We aim to engender a love of the English language and a lifelong enjoyment of reading and writing. We want Lunsford children to be confident and knowledgeable speakers, readers and writers, so we provide specific language learning opportunities as well as developing the skills of grammar, spelling, punctuation, style and composition across the curriculum. These essential life skills, once mastered, open a world of opportunities. We also want our children to have a neat handwriting style and an awareness of good presentation as we feel these are also essential life skills, in spite of today's technological world. We follow the 2014 National Curriculum.
We encourage reading at all levels and hold various events throughout the year such as Book Fairs and reading afternoons that are designed to promote books and reading.
The school uses the several reading schemes and these are book banded into colours and stages. An example that the scheme we use is the Oxford Reading Scheme. In EYFS we have increased the provision of books with a range of colourful and attractive books with no words to encourage book talk and also invested in further books for KS1 and KS2 that have more emphasis on phonics (sounding out). Our reception class uses Jolly Phonics to start the children on learning sounds and phonemes. In KS1 classes we use Letters and Sounds.
All children have access to our school library, where there are lots of different book genres and types. We are currently in the process of updating this space and environment to make it even more welcoming and supportive to the children’s love of reading at Lunsford.
Children have a timetabled session in the Library when they can do this as well as having this opportunity to borrow books to read and share at home. We are developing an active Library club and have some budding pupil librarians who ensure children's reading experiences are enhanced by changing displays, reading to children, changing books, organising shelves, writing book reviews and so on. Within each classroom there is a bookcorner to foster the love of reading with a range of different genres, which we are currently updating. In addition, there are small libraries in each class, from which children can also borrow books.
Children are heard regularly by an adult in class and are given opportunities during the day to read for pleasure. We require children of all ages to be heard regularly at home and for this to be recorded in a home contact book.
Guided Group reading sessions allow small groups of children to read, study, discuss and enjoy a book in a quiet place with an adult. The frequency and length of sessions varies with age groups.
In the delivery of the curriculum, each class closely studies a number of high quality text from which their reading and writing is developed.
We also encourage the reading of poetry and borrowing of poetry books.
Current texts being used in the classroom in EYFS and KS1 are the Grufalo in Panda, The Snail and the whale in Elephant & Bob- Man on the moon in Giraffe. In KS2, books are as follows, Tales of Wisdom and wonder (Lion), Fox (Koala), The last wild (Tiger) & London Eye mysteries (Zebra).
We teach the skills of writing: spelling, grammar, punctuation, genres, through the use of good quality texts and wherever possible linked to topics studied in other areas of the curriculum such as Fairtrade, Volcanoes and Victorians.
The teaching of the different genres (information, persuasion, instructions, letter writing & recounts) are distributed and planned for across the age groups. This is done on age appropriate basis as well as avoiding repetition and overloading the curriculum.
The focused text forms the curriculum map for English with other areas of this subject (SPAG/Phonics) being taught discretely by the teachers. This schedule does not preclude any other types of writing that may occur out of a spontaneous event such as a sudden snow fall or a visit from a Dog's charity or a visit to a place such as Pizza Express, whereby the teacher would like to capture the "moment" of interest and enthusiasm of the children.
Poetry is read, taught and written as separate units to the above and can be linked to other areas of the curriculum. During the year classes entertain the whole school with their poetry recitals in our Friday celebration assemblies as well as Show assemblies to parents.
Using the Power of Reading program, texts and sequences is in the early stage of use in our school. It is closely linked to a focus text which has been specially selected to interest, engage, challenge and further our children's understanding of text and grammar. The focus text, which may be a chapter book or a picture book, has a carefully structured sequence of lessons built around it. Please see the attachment for the books currently studied in each year group for this first term. This will be updated when all texts have been choosen. These lessons will have a clear objective and steps to success so the children know what is expected from them. These sequences are following the expectations and meet the end of year objectives as set out in the National Curriculum.
We encourage children to reflect, edit and polish their work as well as helping each other in assessment. A purple pen is used to improve work either from the child's own initiative or as a result of peer or teacher marking. Dictionaries and thesauruses are always on hand as well as a variety of word mats, crib sheets and displays in the classroom. Children must see that writing is crafted and not just written. Final copies are put on display as a record of the class' achievements.
As part of our continued drive to raise standards in English, we are placing a large focus on spelling throughout the school. We now follow a programme called No Nonsense Spelling, which will be delivered in Year 2 to Year 6. In Reception and Year 1, children will continue to learn phonics and follow Letters and Sounds. No Nonsense Spelling focuses on the teaching of spelling, embracing knowledge of spelling conventions- patterns and rules; but integral to the teaching is the opportunity to promote the learning of spellings, including statutory words, common exception words and words that children personally find difficult. You may at times see words that you consider ‘easy’ for your child on their personal spelling list. This is due to your child possibly knowing the spelling but unable to apply the correct spelling in writing. It may also be the case that words remain on a personal list for little while. Again this will be due to them not being spelt correctly in their work. The personal spelling lists will be created in school from the child’s work. I am sure many parents/carers enjoy working with their children to complete their spellings. If at any time you would like to practise more words at home, you are encouraged to look at these spelling lists.
The focus word lists mentioned are available below in the documents section.
Year 2 word list
Year 3 & 4 word list
Year 5 & 6 word list
See below for further information about why we're using No Nonsense spelling. (Parent information.)
Spelling strategies are also available as a link below.
We encourage all our children to have handwriting, which is neat, legible and a source of pride.
We teach an adapted form of the cursive style (based on the Nelson scheme) from Foundation class. Our Lunsford Handwriting guide will be added to this page soon for your reference. We have brought out a system of certificates and pen licences to encourage good handwriting across our school. Handwriting is regularly reducing this to an intervention strategy at upper KS2, if poor handwriting is still an issue.
We expect to see neat, joined up, regular writing in all areas of the curriculum.
English Subject Lead is Mrs Rachel Tervet (Y2- Giraffe Class)
She can be contacted through the office and welcomes your thoughts and enquiries.