English not your home language? No problem!
Our English Policy is comprised of four distinct policy areas that address all aspects of children’s language and literacy acquisition, learning and development: Reading, Writing, Phonics, Spoken Language. The phonic and reading schemes we use are mainly "Letters and Sounds", and addtionally the use of "Jolly Phonics" in the Foundation Stage.
This document sets out those four policies within one framework regarding implementation, responsibilities, monitoring and review. As with all policies at Loughton Manor First School, we set out a statement of the underlying school aims. These are the founding principles upon which policy development is based.
Our specific aim is that of enabling children to become confident, independent readers, who can understand and respond to a wide range of texts. The school actively promotes reading for pleasure through a diverse range of reading activities and whole school inititatives.
We aim to provide a stimulating reading environment which includes wide-ranging texts of high quality, sufficient to engage the interests and extend the skills and knowledge of all our children.
Each class teacher is responsible for providing a reading area where books are accessible and inviting. Each room has a “book-box” filled with books suitable for the age-range and a collection of poetry books and anthologies. Some books remain as a core of familiar books, whilst others are changed regularly. In line with our outdoor curriculum, we also encourage children to use every opportunity to read outside.
The library is available for all to use. Children have regular, time tabled, library lessons where they select books to take home. Children in Foundation Stage 2, take a book home. The children are taught how to care for books and respect their organisation. There is also time for teaching library skills and information retrieval skills. Parents are asked to sign an undertaking to care for books taken home and replace in the event of loss or damage.
Each term we borrow “topic collections” from the School Library Service. We have collections of multiple copies of stories and plays in the colour coded book trolleys which are used for guided reading. We have a wide selection of group readers which children can use for reading independently and then be able to discuss a book within the group. The Library houses a collection of ‘big books’ both fiction and non-fiction for group and class literacy teaching.
Books which the children take home to practise their reading with parents and friends are stored in the shared areas in colour-coded book trolleys. More fluent readers make their choice from the ”First Steps”, “Taking Off” and “Going Solo” shelves in the Year Two Shared Area.
We include in our book resources a range of dual-language texts in acknowledgement of the cultural diversity of our pupils and to provide experience of the many forms of language that exist.
We provide an environment throughout the school which promotes and encourages reading; e.g. labels, notices, posters, a variety of handwritten and printed lettering, interactive displays, which often show children’s writing, Interactive white boards and lap top computers.
We teach the children the skills and strategies they need to become effective and competent readers.
We teach reading in line with the National Curriculum. Class teachers implement daily English lessons at KS1. Teachers in the Foundation Stage use the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS) and expectations within the National Curriculum for English. Teachers target their direct teaching towards a range of literacy skills throughout this period and all pupils engage in literacy work for the majority of these sessions.
We use an extensive range of reading books from a wide variety of providers. The books in their first stages provide early success through repetition and the acquisition of a basic sight vocabulary. Our books provide a useful introduction to a range of genres. Storage of these practise books is in broadly graded colour coded, book boxes in the shared areas:
•Independent Readers-First Steps, Taking off, Going solo
However, these books are not used in isolation and children are encouraged to develop their skills on a wider range of texts. Our reading materials support our teaching of a range and variety of reading strategies. These include the use of picture cues, knowledge of the story, context cues, graphic cues (overall word shape), syntax cues and phonological cues, the length of a word and analogy.
Introducing children to a wide range of texts is a vital part of the reading process. As children progress it is necessary to encourage the development of higher-order reading skills such as discussing characters, predicting, setting and plot, relating texts one to another, reading for inference and deduction, recognising style and genre, giving preferences and supporting their opinions, often with direct reference to the text as evidence and sharing knowledge about authors and poets. Additionally we seek to develop children’s skills in reading aloud, encouraging expression, inflection, clarity and confidence of speech.
Children are taught how to use reference books competently and how to select and extract information by means of a structured approach to working with non-fiction as part of our literacy teaching. Children’s reference skills are also developed by using a wide selection of non-fiction books, and the Internet.
•To provide opportunities and time for reading and reflection.
•To read for different purposes.
Children hear their teacher and other adults reading aloud to them fiction, poetry, rhymes and non-fiction. The children read as a whole class in Shared Reading, individually, in pairs and in a group. We acknowledge the importance of Guided Reading where the activities have direct teacher involvement. The teaching of reading strategies and skills feature strongly as an element of our guided reading instruction such as: how an author uses inference and deduction in a text, why an author uses certain words to move a text forward, how punctuation can be used for effect. We also teach children how to use a text when finding evidence to support their particular preferences. The number of times a child reads individually is for class teachers to organise. Pupils will have a regular individual reading consultation with their class teacher where quality one-to-one attention is given and assessments can be made at least once every half-term.
Volunteers helping with reading practise are briefed by the class teacher and given clear written guidance, filed in the front of the Class Reading Records. A copy of these guidelines is appended.
We actively encourage Home-School partnerships
Whilst the structured teaching of reading is a carefully planned element of our work in school, we consider home practice to be an important factor in a pupil’s success in learning to read and in fostering positive attitudes towards reading. Children are encouraged to take a practise book home on a daily basis and change it on arrival in the mornings. Individual children’s practise books are stored in their personal reading folder in their named classroom tray.
A reading workshop is provided at the beginning of each new school year. Also parents of our pre-school children will have early reading development explained and the ways in which they can help at home. We also provide an explanatory foreword to the reading diary. All children have a home-school diary where family members are invited to comment. Teachers regularly check that home practice is being undertaken and try to add comments to encourage reading as homework. We are happy to answer queries at any time and regular parent consultation evenings provide good opportunities for discussing progress.
We acknowledge that some children will not make the expected progress in their reading.
We consider regular assessment to be essential to a child’s progress, and through diagnosis we pinpoint individual needs and offer extension or additional support as appropriate.
In the first instance class teachers will offer as much extra support as possible and consult with the English Co-ordinator and/or the Inclusion Manager, for help with diagnosis and strategies. Individual children may receive extra support from one of our Teaching Assistants after consultation with the Inclusion Manager.
We employ a reading Recovery Teacher (RR) who can implement a stage 3 literacy intervention for those children who appear to have a widening gap in their literacy knowledge and are showing signs of falling behind their peers.
The Better Reading intervention is for those children who are in need of extra 1-1 help. The programme is three times per week for 15 minutes and the instructors work with picture books.
All levels of support are provided in accordance with the Inclusion Code of Practice and our own school Inclusion policy.
Assessment and Recording
Assessment should take account of:
•accuracy, fluency, expression and understanding,
•response to texts,
•attitudes and preferences.
Aspects of reading development are also identified for assessment on the schools Assessment Calendar. Reading is assessed half termly in an individual reading assessment.
During Year 2 children have end of key stage 1 SAT’s.
Informal assessments are ongoing.
Reading records should include information concerning:
•what has been read and when;
•reading strategies and attitudes;
•level of comprehension;
•tastes and preferences;
•individual pupil’s reading targets.
Our records consist of:
•The home-school reading diary, Class Reading Records and an individual comment sheet, guided reading group records, phonic check lists, teachers’ own personal records, written reports and where appropriate Individual Education Plans.
For further details please refer to the Schools’ Assessment, Recording and Reporting policy.
At Loughton Manor First School we believe that all children should consider themselves “writers”.
We foster in them a respect and love of the written word. Writing is a key element in children’s developing ability to communicate thoughts, feelings and information. Handwriting, spelling, punctuation and grammar need to be taught in order for children to develop and progress as effective writers; inextricably linked to reading.
1.To encourage children to explore, experience and convey information and ideas with confidence, enjoyment, commitment and vitality.
2.To enable children to have the compositional and transcriptional skills, through which they can develop their understanding and use of Standard English.
3.To enable children to write in many different forms and for a variety of purposes and audience across the curriculum, through stimulating and rewarding activities.
4.To arouse in children an interest and enthusiasm for words themselves, their roots, derivations and meanings.
5.To emphasise the close links between writing, reading and spoken language.
1.Provide children with a variety of activities and stimuli for writing, both relevant to their own experience and also to extend their imagination.
2.Provide a range of writing forms including imaginative and non-fiction in order that children learn to organise their writing in different ways, helpful to the purpose, task and reader.
3.Value and give recognition to children’s creative ideas and provide discussion and sharing of thoughts in a safe and supportive environment.
4.Give children opportunities to comment upon their writing, to recognise their strengths and to set up targets for further attention.
5.Teach children, at a stage appropriate, the importance of correct grammar and punctuation, ensuring that it is made relevant to their own experience as writers and readers.
6.Teach children to develop their compositional skills through learning to talk for writing, plan, draft, revise and edit.
1.Take a positive attitude towards spelling and the emergent speller whilst using errors to diagnose problems in order to help them become more successful.
2.Through a multi-sensory approach, using a variety of strategies, teach essential and consistent spelling rules, letter patterns and word families.
3.Teach children grapheme phoneme correspondence and phonological patterns through a systematic phonics programme.
4.Provide access to the high frequency words, topic words and “tricky words” (Letters and Sounds).
5.Teach children dictionary skills, through games and activities, for speed and proficiency.
6.Teach children the elements and correct usage of grammar.
7.Ensure, through direct observation and daily handwriting sessions, that letter formation, size, shape and spacing is correct.
8.Provide the necessary materials and tools at appropriate stages of proficiency.
9.Provide opportunities for children to see adults writing in a variety of different contexts.
10.Promote a high standard of handwriting and presentation throughout the school environment, through displays, notices and other forms of visual communication.
11.Teach children to develop their presentational skills beyond a first draft, learning to proof-read and present.
12.Teach children the correct way to sit, hold a pencil, and slant paper for writing.
13.For children who need additional help with their handwriting skills we use the
Teodorescu Motor Programme.
The aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature.
Weekly short term plans are delivered in year group teams whereby activities that give access to specified objectives can be developed to match the needs of the children.
Children at Loughton Manor have a daily English lesson. We know that flexibility is the key when writing across the curriculum for purpose and an audience. This philosophy also allows for spontaneity responding to special visitors, trips, festivals, end of term performances and the weather!
Children will see the writing process being modelled by the teacher and they will take part in composing, spelling and handwriting activities with the class as a whole, as a member of a smaller group, and independently.
We are committed to valuing emergent writing as an imperative first step for the children to see themselves as writers.
We provide additional time for extended writing with a focus on drama and talk before writing. Our writing days are now part of our year school plan. We aim to have a focus once every term. Other curricular areas are used to provide contexts for literacy work, particularly non-fiction writing, e.g. writing up a Science investigation, reporting on the Great Fire of London in history, discovering places in the world to write about in geography. In line with our outdoor curriculum we also encourage writing activities out of doors, using the many stimulating areas of our school grounds.
Writing is continually assessed. Children are assessed once every half term (more if it is deemed that a child needs monitoring closely). Writing genre is identified for assessment from our Annual Assessment Calendar and the work is recorded in the children’s tracking books. We confirm our judgements during our termly Key stage progress tracking meetings. Children are assessed at the End of Key Stage One SAT’s. The Reading Recovery teacher also addresses composing and writing for those children on the Reading Recovery programme. See our Assessment, Recording and Reporting Policy.
Each classroom has a range of good quality resources:-
•Dictionaries, thesauri, word books, phonic books.
•line guides and lined writing books
•Interactive whiteboard writing activities
•Small individual white boards and pens
From Key Stage 1 each child has an exercise book for recording individual work. The books are unlined for emergent writing and lined for the more confident writers. Children in Year Two also have a ‘Writing Journal’ to encourage independent free writing of their own choice.
Foundation Stage pupils have a choice of books and paper suitable for differing purposes and audiences to stimulate emergent writing. Also in Foundation 1 and 2 children are encouraged to take part in the ‘Write Dance’ activities. The lessons are structured to help children to develop their fine motor actions that are needed when writing, such as: wrist twists, up and down strokes, the anticlockwise and clockwise movements.
Spoken Language Policy
“Children’s ability to speak and listen is fundamental to their language development, learning in school, and to social development.”
The National Curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically.
1.To develop children’s oral and listening skills, enabling them to become competent communicators in a wide range of contexts, matching their style and response to audience and purpose.
2.To promote a positive attitude to learning through interaction as speakers and listeners.
3.To help and encourage children to listen attentively and respond appropriately with confidence and enjoyment to instructions, questions, information, different cultures, children’s own work, stories and poetry.
4.To encourage children to communicate imaginatively and to express their personal feelings, opinions and view points.
5.To help children empathise and respond to what is said by adapting views and opinions and by evaluating and reflecting.
6.To promote collaboration within learning, where children share their ideas and knowledge and help and support each other, clarifying and consolidating their thoughts and personalising information.
7.To teach children clear diction and audibility.
8.To develop children’s language acquisition and use of standard English, in order to communicate clearly, fluently, coherently and with accuracy.
9.To develop an awareness of the varieties of spoken language and the relationship between spoken and written language.
1.Provide many and varied opportunities for talking and listening as an inherent part of classroom work and outside the classroom, in line with our outdoor curriculum.
2.Facilitate a daily talk circle to foster and ethos of community within the classroom.
3.Make children aware that their talk is valued within the classroom and the school environment.
4.Provide a safe and friendly learning environment which will encourage children to talk and listen, and to be successful in both the process and outcome of talk. For example, flexible arrangement of furniture, quiet corner, comfortable, attractive and stimulating surroundings including displays, games, toys and dressing up clothes.
5.Have available a wide range of attractive, good quality books both fiction and non-fiction, which will stimulate talk and discussion.
6.Act as a positive role-model, by listening carefully and when appropriate, responding to children’s conversations.
7.Provide opportunities through imaginative play, hot seating, role play, freeze framing and improvised drama for children to explore ideas, experiment with and safely extend their skills of speech and listening.
8.Give children opportunities for many different kinds of talk such as presenting, recounting an event, describing, story telling and persuading.
9.Provide different strategies for promoting group talk including brain-storming and talk partners and vary the group dynamics including gender, ability, group size, age and personality.
10.Encourage collaborative learning by offering children a purpose and outcome that require interaction with others, such as investigations, problem solving, decision making, planning and presentation.
11.Give children experience in a variety of different roles such as observer, reporter, secretary, chair-person, investigator, interviewer, negotiator, presenter.
12.Plan differentiated activities to extend children’s vocabulary and understanding of grammar.
13.Provide children with a variety of different audiences, including other children, parents, adults and visitors, both formally and informally.
14.Involve parents through home/school liaison, by building on the foundations of speaking and listening already established at the pre-school stage and by heightening their awareness of the importance of talk for learning and development.
15.Provide opportunities for children to reflect on and discuss their strengths and weaknesses as speakers and listeners.
16.School council: assemblies, meetings, circle time and Kaleidoscope.
The English Curriculum states that pupils should be taught to develop their competence in spoken language and listening to enhance the effectiveness with which they are able to communicate across a range of contexts and to a range of audiences.
Teachers should ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills.
Speaking and Listening activities may be carried out in small groups or whole class, depending on the task and purpose. Children have talking partners and are encouraged to share their ideas.
•Assessment in the Key Stage One SATs.
•Ongoing teacher assessments.
We have a range of resources to promote and encourage Spoken Language
•listening posts ( CD’s and multiple headphones)
•imaginative play areas
•teachers books e.g. “Circle Time”
•small world toys
•toys to develop imaginative play at lunchtimes
•focussed writing days
General Aspects of the English Policy
Roles and Responsibilities
The School’s subject managers for English are Dorothy Palmiero and Alex Wolfe and the Literacy Governor is James McCauley. Together with Lizzie Bancroft as Headteacher and the Assistant Heads as the Curriculum Manager, they ensure implementation of policy and practice in English, carry out agreed aspects of monitoring and evaluation and lead curriculum developments in this subject area.
Additionally, although it is recognised that in terms of the National Curriculum, Spoken Language falls under the umbrella of English, because of its importance to all aspects of learning we are agreed that all curriculum managers have an active responsibility for this subject.
The English Policy, especially reading, should be read in conjunction with the school’s Library Policy.
All children will have equal access to the English curriculum in line with the school’s Equal Opportunities Policy Appropriate support will be provided for children who have special educational needs.
Monitoring and Evaluation
An aspect of English is chosen as a focus for Monitoring and Evaluating (M&E) twice a year in line with our M&E policy. In addition the English subject managers will periodically make observations of English teaching and learning, as part of a rolling programme of subject manager release time. The results of each initiative are stored in the M&E folder in the teacher resource room.