At Northfield House Primary Academy, children are taught the English National Curriculum (as outlined in the programmes of studies). In KS1 we follow a book rich curriculum and in KS2 we follow a novel based curriculum. Throughout EYFS, KS1 and KS2 the children are exposed to a rich variety of high-quality books which develop their reading, writing and speaking and listening skills. Teachers use assessment information to inform planning for learning and are free to use a wide variety of appropriate learning resources. To ensure coverage teachers use the curriculum objective sheets and use this in their planning.
There are six weekly English lessons (1 grammar, 1 reading comprehension, 3 novel based and 1 creative writing) Teachers are expected to adapt their teaching to the needs of the children and to use different techniques such as drama when teaching lessons. Within each lesson, there is a strong focus on understanding and developing vocabulary – this is a whole school priority due to the nature of our children’s needs. Children are given time to respond to marking and any other feedback in order to address any misconceptions and deepen their understanding. This reflective process is an integral part in the teaching and learning cycle and is positively encouraged. All groups of learners are challenged appropriately through questioning and tasks so that they are able to develop and deepen their understanding and skills.
Each year group has 30 spelling weeks across the year. The spelling sheets should be photocopied and sent home every week as homework.
Each child working at a 1B or above has a spelling & handwriting journal. The journal should be used in the following way:
Introduce the spelling rule and that week’s spellings. The children then need to write the words out beside them.
Children to complete the week’s Look/Cover/Write/Check sheet.
Dictation. Teachers to use the week’s spelling words in simple sentences and the children then need to write the sentences out.
Spelling Test. Children to complete their spelling test. Encourage the children to mark their spellings where appropriate. Teachers or TAs must check the spellings and get the children to write out any corrections.
The Northfield cursive handwriting style must be modelled and used by all members of staff and taught alongside the spelling rules.
At Northfield House, we have a big focus on speaking and listening and take every opportunity to develop our children’s vocabulary. We have Magpie Books, which are used by the children to collect new vocabulary and develop their language choices. The books are used across the curriculum and are referred back to in future lessons. They link to one of our 6Rs – resourcefulness. Children should be encouraged to use these books and refer to them in lessons.
In order to improve write and in particular writing structure, we use the Alan Peat sentence structures. These are taught explicitly across the school in a structured and progressive way that is developed across the year groups and abilities of the children. Once taught, they should be displayed in the classroom as a prompt for the children to refer to.
Writing assessments in writing is predominantly done through weekly assessed writing lessons. However, teachers should take the whole curriculum into consideration when assessing a child and go with their professional judgement.
Throughout the year all of the genres that the children have been taught so far, both fiction and non-fiction, should be done as assessed writing. Teachers can plan their English units so that the assessed writing can be done around the book/novel the children are studying. They can also include cross-curricular writing from the topic and science units.
When assessing the writing teachers must use the assessment grids to identify two objectives that the chid has met and two objectives where the children needs to work on. When objectives have been achieved, teachers must tick the assessment grid. In every assessed writing sessions teachers MUST spend a short amount of time with each child to ensure that they know what to do to achieve that week’s target.
Teachers are encouraged to use the genre tracking sheets to ensure that they are covering all the genres. It also provides examples and ideas of how to cover the genre.
In reading teachers need to use the reading assessment sheets and should aim to highlight the achieved objectives at least three times a year during the assessment weeks. Teachers should use their knowledge of the children, the whole English curriculum, 1:1 reading and reciprocal reading sessions when making their assessment judgements.
There should be a weekly reading comprehension lesson in Years 2-6. By following the reading comprehension scheme children should develop their skills for analysing texts in particular, their inference skills. Children in years 2-6 have reading comprehension books.
Children working at 2W or below need to be read with 1:1 and this should be recorded in the class’s reading folder. Children who are working above this should be having a reciprocal reading session each week. All reading done with the children should be recorded in the comprehensive class reading folder.
In Foundation Stage and Year 1 phonic sessions happen at least three times a day. There are also phonics interventions for KS1 & KS2 in the afternoons. For more detail see the English policy, that can be found at the bottom of the page.
Reciprocal reading is a well-researched method used to develop learners’ reading skills, promote higher order thinking, develop listening and talking, and ensure access to the curriculum for all learners.
Reciprocal reading is not appropriate for children who are at an assessment level of a 2W or below. Children working at or below this level require 1:1 reading with an adult. Children who are working at a 2W+ or above should have at least 1 fifteen-minute reciprocal reading session a week. The techniques should also be reinforced through the novel led curriculum.
The text/book used for the session needs to be at a reading level that the children in the group can read independently and not too easy or too difficult. Use their benchmarking level as a guide. The text use can be from a benchmarking book, a poem, or from a longer novel. It is important that some of the sessions should be based around non-fiction and not just fiction.
When children first begin reciprocal reading sessions at the end of KS1 and the beginning of KS2 it is important that the teacher models the sessions with the children, prompts them and guides them through the sessions. As the children become used to the sessions and learn the roles the teacher should take on more of an observer role.
Reciprocal Reading Session
- Each child in the reading group needs to be assigned a role either predictor, questioner, clarifier, questioner or summariser. The roles need to be recapped briefly each session so that children are clear what is expected of them. The children should only read a small section of a text before pausing and going through each role.
- Have students read a few paragraphs of the assigned text selection. Encourage them to use note-taking strategies such as selective underlining or sticky-notes to help them better prepare for their role in the discussion.
- At the given stopping point, the Summariser will highlight the key ideas up to this point in the reading.
- The Questioner will then pose questions about the selection: Unclear parts, puzzling information, Connections to other concepts already learned etc.
- The Clarifier will address confusing parts and attempt to answer the questions that were just posed or check the definition of certain words.
- The Predictor can offer predictions about what the author will tell the group next or, if it’s a literary selection, the predictor might suggest what the next events in the story will be.
- The roles in the group then switch and the next selection is read. Students repeat the process using their new roles.
- Throughout the process, the teacher’s role is to guide and nurture the students’ ability to use the four strategies successfully within the small group. The teacher’s role is lessened as students develop skill
Subject Policies/PlansEnglish Policy
Mr J Wharin