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At Valley Invicta Primary School at Aylesford we believe that it is every child’s right to be able to access the world around them through the medium of language. As such, we promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, enabling them to listen, speak, read and write confidently for a wide range of purposes throughout their school years and beyond. We recognise that it is important to cultivate an enthusiasm and appreciation for literacy and aspire to do so by ensuring real-life and cross-curricular learning experiences.
The English Curriculum at Valley Invicta Primary School at Ayesford aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
At Aylesford, we recognise the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. We nurture the development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills by providing a range of opportunities for children to speak and listen for different purposes and audiences. The teaching of spoken language is underpinned throughout all other areas of the curriculum.
We are a reading school and aim to instil a love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. We believe that it is every child’s right to learn to read and we hope that many children go beyond this and develop a love and passion for reading. Staff act as reading role-models and children have access to a wide range of quality texts both in the class libraries and the main school library. Through reading, pupils at Aylesford have opportunities to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Our reading teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in the two dimensions:
- word reading (decoding - taught through Read Write Inc phonics)
- fluency (speed of reading)
- comprehension (both listening and reading)
At Aylesford, all children are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction genres to develop their knowledge of themselves. Through daily reading, we aim to feed our pupils’ imaginations and open up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious minds. Reading is taught in discrete phonic sessions (one-to-one with a teacher or teaching assistant) and through whole class reading lessons. In addition to this, there are daily timetabled sessions to develop independent and sustained reading skills.
Through termly teacher assessments, each child is tracked ensuring that they are being supported and challenged at the appropriate level.
Children develop a joy for writing from the emergent writing in the Foundation Stage to the accomplished and confident writers that leave our school. At Aylesford, our English teaching focuses on the following areas:
- transcription (spelling and handwriting)
- composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in writing)
We acknowledge the value of ‘Talk for Writing’ and through the use of well-planned learning sequences, children are given opportunities to verbalise ideas in most sessions. Writing is taught through discrete phonics sessions and through the use of shared, modelled writing and guided writing. Teachers use feedback marking to inform pupils of their next steps and to inform future planning. At Aylesford, we value the importance of children reflecting on their own learning, and that of peers, to edit and improve their writing as a result.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
Spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) are taught throughout KS1 and 2. Spelling is taught following the Read Write Inc (RWI) Spelling programme. Pupils are taught spelling rules and patterns which are then practised daily through various games and activities both in class and at home. At Aylesford, it is our aim to give children confidence in their own spelling ability. As a result, children strive to use the best word rather than the easiest word when they are writing. New vocabulary, often linked to the text or the Creative Curriculum, is introduced and embedded in every English lesson. Pupils also have regular, weekly lessons focussed on teaching the rules of grammar and punctuation which are underpinned and identified in text work and then applied to their own writing. As part of our feedback marking, teachers will highlight the next steps for children’s grammar and punctuation learning as well as identifying spelling words for children to practise.
Literacy is taught throughout the school on a daily basis. In the Foundation Stage, children follow the ‘Communication, Language and Literacy’ area of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. Children have discrete taught sessions of phonics (following the Read Write Inc. programme) and reading, where children are encouraged to share and respond to a range of texts. Speaking and Listening underpins all aspects of the Foundation Stage curriculum where children are encouraged to explore through role play and to continually converse for different purposes and to varying audiences. To compliment this, during child initiated learning time, children have free access to class libraries, writing areas and phonics resources.
The English Programmes of Study for Key Stage 1 and 2 are followed throughout Years One to Six and are combined with daily Read Write Inc. Phonics Sessions for pupils in Key Stage 1. Read Write Inc. intervention sessions continue throughout Key Stage 2 for those children who still have not met the age related expectation.