Subject Leader: Miss Donnelly
English at Caedmon
English at Caedmon is at the heart of all children’s learning and we see reading in particular as the vehicle to understanding all other areas of the curriculum. It enables children both to communicate with others effectively, for a variety of purposes and to examine their own and others’ experiences, feelings and ideas, giving these order and meaning. We celebrate reading and writing through whole school events and enrich experiences by having authors, journalists and illustrators visit school and work with the children.
At Caedmon we want all children to be passionate about reading and writing. We are determined that ALL children will become highly competent readers and writers by the end of their time with us. It is our intention to immerse pupils in the wonders of quality texts to instil a love for reading, a passion for discovery and a confidence to explore their imagination. During their time at Caedmon all children will be exposed to a high-quality education in English. This will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Pupils at Caedmon say English lessons are ‘inspiring, challenging and fun’. They enjoy listening to their teachers read and getting lost in stories. Our reading breakfasts and author visits are something that children talk passionately and enthusiastically about.
In Nursery & Reception, children are supported via a range of activities to develop the motor skills required to be efficient writers. Activities include sessions where children are encouraged to mark make using a variety of materials both in the classroom and beyond. As children progress through EYFS, they receive guidance on letter formation. Displays, prompts, resources and examples of writing can be found throughout the indoor and outdoor classroom environments to promote these skills and motivate pupils.
We have adopted the Literacy Counts scheme of work ‘Read to Write’. This is the teaching of writing through carefully constructed units which leads to improved outcomes for children. The high-quality literature studied paves the way for children to produce their own high-quality pieces of writing across the curriculum.
Writing is taught using a variety of strategies based on concepts of imitation, innovation and invention of model and example texta. When children begin work on a particular writing outcome audience and purpose is highlighted and the children are provided with opportunities to become familiar with the features of the genre by examining samples of writing. They gain an understanding of the language and structural features which, for example, make a story a story!
Children begin to apply the key features they have identified through a range of within including spoken elements and shorter writing tasks. When children progress to producing their own pieces, they have an awareness of the key features, the audience they are writing for and the purpose they are writing for. This enables them to assess their own writing to check that they have included key features.
Many texts link to other areas of the curriculum which helps build a rich curriculum where intent and implementation ensures a positive impact on pupil outcomes and support the links that children make between their learning.
At Caedmon we ensure that every attempt is made to allow our children to gain ‘reading mileage’ This means ensuring that the children have opportunities to read wherever possible, both within reading lessons and across the curriculum.
Opportunities for extending reading mileage are:
How do we teach reading?
Every child experiences high quality reading teaching through: English lessons, phonics/spelling teaching, individual 1-1 reading, whole class shared reading and reading skills lessons.
The teaching of reading varies throughout the school due to the needs of the children. In EYFS and year 1, the teaching of reading is heavily focused on decoding. From year 2 onwards, we explicitly teach reading skills lessons using the ‘Reading Explorers' series. These lessons will supplement the teaching of reading throughout the creative curriculum and text based approach to writing. We also explicitly teach vocabulary.
Our English Curriculum should ensure that:
• Children leave Caedmon with a love of reading. They are able to reference a wide range of different authors, from different literary traditions and genres.
• Children leave Caedmon with a love of writing. They should be able to express their opinions and their creativity in writing that is well structured, clear, technically accurate and interesting to read.
• Children leave Caedmon able to express their opinions verbally; to understand how to engage – and disagree – with others clearly and articulately.
• Children leave CAEDMON having made the best possible progress as a result of consistent, Quality First Teaching and (where appropriate) additional interventions.
• Children leave Caedmon confident to try new things, experiment with their writing, take risks, and continue to expand their experience of reading.
• Children leave Caedmon feeling that their efforts were valued and their opinions heard. That they have had a chance to find their ‘voice’ and were encouraged to use it.