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English

Our English Curriculum is taught in specific English lessons and through written work in other subjects across the curriculum. English lessons at Gledhow help our pupils to develop skills in reading and writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar, speaking and listening, phonics and handwriting. The importance of being literate cannot be understated and we pride ourselves in developing these core skills within a broad curriculum. We expect children to write to the same standard in the foundation subjects as they do in English. At Gledhow, We endeavour to interest the children in their learning with a cross-curricular approach to writing. To do this, we base our whole class text on their current Geography/History topic, which extends their learning opportunities beyond that particular subject area.

For example:

'The Pirates Next Door' by Johnny Duddle -  Pirates (Year 1)

'Lost and Found' by Oliver Jeffers - Why can't a meerkat live in the North Pole? (Year 2)

'The Firework-Maker's Daughter' by Phillip Pullman - Who was Guy Fawkes anyway? (Year 3)

'Invasion' by June Crebbin - Were the Anglo Saxons smashing? (Year 4)

'The Girl of ink and Stars' by Kiran Millwood Hargrave - Ancient Greeks  (Year 5) 

'Wolf Brother' by Michelle Paver - The Stone Age (Year 6)

 

In addition to this, children in EYFS and KS1 also have specific programmes of work in Phonics and throughout the school.  

Click here for more information about learning to Read at Gledhow.

KS1 Reading

Children in Reception classes, Year 1 and Year 2 also have important daily phonics lessons which give children the stepping stones to break down unknown words into readable chunks. Phonics is not the only reading method, but is a very useful tool for children trying to make sense of texts that they do not understand. The core reading scheme at Gledhow is Oxford Reading Tree, supplemented by Bug Club and Big Cat Books. The core phonic scheme used is 'Letters and Sounds'.

Phonics

At Gledhow the children from Nursery to Year 2 take part in regular Phonics sessions. We follow the structure of Letters and Sounds using Floppy Phonics and other interactive resources to support learning. During Phonics the children revisit sounds and words they have previously been taught. They are taught a new sound or word and practise reading and writing the sound or word. They apply their skills through activities such as matching games and independent writing activities.

In Nursery we have a focus on Phase 1 Phonics this helps us develop our listening skills. We do lots of our learning through rhymes, songs, using instruments and listening games.

In Reception we begin Phase 2 Phonics whilst continuing to revisit Phase 1 skills. During Phase 2 the children begin to learn letters and the sounds they make. We begin to read and write words and develop our independence with this. Through the Reception year and into Year 1 and 2 the children begin to progress through Phase 3, 4 and 5.

In Year 2 there is revision of alternative phonemes (sounds) and the children continue to have opportunities to apply their knowledge within their reading and writing.

KS2 Reading

Reading comprehension in KS2 is taught during whole-class guided reading. Children have the opportunity to share their opinions of the text as a class. They then answer comprehension questions based on their class text using 'Reading VIPERS'. 

VIPERS is a range of reading prompts based on the 2016 reading content domains found in the National Curriculum Test Framework documents which can be found online here: 

https://www.gov.uk/
government/publications/key-stage-2-english-reading-test-framework

- Vocabulary 
- Inference 
- Predict
E - Explain 
R - Retrieve 
S - Summarise

Handwriting

We teach the Debbie Hepplewhite style of handwriting. Pupils develop fluent lines of correctly orientated letters throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Early development within Foundation Stage provides children with the opportunities to mark-make using a variety of materials. As the children progress through Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 they develop their fine-motor skills resulting in a comfortable pencil grip and the ability to form letters using the correct sequence of movements. By the end of Year 2 the children are expected to begin using joined handwriting. These skills are extended as the children move through Key Stage 2

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

Throughout the school children are expected to learn spellings appropriate to their age group. In Year 1, weekly spellings are linked to phonics teaching. We follow the ‘No Nonsense’ Spelling Scheme where children learn strategies to help them spell unfamiliar words. Homework based on the weekly rule is sent home for children to complete. Grammar and punctuation is taught during English lessons and sentence level work is linked to the class text where possible. Pupils are given opportunities to apply their spelling, punctuation and grammar skills in longer pieces of writing.

Narrative Texts

In studying narrative texts, children learn the structures of the different story styles that they encounter. They learn how to set the scene for each and how plot developments can be used to engage the reader before a conclusion is planned to bring the narrative to an engaging end.

Throughout school, children learn the 'rhythm' of different story styles and are taught to 'magpie' words, phrases and ideas that they like so that they can re-use them at a later point.

Children also study the grammatical structures used by writers and are helped to identify those that they should be aiming to include in their own work.

Poetry

Poetry comes in many forms. Our curriculum teaches the children to recognise these different forms, and the effects that poets try to produce in the reader by using a range of different styles of poetry.

Also, our children learn how to read poetry and to write in similar styles to known poets when expressing themselves individually.

At Gledhow, we are able to use the genre of poetry to develop an understanding of many grammatical tools, which children then use across all of their writing as well as in poetry.

Non Fiction Texts

It is important that our children can access information texts throughout their curriculum work, so that research is not purely done on the internet. 

In studying non-fiction texts, children learn about the features to include in non fiction writing and how to use this knowledge when writing, reading or researching.

Children learn how the style of writing in non fiction texts varies; they read many such books in their studies in order to extend their understanding of a wide variety of themes and concepts.

Writing Skills

In Key Stages 1 and 2 we use the National Curriculum  to outline a clear sequence for the teaching of skills-based writing (shared, guided, modelled and independent writing). Pupils are provided with an engaging whole class text as a basis for producing their own writing. Pupils develop their punctation, grammar and spelling skills through sentence level work linked with the class text where possible.  They are given opportunities to write for a range of purposes and audiences, adapting their language and style according to purpose.

Speaking and Listening

Pupils at Gledhow are given ample opportunites to develop their speaking and listening skills through activities including but not limited to: group discussions, presenting, performing, debates, drama/role play and speaking and listening tasks.

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