"Southdale CE VC Junior School"
Southdale CE VC Junior School English Policy Southdale Junior School English Policy March 2012 Renewal date: Spring 2015 Southdale Junior School is a Kaleidoscope of enrichment activities which makes the school ‘buzz’ with interest and enthusiasm. (OFSTED, 2008) At Southdale Junior School our aim is to help students develop a passion for the English language through both the spoken and written word. Through language we don’t just communicate our knowledge, ideas and feelings, but we also structure and make sense of our experiences; in this sense, language is a tool for both our thinking and learning. Literacy is a fundamental life skill, indeed a prerequisite for educational and social progress. Confidence in basic language skills enables children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively as they become enthusiastic and critical readers. The acquisition of language skills is of the utmost importance, therefore the teaching of all aspects English is given a high priority. We seek to ensure that all children achieve their full potential and we strive to support and increase access to excellent teaching, which inevitably leads to exciting and successful learning. Aims and objectives: We aim to develop the students’ ability by giving them the skills to: Listen and to take account of their listeners Speak clearly, audibly and with purpose Read confidently and independently, reflecting enthusiastically on a wide variety of challenging texts Write effectively for a wide range of purposes in a meaningful way, including clear communication of their ideas, views and feelings Express themselves creatively and imaginatively as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as of non-fiction and media texts Gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins Use their knowledge, skills and understanding in speaking, reading and writing across a range of different situations and subject areas Southdale Junior School English Policy March 2012 Renewal date: Spring 2015 Teaching and learning styles We use a vast array of teaching and learning styles in our English lessons in order to meet the needs of all our students. Our aims are to develop pupils’ knowledge, skills, and understanding through daily lessons in which the students are given regular experience of speaking and listening, reading, focused word or sentence work and a wealth of writing activities. We seek to provide suitable, exciting and stimulating learning experiences for all our pupils, closely matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. All staff have very high expectations so that all students can achieve their full potential. Our support staff team work effectively alongside teachers, targeting groups or individual pupils in order to achieve this. At Southdale we teach English (a minimum of 5 hours English is taught each week) through our own mixed ability classes. All students are given the opportunity to use ICT in English lessons wherever it is appropriate and enhances their learning. Wherever possible, we encourage the children to use and apply their learning in other areas of the curriculum. The interactive whiteboard is used intrinsically within the lesson which allows pupils to interact and engage with the task in hand at a high level. ‘Language through Literature’ is embedded practice in all year groups, where a chosen novel is creatively used and brought to life in order to teach many of the learning objectives required by the National Curriculum - through a broad cross curricular approach. E.g. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne enhances our WWII topic; also Street Child by Berlie Doherty enhances life in Victorian times and Beware the King by Stewart Ross, enhances learning of Tudor times. Speaking and Listening We work towards giving our children an increased confidence in speaking and listening, whilst at the same time developing a wider and interesting range of vocabulary. We aim to encourage the children to: Clearly express their ideas, explain their thinking and articulate feelings Adapt their speech for a wide range of circumstances including collaboration in paired and group discussions as well as the opportunity to speak to a larger audience Use varied and technical language features Speak for a range of purposes e.g. to narrate, to analyse, to explain, to reflect and evaluate etc. Listen with understanding and respond sensitively and appropriately Southdale Junior School English Policy March 2012 Renewal date: Spring 2015 We aim to give our pupils a wealth of purposes for speaking and listening e.g. Describing events, observations and experiences Giving reasons for actions Explaining ideas and opinion in discussion and responding to others Planning, prediction and investigation in small groups Presentation to different audiences Reading aloud with fluidity and expression Imaginative and role play Drama Hot seating School Council / Enterprise Group / House Captains Filming School Radio Through our weekly SEAL lessons and Circle Time the children are given the opportunity, and are encouraged, to share thoughts and ideas in a safe and caring environment. Reading Regular monitoring and assessment of reading ensures that all children are being challenged at an appropriate level. We endeavour to promote our students’ skills so that they are able to read fluently, accurately and with understanding, as well as develop a passion for the written word. With this in mind, we use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme which provides a selection of non-fiction and fiction books, written by well-known and popular children’s authors. Each teacher keeps reading records for those pupils on the reading scheme to chart progress and enable the teacher to put in place interventions, if needed. We ensure and encourage many opportunities for reading including: The Shared Reading Project (pupils in Y6 read with pupils in Y3) Paired reading Individual reading Track reading (whole class reads a sentence aloud) Guided reading Home/school reading School library Shared reading (whole class) Topic book reading (with support from the teachers’ library) Online reading through Reading Eggspress Southdale Junior School English Policy March 2012 Renewal date: Spring 2015 We teach the children to read using the ‘searchlight’ approach outlined in the National Literacy Strategy where the pupils are equipped to call on ‘cues’ – word recognition, phonics, graphemes (sounds and spellings) and knowledge of context. This helps pupils to segment and blend words for both reading and spelling. Pupils are taught to: Recognise phonic blends and letter strings De-code new words using previously learned phonics. Year 3, continues the work from KS1 and intensive phonics; work may be required to improve spelling and reading for some children throughout the school Use a reading journal for the children in Years 3, 4 and 5 to take home for reading in the evening with parents, which is filled in by whoever has heard them read Use a reading diary to write up different types of book evaluations Use comprehension tests, such as Rising Stars and QCA assessments (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority) to encourage reading and writing skills (as well as aiding assessment) Develop an understanding of different non-fiction genres Acquire research skills - e.g. understanding alphabetical order or using contents and index pages Probe deeper into inferential understanding of authors’ intentions Spelling Spelling is taught in English lessons or as a separate lesson outside the English hour, using the Brodie spelling scheme which is progressive through the key stage. We also use vocabulary current to other areas of the curriculum e.g. science, history, geography, maths etc. Spellings are taken home to learn and tested on a weekly basis. Differentiated spellings are provided for less able pupils. Writing We aim for the children to be able to:- Produce independent pieces of writing using correct sentence structure, punctuation and style Write in a wide variety of genres and contexts using the appropriate form, grammar and verb tenses Develop imaginative skills, inventiveness and critical awareness Show an interest in words, for their meanings and the delight in using them during extended writing Develop a growing everyday vocabulary as well as a suitable technical vocabulary to give responses of increasing maturity, both orally and written Become aware of the work of a range of authors, poets and playwrights Write expressing a viewpoint Use compositional skills e.g. drafting and editing in order to produce a quality piece of writing SPACVACPASS is used as a scaffold for students during independent tasks Southdale Junior School English Policy March 2012 Renewal date: Spring 2015 At Southdale we have a weekly extended writing session where the pupils have the opportunity to share their understanding of the genre taught and its features that week. Over the year a variety of genres are covered by each year group. In lower school, more time is given to the genre in order to consolidate the children’s’ understanding. In years three and four we aim to cover each genre at least once in the course of the year; in year five and six we aim to cover each genre at least twice. The genres covered are: Poetry, narrative (of different types), description, persuasion (formal letter, poster or leaflet), report (to inform, journal/diary entry, journalistic report), instruction, explanation, recount, play scripts, discussion texts, biography and autobiography. Handwriting We employ a cursive, ’bottom line, upward stroke’ style of handwriting to encourage correct letter formation; this is taught in Yr 3 and practised and maintained throughout the key stage. Marking We employ a whole school marking code for feedback in writing which is used successfully throughout the school, giving continuity of approach. Children also receive oral and written feedback from their teacher, which they can act upon to improve their work. Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation The Ros Wilson writing criteria is used as our main assessment tool to level children’s work Optional SATs for Yrs 3, 4, and 5 are administered in January and May to identify progress or cause for intervention; results are used formatively to give a whole school overview of areas of strength and areas of weakness to inform focused development and improvement During both the Autumn and Spring term writing assessments take place and each child is assessed on two to three pieces of fiction and non-fiction which are moderated primarily by the class teacher. Moderation of work is shared and scrutinised by all teaching staff. Sampled moderation also takes place at the EOY by the Senior Leadership Team Suffolk Reading Test is used by the whole school in September to give an additional measure of reading progress; Year 3 repeat the test in May in order to track pupil progress and to identify any need for additional intervention. Pupils with an identified reading age below their chronological age are targeted for appropriate interventions (see procedure for Dyslexia screening) Southdale Junior School English Policy March 2012 Renewal date: Spring 2015 APP and B Squared resources are used to assess pupils who, due to low ability, are unable to access the QCA test materials Termly progress meetings take place between the year group teachers and the Headteacher English books and work are scrutinised twice annually by the Subject Leader and written and oral feedback is given to the staff An EOY report is written on the standards and achievements in English and, of course, ‘next steps’. This document is given to the Governors for their records. We have two Parents’ Evenings, one in October and the other in April which allow staff to discuss pupil’s progress and celebrate success. If there are any causes for concern on either side, these are discussed as and when needed, in addition to Parents’ Evenings Target Setting and Assessment Colour by Numbers generates targets for each child based in FFT ‘D’ estimates. It is used to track progression and inform staff, pupils and parents of the targets achieved, and to be aimed for Pupils are initially given individual targets for both reading and writing based on their previous EOY assessments. Targets are constantly reviewed and reset at appropriate stages throughout the year Pupils are given genre guidance (e.g. instructions, explanation, recount) at an appropriate level and are encouraged to self-assess against this Investors in Pupils gives pupils the opportunity to set their own targets for reading and writing English Team Mrs E. K. Eccles (Headteacher) Mrs R Donnelly (Subject Leader) Mrs Townend (Subject Curriculum Governor) This document is a statement of the aims, principles and strategies for the teaching and learning of English at Southdale Junior School. It was developed in March 2012 in consultation with staff. It was approved by K Townend, D Bairstow, J Searle, D Wood & J Twiddy, representing the Governing Body on 1.3.12 The Policy will be reviewed during the academic year 2015 Southdale Junior School English Policy March 2012 Renewal date: Spring 2015 Layout conventions: A4 extended writing books to be used weekly and the general English book to be used for all other work. New page for each piece of work Date on the top line, written in full Miss a line after the date Title, underlined WILF: Can I… to be used for each title (e.g. WILF: Can I write complex sentences?) Miss a line to start work Miss a line to differentiate paragraphs Assessment SA = Self Assessment where the child ticks against the Can I title… = I’m not sure = I’m nearly there = I’m confident PA = Peer Assessment where another child comments about a piece of work e.g. a positive comment & suggestion for next steps (signed by the peer assessor) Marking & Feedback Weekly Extended writing: Revised marking code to be used A comment for each extended piece of work e.g. a short positive comment & a comment about next steps Any corrected spellings (max of 4) to be copied out 3 times by the child at the end of the work Highlighters may be used for assessment pieces ~ green for good & orange for errors/improvement General English book: A comment to be written where appropriate The teacher to tick against the child’s own self assessment & title for every piece of work ( , , or ) = the child needs more help = the child is nearly there = the child has confidently achieved the objective e.g. WILF: Can I write complex sentences? (child) (teacher) Constants Southdale Junior School English Policy March 2012 Renewal date: Spring 2015 Each classroom must clearly display the revised marking & handwriting codes & children to have their own copies Southdale Junior School English Policy March 2012 Renewal date: Spring 2015