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At Solent, English, quite simply is not a discrete subject.
It does not stand alone with its own individual agenda but underpins everything we do, unlocking the rest of the curriculum through the application of the skills the children are taught in their English lessons. It teaches the children how to be confident communicators and avid readers for both pleasure and purpose. The children learn how to speak and write fluently and through reading widely develop their social, emotional and cultural understanding of their own world and the world around them.
By the end of Year 6, our aim is to ensure that our children read fluently and with good understanding, developing the habit of reading widely and often, appreciating our rich and varied literary heritage. Through their own reading and taught English lessons they will acquire a wide vocabulary and an understanding of the grammatical structures required in order to communicate their ideas and emotions effectively. This in turn will enable them to write clearly, accurately and coherently for a range of styles, purposes, audiences and in a range of contexts. They will use discussion techniques and be competent in the arts of speaking and listening by participating in debates and presentations.
At Solent, we follow the Programmes of Study for Primary English National Curriculum (2014)
Writing units are taught over the space of approximately 3 weeks and link to a high-quality text or stimulus linked to another area of the curriculum. The unit will start with a hook and immerse the children within the text type being studied. Lessons will then teach the children the grammar objectives most relevant to that text type. The final week of a writing unit will follow the pathway ‘Plan, Draft, Edit and Publish’ and will allow the children time to create a piece of sustained writing of their own. These skills will be taught through shared writing opportunities, scaffolds and models so that the children can see ‘What A Good One Looks Like’ and support them ready to be able to write with confidence and independence in the final week of the unit. Editing plays a fundamental role throughout any writing opportunity and it is our expectation that the children always take the time to check, edit and improve any piece of work so that they can be sure that the work they hand in really is their best and something that they should be proud of.
Text-based learning will be reinforced through daily Reading sessions. The texts used will not only support the children’s knowledge of text structure, language and organisation within a high-quality context but also give them daily opportunities to build their reading fluency and comprehension. These sessions often feed directly into writing sessions and reinforce and support the learning taking place. Not to mention a great chance to enjoy books together.
Spelling is taught regularly through discrete sessions which focus on a range of spelling patterns, homophones, prefixes and suffixes as well as the common exception words for both Lower and Upper KS2, using the Babcock No Nonsense Spelling Programme. Here, skills of good handwriting are also focused upon. Speaking and Listening then becomes the golden thread throughout all aspects of learning. Opportunities are given throughout lessons for the children to explore and investigate language, ‘Magpieing’ the highest quality words and phrases used by our favourite authors and listening out for different tones and registers and learning the difference between spoken and written Standard English. The children will discuss, debate, feedback and rehearse their ideas so that they are fully prepared to communicate in a range of ways.