English Subject Leader: Liz Armitage (Deputy Headteacher)
At King’s Meadow Academy we aim to develop children’s literacy skills through a topic based approach which, wherever possible is book led. We aim to provide opportunities for children to develop their literacy skills through other subjects such as History, R.E. and Science as we want children to see how literacy can be used effectively in other areas of the curriculum.
English is taught daily in all classes as a designated lesson and also as a cross curricular medium. As the English Curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils become fluent in the fundamentals of reading, writing, spelling and grammar, we aim to offer an interesting and varied breadth of study of these skills throughout each year group to keep children engaged and motivated.
In English, pupils develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. These skills enable children to express themselves and communicate in general and to make sense of the whole school curriculum.
Speech and Language
At King’s Meadow Academy, language and communication underpins our whole curriculum. Our children are immersed in language and literature and the development of spoken language and key vocabulary is an essential tool in unlocking learning opportunities across the curriculum. Therefore we develop our children’s speech and language skills through a wide range of activities including role play, drama, discussions, assemblies and ensure that these skills are developed across all subject areas.
Reading is taught across the curriculum, through guided and shared reading. These include fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts.
For reading in EYFS through to Year 2 see our Phonics and Early Reading page
Once children are fluent readers and have covered all the RWI programme, they take a short Star Reader test through Accelerated Reader to identify their ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development). This provides each child with a range of texts they can choose independently that match their reading and comprehension abilities. Once they have read their text, they take a quiz that has comprehension questions linked to what they have read. Targets are set for children for the amount of time they read and their progression. Children receive certificates once they have completed
Books children have access to at home that are not from school can also take a quiz using the following site:
Accelerated Reader Book Finder
Whole Class Guided Reading (WCGR)
Pupils are taught to apply comprehension skills through whole class guided reading (WCGR) or RWI or Fresh Start accordingly.
WCGR is planned carefully to explicitly teach reading strategies using the following domains:
- Background Knowledge
- Read Aloud, Think Aloud
- Summarise and synthesise
The above are taught strategically using high quality texts (see the Reading Spine), focusing on one specific element within each WCGR session.
Each half term pupils will be taught the following:
- 2-3 weeks fiction
- 2 weeks non-fiction
- 1 week poetry
Fiction, non-fiction and poetry will link to a theme to enable children to make connections and deepen their knowledge and understanding of texts.
Reading across the curriculum
At King’s Meadow Academy texts are selected that contain subject specific vocabulary to ensure that children become familiar with technical and unusual vocabulary (Tier 2 and 3 words). This enables pupils to be better prepared to access the Key Stage 3 curriculum. Vocabulary is a thread that runs through every subject area, it is identified and explained using techniques to help children develop a rich and varied language store.
Reading for Pleasure
The active ingredients for promoting a positive reading culture are non-negotiable and must be inherent throughout school.
To promote a positive reading culture King’s Meadow Academy will include:
Teacher knowledge of children’s literature to enrich and widen experiences and pleasure in reading
Children’s experiences – fostering children’s autonomy as readers
Reading environment – King’s Meadow Academy creates a relaxed and informal ethos with reading, including reading areas and library, teachers reading aloud daily, dedicated reading time, book-talk, children as librarians
Teachers as readers – teachers reading books aloud to children everyday and sharing their knowledge of high quality texts for children to read independently
Reading community – Reading relationships with families, supporting parents to read (National Literacy Trust), governors and parents reading to children in school, reading newsletter to be sent to parents termly celebrating the reading achievements within school are currently being introduced
Working in Partnership with Parents
At King’s Meadow Academy we want to encourage every child to read with a grown up at home every night. Children who read with their families grow in confidence much more quickly and develop a love of reading that can last a lifetime. In recognition of the important role parents have we hope our home/school reading initiatives will motivate children to read at home whilst earning Dojo’s for their efforts.
Wherever possible, writing is linked to other subject areas give children meaning and purpose for writing. Through guided, modelled and teacher led activities children are provided with a wide range of opportunities to become confident, independent writers.
At King’s Meadow Academy we aim for children to:
- write every day through a range of contexts and cross curricular themes.
- express their unique ‘writing voice’ through the texts they write.
- choose words for effect to show purpose and audience.
- develop their understanding of the different types of punctuation as set down in the 2014 National Curriculum and understand the impact it has on the reader.
- learn how to spell key words accurately and apply them to their writing.
- develop their handwriting and presentation skills so that they produce pieces of writing they are proud of and that others can read.
Department for Education (DfE) – 10 top tips for parents to support children to read
Department for Education (DfE) – The reading framework – Teaching the foundations of literacy [page 80]