At Chilton, we want our children to leave school being able to read and write in any subject, have a love of reading and an understanding of our literacy heritage that continues from high school through to adulthood. We want children to have an interest in words and their meanings and be able to use these in a range of contexts. We want our children to be able to write coherently and be able to write for a variety of purposes and audiences. We believe that our children should be able to speak clearly and coherently and be able to discuss their views and opinions.
Chilton has weekly vocabulary assemblies, which look at the etymology and morphology of words and oracy assemblies that give the children an opportunity to practice discussion skills. Vocabulary assemblies focus on emotions, cultural capital and idioms. Whilst oracy assemblies focus on local and global issues, as well as promoting British values and our school values. The children are given sentences starters to help them speak in full sentences and to guide their conversation.
English learning builds systematically through the school, where children are learning age appropriate content through quality texts by a range of authors, actual experiences, cross-curricular links or videos. We use well sequenced schemes of work to ensure this.
For early reading and writing, we use a systematic, synthetic phonics scheme (Read Write Inc) so children can understand and acquire spelling patterns and have the ability to decode words. Accelerated Reader is used to support and monitor independent reading as children progress through the school. We make sure our children are exposed to a range of; stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction texts, in turn, they understand specific audiences and purpose. Through all of this, we hope to create a positive reading and writing culture for all our children to become invested in.
Guided reading is taught daily as a class. A range of text types are used throughout the school year, some of these make cross-curricular links to what is being taught in other lessons to encourage children to link their knowledge and understanding. We focus on vocabulary and prosidy in these lessons to encourage reading fluency, as well as using a range of question types supported by Jane Considine’s Hooked on Books.
Early readers are supported through Read Write Inc to learn spelling rules, before moving onto spelling lessons following the National Curriculum. A rule is often taught for a week, with spelling homework being sent out weekly to match, the children are then tested on these words. There are ‘checkpoints’ throughout the sequence of teaching with tests practising what the children have learnt so far focussing on the rules and particular common exception words. Teaching methods are methodical and give opportunities to revisit words and spelling rules.
At Chilton, we use Jane Considine’s method of ‘sentence stacking’ throughout our writing lessons. Experience lessons focus on gaining knowledge and familiarity of what we will be writing about, these may include class discussions or researching. Sentence stacking lessons are split into three parts, focusing on a different literary device for each part. Each part starts with an idea, video, acting, or a different activity to get children thinking. The children are then asked to give and write down ideas from what they’ve found, teachers encourage strong vocabulary whilst gathering suggestions. These ideas are then used to create a sentence. Children are encouraged to ‘deepen the moment’ with another challenge for each three parts. These lessons are informed by teacher assessment.
When children leave Chilton, they are experienced and capable readers and writers, who are well equipped for the rest of education and adulthood. Children can read and write in a range of genres. They are interested in language and will acquire a varied vocabulary. Children can speak and listen to others, discussing both learning and everyday life.
The impact of the English curriculum can be seen through:
- Teacher assessments
- Phonics data
- Accelerated Reader assessments and data
- Termly reading assessments
- Writing progression displays
- Pupil book studies
- Children’s books