At Kingsthorne Primary School, the foundations for teaching the National Curriculum English are begun in Early Years Foundation Stage, with the development of a high quality programme planned within Communication, Language and Literacy.
The teaching of English at KS1 and 2 is underpinned by the expectations and programme of study set out by the DfE's National Curriculum (2014). The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
Therefore, at Kingsthorne our aim is to enable children to:
For further information on the National Curriculum:
Speaking and listening
At Kingsthorne Primary School we develop pupils' spoken language using the principles outlined in the DfE's National Curriculum (2014). Statutory requirements which underpin all aspects of spoken language across the 6 years of primary education form part of the national curriculum.
Pupils should be taught to:
Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing.
Teachers will therefore ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. Pupils should develop a capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write. They must be assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as to others, and teachers should ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions. Pupils will also be taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate.
Last academic year, the children of Key Stage 2 at Kingsthorne took part in No Pens Day for the first time. Following on from pupil feedback, it was highlighted that the children LOVED No Pens Day and wanted to do it every year. This year, we joined the rest of the country again – in celebrating speaking and listening - and we were delighted to have Key Stage 1 taking part too. No Pens Day happens once a year and it is a day where we take a deeper look at our speaking and listening skills. These skills underpin and support ALL of our curriculum areas, so we use No Pens Day as a day to celebrate our acknowledgement and appreciation of these skills.
For further information, please check out the following website:
This framework allows us to respond to and plan for the needs of the children, as well as prepare the children for the Year 1 screening check. We use practical equipment, books, games and ICT resources in lessons to help our teaching. We also operate a catch up scheme in Key stage 2 for any children who need it.
For further resources linked to Phonics follow these links:
Reading and Writing in the Early Years.
The teaching of reading and writing in Nursery and Reception follows government guidance through the EYFS Framework and the supporting document of Developmental Matters.
Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment, to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves and to speak and listen in a range of situations. Children will have access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interest and begin to link letters and sounds in order to begin to read and write.
Due to child initiated learning the children have many opportunities throughout the setting to choose to read and write in a variety of different ways. As the children are choosing to participate in the activities provided it is evident that the pupils are engaged and making progress.
Reading in KS1 and KS2
At Kingsthorne Primary School, we are committed to developing our children as readers, fostering a lifelong love of books and reading throughout their primary school life and way beyond.
The school plans reading activities using the programme of study from the DfE National Curriculum at KS1 and 2, which consists of two dimensions:
Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words.
Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction.
All pupils will be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world they live in, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.
Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech.
It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.
To support the programme of study, Kingsthorne uses a variety of books from different reading schemes to enable the children to access and read a wide range of texts. The aim of this is to ensure that our pupils have access to a wealth of quality reading material that motivates them to want to read. In EYFS and KS1, these books include Oxford Reading Tree, Collins Big Cat, Pearson Bug Club and Phonics Bug. Children also have access to reading books online through the Active Learn Primary website. All reading books are organised into different colour banded levels so that we can closely match books to the ability of each child.
In KS2, we have an exciting new reading scheme called Accelerated Reader. Children in years 3-5 have taken part in an online assessment which has given them a reading age and recommends a range of books for them to read. A typical child in Year 3 should have a reading age of 7-8 years, Year 4 should be 8-9 years and Year 5 should be 9-10 years. Ask you child's teacher about their reading age.
Accelerated Reader is designed to engage, support and promote reading. Books are banded in a point system which helps your child to select a book a their reading level. Once your child has read a book of their choice, they will take part in an online quiz about the book. This will show how well your child engaged with and understood the text. The more they prove their understanding, the higher the chance of improving their reading age. We dedicate 30 minutes four days a week for children to read, quiz and exchange these books. This encourages children to read in school. Please encourage your child to read daily at home.
Within Guided Reading sessions, children are given the opportunity to explore and interrogate texts, investigating techniques authors employ and to evaluate what makes different texts successful. In these sessions they also use laptops or iPads to read eBooks or complete reading activities online.
Every classroom throughout school has a designated welcoming and comfortable reading area that the children helped to design and create. They have been stocked with a wealth of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books which children can read for pleasure.
Each classroom has a set of legacy books which are story books that have been selected as ‘must reads’ for all children. These books are often shared and enjoyed through whole class reading opportunities and give the children the opportunity to experience the writing of a variety of different children’s authors from different backgrounds and different genres. Children have the opportunity to ‘magpie’ good examples of words and phrases they encounter ready for application into their own writing.
If your child is in Years 3-5, then they are tested formally in reading three times across the year. These results are kept within school and used to target progress and learning opportunities. These results also show us whether your child is on track for meeting the year group expectations. If your child is in Years 2 and 6, then they are formally assessed using standardised tests. These results are then used to measure your child’s progress across the Key Stage they have just completed. Your child’s class teacher will be able to inform you about this process.
Further useful websites to support phonics and reading in Foundation and Key Stage One can be found on this website under the heading Community. Please feel free to have a look.
SPaG (Spelling, punctuation and grammar)
is a key part of the 2014 National Curriculum.
Children are taught specific skills in these three areas, across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. They are formally tested on them in the SATs (standard assessment tests) at the end of Year 2 and 6.
Throughout the programmes of study, teachers will teach pupils the vocabulary they need to discuss their reading, writing and spoken language. It is important that pupils learn the correct grammatical terms in English and that these terms are integrated within teaching.
Links below on – give an overview of the specific features that should be included in teaching the programmes of study
At Kingsthorne Primary School, we use the DfE's programme of study for English (2014) to underpin our teaching of Writing across KS1 and 2.
The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:
In addition, pupils should be taught how to their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for
Writing down ideas depends on effective transcription: that is, on quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between and understanding the (word structure) and (spelling structure) of words.
Effective composition involves , and then for a reader. This requires , awareness of the , and an increasingly wide knowledge of
Writing also depends on and, eventually, speedy .
Teaching of Writing:
Our aim at Kingsthorne is for all children to enjoy writing and become confident writers. We do this by providing opportunities for children to experience literacy in a range of contexts, including making links with other subject areas. In writing, explicit links are made to reading and children are encouraged to read with a writer’s eye, identifying and practicing the tools used by popular children’s writers in order to assimilate a text. They are exposed to and learn how to compose a wide variety of genres within fiction and non-fiction as well as studying a range of different poetic forms.
The writing process is supported through teacher modelling and builds on the oral and reading aspects of the units. Children are taught key spelling strategies and appropriate use of punctuation according to their stage of development.
A range of strategies are used by teachers to engage children in the writing process, including visual literacy, drama and ‘talk for writing’ techniques. Children are given the opportunity to take part in a range of speaking and listening activities in order to gather information, develop their vocabulary or give them concrete experiences to write about.
From the start of term Kingsthorne Primary School have introduced continuous cursive writing from Nursery to Year 4. This type of handwriting allows letters to run into one another. Cursive writing will enable pupils to write neatly and consistently. They will improve in presentation and know where each letter begins (always from the line). Cursive writing will continue to be perfected in Key Stage 2 throughout the year.
Children will receive a special ‘pen license’ in Year 3 when they are successfully and accurately joining all letters. This can be revoked at any point if the standard of handwriting deteriorates. All handwriting pens have blue ink only. Ask your child if they have a pen license.