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 has recently revised its reading scheme (we use the Oxford Reading Scheme), increasing the provision with a range of colourful and attractive books that have more emphasis on phonics (sounding out). Our reception class uses Jolly Phonics to start the children on learning sounds and phonemes. In the KS 1 and 2 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 class 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 have an active Library club at lunchtime and have some very enthusiastic 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. Please see the attached photographs.
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 English, each class closely studies a number of high quality texts from which their writing is developed.
We also encourage the reading of poetry and borrowing of poetry books.
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 and so on- 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. Non- fiction genres are likewise distributed and are based on Pie Corbett's seven basic storylines. These can be found in an attachment enclosed. 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 are often 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. Please see the attached writing curriculum.
The planning of a unit takes on the same format, though this may be adapted to suit the age group but includes Foundation Stage where writing skills are already developing. It is closely linked to a class reader, which has been specially selected to interest, challenge and further our children's understanding of text and grammar. The class reader, 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. These lessons will have a clear objective and steps to success so the children know what is expected from them. These may revolve around a point of grammar, which has been taken from the expectations of the 2014 New Curriculum or examine the plot, character development, use of language and author's intent.
We encourage children to 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.
Spelling begins in the Foundation stage, where children begin their understanding of the written word by using the system of Jolly Phonics. This evolves into the Letters and Sounds scheme of work as outlined in the attachment below. In this document are many teaching strategies, which support the teaching of spelling. Throughout Foundation and Key Stage 1, an interactive
programme called Phonics Play is used, which is closely linked to the Letters and Sounds scheme of work and can be used on all the Smartboards in the classrooms. At the end of Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2, the document, Support for Spellings, is a useful guide to the teaching of spellings. All spellings patterns and words have been taken from the 2014 National Curriculum but may be augmented with words from topics and other areas of the Curriculum.
Phonics is taught daily at Foundation and at Key Stage 1, and is later used in conjunction with spelling patterns.
All children are given a spelling list to learn at home, which could be in the form of words in a word tin, words associated with a reading book or higher in the school a list of words which exhibit a particular spelling pattern. Spellings rules are taught at school during a discreet teaching session. It is expected that children practise their spellings daily at home until they are learnt. There are many ways in which parents and guardians may help with this at home:
Encourage your child to put the word into a sentence , so they understand its meaning and use.
Further explore the spelling rule.
Remember the spelling by its shape, size etc.
break words into sounds (c-a-t)
break words into syllables (re- mem-ber)
break it into suffixes and prefixes ( encourage+ment, dis + satisfy)
refer to the word in the same family (music, musician, musical etc.)
refer to words within words (Parliament - I am )
refer to etymology (tri+cycle = 3 + wheels)
learn by sight- look, cover, write,check
say it in a funny way
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. Please see the attached Lunsford Handwriting scheme. We have brought out a system of certificates and pen licences to encourage good handwriting which can be seen in an attachment below. Handwriting is taught on a daily basis at Key Stage 1, three to twice a week during Key Stage 2, reducing this to an intervention strategy at year 6, if poor handwriting is still an issue.
We expect to see neat, joined up, regular writing in all areas of the curriculum.