English

Reading at Bonneville Primary School  

Bonneville Primary School greatly understands the need for all pupils to develop their skills as effective communicators in all subjects. Moreover, we recognise the importance of communication in shaping every aspect of a pupil’s current and future lives. Providing a high quality education in English is a vital way of ensuring our pupils are able to articulate themselves both in school and later public life. Creating a life-long love for the subject of English helps to support pupils’ work across the curriculum, as well as enlighten their interactions with the world around them. It also acts as a gateway to increase their own cultural capital and enables pupils to access all possibilities life has to offer. Our teaching of English also places significance on the collective experience of other people embodied through the  language they employ, and pupils learn about empathy, understanding, self-expression, and through this combination, about themselves and who they are.

The teaching and learning of English at Bonneville Primary School comprises the development of comprehensive reading, writing, speaking and listening skills and, importantly, the exploration and application of high level vocabulary. This is embodied by the mantra, as Alex Quigley emphasises, “if they can read it, and understand it, they can say it. If they can say it with confidence, it provides them a key to success for their future beyond school.” It remains a vital subject to embed our pupils’ understanding of literature and the lived experience of others across the globe, past and present and across a range of genres. It rests at the very core of our pupil’s ability to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, and enables them to think critically and enthusiastically about the world around them. The study of English also embeds our pupils’ understanding and appreciation of the intricacies of language: its breath, patterns, structure and origins. Empowered with this knowledge, pupils at Bonneville Primary School are able to make informed choices about how they communicate themselves in different contexts.

The teaching of English at Bonneville Primary School involves an ever evolving, reflective and vibrant curriculum which challenges and engages our pupils. We acknowledge the paramount importance of adapting and extending our bespoke curriculum to match all pupils’ needs. Where possible, English will be linked to class topics to ensure knowledge and understanding of the world is applied across a range of contexts and embedded in the long term memory through interleaving opportunities for application.

English as a diverse cultural subject

The English language and its literature rightly deserve to be explored in terms of its important cultural heritage, which helps to thread our common humanity, transcending time and place. Pupils at Bonneville learn to appreciate the subject of English within wider global cultures, understanding the impact of the richness that our multicultural past and present realities have had on our language and literature.

Closing the vocabulary gap

“Vocabulary is like mental Velcro – the more you know, the more ‘hooks’ you have to hook onto new words, experiences and understanding.” – Alex Quigley

 

A broad and deep understanding of high level vocabulary is integral to every facet of learning and it rests at the very heart of our curriculum. Ensuring our pupils access, and confidently use, academic language is an essential part of every pupil’s learning journey. Explicitly teaching vocabulary can enrich knowledge and understanding of the world, and it’s a useful proxy for a great deal of general knowledge in a range of other subjects. At Bonneville, explicit vocabulary instruction is an integral part of every lesson and is woven into explanations, teacher and pupil talk, the development of reading skills and opportunities for all pupils to articulate themselves confidently. We have carefully considered the discrete teaching of vocabulary to ensure that pupils leave Bonneville with the necessary tools to aid the pursuit of lifelong learning, including introducing the ‘Word of the Week’ for every subject.

 

Reading

The importance of reading, and reading for pleasure, cannot be overstated. Our pupils capacity to learn, and enjoy learning, is inexorably connected to their skills in reading. At Bonneville, we actively encourage children to read broadly for pleasure, while immersing them in word-rich classrooms which focus on vocabulary development. Pupils are encouraged throughout their Bonneville career to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers, as they are introduced to an increasingly wide variety of well chosen literary materials. Pupils develop a capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to utilise what they have read to inspire their own thinking and writing. The skills necessary to become effective readers are discretely taught daily through Guided Reading lessons. However, teachers will plan for opportunities for reading skills to be addressed in all lessons. During Guided Reading lessons, each week a text is chosen (which can also be linked to the children’s termly topic) and the following sequence of reading skills. The termly timetable also includes access to extensive resources in our library.  Importantly, children are actively encouraged to read as much and as widely as possible at home both independently and with their adults. We have established comprehensive online platforms to aid pupils in accessing a rich range of materials.

At Bonneville, all teachers will also read aloud to their class with a specifically chosen text for 15 minutes at the end of the day. This enables children to hear modelled reading from an adult and to gain exposure to a wider range of language and content. The choice of texts has been carefully considered to include a wide range of genres and text types.

Writing

We offer a creative English curriculum based on a variety of written text crossing demographics, cultures, time and place, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, myths and legends. These texts provide the stimulus for the children to create rich, varied and inspired writing. Spelling, punctuation and grammar is taught intrinsically through the text as well as independently from it, which helps to introduce and embed challenging concepts in the long term memory. All children have weekly spelling tests and we discretely teach handwriting to help the children develop a neat, cursive hand.

At Bonneville, pupils follow the ‘immersion, experimentation, innovation’ sequence of exploring a genre of text. At the start of each unit, the immersion lessons will involve ‘immersing’ the children in the examples of the genre they are focusing on. This will include lessons which allow the children to read, listen to, and where applicable, act out a range of examples of that genre. Following this, children use the features of the genre to work on their sentence and word level skills. This will include a focus on the grammatical elements of the genre. These lessons and their work are linked to the overriding topic of that term and have a clear context and purpose in terms of their end of unit piece. Children will then have the opportunity to plan, draft, edit and publish their final pieces, building on the skills developed over the course of the unit and embodying the practices of professional writers.

Spoken language and performance

At Bonneville Primary School it is well understood that spoken language underpins our pupils success in the wider curriculum. We place great emphasis on the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. They are continually encouraged to make their thinking clear to themselves as well as to others. Bonneville is a school which actively encourages talk between everyone, in order to build secure foundations in articulating one’s learning, and by using discussion to share, probe and remedy misconceptions.

 

At Bonneville Primary School, we place great importance on pupils gaining the knowledge, skills and understanding associated with the artistic practice of performing. Throughout their journey at Bonneville, children have opportunities to improvise, devise and script drama and performance for one another and a range of audiences, as well as to rehearse, refine, share and respond to their learning thoughtfully.

Intention Implementation Impact
English teaching and learning is developed and embedded throughout the school in order for all children to receive high quality teaching, leading to consistently high levels of progress and attainment in the English curriculum, even in the event of a school closure; learning in English is embedded within pupils’ long term memory.

 

The curriculum has been embedded to ensure consistent structure, coverage, progression and delivery of English across the school.

 

The established English Network works effectively across the Partnership to support and use expertise to enhance outcomes for Bonneville children.

 

Teachers are clear in what is expected to ensure consistency in the teaching and learning of English across the school and Partnership.

 

English teaching is further developed and embedded in order to maintain the profile of English across the Partnership, fully engage children in their learning, and increase children’s enjoyment of reading and writing.

 

 

 

Writing

Staff members across the Partnership are confident in delivering a bespoke, revised and well sequenced writing curriculum, whereby children have opportunities to link have been established with newly embedded topics.

 

English planning is monitored to ensure children are fully engaged and show excellent attainment in the subject. Teachers are confident to use effective questioning to move children on and address misconceptions.

 

Teachers are confident about the expectations for the subject, including the provision for:

●      Well sequenced English lessons across the course of a week

●      Spelling

●      End of Day reading

●      Word of the week

The progression of skills taught for each genre of text is codified for each year group so that children’s learning progressively builds upon prior knowledge. Cross-curricular learning opportunities are embedded due to strong communication between middle leadership.

 

Key vocabulary for each unit has been identified so that children are learning new words in a targeted and progressive way. New vocabulary and Word of the Week is taught weekly during English lessons and children are given the opportunity to use the word in their writing. Teachers display the word in classrooms so that children can refer back to taught vocabulary across a term.

 

Parent workshops will be delivered in the near future to communicate strategies to help in reducing the vocabulary gap, strategies to improve spelling and the promotion of cursive handwriting.

 

A Handwriting Policy is being implemented across the Partnership to outline progression across the three Key Stages. Fine Motor and Handwriting time has been scheduled during the school day. Children have been provided with handwriting books to record and practise their handwriting. Achievements in improved handwriting are recognised in Values assemblies and in classroom displays. Precursive and cursive writing is displayed in classrooms.

 

All staff members share best practice across the school and Partnership, in order to moderate our standards and celebrate achievement.

 

The English Lead is establishing links with secondary schools in the local area in order to share CPD, learn and improve from their curriculum, and improve transition for our children between primary and secondary.

 

Reading

Staff members across the Partnership are confident in delivering a bespoke and well sequenced reading curriculum, whereby children have opportunities to link have been established with newly embedded topics and develop a variety of reading skills including:

●      Word comprehension

●      Retrieval of information

●      Inference

●      Understanding an author’s word and layout choices

●      Giving an opinion about the text and linking it to their own experiences

 

Reading planning and books are monitored to ensure children are fully engaged and show excellent attainment in the subject. Teachers are confident to use effective questioning to move children on and address misconceptions.

 

Teachers and parents are confident to use online reading platforms and the recommended resources for Phonics learning at home as a result of Parent Workshops.
Teachers are able to track students’ engagement and attainment when using these programmes.

 

Children have the opportunity to utilise hard copy books as well as extracts into Guided Reading lessons. The English Lead has outlined coverage across genres for Guided Reading texts, in order to ensure a broad range of genres and a mix of hard copy books and extracts is accommodated.

 

Teachers will continue to provide End of Day reading sessions every day, and during periods of possible school closure.

The English Lead has implemented a way to assess and track children’s reading age in order to accurately assess children’s abilities in reading, potential gaps in attainment and skills, and identify missed learning.

 

The English Lead has worked with the Reading Lead in order to ensure children’s access to the school library, in line with the current risk assessment.

 

Staff members are developing their own skill sets as a result of training in order to effectively use book talk during End of Day Reading lessons. Teachers ensure children are well versed to discuss what they have been reading at the end of the day. Teachers utilise different strategies in order to promote reading for pleasure in school.

 

Teachers utilise practical strategies to increase vocabulary knowledge and comprehension of texts.

 

Children are inspired to read as a result of school wide competitions and other events across the school community, in line with the risk assessment.

 

Parents are encouraged to be involved in Virtual reading sessions, sharing stories and literacy at the end of the day.

At least 85% of pupils across the school are meeting or exceeding expectations English.

 

Teachers are clear in their planning so that learning is sequenced and progressive, building on prior learning.

 

Gaps in terms of missed learning are reduced.

 

Children develop enjoyment for the subject and read and write with purpose and pleasure.

English teaching and learning is further developed, and embedded throughout the school, in order for all children to engage with a curriculum that is diverse and reflects the demographics of the school, our community and wider society. Diversity permeates all planning within the provision of English teaching and learning. The English Lead has outlined the importance of utilising texts from a diverse range of backgrounds, leading to the introduction of new texts from a diverse range of authors, subject matter and setting.

 

The English Subject Leads across the Partnership have audited the curriculum in order to identify possibilities for greater diversification and representation within the curriculum.

Children understand the rich diversity that language and literature offer and are able to draw upon this to develop their own abilities as readers and authors.

 

Children are more engaged with the curriculum as it reflects and links with their own lives and experiences.

 

All children in Bonneville make good or outstanding progress.

English teaching and learning is further developed and embedded throughout the school in order to increase the progress and attainment made by Boys, BCRB and PORT children, children with dyslexia or dyslexic tendencies and to address gaps accrued due to missed learning, as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

All staff ensure the intent and implementation of our curriculum is sharply focussed on addressing the teaching and learning gaps created by the school closure period, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and existing within key target groups.

 

As part of the wider Reading Catch up strategy, teachers are utilising research based strategy to develop reading skills in order to minimise potential gaps in reading and access to other subjects more widely.

 

All teachers continue to use data to inform gaps in progress and attainment across target groups in English.

 

Teachers will continue to provide End of Day reading sessions every day, and during periods of possible school closure.

 

Children take part in English related events across the school community, in line with the risk assessment.

 

The English Lead is researching a spelling list to be utilised by children with dyslexic tendencies.

 

Some children who do not have access to online portals will be given books to take home from school in order to promote the continuation of reading at home.

 

The English lead is working closely with the KS1 Assistant Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher to identify children’s current and projected attainment in Reading and Writing, to inform further interventions if necessary.

 

Children utilise strategies of ‘Rainbow Writing’ in their Spelling books, to 0.support them to learn and embed high frequency word spellings set as homework, so that children who are unable to access homework for any reason are receiving coverage at school as well.

 

Teachers are confident to strategically plan lessons to provide additional opportunities to develop reading skills.

The engagement, interest, attainment and progress made by target children within English is increased.

 

Children’s learning gaps are significantly minimised.