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Brushwood Junior School

English

Reading inc. Phonics:

Intent:

At Brushwood Junior School, we recognise the crucial importance of delivering an English curriculum which not only provides pupils with fundamental skills for their future, but also develops creativity, imagination and a love for learning.

We intend to:

  • promote an appreciation and love of reading;

  • enable pupils to read fluently and critically;

  • encourage pupils to listen attentively with understanding and empathy;

  • inspire pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction.

 

Implementation:

Pupils have frequent opportunity to both enjoy reading and develop their reading skills through independent reading time, whole class guided reading lessons and reading within other curriculum subjects.

 

Independent reading:

When pupils start Brushwood in Year 3, we receive information from the feeder schools about each child’s phonics ability and we make further assessments of their phonics knowledge in order to identify their word reading skills. If a child has some gaps within their phonics knowledge, and they are not yet able to fully decode words when reading, they will be placed on colour banded books which are decodable at their level. They will also receive individual or small group phonics intervention using our GAPS scheme, which provides precision teaching of the gaps within their phonics knowledge. This intervention is in addition to age-related teaching so that pupils’ gaps do not get wider. In addition, our whole class spelling programme, Essential Spellings, revises key Year 2 phonics and has revision of sounds built into its sequences, giving these pupils extra practise in order to become secure in their phonics.

 

For pupils who are secure with their phonics knowledge, the focus of their reading ability is on developing their comprehension skills. After an initial assessment, pupils are given a reading level from which they can self-select their own books which have been banded by the Accelerated Reader scheme. Upon completion of a book, pupils take a quiz which tests their understanding of what they have read, and allows teachers to track individual progress. Regular monitoring ensures that pupils are being suitably challenged and are reading books which they can access. Children really enjoy doing the quizzes which also helps to develop a love of reading.

 

Furthermore, our new library, separate to the above, is available to all pupils regularly where they can take out any book of their choosing to enjoy. All pupils are encouraged to read their books both in school and at home, sharing them with their friends and family members.

 

Guided reading:

In both English and guided reading lessons, pupils are given the chance to read and listen to a class novel or extracts from various genres. Reading is modelled, shared and discussed. Teachers use VIPERS (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and summarising) to focus their questioning. This use of book talk, helps to improve the children’s comprehension skills and enhance their enjoyment of reading.

 

Current enrichment opportunities for reading include visits from local authors, travelling book fairs and world book day celebrations.

Writing:

Intent:

At Brushwood Junior School, we recognise the crucial importance of delivering an English curriculum which not only provides pupils with fundamental skills for their future, but also develops creativity, imagination and a love for learning.

We intend to:

  • enable pupils to communicate effectively and confidently in standard English;

  • assist pupils in being able to write for a range of audiences and purposes using spelling, punctuation and grammar accurately and confidently;

  • teach children to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in KS2;

  • encourage children to use joined-up handwriting which is legible.

 

Implementation:

In September, Brushwood became a Power of Reading school where English lessons are delivered through the study of high quality texts. The Power of Reading scheme supports our approach to promoting an enjoyment of reading and writing, whilst developing speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Pupils have the opportunity to engage in drama and discussion linked to the themes and characters within the book, before rehearsing writing skills within a range of genres.

A whole class approach is used with appropriate differentiation of support, task or outcome to allow all pupils to achieve. Children have the opportunity to share and assess their own and each other’s writing, before having time to edit and improve their work.

Using the Power of Reading scheme alongside the curriculum map for writing, helps teachers to ensure that there is a clear progression of knowledge and skills across the school. Success criteria is used to support pupils in understanding how to achieve, and working walls are used to support and display their learning.

Opportunities for enrichment include writing competitions throughout the year and termly writing awards, visits from local authors and drama performances.

Impact:

The impact of our curriculum is monitored through:

  • Outcomes of KS2 tests
  • In school attainment tracking
  • Pupil voice 
  • Subject leader monitoring - lesson visits, book scrutinies, teacher voice, actions plans and governor reports

 

Our approaches to reading and writing ensure that all of our pupils are: provided with the essential skills needed for later life, supported to develop creativity and imagination and encouraged to foster a love for learning within English. Both internal and external data demonstrates a positive picture for both progress and attainment within reading and writing which is in line with national expectations. 

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