Our vision for English at Woodlea
At Woodlea, we want all children to gain excellent linguistic skills which will allow them to achieve to their full potential through our exciting, engaging English curriculum.
At Woodlea, we know that English teaching is essential to opening the door to the rest of the curriculum. We are extremely passionate about teaching English at Woodlea as we understand that having solid English skills leads to better outcomes in every subject. We recognise the importance of teaching outstanding writing skills and reading skills and the importance of understanding grammar to ensure our children leave Woodlea with the best knowledge to help them excel in high school and for the rest of their lives. It is part of the ‘essential knowledge’ (p6 National Curriculum) that is needed in society:
‘Teachers should develop pupil’s spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects’ (p10 National Curriculum).
We are an inclusive school, we set high expectations and recognise the importance of accurate and regular assessment in order to support individuals at every part of their learning journey and in whatever circumstances. We plan teaching opportunities to help those with learning difficulties outlined in the SEN code of practice. We agree with the statement of the National Curriculum, that ‘pupils…who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised’ (p13).
Our plan for the teaching of English at Woodlea can be seen below, with adaptations having been made to ensure children continue to make progress after their time off school. Children are given regular opportunities to show off their writing skills across the curriculum with cross-curricular writing opportunities in every subject from geography to RE.
Our English curriculum can be broken down further into: writing, reading, spelling, handwriting and grammar.
For reading and writing, the majority of learning is done in our daily English lessons, with skills being used across the curriculum (see below). For spelling and handwriting, we follow the 'Spelling Shed' scheme of work and have three spelling and one handwriting lesson per week. For grammar, we have our own overview of KS2 grammar, broken down into lower and upper KS2. We have a daily GPS session within our daily English as well as a Friday grammar lesson.
Children at Woodlea enjoy English and have regular opportunity to share their thoughts on the subject. Most recently, children's views on reading were gathered through a survey and results collated. As a result of this, we are developing an outdoor reading area on our playground.
In addition to this, children's attainment is assessed regularly in reading, writing and grammar with our results showing that children make excellent progress in English during their time at Woodlea.
You will see above our 'normal' plan for our English units throughout the year.
In the Autumn term of 2020 - 2021 we have adjusted our English teaching in line with Lancashire's bridging units. These specially designed units combine children's missed learning from the Summer term of the year before with the Autumn term of their current year group. For example, our current Year 6 children's English unit encompasses objectives from the Summer term of Year 5 and the Autumn term of Year 6.
Our year groups are using the following as their stimulus for their English learning:
Year 3 - Paddington Bear
Year 4 - The Loch Ness Monster
Year 5 - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Year 6 - The Nowhere Emporium
Fantastic Book Awards
The Fantastic Book Awards (FBA) are running, albeit slightly differently, again for 2020 - 2021. In school Mrs Rufus, Mrs Smith and Mrs Astbury are overseeing the programme this year, which is running with our Year 5 and 6 children. Class teachers have chosen a small group of children to take part and it is also open to children who wish to participate in their own time.
All children who take part will also be entered into a raffle to win a signed copy of this and last year’s FBA linked novels!
We have been put in Group C this year and our books can be seen in the pictures below! The children (and adults) are very excited to get started and we will keep you updated here and on our Twitter pages!
How can you help your children with their English learning at home?
Regular updates are sent out via SeeSaw with regards to English learning in school. We ask that you read with your child at least four times each week and fill in their reading record, noting down the chapter(s) they have read, any notes and an adult's signature. If your child completes their Reading Plus sessions at home, these can also count towards their four reads per week. When noting down Reading Plus, please put in the percentage your child achieves on the lesson.
In addition, your children will have different spellings which they focus on each week and these will form the basis of their weekly English homework tasks.
While most of us are back learning from home, please see the top tips below. These explain how to engage your child with their reading and how to get the most out of it. All children still have access to Reading Plus and can use this if they do not have access to books at home.
Reading Plus Update
Well done to ALL of our children for their amazing work on Reading Plus since we came back in September. Our recent mid-term assessments have shown that some children have made several years worth of progress in just a few months!
Our top readers as a school were as follows:
1st - Andrea 6O - 201,886 words read
2nd - Anete 6C - 139.689 words read
3rd - Sam 5L - 109,069 words read
4th - Eleanor 4R - 106,564 words read
Orangutans class were our top class in the school with 1,798,061 words read since September!
Keep up the good work everyone!