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.

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. Pupils will be taught to reflect on their writing, evaluating them carefully by considering the impact on the intended audience and using mistakes as opportunities to learn.

Through their time at Hillcroft the children will be taught to write a range of genres. 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 Reception and Year 1, writing is taught alongside Reading using the Read, Write Inc scheme. After being taught the basics they move into Key Stage 2 to refine their writing skills and begin to add more flare and personality to their writing as well as being allowed to write in pen. From Year 2 onwards, the children learn the skills needed to be able to write effectively using a learning journey approach. The children will be given a purpose and audience for writing and then over a 2 to 3 week period, the children interrogate a modelled text by developing an understanding of the content and language used and then are taught the sentence construction skills to be able to write a new form of the text. Throughout this process the children are given opportunities to rehearse and share their ideas with others before committing their ideas to paper.