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Welcome to our English section

As a school we aim to ensure children leave us with a strong foundation in English skills so that they are confident and aspirational learners. We strive to create engaging, purposeful and progressive learning opportunities through qualoty first teaching in English lessons as well as ensuring this core strand feeds into all other subject areas. 

 

By the end of Key Stage One our intention is that all our children should be reading age appropriate books fluently and with an engaging voice when reading out loud. Children will be able to write a short story with features matched to the curriculum requirements including accurate use of spelling, punctuation and handwriting. Children will leave Key Stage One with the confidence to speak in front of an audience, giving their opinions and reciting poems, rhymes and songs including those in our Nativity performances. 

 

By the end of Key Stage Two our intention is that all our children should be reading a range of age appropriate books with fluency and write for a range of purposes and genres using grammar, punctuation and vocabulary for effect. Children will be confident to perform in front of an audience; taking part in speech, poetry and end of year performances. 

 

 

Phonics

Our school Phonics scheme is Smart Kids The Code. Our fun and engaging new programme meets the expectations of the National Curriculum and is a validated Systematic Synthetic Programme. It provides a structured route to enable all children to become fluent readers in KS1 and meet the expected standard in the year one screening check. 

 

At the end of Year 1 children sit the Phonics Screening Check. Children who do not meet the pass mark for the check will continue with their phonics support into Year 2 and will resit the check the following academic year. 

Spellings

From Year 2-Year 6 we use Scode Spelling as our school scheme. The Scode scheme builds on children's phonics knowledge from EYFS and Year 1 and develops their knowledge and skills of the advanced phonics code for spelling. 

 

If you would like further information on our spelling scheme, please visit the parent section of the website here: 

 

 

Reading

At Winterslow, we believe strongly in encouraging a love of reading. All classrooms have a designated reading area, as well as our communal libraries in KS1 and KS2 and a wonderful non-fiction library within our Global Learning corridor. 

 

In Key Stage One, children's learning in phonics is closely matched to their school decodable reading books from our SSP. Children receive a fiction and non-fiction decodable reading book each week to practise their reading skills at home. We also encourage children to select additional books from our 'reading for pleasure' libraries to share and enjoy at home. 

 

In Key Stage Two, children are encouraged to read a range of texts from the libraries across the school. For children who need further support with their reading, we have additional age-appropriate texts to support their reading journey. 

 

Children are expected to read at least five times a week at home and have this recorded in their reading record books. Staff monitor engagement with reading and support is provided to children/families where further support may be needed. 

 

Reading for Pleasure 

At Winterslow, we strive to ensure children in our school develop a love of reading as we know a love of reading helps to support children to become successful life long learners. 

 

Staff in all classes are positive role models for reading and opportunities to read to children are sought regularly across the week. 

 

 

Birthday Books

Instead of bringing sweets/treats into school, which as a healthy school we would like to minimise, we ask that pupils who wish to bring something in to share with their friends donate a Birthday Book instead! 

 

When you bring in a ‘Birthday Book’ we will place a lovely, personalised label inside the front cover of your book with your name, age and class and then present this book to you and your class during Superstar Worship. Your book can then be added to your class library for you, your friends and future classes to read and enjoy.

 

Please have a look at the Parent letter below and year group booklists to see which book you might like to donate for your birthday this year. 

Writing

At Winterslow, we provide a rich and varied English Curriculum where children experience poetry, non-fiction and narrative writing. Our non-fiction units of work are carefully planned by Staff to build progressively on previous skills and are often linked to our topics making purposeful links within our Curriculum. 

 

Our narrative writing units use ‘The Write Stuff’ to teach the skills of writing from Year 1 right the way through to Year 6.

 

The Write Stuff is based on demonstration writing and utilises live ‘in the moment’ modelling of writing.  It is a strong, dynamic, whole-class approach to teaching.

 

 

The approach is underpinned by ‘The Writing Rainbow’ and the lenses that it is made from, a resource that both gives the children small, focused success criteria for each sentence they write but also supports children by giving them a starting point.  Gone are the days when a child will say “I don’t know what to write.” This has never actually been the case; the truth is they don’t know how to start or how to structure their sentence.  The Writing Rainbow alleviates this pressure for the children at the point of writing.

 

A writing lesson (or sentence stacking lesson) is now split into smaller chunks of learning, making each and every second of a lesson productive and meaningful for the children. A lesson is split into three learning chunks.  Within each learning chunk the class go through an ‘Initiate Stage’ where the children, in learning partners and as a whole class, become ‘Word Collectors’ gathering a rich bank of vocabulary.  This vocabulary is recorded on ‘The Thinking Side’ of the children’s books. 

 

Once the vocabulary has been collected, the children put down their pens and pencils and watch and listen to the teacher’s model, the ‘Model Stage’ and the lesson.  Here the teacher shows the children what goes on inside a writer’s brain and discusses and shares how a sentence is constructed, using the vocabulary that has just been collected.  At this point, the teacher will use one of the lenses from The Writing Rainbow to structure the sentence. 

 

Once the modelled sentence has been completed, the children are expected to write their own sentence(s) in the style of the model. This is known as the ‘Enable Stage’ and the children complete this stage on ‘The Writing Side’ of their books. This process happens for each learning chunk over the course of the lesson.

 

Over the course of writing lessons, the children will build upon their previous work and once a unit has been completed, they will have an entire piece of writing to show for it.

 

In celebration of the children’s incredible writing each day, the sentences that have been written will be added to ‘The Sentence Stacking Wall’ for the entire class to see.

 

At the end of the Sentence Stacking lessons, the children will then be expected to complete an independent write.  This will still be written using the same structure that the children have been learning about within the sentence stacking lessons but will involve a different context e.g. if the independent write is a narrative then it may be written from a different character’s perspective but of the same story or the children may be asked to write a similar story with different characters and in a different setting, etc.

 

Grammar

Grammar is a very important part of every lesson, not just in English. The children are expected to understand and use grammatical terminology correctly when we discuss their work. Through discrete Grammar lessons and and the Write Stuff scheme children are taught the grammar skills required for their year group curriculum. 

Performances

Every child in the school will take part in a show very year.

KS1 perform the Nativity show every December.

Years 3 and 4 perform a show just before Easter.

Years 5 and 6 perform a show at the end of the summer term.

These are great opportunities for children to be part of a big drama, to learn songs and lines and to perform to an audience. This helps build confidence and the children are always really proud of their productions.

 

 

Enrichment

At Winterslow, we strive to build purposeful enrichment opportunities into our Curriculum which bring the 'sparkle' to our children's learning experiences. We plan many events across the year including; World Book Day, drama workshops, visiting authors, speech competition, performance poetry week and an annual pantomime visit. 

 

Each class selects a term for an Open Afternoon where families are invited into school. The children are able to share their books and learning with their important adults. 

 

 

 

 

Assessment

At Winterslow, we use ongoing assessments to monitor and support the progress of learners. We use standardised assessments three times a year in Reading and Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar to support our more formal assessments. From these assessments we are able to closely pinpoint any gaps in learning and put support in place to ensure these are minimized at the earliest opportunity. 

 

In addition to our school assessments, children are required to complete National assessments:

In Year One children sit the Phonics Screening Check to monitor their development of phonic skills. This check is taken in June each year. 

In Year 2 and Year 6 children are required to sit the SATs in Reading and Maths. These are taken in May each year.

 

Extra support and extension

We are constantly assessing the children both formally and informally. Some children do require extra support and interventions are planned to help these children. These can vary from extra support in class with the teacher or teaching assistant, to 1:1 or small group activities at set times during the week. Such activities include precision reading and spelling, 1:1 reading, phonics catch up, handwriting and boosters for Year 6 in specific areas of writing and reading.

 

Our more able students are offered events, such as a creative writing workshops and Greater Depth events at Braeside Education Centre. 

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