Intent of English in Early Years and Key Stage 1
At Seaton Sluice First School we feel strongly that reading and writing are crucial life skills that open up a world of possibilities to the children on their journey through school. Our Early Years English Curriculum is carefully planned to ensure that the children begin their education journey in an exciting, fun and engaging way.
Intent of English in Key Stage 2
At Seaton Sluice First School our intent is to provide an inspirational English curriculum for our children that allows them to develop into confident, creative writers, readers and communicators. We understand that developing strong literacy skills in first school plays a key role in the ability of children to successfully navigate the later years of their school life, and indeed the years beyond education. At Seaton Sluice First, it is our aim to do this by immersing children in a fun, engaging curriculum that is tailored to their needs, responsive to the different speeds at which children learn and sensitive to the challenges that all children face on their learning journey. Having a well-planned, carefully structured progression of skills that runs from the beginning of nursery through to the end of year 4, allows us to have high expectations of all children. At the heart of this is the intention of all staff here at Seaton Sluice First to instil a love of reading, writing and discussion in our children that will have a positive impact on their development during their time here, and a lasting impact on their lives.
Implementation in EYFS and Key Stage 1
Both the EYFS and KS1 English Curriculum is based around high quality texts that will excite and engage the children. Focusing on a particular text over a number of weeks allows the children to become fully immersed in the book and explore it in detail. The Curriculum enables our children to become confident, enthusiastic communicators, writers and passionate, independent readers.
All children in EYFS and in KS1 have daily phonics sessions. As a school we follow the fantastic ‘Little Wandle’ phonics scheme. Phonic sessions are taught in whole class sessions following the progression outlined in the scheme. Children who are at risk of falling behind are given interventions by a trained member of staff. The children celebrate their phonics ability by bringing home a reading book at their current level to read independently to an adult.
The children in Nursery take part in both ‘Squiggle While You Wiggle’ and ‘Dough Disco' sessions which help build the foundation skills that are required for early writing.
Squiggle While You Wiggle is a fantastic programme in early years’ child development and focuses on advanced mark making and letter formation.
Dough Disco-Children need to have strong muscles in their hands to enable them to write effectively. This is exercise for the fingers to improve fine motor control and gross motor skills. Doing these simple, fun exercises will help children improve their fine motor skills and will result in improvements in mark making and writing.
Children in Reception and KS1 use Letter Join during handwriting sessions to ensure correct letter formation.
Reading for Pleasure -We are passionate about getting children to love reading and teachers regularly share books with their classes. Each class has its own library area containing high quality texts covering many different subjects and genres. English events are planned throughout the school year to promote a love of reading such as ‘The Wonder of Reading.’
Implementation in Key Stage 2
In KS2, English lessons are taught in units that are planned around high-quality, challenging texts. The children are immersed in this engaging narrative (or non-fiction text), over several weeks, exploring characters, settings, storylines and themes. These units are used to deliver the required skills of reading, writing and grammar. This allows children to master age-appropriate skills quickly and enables the KS2 teachers to provide timely challenge or support where it is needed.
We believe that children’s learning is enhanced when they are writing for a purpose. Because of this, we structure our units in a way that allows teachers and their classes to focus on one key writing purpose at a time – writing to entertain, persuade or inform. This approach means that children spend several weeks gaining a thorough understanding of how to write for a specific purpose and what skills to employ. We also use engaging initiatives such as Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’.
Grammar is taught within these lessons, carefully embedded in the units so that children learn the correct use of grammar while engaged in the class text(s). This avoids grammar being taught as a detached, abstract part of the writing process and helps children retain what they have learned.
Reading is an integral part of KS2 English lessons and, through careful questioning, children learn how stories and non-fiction writing is constructed and in doing so, develop their comprehension skills and their ability to better understand and interpret the books they read. Children also develop their reading skills through the use of the digital reading scheme ‘Bug Club,’ which is used within school and at home. We further encourage children to share their love of books with their peers, through our fortnightly verbal text reviews and ‘Bookflix’ displays.
In KS2, we utilise the ‘Spelling Shed’ resource in conjunction with ‘Spelling Frame.’ Our children enjoy the challenging, competitive nature of the online activities/games and it allows teachers to track the progress of individuals or groups of children and tailor the content of spelling sessions to suit their needs.
Impact within EYFS and Key Stage 1
(To be updated)
Impact within Key Stage 2
By immersing children in high quality texts and focusing on skills and the enjoyment of English, KS2 children develop an enthusiasm for the subject. They enjoy talking about their favourite books, discussing the stories they’re writing, and sharing their achievements with other children. Children’s books show that they continually adopt new writing skills as they progress through the school while drawing inspiration from the books they read in class. Children’s writing is assessed at the start and end of each unit and this formal assessment complements the day-to-day assessment that takes place in classrooms and in books.