One. In years 2 to 6, children use the Twinkl Journey to Cursive scheme to learn to write using the cursive script (with no lead in line). The letters are grouped into Curly Caterpillar Letters, Robot Arm Letters, Ladder Letters and Zig Zag Monster Letters to remind children of the correct starting position and letter formation. Joining is taught once children have mastered the correct letter formation for individual letters.