English


Intent

At Pear Tree we intend our children to gain English skills that will allow them to achieve success both academically and personally throughout their lives. We want all children to develop a love of reading, writing and discussion and to be able to express their ideas clearly and creatively. Our intention is to create readers who have the skills to access all parts of the curriculum with understanding; to have the ability to pursue their own interests through reading and to be able to talk about books with confidence. We also intend to create writers who can re-read, edit and improve their own writing, and enable pupils to be able to use the essential skills of handwriting, grammar, punctuation and spelling in order to produce written work that they are proud of.

Implementation

In order to help us to develop confident readers, writers and speakers who can express themselves in a variety of different styles and across a variety of contexts, our teaching of English is often cross-curricular and linked to our class topics. This provides our children with regular opportunities to talk, read and write for a range of purposes and audiences. We believe passionately in using quality whole class texts as part of this approach.

Across the school, we encourage reading for pleasure by modelling this to our children and by implementing strategies such as our ‘Pear Tree Reading Challenge’ and Reading Ambassadors. Reading skills are taught progressively, starting with daily phonics sessions in EYFS and KS1, 1-2-1 reading with children, guided reading and whole class shared reading. We provide many opportunities for ‘book talk’ throughout the school week to develop language and vocabulary. Reading VIPERS are used across the school as a strategy for the specific teaching of reading skills. A range of reading interventions are used in order to support those pupils working below age-related expectations.

Writing tasks are specific and meaningful, linked to class topics and texts. They often meet a purpose to engage children and to illustrate how their writing skills can be applied to real life contexts. Grammar and punctuation skills are taught as part of English lessons so that these skills can be applied appropriately to the genre being taught, although they may sometimes be taught in separate sessions if necessary. The educationalist Alan Peat devised a number of sentence types which have been proven to enhance progress and attainment in children’s writing. We teach these throughout the school, progressively building up each child’s knowledge of these so that by the end of KS2 they are can use a range of sentence structures appropriately in different types of writing. Children learn editing and redrafting skills through the use of ‘CUPS and ARMS’, which enables them to develop independence and ownership of their writing. Continuous cursive handwriting is taught from EYFS upwards and children are encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their written work.

Spelling is taught daily in KS1, in Phonics lessons, and twice weekly in KS2. Children learn spelling patterns and/or key words from the National Curriculum at home each week and these are tested in school. Children who need additional support with spelling receive a variety of interventions that are tailored to address their gaps.

Alongside the skills of reading and writing, speaking and listening permeates the whole curriculum at Pear Tree. Through shared reading, class discussion, drama, assemblies, school productions and other activities, children are able to develop their ability to listen to others, respond appropriately, learn new vocabulary, perform and express their views with confidence. We also value the ‘quiet power’ of some children and thus provide opportunities for them to participate in smaller groups or to express themselves in different ways.

Impact

At Pear Tree, there will be a consistent approach to the teaching of English across the school and this will be evident as part of classroom and school displays. Children will make good or better progress from their own personal starting points. By the end of KS2 they will be able to read a wide range of texts fluently and with understanding. Children will write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. They will acquire a wide vocabulary and feel confident to use it both verbally and in their writing. This will be measured through a variety of methods such as, summative and formative assessments each term, pupil voice, lesson observations, questioning and marking of books. Most importantly, the children at Pear Tree will develop a love of reading, writing and discussion and therefore be well-equipped for the rest of their lives.

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