English

The curriculum for English

Our aims in teaching English at Lady Margaret Primary School are to:

  • Children are to read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
  • They should develop the habit or reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
  • Children should acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic. Conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
  • Children should appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.
  • They should write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
  • They should use discussion in order to learn and children should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
  • Children should be competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
  • Children should read and re-read books to ensure fluency.
  • Word lists and aspects of spelling and grammar to be taught in specific year groups.
  • Children should learn material by heart.
  • These changes are embedded across the whole curriculum and not just in literacy lessons

Writing

Our aims in teaching writing at Lady Margaret Primary School are to:

Our aims in teaching writing are to equip pupils with a strong command of spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature. Across the school, we ensure that there is a good coverage of genres which are progressive across year groups. Writing skills are supported and extended throughout the school by spelling, structured handwriting, grammar and punctuation lessons.

How writing is taught at Lady Margaret Primary School

Writing is a powerful means of communication which builds on the spoken word. This vital skill is necessary to allow pupils to function, engage and contribute within our society. At LMPS we have developed a writing process built around text led units of work which develop vocabulary, reading and writing skills.

The National Curriculum requires that children are taught key skills and processes that are essential for writing. At LMPS we want our children to be successful at each stage of the writing process:

  • Planning
  • Drafting and writing
  • Evaluating and Editing
  • Proof reading
  • Reading aloud to others

As part of this process, children are given opportunities to write for real purposes and audiences. Our pupils have opportunities to apply and showcase their writing skills across the curriculum.

Lady Margaret has worked in close partnership with CLPE (Centre for Primary Literacy) since 2015. Together, we have designed the curriculum to be best suit the needs of the pupils and to spark interest and curiosity. We teach writing alongside a different core text every half term. The overview of the core texts can be found on the website.

At Lady Margaret we plan our writing lessons alongside the writing structure which outlines how learning should progress across a week of learning.

By the end of year 6, we want pupils to:

  •  write effectively for a range of purposes and audiences, selecting language that shows good awareness of the reader.
  • describe settings, characters and atmosphere in narratives.
  • integrate dialogue in narratives to convey character and advance the action
  • select vocabulary and grammatical structures that reflect what the writing requires, doing this mostly appropriately (e.g. using contracted forms in dialogues in narrative; using passive verbs to affect how information is presented; using modal verbs to suggest degrees of possibility)
  • use a range of devices to build cohesion (e.g. conjunctions, adverbials of time and place, pronouns, synonyms) within and across paragraphs
  • use verb tenses consistently and correctly throughout their writing
  • use the range of punctuation taught at key stage 2 mostly correctly^ (e.g. inverted commas and other punctuation to indicate direct speech)
  • spell correctly most words from the year 5 / year 6 spelling list,* and use a dictionary to check the spelling of uncommon or more ambitious vocabulary
  • maintain legibility in joined handwriting when writing at speed.

How to support your child at home

  • Practice spelling words from the spelling list.
  • Provide writing opportunities for your child e.g. writing a thank you note, writing the shopping list, party invitations and letters to family etc
  • Teach your child new words each week and encourage them to use them. Your child can keep a vocabulary notebook.
  • Encourage your child to speak in full sentences using correct Standard English.

Handwriting guide for parents

 

Reading

Our aims in teaching reading at Lady Margaret Primary School

The Importance of Reading

Reading is a significant life skill and the development of reading strategies will enable our children to read and write confidently throughout their school career and on into adult life. Evidence suggests, that children who read for enjoyment every day, not only perform better in reading tests than those that don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.

In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background. At Lady Margaret Primary School we passionately encourage and require our children to read everyday and aim to nurture a love of reading through carefully selected texts, which inspire and motivate pupils to become life-long readers.

Pupils learn to read easily and fluently through daily phonics in Key Stage one, following the letters and sounds scheme. They read regularly to adults through daily guided reading using the Oxford Reading Tree scheme. In addition to this, they also have essential reads, core texts and home readers.

Pupils develop skills in reading through the understanding of core texts. Our curriculum coverage maps are tailored to meet the needs of our pupils and have been designed in collaboration with the CLPE. In essence, pupils study a book, related to their half-termly topic. They often study books which are more challenging than those which they might not be able to read independently. They will use this book as the basis for reading, writing, speaking and listening tasks and links to foundation subjects.

Pupils are encouraged to read widely, through our use of differing class texts, reading passports, library visits, high-quality texts, essential reads and home readers. Our classrooms and school reflect a literature-rich environment.

Pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure using reading partners, quiet reading time, listening to an adult read, reading passports and the various methods outlined above.

Pupils comprehension skills are assessed through daily guided reading, higher-order questioning and throughout all other subjects. Formative reading assessments are completed half termly.

Key Stage two pupils who are making less than expected progress are given extra reading support, through booster classes and the accelerated reader program

Oxford Owl

Oxford Owl is an award-winning website to help support children’s learning, both at home and at school. Click here to visit their site.

How reading is taught at Lady Margaret Primary School

At Lady Margaret Primary School reading is taught through whole class reading lessons. At LMPS it is expected that children are taught the reading strategies and skills through whole class and supported reading. Reading is taught across all areas of the curriculum with all lessons having an element of reading aloud.

Whole Class Reading

The aim of whole class reading is to raise the standards in reading as all of the children are being taught by the expert in the room. Teaching the whole class means that all pupils can read with the teacher more often, moving faster through longer texts and benefitting from the teacher’s expert explanations, modelling, questioning and feedback.

All lessons last for a minimum of 45 minutes and follow the reading structure and key principles of reading.

It is crucial that our children are exposed to a range of rich literature through high quality texts. Therefore, all reading texts are extracts/chapters from books (fiction and non-fiction) or the reading lessons are centred on the core text.

Supported Reading

This is a 20 minute reading lesson, which gives all children the opportunity to read with an adult. The children are grouped into their reading abilities and the lesson focuses on developing the children’s word reading and understanding. Together, with an adult, the children develop their vocabulary, read a range of genres and answer a variety of test style questions.

By the end of year 6, we want pupils to:

By the time our children leave Lady Margaret Primary School we aim for all of our pupils to leave as free, confident readers with a love of reading. Your child will be using their reading for learning across all subjects as well as for pleasure, and they will be developing their own reading tastes.

The emphasis is now on your child reading and responding to what they read accurately and quickly. They will be using accurate grammar and punctuation, as well as adventurous ideas, words, sentences, and paragraphs, to improve their writing as they draw on their wider reading experience. Your child should also be able to read and spell unfamiliar words using their knowledge of phonics and word structure. They will develop their spoken language through public speaking, performance, and debate.

We want the children to have a secure understanding of the different reading skills and know how to apply the reading strategies confidently.

How to support your child at home

Read to your child
Reading daily to young children, starting in infancy, can help with language acquisition and literacy skills. This is because reading to your children in the earliest months stimulates the part of the brain that allows them to understand the meaning of language and helps build key language, literacy and social skills.

Sign up to your local library
Get your child a library card. They’ll be able to get their hands on hundreds of fantastic books, as well as the latest video games, blu-rays and DVDs. Let them choose what they want to read to help them develop their own interests

Have them tell you a story
One great way to introduce kids to literacy is to take their dictation. Have them recount an experience or make up a story.

Teach phonetic awareness
Young children don’t hear the sounds within words. Thus, they hear “dog,” but not the “duh”-“aw”- “guh.” To become readers, they have to learn to hear these sounds (or phonemes). Play language games with your child. For instance, say a word, perhaps her name, and then change it by one phoneme: Jen-Pen, Jen-Hen, Jen-Men. Or, just break a word apart: chair… ch-ch-ch-air.

Listen to your child read
When your child starts bringing books home from school, have her read to you. If it doesn’t sound good (mistakes, choppy reading), have her read it again. Or read it to her, and then have her try to read it herself. Studies show that this kind of repeated oral reading makes students better readers, even when it is done at home.

Sign up for audio books
Audio books are a fantastic way to for children to listen to stories. It allows children to listen to complicated topics and listen to better-quality books than your child might find at their own level. That exposure strengthens comprehension skills, particularly for children who have reading difficulties.

Ask questions
When your child reads, get her to retell the story or information. If it’s a story, ask who it was about and what happened. If it’s an informational text, have your child explain what it was about and how it worked, or what its parts were. Reading involves not just sounding out words, but thinking about and remembering ideas and events

All reading is good – Don’t rule out non-fiction, comics, graphic novels, magazines or leaflets. Reading is reading and it’s all worthwhile

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/school-radio/nursery-rhymes-songs-index/zhwdgwx

https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/grownups/making-time-for-books-at-home

https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/

https://www.storylineonline.net/

https://www.storynory.com/

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