​Culworth CEVA Primary Academy

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English includes speaking, listening, reading, writing, spelling, handwriting and phonics

Our aims are:
Oral Communication (speaking and listening)
To develop the children's skills in expressing themselves clearly and purposefully and to use a varied vocabulary.
What do we want to achieve for our children in writing?
At Culworth Primary Academy the teaching of English is the foundation of our curriculum. Our main aim is to ensure that every single child becomes primary literate and progresses to the best of their ability in writing.
We recognise that each child has their own starting point upon entry to every year group and progress is measured in line with these starting points to ensure every child can celebrate success. We celebrate writing further by displaying it around our school where possible, allowing children to take pride in their work and have the opportunity to share it with their peers and visitors to our setting. Writing is not only taught daily as a discrete lesson, but it is at the cornerstone of the entire curriculum. Our Literacy lessons are linked wherever possible to our topic teaching so that writing is interwoven into most areas of children’s learning. Our aim is for our children to become creative writers that are not afraid to experiment with language and use the ideas and models of others to push their own thinking further. At Culworth we strive for a high level of English for all, where expectations are continually high for all students. We aim to fully engage and develop the abilities of our pupils through the use of high-quality texts, immersing children in vocabulary rich learning environments and ensuring coverage of curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met. The children at our school will develop a love for creative writing sessions due to the encouraging and nurturing environment in which it is taught. Children are always encouraged to ask questions and engage in discussions with adults and their peers about what makes writing successful.

How will we achieve this?
At Culworth we believe consistency is a valuable tool in Literacy. We therefore aim to teach writing in the same style/manner from Reception to Year 6. This ensures that the children are continually building upon previous knowledge and skills in a purposeful and progressive manner. We have adopted a sentence stacking approach when teaching writing skills. This requires teachers to heavily model and scaffold the construction of sentences and paragraphs with an emphasis on really developing children’s knowledge and understanding of the construction of texts and how ideas fit together and can be manipulated. Children are expected to write different genres independently to ensure they are using taught skills in their own texts.
In line with the national curriculum, we also ensure that each year group is taught the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for their age range. As well as teaching the objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in cross-curricular writing opportunities and ensure that most children are achieving the objectives at the expected level and that some children are encouraged and striving for the greater depth standard. Our younger children are taught phonics discretely but this is also fed into creative writing sessions at all times.
The assessment of writing is consistent across the school. All teachers assess against a given framework, which have been produced in line with the end of Key Stage assessment frameworks as published by the Department for Education.
At Culworth we aim to adopt a mastery approach in our writing skills. We therefore spend a good period of time experiencing a given genre before moving on. This ensures a deeper level of understanding of each text type. Each year group are assigned a mixture of fiction and non-fiction texts which ensures even coverage over their primary school years.

How will this support my child in their future education and learning?
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills into secondary school and beyond. With the implementation of a consistent teaching approach to writing being well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and all children are confident in their creative writing abilities. Further up the school, teachers can focus more deeply on writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills to develop deep thinkers and greater depth writers.
As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards are improving and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects. This shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives. We hope that as children move on from us to further their education and learning, that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.

The Curriculum at Culworth Primary Academy

What do we want to achieve for our children in reading?
At Culworth Primary Academy we firmly believe in developing a culture that encourages a desire and love for reading. We aim for all of our children to leave primary school with the ability to read fluently and comprehensively and become lifelong readers. We encourage reading in all areas of the curriculum covering a mixture of genres. We carefully select books that are current and rich in vocabulary as well as embracing the classics that we believe all children should experience at least once in their lifetimes. We link texts to our creative curriculum to promote cross curricular links wherever possible. At Culworth we actively encourage children to use ideas from authors that they admire and weave them into their own writing as models and a starting point. We expose children to texts which continually develop their breadth of vocabulary. We explore words, phrases and sentences daily to unpick how and why they have been used. Reading lessons focus on enjoyment of a text as well as developing the comprehension of what the children are reading by asking carefully thought out questions.
It is the intention for the children in the younger years to build up a secure and firm basis of phonics knowledge. They are exposed to a range of words, sentences and paragraphs, that use these phonics skills progressively, to build upon previous knowledge and continually push on their learning. Our aim is for all children in Key stage one to have completed their phonic journey by the end of year 2. Any children identified to need further support will have interventions going forward, to secure their phonics knowledge as soon as possible.


How will we achieve this?
We as staff promote a love for reading by leading by example. We keep up to date with the latest books released and recommended reads for children in our Key stage. We regularly share our experiences and enjoyment of texts that we have read. We have a ‘Book Doctor’ in school where children who need suggestions for books, based on their interests, can get support in picking something that will keep them engaged. Children are actively encouraged to talk about the books that they are reading and share their enthusiasm with their peers. We include parents in our love for reading ethos, by holding a reading and phonics meeting for our Reception and Year 1 children on an annual basis. We also have a section on our weekly newsletter which informs parents of book recommendations suitable for each key stage. We have recently spent a lot of time and money on our library area, making it bright, accessible, comfortable and inviting. Children use this area in small groups to read and change books. There are also areas in each classroom that have a book/reading area.
Within lessons we are developing a whole class reading structure. We pick texts that link to our current topic and ensure we look at differing text types suitable for each age range. Reading is taught daily through Literacy lessons where carefully selected texts are shared to explore language further. Children are encouraged to continually consider the meaning of words, intent of the chosen words and possible alternative ideas. A range of activities are planned alongside all texts read, that keep the children engaged, encourages them to ask questions and develops their inference and deduction skills. Children are encouraged to read daily, either independently, in a small group, as a class or to an adult. Our reading and writing curriculum overlap greatly. We regularly use a book that we are reading in our whole class reading sessions, to inspire our writing curriculum.
In the younger years, children are required to read books linked to their current phonic ability. In doing this they are continually reinforcing new sounds they have been taught. We also have a progressive reading scheme which the children work through from Reception to Year 2, with the hope they will become free readers by Year 3. Interventions are secured for those that have not quite achieved this. Children are read to daily, by an adult, to develop their love for reading. This also ensures time to have rich and meaningful discussions about texts and link it to their life experiences.
Reading is not only celebrated in classrooms at Culworth Academy but also around our school. There are displays which celebrate authors, children’s favourite books and reading reward schemes. In addition, throughout the school year the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author and poet visits and a range of trips and visits which enrich and complement children’s learning.


How will this support my child in their future education and learning? ​

 With a systematic teaching of phonics in place the aim is for all children to become free readers by the end of key stage one, leaving key stage two to develop fluency and comprehension in more detail. We carry out reading assessments continually in an informal manner and termly where scores from reading tests equate to a level. This ensures children are quickly identified, if extra support is needed. All children in Year one do the statutory phonics test. Those in year 2 and 6 partake in the reading SATs. These results are then measured against national averages.

Our biggest hope in terms of impact however, goes far beyond assessment results. We firmly believe that our reading curriculum develops the love of reading in all children. It gives them the opportunity to become immersed in another world and experience the magic of story-telling. We hope the impact of our reading curriculum is evident to all from the moment you walk in the door. Ask any child what they are reading and they will talk to you at length and with great enthusiasm.


What do we want to achieve for our children?

At Culworth Primary Academy, we are passionate about ensuring that all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. Starting in the Early Years and continuing throughout Key Stage 1, we believe that Read, Write, Inc (RWInc) phonics provides the foundations of learning and makes the progression to fluent reading and writing easier. Pupils begin to learn to read fluently and at speed as soon as they start their schooling, encouraging the belief that all children can be successful on their reading journey. Through RWInc, pupils learn all of the main graphemes seen in the English language sequentially, starting with simple sounds and progressing to a more complex alphabetic code. All reading books progress cumulatively, matched to the sound’s children are learning and already know. The teaching of phonics is of high priority as we firmly believe that readings skills underpin all other areas of learning.

How will we achieve this?
The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout the Early Years Foundation Statge (EYFS) and into Key Stage 1. Phonics is taught daily to all children in EYFS, Year 1 and those in Year 2 who are yet to recall quickly the full range of graphemes taught.
We follow the RWInc programme of learning from preschool until a pupil has successfully completed the programme or to the end of Year 2. Pupils are also encouraged to transfer the skills they learn in phonics sessions into their independent reading and writing. In each phonics lesson, pupils are taught to

  • decode letter/sound correspondences quickly using their phonic knowledge and skills
  • read ‘tricky’ (red words) on sight
  • understand what they read
  • Read aloud with fluency and expression
  • Write confidently using their phonic knowledge and skills
  • Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds into words

Pupils are grouped according to their progress in reading so that every child is learning at the right pace for them. In lessons, and in books that are sent home, pupils read books closely matched to their phonics knowledge so that all children experience success and to encourage the belief that all children can be confident readers.

What will this look like and how will it support my child now and in the future?

The main aim for teaching phonics is to ensure that pupils become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. Once children have become fluent at decoding what they are reading, they are able to focus on developing fluency and comprehension throughout the school. Embedding this alphabetic code early means that pupils learn to write simple words and sentences from an early age. By focusing on the foundations of reading and writing using the RWInc scheme in Key Stage 1, pupils will be able to become keen, enthusiastic readers who enjoy reading a range of texts.