English

READING

At Slip End Village School, we value reading. We are COMPETENT READERS!

Our intention is to inspire our children to become accomplished in their reading skills and to enable them to unlock all aspects of the curriculum. In addition to their discrete reading lessons, we foster a love for reading in order to broaden pupils’ experience and open new worlds of knowledge and opportunity. We aim to build our pupil’s culture capital through a wide range of wonderfully, diverse texts to engage their minds and ignite their passion for learning.

 

WRITING

At Slip End Village School, we value writers. We are ENTHUSIASTIC WRITERS!

Our writing curriculum intends to engage pupil’s imaginations and create accomplished writers of the future. We want to empower our children to become confident and enthusiastic writers by providing them with the technical and grammatical tools they need to communicate in a clear and concise way. Our children our given the opportunities to write for a range of purposes and for different audiences and through careful modelling and support we help them to develop their writing proficiency.

 

SPEAKING AND LISTENING

At Slip End Village School, we value speaking & listening. We are ARTICULATE SPEAKERS!

Oracy is a priority and we provide our pupils with opportunities to become articulate speakers who are able to explain what they would like to say both clearly and with conviction. Furthermore, we promote the power and importance of respectful listening skills and nurture an environment where this is a highly valued skill.

Reading


We have ambitious aims for all of our children to become skilled, enthusiastic and proficient readers who are exposed to rich and varied literature. We believe that reading is a lifelong skill that unlocks the curriculum, broadens pupils’ experiences and opens new worlds of knowledge and opportunity. We want our pupils to highly value reading for pleasure and we teach the decoding, language and comprehension skills required to achieve this. The teaching of reading in our school is a high priority where lessons are interactive, engaging and carefully planned to meet the needs of all children. We aim to build our pupils’ cultural capital through the wide range of texts, paintings and authors we build our book-centred curriculum on and we aim to inspire and challenge the children through all reading experiences. At the heart of our strategy is our desire to foster a classroom environment and school ethos which reflects a love of reading.


Writing


Our writing curriculum intends to inspire pupils’ imaginations and create accomplished writers of the future. We want to empower our children to become confident writers across all genres and audiences. Teaching writing creatively through interesting and inspiring lessons, we are able to develop pupils’ writing to ensure they have the technical and grammatical skills to communicate effectively, express themselves with ingenuity and develop a unique writer’s voice.


Speaking & Listening


Oracy is a priority and we provide pupils with opportunities to become articulate speakers who are able to explain, discuss, debate and perform with conviction, knowing how to respond in appropriate and meaningful ways. We want them to understand the power and impact of good listening skills by nurturing a positive and supportive learning environment in which listening is valued as part of effective communication.


Finally, we aim to equip and encourage pupils to utilise and enjoy using these vital reading, writing, speaking and listening skills beyond their English lessons, across the curriculum, throughout their time in education and in their wider lives as productive members of society.


Phonics


We believe that reading opens up the whole curriculum to a child. In 2023, we adopted the DfE approved FFT ‘Success for All’ scheme in our phonics lessons.


Staff are trained to teach high quality phonics and are committed to supporting children in being the best readers they can be.

At our schools, English looks like this:


Phonics


In Early Years, reading is taught through the DfE approved FFT ‘Success for All’ Phonics scheme, selected due to its multi-sensory, systematic approach, focusing on application of skills and co-operative learning. It provides highly comprehensive documentation that shows clear structure and progression and it is a government validated scheme of work, offering a plethora of resources to support the teaching.


The scheme allows for correct vocabulary to be introduced and used with the children, it groups phonemes and new graphemes together in its teaching, so that the children are aware of the visual representation for each sound. The children are taught both the names and sounds of letters, and this is supported in the application of the ‘alphabet chant’. Additionally, the daily format of lessons ensures that the reviewing, practising, teaching and applying parts of the lesson receive appropriate coverage. Children enjoy the engaging stories that are used during partner practice sessions, supporting the application of reading along with the spelling and writing of the words in the book, so it has a cohesive approach.


Our children are provided with a variety of opportunities to develop and extend their phonics skills in and across Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1. It will also be continued into Key Stage 2, where necessary to provide rapid intervention and support to those children who do not yet have the phonic knowledge and skills they need. These lessons proceed at pace and incorporate a wide range of practical and interactive learning opportunities to engage the children.


To consolidate the children's phonic knowledge each child is sent home with a “read with me” book that matches their progression and phonic ability. These books are from a variety of schemes and so are different from the FFT shared readers they see in class and take home weekly, ensuring that they are exposed to a variety of reading books, while practising the correct phonemes being taught in school.


English


Across the Federation we teach the National Curriculum for English via our own carefully designed curriculum including schemes of work from Herts for Learning, Jane Considine as well as our own units of work which ensure that we have a broad range of engaging texts incorporating rich language, diversity and big ideas. This provides teachers with a comprehensive, high-quality, book-based curriculum specifically targeting the most vital skills for children to master, in order to progress successfully to their next stage of learning. The planning provides engaging, interactive and progressive instruction for every year group, ensuring the most important skills are addressed and achieved. The planning encompasses all branches of the English curriculum (reading, writing, speaking and listening) including grammar, and the reading texts selected for each year group are relevant, challenging and appealing to all children.


In terms of writing, we have adopted a five phase approach in our English lessons (Planning, Drafting, Revising, Editing and Publishing) enabling the children to develop the key skills required to construct a final quality piece of writing. The plans provide teachers with the objectives required to successfully deliver the curriculum and enable children to make progress as they build their stamina for learning. Using the HfL scheme, alongside additional teacher-devised units of work, ensures complete coverage of the English National Curriculum, a continued focus on high-quality, book-based learning, smooth transitions in English across year groups, and the opportunity for children to make clear and structured progress.

In English, assessment takes place in the following ways:


Reading:


The Chris Quigley Depth of Learning programme/Tapestry is used to record children’s reading attainment.


EYFS: Formative assessment takes place through the FFT RAP assessment.


KS1: Formative assessment of phonics takes place regularly through FFT RAP assessment.


Summative assessment takes place half-termly through the use previous phonics check materials. Analysis of these takes place to inform planning and intervention.


Reading is assessed using the FFT reading programme.


KS2: Accelerated Reader STAR reader test – This is completed as a baseline test and then during Assessment points 1,2 and 3 throughout the year. Accelerated Reader is used regularly as a child completes and quizzes on a book. This is a form of self-assessment but also allows teachers to monitor progress.


Children who have not met the phonics pass mark to continue to be assessed using class tracking system.


At four points throughout the year teacher assessment of reading takes place with staff using the different strands of reading to make a judgement of a pupil’s progress and attainment.



Writing:


Teacher assessment is used to judge the attainment level of children’s writing, using the Depth of Learning grids as an assessment tool. Children are given regular opportunities to write a longer piece of writing independently.


Comparative Judgement: Years 1-6 carry out an independent piece of writing that is then judged through the No More Marking scheme and feedback is given to teachers. This is then used to aid and confirm teacher judgements.


Each year group attends Local Authority cluster moderation to have the opportunity to moderate and share writing judgements. This also helps teachers to validate their judgements.


Spelling Shed is used as a monitoring tool and teaching strategy to ensure that children have exposure to year group specific word lists.


Assessment is ongoing through classroom observations, tasks and retrieval practice against the threshold concepts. Assessment is recorded on the Depth of Learning system


and pupils are measured as having either ‘basic’, ‘advancing’ or ‘deep’ levels of understanding at their appropriate milestone.



As a result of our English curriculum, children will be confident and proficient readers and writers. They will be able to articulate their ideas and thoughts using the spoken word.


Children can talk about the grammar used in the English language and discuss different genres of writing and their features.


Children will be able to write and read with an increasing fluency in preparation for the next stage of their learning and being citizens in the 21st Century.

PHONICS is taught through the FFT 'Success for all' Phonics Scheme. This is a scheme that has been validated by the Department for Education. This scheme is split into six phases. In Nursery, children learn about sound discrimination, rhyme, rhythm, alliteration, oral blending and segmenting as they begin Phase 1. Children will continue to progress through the phases of learning in Reception and Year 1, consolidating their learning by reaching Phase 6  in the summer term of Year 1. Phonics sessions are structured, fast-paced, multi-sensory and highly enjoyable. Our children are provided with multiple opportunities during the school day to apply their phonic knowledge.  Our reading scheme books are matched to their current reading attainment level and are those from the FFT phonics scheme. Additionally, at key times in the school calendar (such as prior to a phonics screening check), the teacher may deviate from the scheme if it benefits the children.


ECHO READING: Introduced as a result of the Reading Fluency project this aims to build reading fluency and in turn improve reading comprehension, expression and intonation. It is used as a whole class strategy currently but small group work is also effective at targeting specific children’s needs.Echo Reading is used in all year groups across the Federation. The aim is to build reading fluency and in turn improve reading comprehension and prosody through modelling the reading of high-quality texts.  It is used as a whole class strategy, as well as in small group intervention work to effectively target specific children’s needs.  It is used in reading lessons which aim to deliver content, focussed on reading-specific learning objectives. It is also a strategy used not only in English lessons but also across the wider curriculum.


VIPERS: VIPERS was introduced across our Federation after it was identified that we needed a consistent and targeted approach to delivering reading lessons which focussed on specific reading skills. It was established in order to accelerate children’s reading ability so that they can access and unlock the curriculum. VIPERS, alongside our other reading strategies such as Echo reading, ensures that pupils have the opportunity to develop their knowledge of vocabulary and their ability to infer, predict, explain, retrieve and summarise information from a text.  A high-quality, age-appropriate text is selected by the teacher as the reading material and then a range of interactive, discussion or writing-based tasks will be set which will help children to develop, improve and refine the reading skill in question.  VIPERS can also be used as a starter activity in English lessons where perhaps more than one of the skills is focussed upon and VIPERS can be used as a learning tool in all curriculum subjects.


SPELLING SHED: Spelling Shed was chosen because it follows on succinctly from the phonics programme which understands the relationship between phonemes and graphemes to enable pupils to spell through meaning. The scheme also includes teaching of orthography, morphology and the etymology of words. Weekly word lists are provided aligning with National Curriculum standards following a systematic progression allowing pupils to build automaticity and word recognition.Teachers use Spelling Shed for their weekly spelling lists as each year group has 30+ lists which progressively become more challenging as well as review lists. Spelling lists look at spelling patterns, rules or sounds which teachers use to teach discrete spelling lessons.  Teachers are able to tailor learning for children by creating spelling lists specific for individual children.  Spelling Shed has differentiated games that allow children to practice words at their own level to fit their needs.  Teachers set assignments for their class as well as monitor weekly progress, assess development on specific skills and activities for children to complete.


GRAMMAR: Grammar skills are taught as discrete lessons. As part of our retrieval practice, previous skills are revisited and assessed, new skills are built in and extension skills provide challenge.


RETRIEVAL PRACTICE: Research shows that retrieval practice is an effective strategy that allows children to commit learning to long term memory. This is standard practice in all lessons and can be evidenced by frequent revisiting of previously taught and new knowledge. Different retrieval techniques are used to aid children to remember more.


ACCELERATED READER: This programme is used with Key Stage 2. STAR reader is used diagnostically in order to ascertain a child’s reading ability and to therefore allow books to be matched accordingly. Accelerated reader is also used to monitor progress and allows children to independently choose suitable books and track their own progress by the outcomes of quizzing.


HANDWRITING: Following research, the practice of cursive handwriting was introduced from Year 1 – 6. This is known to assist with spelling and writing fluency. The agreed school font is recommended for use by staff. Handwriting is taught weekly and is expected to be used in all areas of the curriculum.


CURRICULM COHERENCE: Reading, writing and speaking and listening skills are woven together throughout our whole curriculum.

Phonics

Details on how we teach phonics can be found on our dedicated phonics page here.