At Goffs Oak we follow the National Curriculum for English which aims to raise standards of reading, writing and the spoken language for all children. We also follow a structured programme of phonics called ‘Little Wandle – Letters and Sounds Revised’ and include Guided Reading to teach reading techniques. For more information on Little Wandle and Early Reading click HERE. In Key Stage two we have a bespoke Guided Reading programme. A typical English lesson involves, discussion, reading and writing for the whole class and small groups. We endeavour to ensure that key English skills are taught across the curriculum as well as in standalone lessons.
Our phonics teaching follows the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Scheme.
Children are encouraged to read to their parents on a daily basis. They also use the words and the phonic sounds in their word bags to practise sounds and sentence building. General English activities take place inside and outside and can include: games, writing for different purposes, role play, chalking, puppets, jigsaws, computer programs, sand and water play.
Key Stage One
In the Key Stage One classes, the children engage in a variety of whole class and small group activities including guided reading or writing, phonic work, spellings, vocabulary and grammar. Children continue their learning through the Little Wandle scheme as they make their way through Key Stage 1.
Towards the end of Year One pupils are using the Phonics Screening Check. During the Phonics Screening Check, children are asked to read (decode) 40 words on a one to one basis with their class teacher. Most of these words are real words but some are pseudo-words. Pseudo-words are included to ensure that children are using their decoding skills and not just relying on their memory of words they’ve read before.
Within our topic based English lessons, children are encouraged to tell their own stories, to predict what might happen next, to describe experiences and be able to put their stories in sequential order.
Handwriting skills are continuing to be developed through regular practice.
Key Stage Two
In lower Key Stage Two, the English lessons build upon the basic skills learnt in Key Stage One and extends the range of fiction and non-fiction texts which the children study. There is also a drive to improve vocabulary and new grammar.
Other aspects of English are regularly reinforced outside the daily lesson and these include guided reading, spelling tests and handwriting sessions. Junior children are expected to use a handwriting pen and most will start in Year 3. Reading for pleasure is part of our bespoke Guided Reading cycle.
The focus of the whole class part of the English Lesson at the upper Key Stage Two is to look at the style and organisation of a text, as well as how the author uses language to create feelings and moods. There is a range of grammar work to be revised and some new grammar to learn. Drama and performing skills are practised, and time is given for handwriting and individual reading.
The range of texts continues to widen and the children look at classic fiction. Non-fiction texts continue to be used and the children look at the purpose and uses of all types of writing. This leads up to the National Curriculum Tests, more commonly known as SATs, at the end of Key Stage Two.