At Skol Nansledan, we believe that literacy and communication are lifelong skills. We aim to provide an inspiring, imaginative and engaging English curriculum, that is underpinned by the belief that developing children’s language is crucial to their success across the curriculum and for lifelong learning. We also wish for children to enjoy and appreciate literature for all its rich variety.
Teachers at Skol Nansledan should develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching other curriculum areas; through deep understanding of language, pupils can access a wealth of other areas of learning, as fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects (National Curriculum).
Writing (including oracy)
We want our children to develop into skilful and imaginative writers across the curriculum areas. Writing is taught using Pie Corbett's Talk for Writing approach and is organised around a clear three-week learning sequence, where children study and engage with a high-quality model text and practise the grammar skills necessary for the genre, before progressing into extended writing and editing. Writing forms a significant part of all subjects across the curriculum and is an opportunity for children to express themselves and communicate with others.
During the imitation week, pupils engage with a 'wow experience' to hook them onto the theme or topic of the writing genre. They then have the opportunity to learn, by heart, a high-quality text, linked to the theme. They complete short-burst writing linked to the genre, explore the grammar features, engage with drama, role-play and hot-seating and fully immerse themselves within the world of the text. Next, in the innovation week, pupils have the opportunity to think as a writer and experience 'guided' or 'shared' writing opportunities with the teacher, where they are able to develop their understanding of the text type further and write for themselves within the genre. Finally, in the invention week, pupils are invited to demonstrate their understanding in a 'hot task' writing activity, where they independently apply their skills to a new writing task within the same genre. Each half term, pupils experience a fiction and non-fiction writing unit. The fiction unit explores the VIPERS text, or class text, and the non-fiction links directly with learning opportunities from the wider STEAM curriculum.
In EYFS, pupils experience one Talk for Writing cycle per half term. In week one, pupils learn a storymap and retell the story using actions. In week two, pupils ‘box up the text’ and investigate what happens during the beginning, middle and end of the story. Pupils demonstrate their knowledge of comprehension and CVC words here. In week 3, pupils invent a new story as a class version, and write a story map to showcase their story. By the end of EYFS, pupils may be able to write their own versions of their story.
Writing also features as part of continuous provision, e.g. naming work, captions on continuous provision writing tasks, the writing table and the role play area. Writing plays an important part in every area of the room.
For more information on the Talk for Writing process, you can follow the link below.
Our writing curriculum is carefully sequenced and follows the school's progression charts, as well as the National Curriculum expectations. Please see the information below.
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. As children’s reading abilities develop at different rates, teaching is tailored to each child and their ability. Children will have opportunities to read in the classroom, either in shared reading, one-to-one reading or guided reading (VIPERS) groups. Children are also encouraged to read a range of books in school and at home.
In EYFS and KS1, the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics through Read Write Inc. encourages children to link sounds and letters and begin to read and write. Children can then apply their phonetic skills in all areas of the curriculum. Phonics planning allows children to gain a progressively deeper understanding of the phonetic structure of the English language as they move through the school, to ensure all children are provided with the key tools to become fluent readers.
In KS2, pupils’ understanding of language develops as pupils begin to develop their comprehension skills and experience a range of high-quality texts, across a range of stories, poetry and non-fiction. Children will leave Skol Nansledan with a life-long reading habit and a love of books because reading will improve their vocabulary, inspire them creatively and improve their ability to write well.
Once a pupil has completed the Read Write Inc phonics programme, they will begin to develop their comprehension skills using the VIPERS approach. From years 2-6, VIPERS sessions and Talk for Writing lessons are inextricably linked: pupils will explore a genre in Talk for Writing which will also be their focus text in VIPERS. Core texts are selected carefully to match each STEAM topic enquiry question and to link to a non-fiction genre. In each session, children will explore objectives from the reading progression documents below.
Once children have finished the Read Write Inc programme, they will have access to Accelerated Reader for their independent reading. This tool supports independent reading by providing each child with engaging texts to select as their reading book and regular opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of what they have read.
Each half term, children will complete an online reading assessment, called a STAR test. Following this, they will be given their ZPD. This is a numerical range which supports us and the children to identify pre-levelled books which are suitable for their reading ability. Once the child has finished their book, they can use their login details at school to find their book and take a quiz to demonstrate their comprehension skills. By reading and quizzing regularly, children can move through the Accelerated Reader certification levels and earn certificates as recognition of their achievement. A link to the Accelerated Reader program can be found below.
Nansledan Reading Spine
As well as reading high-quality texts in Talk for Writing, VIPERS and through independent reading, pupils explore texts from our Nansledan Book Spine throughout the year. The table below illustrates additional books the children will explore in each year group. Please note that pupils will also explore other texts by the same author within each year group spine.
Below are further recommended reads for each year group, which you may wish to explore at home.
GPS (Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling)
We ensure that grammar, punctuation and spelling is taught progressively, in line with National Curriculum objectives, and also ensure that it links to grammatical features of text types taught in Talk for Writing sessions. Pupils experience regular direct teaching of grammar, which they are then able to apply as part of short-burst writing. Please see the below grammar appendix for details of year group specific grammatical requirements.
The teaching of specific spellings also services to support vocabulary development. In each year group and stage, pupils learn spellings from the National Curriculum appendix (see below) as well as the necessary spelling patterns for their year group, as set out in the National Curriculum. In both Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, spellings are taught using Spelling Shed, an engaging and comprehensive programme which supports children in the acquisition of the key skills of spelling and word knowledge. The scheme aligns fully with the English National Curriculum for spelling and goes beyond its requirements to ensure pupils are confident and competent spellers.
In EYFS and KS1, handwriting is to be taught explicitly to all children through Read, Write Inc. sessions. All groups will teach the same letter on the same day to support fluid groupings and to ensure each child is taught how to form every letter correctly.
- If by the end of teaching a ‘family of letters’ particular children are still not forming letters correctly – class teachers are to be informed and focussed interventions will be planned as appropriate.
- Once the cycle has been completed, all teaching staff will repeat the cycle again.
- Children that are writing neatly in all areas of writing will be discussed on an individual basis to support and extend teaching of joining letters.
In KS2, handwriting is to be taught explicitly at the beginning of writing sessions. Here, the teaching of handwriting is more specific to the needs of each year group and class. Focus joins for revisiting are provided but are also selected based on teacher assessment from the previous learning session. The below outlines how a typical session might look:
- Pupils will revisit a particular join, completing a line of that join in their writing books.
- A new join may be taught, as appropriate to the stage and age of the pupils.
- Pupils will complete a line of the new join, as appropriate to the stage and age of the pupils.
- Pupils may apply the join by writing a line of a word containing the join in their writing books.
- Pupils may be extended to write a sentence containing the joins in their writing books.
The below websites have been identified as high-quality resources which you may choose to use at home to help support your child across the different areas of English.