Our English Curriculum
It is our intention when teaching the English curriculum that our children acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to become lifelong learners and linguists. We strive to ensure that all our children receive a well-rounded learning experience when reading, writing, speaking and listening, which will equip them with the fundamental tools to achieve in school and beyond. It is our intention to immerse children in the wonders of quality texts to instil a love for reading, a passion for discovery and a confidence to explore their imagination through our text-led English curriculum. English is a core subject of the National Curriculum and a prerequisite for educational and social progress as it underpins the work undertaken in all areas of the curriculum. The acquisition of language and early reading skills along with a growing vocabulary are of the utmost importance to us here at Lawn Primary School, and therefore the teaching of all aspects of English is given a high priority within school. Confidence in basic language skills enables children to communicate creatively and imaginatively, preparing them for their future journey through education and beyond.
Phonics and Spelling
At Lawn Primary School we use Jolly Phonics. Jolly Phonics is a fun and child centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. With actions for each of the 42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method is very motivating for children, and teachers, who can see their children achieve.
The sounds are taught in a specific order (not alphabetically). This enables children to begin building words as early as possible. The letters are split into seven groups as shown below.
- s, a, t, i, p, n
- c k, e, h, r, m, d
- g, o, u, l, f, b
- ai, j, oa, ie, ee, or
- z, w, ng, v, oo, oo
- y, x, ch, sh, th, th
- qu, ou, oi, ue, er, ar
Using a synthetic phonics approach, Jolly Phonics teaches children the five skills for reading and writing:
- Learning the letter sounds - Children are taught the 42 main letter sounds. This includes alphabet sounds as well as digraphs such as sh, th, ai, and ue.
- Learning letter formation - Using different multi-sensory methods, children learn how to form and write letters.
- Blending - Children are taught how to blend the sounds together to read and write new words.
- Segmenting (Identifying the sounds in words) - Listening for the sounds in words gives children the best start for improving spelling
- Tricky Words - Tricky Words have irregular spellings and children learn these separately.
the programme continues through the school, enabling the teaching of essential grammar, spelling and punctuation skills
Reading is a key tool for life. Teaching children to become confident and fluent readers, by developing a love and passion for reading is a large and exciting part of what we do at Lawn Primary School. We have lots of opportunities for reading exciting books and materials - supported by a rich, well-resourced library. Each week, parents and volunteers listen to children read in school and we ensure reading books are carefully matched to ability.
Children will normally have an hour and a half of English related teaching activities in the morning. this is a mixture of learning about reading, writing and speaking and listening, which includes a variety of text types and genres.
A wide range of stories and genres are read frequently in class to inspire a life-long enthusiasm for books and all that they offer children and adults alike. Children enjoy regular guided reading sessions using high quality texts that engage the listener, develop a breadth of vocabulary and support ideas for writing. We ensure that children are continually being encouraged to read for pleasure through events such as visiting the local library, author visits, celebrating World Book Day and enjoying bedtime stories.
To help develop children's reading skills throughout the school we use popular and well established reading scheme books, which provide the children with reading materials that are pitched at exactly the right level. 'Oxford Reading Tree' is used as the 'core resource', which is supplemented with books from other schemes, for example, books that are phonetic readers, project X, in order to provide an extensive library of books at every stage, to ensure children have a broad and rich reading experience.
Writing is an essential part of our curriculum offer and of high importance at Lawn Primary School. In the EYFS children learn how to hold a pencil correctly and begin to form letters and have their stories scribed for them. they then go on to perform these stories. Slowly they begin to write more and be scaffolded by the adults.
The teaching of writing in our school adopts a range of known successful approaches, including text-led writing, Talk for Writing approach, employing the three stages of imitation, innovation and invention to a range of non-fiction and fiction genres; and explicit teaching of spelling, grammar and punctuation. The children are continuously being encouraged to plan, draft and edit their work.
Writing is always taught in context and where appropriate links are made to our curriculum topics; finding real-life purposes for children's writing to enthuse and engage them. The children learn the skills needed for the different genres and teachers engage the children through topic links, film, drama, Talk for Writing strategies and exciting 'Curriculum Theme' days or weeks.
Speaking and Listening
We support our children in developing the skills necessary to read, write and speak fluently to communicate their ideas and emotions. Through our exciting and engaging curriculum, we actively encourage our children to communicate their thoughts and ideas. Children are given the opportunity to reflect on both their learning and feelings.
Children are given the opportunity to speak to an audience in class assemblies and performances. Children also present their applications for the many volunteer roles available in the school.