English at The Meadows
At The Meadows, we believe that a robust understanding of the English curriculum will enable our children to become confident, successful members of society. From Reception upwards, we strive to embed an ambitious, progressive curriculum that equips children with strategies which enable them to succeed. We aim for all learners to make excellent progress, no matter what their starting point, so that they leave at the end of Year Six prepared for the next step in their education. Skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening, spelling and presentation are utilised throughout the curriculum as well as in discrete subject lessons.
Curriculum Intent: Reading
- Children make a good start to reading by acquiring excellent phonic knowledge and skills
- Fluency and accuracy in reading develop as a priority, across a wide range of contexts, both in English lessons, and throughout the foundation curriculum.
- Students’ knowledge of vocabulary is rich and extensive. This is promoted by our wide range of texts in our Collins Big Cat reading scheme, through use of the well-stocked library, and into our ambitious reading lessons utilising the ‘Hooked on Books’ approach developed by award-winning educationalist Jane Considine.
- The rigorous approach to fluency and vocabulary acquisition leads to an excellent comprehension of texts from a wide range of genres.
- Children have the motivation to read for both study and for pleasure.
- The extensive knowledge gained through having read and enjoyed a rich and varied range of texts enables children to become condiment, independent learners who are ready for the next stage in their education.
For further details about our approach to Reading and Early Reading click here.
Writing is a fundamental skill, which alongside reading, ensures that children can become successful communicators with the ability to share their voice with the world. Through teaching the skills outlined in the National Curriculum through a range of engaging texts, we ensure that children are able to express themselves clearly across the curriculum.
Curriculum Intent: Writing
- Children at the Meadows have excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented and punctuated, spelled correctly and neat. This begins in EYFS with the development of an appropriate pencil grip and the rigorous teaching of letter formation in line with the Little Wandle SSP.
- All pupils write well-organised writing, which includes a variety of sentence structures that develop over their time in school.
- Reading inspires writing: the ability to write fluently and with interesting detail on many topics throughout the curriculum comes from a broad range of reading, including linking guided reading texts and foundation subjects to writing opportunities wherever possible and appropriate.
- Our children develop and utilise their vivid imaginations, which makes readers engage with and enjoy their writing. Children understand that they are writing for a purpose.
- Teachers ensure students develop excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or description, as well being able to utilise ambitious vocabulary that is pertinent to the context of the writing.
- Children grow to have a love of writing and an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values.
Click here to find out more about our approach to teaching writing.
Following on from the Little Wandle phonics programme, children continue learning to spell using The Spelling Book “Transforming the Teaching of Spelling” developed by renowned educationalist Jane Considine. This clear and systematic approach builds on the phonic skills learnt during KS1 and will help children to unlock the door to successful spelling, providing them with life-long strategies that can be applied to words of increasing complexity.
Lessons are organised over a two-week rolling programme. In Week One, children spend a 30-minute session investigating a spelling hypothesis to develop understanding of patterns, morphology and rules, and a 20-minute session called “Go Grapheme Grafters” where they analyse the phonic structure of 15 specific words which become a focus over the two-week period. During Week Two, each day features a 10-minute burst activity to learn about common patterns, errors, misconceptions and how to commit spellings to long-term memory.
It has long been recognised that the weekly testing of spellings and learning them by rote has very little impact on their use in the context of independent writing, and therefore we no longer send weekly spelling homework or test children on a Friday. Instead, the Go Grapheme Grafters sessions track how well children are progressing against 15 words over two weeks, and each child has a “Focus Five” spellings identified from their independent work that they focus on to improve their overall spelling.
The Meadows Primary School currently follows the Teach Handwriting programme to ensure all children learn to produce neat, joined handwriting that fulfils the requirements of the National Curriculum. Following the adoption of the Little Wandle phonics programme, further development will soon take place to ensure the best outcomes for children’s handwriting development from EYFS to the end of KS2.