At Hobbayne we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We prioritise the teaching of reading and invest heavily in books and reading materials to excite, inspire and encourage all children to read for pleasure. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
These aims are embedded in our reading and writing lessons and across the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. Reading is taught daily through a mixture of whole class sessions, guided groups (Key Stage 1) and individual sessions. We ensure that cross curricular links with our Cornerstone projects are woven into the programme of study. Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014.
The national curriculum for English 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.
In addition to their daily English lessons, children in Reception and KS1 follow ‘Letters and Sounds’; a systematic phonics programme. Short, daily lessons focus on the sounds that individual letters and groups of letters (phonemes) make and then blending them together to be able to read words. Our phonics sessions are designed to be fun, lively and interactive, developing children’s skills and confidence day by day. Children get many opportunities and are encouraged to apply their phonic knowledge throughout the day. Teachers monitor the children’s progress carefully and keep in touch with parents/carers about how this is going.
How reading is taught at Hobbayne Primary School
Reading is taught through whole class reading lessons. At Hobbayne it is expected that children are taught the reading strategies and skills through whole class and supported reading. Reading is taught across all areas of the curriculum with all lessons having an element of reading aloud.
Whole Class Reading
The aim of whole class reading is to raise the standards in reading as all of the children are being taught by the expert in the room. Teaching the whole class means that all pupils can read with the teacher more often, moving faster through longer texts and benefitting from the teacher’s expert explanations, modelling, questioning and feedback.
It is crucial that our children are exposed to a range of rich literature through high quality texts. Therefore, all reading texts are extracts/chapters from books (fiction and non-fiction) or the reading lessons are centred on the core text.
At Hobbayne, we aim to provide children with not only the tools to write but with a range of ideas so they know what to write about. We do this by basing each unit of work around a high quality text so pupils can develop ideas for their own writing. Teachers regularly write with the children to scaffold the writing process and we put a huge emphasis on vocabulary, which is evident on displays around the school. We believe that children need purpose and structure for writing, as well as the confidence to experiment with language and build on their knowledge over time.
We believe that reading and writing go hand in hand. We hope that by instilling a passion for reading in our pupils by sharing texts and writing together, our pupils will really develop deeper understanding of the purposes of writing.
Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1
In Reception, children will start to learn how to form letters correctly. They will be encouraged to use their knowledge of phonics to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. By the end of the year, they will be expected to write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others.
In Year 1 and 2, children will be taught how to write a sentence by saying out loud what they are going to write about, put several sentences together and re-read their writing to check it makes sense. They will also be expected to discuss what they have written and to read it aloud. Children learn to write for a range of purposes, including stories, information texts and poetry. This will relate to what they are reading as well. Children are encouraged to plan what they are going to write and to read through their writing to make corrections and improvements.
Key Stage Two
In Years 3 and 4, children are encouraged to draft and write by talking about their writing. They will continue to learn how to organise paragraphs and, if they are writing non-fiction, to use organisational features such as headings and sub-headings. When they are writing stories, they will learn to use settings, characters and plots. Pupils will be expected to use what they know about grammar in their writing. It is essential that children take ownership of their work and we ask children to read through what they have written, in order to find ways to improve it.
In Years 5 and 6, children will continue to develop their skills in planning, drafting and reviewing what they have written. Again, it is essential that they re-read their work and understand the benefit of this. Children learn to identify the audience for and purpose of their writing. They will be expected to use grammar appropriately. In non-fiction writing, children will use headings, bullet points and other ways to organise their writing. They will be expected to describe settings, characters and to use dialogue in their stories.
Vocabulary is an essential part of reading and writing. The school follows the Word aware approach to help with understanding vocabulary across the curriculum. Children will also be given chances to learn, practice and use their spellings throughout the week in lessons as well as chances to revise them at home. Teachers will also be putting an emphasis on the teaching of spelling rules to ensure children are learning rules that they can apply to challenging spellings throughout their time at school.