Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

English

Teaching at Oasis Academy Blakenhale Junior is ‘Learning Centred’, meaning that each element of whole school and classroom practice is designed with an understanding of how children learn best at its heart.

At Oasis Academy Blakenhale Junior we believe children learn best when:

  • learning activities are well planned, ensuring progress in the short, medium and long term
  • teaching and learning activities enthuse, engage and motivate children
  • to learn, and foster their curiosity and enthusiasm for learning
  • assessment informs teaching so that there is provision for support,
  • repetition and extension of learning for each child, at each level of attainment
  • the learning environment is ordered, the atmosphere is purposeful and children feel safe
  • there are strong links between home and school, and the importance of parental involvement in their children’s learning is recognised, valued and developed

English Curriculum Overview

Our English Policy

Key Principle 1

Children learn best when learning activities are well planned, ensuring progress in the short, medium and long term.

 THERE WILL BE EVIDENCE IN THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT OF:

  • differentiation offering all children the opportunity to make progress in Literacy learning
  • current Literacy learning related to specific Literacy objectives and contextualized learning exemplified text-types and writing units
  • banks of vocabulary and working wall based display to support children’s learning
  • children being engaged through a wide range of modes such as: drama, oral presentation, visual, and kinaesthetic activities
  • modelled expectations available for reference
  • easily accessible reference material such as spelling dictionaries and thesauruses

TEACHERS WILL ENSURE THAT:

  • planning covers all Literacy objectives across the year
  • discrete literacy skills and knowledge are developed daily
  • topics offer children the opportunity to contextualise and apply discrete literacy learning for a wide range of purposes
  • writing is self/peer-assessed and edited during each unit
  • there is a written outcome or presentation (such as script or multi-modal text) at least twice each half term
  • success criterion offer description of skills and knowledge at the extension, core and support levels
  • long term planning covers the full range of writing purposes and assessment foci
  • medium /short term planning has a success criteria based on the most recent assessment

 IMPLICATIONS FOR THE WHOLE SCHOOL WILL BE:

  • Literacy objectives for speaking and listening, drama, reading and writing are included on daily planning and covered across the year.
  • there is a Speaking and Listening, and Drama Guidance in place to ensure a consistent approach to the teaching of speaking and listening, and drama (Appendix A)
  • there is Reading Guidance in place to ensure continuity and progression throughout the school, focusing on a structured and systematic approach to the teaching of reading (Appendix B)
  • there is Writing Guidance in place to ensure continuity and progression throughout the school, focusing on a structured and systematic approach to the teaching of writing (Appendix C)
  • there is Guidance on a Systemic Synthetic Phonics (Letters & Sounds) for identified children  and a Spelling Policy for KS2 to ensure continuity and progression throughout the school
  • there is Handwriting Guidance to ensure continuity and progression throughout the school, focusing on a structured and systematic approach to the teaching of handwriting (Appendix D)
  • a monitoring cycle is in place to support the progress of individuals and groups of learners: planning scrutiny, book-looks and regular checks of writing outcomes in basic skills books.

Key Principle 2

Children learn best when teaching and learning activities enthuse, engage and motivate them to learn, and when they foster their curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.

 THERE WILL BE EVIDENCE IN THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT OF:

  • Literacy embedded in all curriculum areas
  • current topics and relevant vocabulary
  • outcomes stem from experiential learning which has developed an understanding of concepts and the vocabulary required to describe and explain them
  • children experience learning through a range of media, formats and activities (including multi-modal) in order to include all learning styles
  • children have the opportunity to investigate
  • drama and oracy offer daily opportunities for children to explore language around relevant concepts
  • talk for writing is used in partner and group situations. Discussion is modelled and structured
  • reading and writing skills are modelled and exemplifications displayed

 TEACHERS WILL MAKE SURE THAT:

  • toolkits are developed collaboratively and scaffold process approaches to writing and communication
  • the timetable offers regular opportunities to cover guided reading, spelling or phonics,

 IMPLICATIONS FOR THE WHOLE SCHOOL WILL BE:

  • quality resources are available to support Literacy and topic work
  • hooks, trips, workshops, visiting artists and other motivational ways of working are planned half-termly
  • planning shows an outcome led process with building of toolkits.

Key Principle 3

Children learn best when assessment informs teaching so that there is

provision for support, repetition and extension of learning for each child, at each level of attainment.

 THERE WILL BE EVIDENCE IN THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT OF:

  • differentiation through a variety opportunities such as: differentiated success criteria, groupings, outcomes, resources, extension activities
  • marking that reflects acknowledgement of achievement, guidance, challenge and extension

TEACHERS WILL MAKE SURE THAT:

  • success criteria are clear, purposeful and relate to the learning taking place,
  •  short term planning is flexible and reflects assessment
  • All AFs are covered across each term

IMPLICATIONS FOR THE WHOLE SCHOOL WILL BE:

  • writing evidence across each phase is moderated termly, using an agreed whole school approach

Key Principle 4

Children learn best when there are strong links between home and school, and the importance of parental involvement in their children’s learning is recognised, valued and developed.

 THERE WILL BE EVIDENCE IN THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT OF:

  • Children being encouraged and supported to read at home.
  • Home learning offering opportunities for research and writing, as well as discussion points for conversation.

 TEACHER’S WILL MAKE SURE THAT:

  • Reading corners celebrate home reading.
  • Journals are checked daily
  • Children and parents know when reading books are changed and how to use the reading response or record books.

 IMPLICATIONS FOR THE WHOLE SCHOOL:

  • All classes have reading corners.
  • All classes have the opportunity to visit the library each week
  • All classes use reading records or response books.
  • All classes link a piece of home learning to literacy each term (Project work linked to IPC)

Appendices

Appendix A: Speaking and Listening and Drama

 The Four Strands of Speaking and Listening: Speaking; Listening; Group Discussion and Interaction, and Drama permeate the whole curriculum.

  • Some or all elements of the above will be planned for in all lessons.
  • Opportunities for partner or group discussions are planned for weekly.
  • Use of specific topic vocabulary is modelled and displayed.
  • Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise standards.
  • Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life.
  • At Key Stage Two (Years 3-6), children should learn to change the way they speak and write to suit different situations, purposes and audiences.

 Examples of where speaking and listening might occur within the classroom:

· Stories, songs & poems.

· Storytelling.

· Describing events, observations and experiences.

· Giving reasons for actions.

· Explaining ideas and opinions in discussion and responding to others.

· Planning, predicting and investigating in small groups.

· Presentation to different audiences.

· Reading aloud.

· Imaginative play and role play.

· Drama.

· Hot seating.

· Listening to CD’s.

· Class council / school council.

· Circle time.

 

 Appendix B: Reading

 Oasis Academy Blakenhale Junior aims for all children to read with confidence, fluency and understanding; have an interest in the written word and read for enjoyment; and employ a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct.

  • At Key Stage Two (Years 3-6), children should read a range of texts and respond to different layers of meaning in them.
  • All pupils receive daily opportunities for: Guided reading,Shared reading and Independent reading.
  • Guided reading texts are linked (where possible) to IPC topics of work.
  • Banded ‘Project X’ books are used for guided reading and reading intervention
  • Project X Code books are specifically used for LA and SEN pupils as links are made with Letters and Sounds
  • Class reading opportunities are differentiated to 3 levels either through texts or support.
  • Reading material is varied to reflect Literacy units, topics, personal choice and current affairs.
  • All pupils and parents are actively encouraged and supported to enjoy home reading.
  • At KS2 home reading books are paperbacks to encourage sustained reading.  Picture books and short reads are available for less confident readers.
  • Home reading books are differentiated for each year group using the following coloured codes: Orange – emerging reader (LA/SEN), Blue – Moderate read (MA), Pink – Confident reader  (MA+/HA) & Purple – Challenging (HA)
  • Children are encouraged to select their own home reading book, but may be guided if certain skills within genres needs to developed
  • More able and confident readers are encouraged to select home reading books from the library in order develop sustained reading and an appreciation of a wide variety of authors and genres.
  • Letters and Sounds are taught discretely and reinforced in contextualised opportunities.
  • Children have phonics sessions as an intervention delivered by teaching assistants and tracked by the English Coordinator.
  • All book corners reflect current topics and Literacy units. Communication regarding home reading takes place between home and school using a reading record book
  • All classes have the opportunity to visit the school library weekly. Children are supported to choose reading material which will engage and challenge them.
  • All children have the opportunity to take part in reading enrichment activities during lunchtimes – supported reading with a TA (once a week) and ‘Reading Around The World Challenge’ with the English leader (twice a week)
  • Y3/4 children change their books at least twice a week
  • Y5/6 children change books at least weekly.
  • Classrooms reflect current topics within their book corners, which are updated each half-term.
  • Reading is assessed daily using  running records linked to AF Foci

 

Appendix C: Writing

 Oasis Academy Blakenhale Junior aims for all children to have an interest in words and their meanings; developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms. They should be developing their powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness, and have a suitable technical vocabulary to articulate their responses.

 By Year 6 children should understand a range of text types and genres and be able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation.

  • All pupils write daily.
  • Writing for a wide range of purposes - from note-taking to extended writing in paragraphs - takes place each week.
  • Children should write independently and with enthusiasm. They should use language to explore their own experiences and imaginary worlds.
  • At KS2 children should plan, draft and redraft writing of several paragraphs for a range of purposes and audiences.
  • Presentation guidelines are taught at the beginning of each year and the expectations maintained throughout.
  • Daily writing is recorded in IPC project books to ensure writing is fluid and contextualized across the curriculum
  • Basic skills work is recorded in Literacy books at least once a week
  • Final drafts (for on-going teacher assessment) and half termly writing assessments must be recorded in Skills books
  • Identified children write in pen, except for labelled diagrams and underlining
  • Class teachers rotate around all groups to provide guided writing.
  • TAs work with all groups at the discretion of the class teacher.
  • All English lessons have an opportunity for the adults to work with guided groups for 20 – 30 minutes.
  • Grammar and spelling is taught through the school’s ‘weekly basic skills lesson on a Friday.  Links are made daily with grammar and spelling on a daily basis through shared discussion and writing
  • Identified spellings are recorded in home spelling journals, where children are expected to learn words at home and journals returned to school daily.
  • Additional spelling support is given through TA intervention, each afternoon
  • Grammar is taught discretely and in context. Objectives appear in weekly planning.

 

 Appendix D: Handwriting.

  • Handwriting takes place every week for identified children.
  • Adults expect children to reflect the letter formations and joins in their daily handwriting.
  • Oasis Academy Blakenhale Junior uses the Nelson Handwriting Scheme  to support the teaching of handwriting.
  • All teaching staff are required to model and lead by example when writing on whiteboards, flip charts and in pupil books.

 DISSEMINATION OF THE POLICY

The policy will be given to all members of staff and copies will be available for parents.

 PROCEDURES FOR MONITORING AND EVALUATION

The Principal, members of the Academy Leadership Team and members of the curriculum leadership team, will monitor the policy.