Part of the Glyn Academies Trust

English

Writing Lead:  Mrs Anne-Marie Page

Reading Lead: Miss Carolyn Fox

Oracy Lead:  Mrs Lucy Handley

Phonics Lead: Miss Claire Sills

English is at the heart of both education and our society. It is vital that pupils are taught to communicate their ideas and emotions effectively through the four strands of our curriculum: reading (including phonics), writing (including grammar) , spelling and handwriting.

We have a team of staff who lead the English curriculum across the school and are responsible for the progression and coverage of different aspects of English.

Oracy

Oracy is the ability to articulate ideas, develop understanding and engage effectively with others through the spoken language.At Hillcroft, we believe the teaching of these skills is inherently important: indeed, they are the building blocks of a child’s learning; setting children up to be successful during their time in education and within the wider world.  By nurturing and developing these skills, we intend for every child to leave primary school equipped with them – ready for their future journeys.

We are developing a multi-layered approach to oracy at Hillcroft, ensuring each layer is truly embedded before moving children on.  When children first begin their journey with us, they are taught the rules of speaking and listening to each other.  They learn when and how to respond to others, and it is on these foundations that other skills are then built. Sentence stems are used throughout the school and curriculum areas to support the children’s understanding of how to speak in full sentences, using Standard English.  This understanding of how to articulate a sentence serves to support and nurture their writing skills. 

Understanding how to speak appropriately to different people is a critical life skill we focus on developing.  Our intention is for children to leave equipped with the ability to interact effectively with people from all walks-of-life; supporting them as they enter the next stage in their education and beyond.

Everyone’s voice is important and through nurturing the children’s confidence in speaking and articulating their thoughts clearly, we develop their self-belief that their voice has value.   By the time the children finish their time at Hillcroft, our aim is  that each and every one of them will be confident young people who understand the value of their voice and how and when to use it effectively.

Phonics

“Teach a child to read and keep that child reading and we will change everything. And I mean everything.” Jean Winterson.

This quote epitomises the intent of Read the Write Inc. programme at Hillcroft Primary School. We want children to learn to read quickly and accurately and to then keep on reading. We want to see reading not only as a task set by teachers in school but as an activity which provides pleasure and escape from the modern world.

In Reception and Key Stage 1 children are introduced to reading through learning their sounds using a programme called Read Write Inc which happens daily. This is an initiative from Ruth Miskin that teaches the children the sounds they need in 3 sets. Set 1 consists of the first sounds they need to know that make up the alphabet. Set 2 and 3 increase in difficulty and comprise of 2 or 3 letters that join to make one sound. Children are expected to know all the Set 1, 2 and 3 sounds before they leave Year 1 so they can apply the sound knowledge in the Phonics Screening at the end of the year. Read Write Inc groups are set up across Reception and Year 1 according to ability and are taught by teachers and Learning Assistants. Children are assessed regularly and groups are reviewed. In Year 2 the children continue to revisit the sounds they have learnt to help them to embed their knowledge in both reading and writing.

Reading

At Hillcroft, we intend for every child to leave this phase of their education enthused about, and engaged with, reading. The culture of the school will foster a life-long love of reading, whether it be for information, pleasure or other purposes.    By providing children with a wide-range of age-appropriate and varied resources, our children’s horizons and aspirations will be broadened and they will be exposed to worlds that they may not have experienced. Reading teaching will focus on securing skills through a sequential and progressive pedagogy; from decoding and fluency to inference and interpretation, depending on children’s individual needs.  Their confidence in reading will enable them to make a positive contribution to society and prepare them for accessing the next stage of their education. Pupils will leave Hillcroft able to make the best life choices, supported by their ability to engage with the modern world through different text forms. 

Reading is an incredibly important skill that underpins all learning, across the whole curriculum. Children apply their phonetical knowledge from RWInc sessions in their reading, decoding and reading words with increasing accuracy as they gain confidence. The sounds they are taught are built on in RWInc books that they read in school, the books link to the sounds they have learnt so far. The children read during their daily Read Write Inc. sessions. These sessions are to help the children to apply their phonetic knowledge in context as well as to support them in their comprehension of what they are reading. In Key Stage 2 they continue building on the skills taught in Key Stage 1 during daily 30 mins Reading lessons. These lessons focus on continuing to develop fluent expressive reading, improve knowledge and understanding of language within a text as well as develop a deeper understanding of what they are reading. The teachers support the children to unpick a text so they have a deep understanding of what they are reading.


Writing

At Hillcroft, we intend for every child to be equipped with high standards of writing skills required for life at, and beyond school; they will be future-proof, allowing them to meet and exceed the modern-day expectation. Teaching is sequenced progressively throughout the years, as well as within each year, to ensure that skills are being re-visited, embedded and built upon. We ensure that all children are given a clear and motivational purpose to their writing, allowing them to practise the skills needed for different audiences.

We have purposefully tailored our curriculum to meet the needs of our local curriculum and trends across the school; closing the vocabulary gap and embedding a solid understanding of sentence composition. We will encourage the use of exciting vocabulary by using high quality stories and texts that children can draw upon to create their own. Children will be taught the correct use of grammar, with the correct terminology, to apply to their writing.

When children start in Early Years they are encouraged to make marks on paper, this then progresses to forming letters correctly and beginning to put these letters into words and then sentences. In Early Years and Year 1, Get Writing is taught as part of the phonics session to allow children to apply their phonic knowledge and learn basic punctuation.

Throughout the school, children are taught to write creatively using The Write Stuff approach. In lessons, children have the opportunity to discuss and share vocabulary and observe the process of writing a specific sentence type or technique through high-quality teacher modelling.  Children then write their own sentence using the model as support and understand that these sentences build a paragraph. After this sequence of lessons, the children plan and write their own story or non-fiction text, applying the knowledge and vocabulary they have learnt. The final part is to reflect on their writing, allowing time for them to proofread for errors and edit for improvement.