English is taught through our Creative Curriculum at Breadsall Hill Top Primary School. The topic each half-term has a high-quality text chosen by the teachers to enhance and engage all learners in their classes.
The school aims to foster confident, articulate children who are able to communicate through the spoken and written word. We use the English National Curriculum as a basis for developing the children’s reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
Speaking and Listening
The ability to take part in conversation and to verbalise thoughts and ideas through discussion is vital; our school day is planned to maximise opportunities to support children in the development of speaking and listening skills.
Children participate in Drama and role play whilst developing confidence. In small groups, they work collaboratively to share facts, solve challenges and communicate effectively. Daily lessons include opportunities for 'talk partners' where children converse with peers and wider group discussions. Children are given the opportunity to share ideas using a variety of different strategies in order to develop both listening and presentation skills.
Through teaching the creative curriculum, we encourage a love and enjoyment of books within our school. In KS1 children read daily in a Guided Reading session. We use a range of reading schemes to encourage a breadth of reading and skills development including Oxford reading Tree, Rigby Star and Bug Club.
In Key Stage 2 Guided Reading runs alongside Accelerated Reader – an online website which allows them to quiz on their books and track their individual progress. Parents are also able to see books their children have read and their progress via the Accelerated Reader Home Connect site.
Daily Phonics lessons support reading through knowledge of letter sounds and specific digraphs for representation of sounds. Children are encouraged to use word building skills through segmenting and blending words and phrases.
As part of our whole school approach to phonics we use the Government guidance and Letters and Sounds. This works progressively through phases according to the children’s ability.
Children are encouraged to write at every opportunity across the curriculum. Many activities involve group collaboration, speaking and listening, movement and practical experiences thus enhancing content and attainment of writing. Children are given opportunities to write in varied genre including narrative, poetry, instructions, persuasive, non-fiction reports and newspapers.
Underpinning this is the teaching of the specific writing skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling. In KS2 the children progress from daily phonics to daily spelling lessons to embed spelling rules and to improve writing skills. Handwriting skills are taught and practiced across the school.
Talk for writing
At Breadsall Hill Top we use the principles of talk for writing. Talk for writing is a way of supporting the improvement of children's writing. It develops their ability to 'read as writers' and enables them to explore the thinking and creative processes involved in generating and planning ideas and incorporating techniques learned from other writers into their own work.
It also allows children to rehearse the structure and sequence of a piece of writing and guides how the text should sound - its style and voice. It also encourages them to generate and rehearse appropriate language and grammar as they work collaboratively to plan, draft and improve their writing.