The aims and intention of English.
At Valley End Infant School, we aim to develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. We believe that fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.
It is intended that pupils achieve success in reading, writing, spelling and spoken language at an age appropriate level and following age-related expectations. The curriculum also aims to allow children to be challenged beyond age expectations in order that they can achieve at their potential level.
We aim for all children to be able to receive a varied, challenging curriculum where they are exposed to a variety of genre, literature and authors.
All children will write for purpose and a variety of audiences with accuracy and coherence. Our aim is to foster a love of learning and a desire to read and write with confidence. We aim for all children to write with cursive handwriting, presenting their work neatly. The intention is for our children to be able to read easily, fluently and with good understanding, whilst developing an understanding of English grammar and punctuation. We aim for children to develop a keen desire to read for pleasure, reading often and with a wide range of genre. When speaking, children will develop confidence in expressing ideas with adults and peers alike, being able to explain themselves clearly.
The implementation of English and how it is taught.
Children at Valley End follow a broad, balanced and challenging curriculum each day. The curriculum has clear intentions and each lesson clear objectives and success criteria. Within teaching and learning teachers create a positive reading, writing and speaking culture.
Pupils in Early Years follow the Letters and Sounds programme with daily phonics sessions and this is continued into Key Stage One. Year 2 children practise words and spellings from the national curriculum.
Our English curriculum at Valley End is derived around a sequence of high-quality age-appropriate texts. We use books to create opportunities to develop reading fluency and comprehension with a focus on key reading strategies and skills. We develop grammar and punctuation, knowledge and understanding in order to use and apply these skills and across the wider curriculum. Children explore writing structure through different genres of books, identifying the purpose and audience they are writing for. There is an evaluation process and children experience the opportunity to edit and redraft their own work.
Writing is strengthened by instilling a love for reading within our pupils at Valley End. We value the importance of reading to enhance writing. We celebrate reading with sharing favourite books, through homework, guided reading sessions bookstalls and use of our mini library. The importance of reading is enhanced with World Book day, visiting authors, sponsored reading events which all enrich the work we do in the curriculum.
Guided reading is a strength in our English curriculum with dedicated reading time every day. Reading activities are structured to enable children to read independently and learn from their peers alongside the guided sessions with teachers, Teaching Assistants (Tas) and trained volunteers. When we read for pleasure, pupils are able to choose the books they wish to read and enjoy, can choose to share a book with a peer, choose to read topic books related to our wider curriculum or listen to audio books in the book corner.
At Valley End we support pupils in establishing a love for reading and expose them to high quality vocabulary. This has a significant impact on pupils’ ability to become authors and developing their own, individualised style of writing.
Within our classrooms, we endeavour to explore and provide a language rich environment so talking using ambitious vocabulary across the wider curriculum. We have high aspirations for all our children at Valley End and set high expectations for children to aspire to.
Within the classrooms we encourage a deeper understanding and learning through opportunities for different styles of learning. Lessons are differentiated as required according to the abilities of our children. Teachers and TA’s support all pupils, providing intervention, support and challenge for pupils in order to advance their learning. At Valley End we support and encourage, challenge and extend.
Children thrive and learn best when steering their own learning and at Valley end we encourage deep, open ended questioning and experiences for the children to experience and learn in their own way.
Cross-curricular links within the curriculum provide opportunities for teachers to plan different writing styles in other curriculum areas. Children practise their writing for different purpose and style.
The work of our children is celebrated with pride around the school. Displays praise the collaborative and independent work of all children, giving a purpose and audience, showing work is valued at all levels.
Children are given support through informative marking and feedback. This feedback is a combination of written and verbal feedback and next steps given to support good writing. Children are given individual targets either on individual cards or in the front of their English books. These are reviewed and amended regularly.
The impact of English and how it prepares children for their next stage of education.
Pupils enjoy reading regularly, for information and for enjoyment and pleasure. Pupils discuss books with interest and excitement. They enjoy writing and use differernt genres and styles in their structured writing. Children are able to write for different purposes and audiences.
At Valley End children are proud of their work and share this across the school in different ways including sharing across classes with teachers and in Celebration Assembly. Children know that others value their writing and see it on displays around the school, in class books, with parents at the end of the day.
There is evidence of the progress of skills throughout the school and key stages in pupil’s books and writing across all curriculum subjects is of a high quality.
Children are confident to express their opinions and thoughts, supported by evidence.
Next steps marking provides positive support and directs the children on to their next steps to improve their writing. Pupils respond to feedback. The children use the resources around the classroom to improve and support their learning. There is evidence of high quality in standards of writing content, composition and handwriting.
Clear and accurate assessments are made, with support of moderation within school and across other cluster schools. Teachers track the progress of pupils each half term in reading and writing which informs planning and any necessary intervention to support progress.
Interventions are structured to support greater numbers of pupils to be on track to meet expectations and support those to meet their individual expectations or better progress if they are working below expectations.
The Subject Leader provides an action plan for the subject and addresses areas for development and improvement. The Subject leader conducts learning walks, lesson observations and book monitoring throughout the year. These inform future areas for improvement and the impact of new initiatives.
Standards being met at the end of EYFS, Phonics Screening Check and KS1 exceed local and national averages. End of year data is analysed and any areas for improvement identified and addressed. These are often included on the School Improvement Plan and English Action Plan.