English is at the heart of the curriculum and underpins all other subject areas. At Avenue Primary School, we provide a rich and stimulating language environment so the children can use and develop their reading, writing and speaking and listening skills in all aspects of their learning.
At Avenue we teach KTC (Knowledge Transfer Centre) phonics which is based on Letters and Sounds with a comprehensive lesson plan that teaches children to hear, read, write and apply phonemes in reading and writing. It is a quality first approach to teaching phonics, reading and writing in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. All EYFS and KS1 staff are fully trained to teach phonics lessons.
KTC has enhanced our phonics teaching, having a positive impact on learning. Children in EYFS and KS1 receive a 30 minute daily phonics lesson. They are taught at an early age to listen to instrumental sounds, environmental sounds, rhyme and rhythm and talk about what they can hear. Children progress to learning sounds and we teach the children to say the sounds for each letter as well as the letter name. Each phonics session involves reading, writing and applying the skills that they have learnt. Children who need additional support in Key Stage 2 also follow a KTC style phonics program. In March 2019, Challenge Partners recognised the positive impact that our phonics teaching is having by awarding us an 'Area of Excellence' for the teaching of phonics.
The more that you read,
the more things that you will know.
The more you learn,
the more places you will go.
We aim to provide a broad and varied choice of reading material. This is developed through individual reading with carefully structured books in a reading scheme (home readers) and through guided and shared reading in English and other subject areas.
At Avenue reading is central to the curriculum. It is a source of pleasure and enrichment in itself, but also a primary means of obtaining information and building many key skills such as retelling information. Children are given many opportunities during the school day to develop their reading skills.
In class children experience a range of texts through English lessons as well as other texts their teachers read and discuss. EYFS and KS1 staff have all implemented a new style of shared and guided reading through the KTC. This style of shared and guided reading is linked closely to the KTC phonics and brings the two skills together. All children read in guided reading groups with both teachers and teaching assistants. Across the school we use Oxford Reading Tree, Pearson's Bug Club and Collins Big Cat reading schemes to support and apply our phonics and reading skills.
In KS2, we continue to build on the positive work that is done in KS1. In shared reading lessons, children are explicitly taught one comprehension skill at a time; they are then given a chance to independently apply this skill to a book that is closely matched to their decoding abilities during guided reading lessons. Children are encouraged to read for meaning, our use of Accelerated Reader (AR) ensures that children understand their home reading book and that it is finely tuned to their abilities. Children are encouraged to read a wide range of material, we have fiction and non-fiction texts on a range of subjects and we aim to update our book stock with relevant and exciting books regularly. After reading a book independently, children are given the opportunity to quiz using our AR system, which monitors their understanding of the book.
To encourage reading at home, KS1 classes race against each other throughout the year to see who can get the most reading miles. These results are announced every month and displayed on our Reading Miles Racetrack. KS2 classes compete against each other for AR points, with each winning child being awarded with a privilege within school. Each child from the classes which accumulates the most points/miles will win a novel at the end of the year.
There have been and continue to be many other fantastic reading activities at Avenue including the celebration of World Book Day, PJ Reading Day, numerous author visits and workshops, local library trips, 'Family Learning Reading Workshops' and reading buddies involving EYFS, KS1 and KS2! Our children have also loved the opportunity to browse books during our Roving Book Shop. We are proud of our reading culture at Avenue and are always looking to build and develop upon it.
Our Reading results over the last few years show that children make good progress in Reading and Phonics from EYFS to Year 2 and from Year 2 to Year 6.
Writing is the painting of the voice.
We value writing and encourage children to produce work of quality and depth across the curriculum. Pupils are given many opportunities to write in a wide variety of ways using the work of professional writers as a model.
As with reading, writing is also at the core of the curriculum. Children need to write as a means of communication, as a way of clarifying their thoughts and as a method of recording their opinions and ideas.
In Early Years Foundation Stage, children are encouraged to develop their gross and fine motor skills in order to be able to learn to write. All children experience writing from an early age, from making marks with chalks, water and other mark making materials. Our classrooms each have an area for independent writing and children are encouraged to use the variety of resources to explore and practise their skills.
In KS1 and KS2 various types of writing are introduced to the children, enabling them to select the most appropriate for the task in hand. Children take part in a range of classroom activities (including drama) which help to improve their writing and they learn to plan, draft and produce a final piece for each unit of work that they study in English. They also write across a range of other curriculum subjects.
We make full use of the National Curriculum to teach the skills of reading and writing in a very focused way (see link below).We also stress the importance of good spelling, sound grammatical structure, neat handwriting and quality presentation, and all children follow the school policy in these areas.
National Curriculum - English KS1 and KS2
Please see below our English long term plans for writing. This explains how and when we cover different genres over the year.
Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation
Spelling and handwriting are important tools in writing and a structured programme is in place. In Key Stage 1 and 2 children are taught key punctuation, grammatical terminology and how to structure grammatically accurate sentences.
From years 2 to 6, children receive at least three lessons each week based on the National Curriculum expectations. Children are taught how to build on their phonic knowledge from KS1 in order to become effective spellers. We support our pupils to become confident spellers by teaching the strategies, rules and conventions systematically and explicitly, and helping pupils recognise which strategies they can use to improve their spelling. Within each session children have the chance to practice previously learned spelling rules and/or learn a new spelling rule and apply these new skills accordingly. We ensure that our spelling sessions are short, lively and focused.
National Curriculum - Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/335190/English_Appendix_2_-_Vocabulary_grammar_and_punctuation.pdf
Useful links and resources