Here at Walsh Memorial Infant School, our primary goal is for all of our children to develop a passion for reading and writing that will last a lifetime and to develop a rich vocabulary that enables them to clearly articulate their thoughts, ideas and emotions into adulthood. We aim for all of our children to become confident and age appropriately literate in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, so that these fundamental skills can underpin and enrich learning and experiences across the curriculum and in their wider lives. Our teachers closely monitor vulnerable groups of learners, and recognise and appreciate pupils’ differing starting points upon entry to each year group. Progress is measured in line with these, so that the unique progress of all children can be celebrated. We strive for children of all abilities and backgrounds to become independent learners who are able to feel the satisfaction of personal success in English.
All children read to an adult in school at least twice a week, with additional reading practice for Pupil Premium and SEN pupils being a high priority so as to promote progress that is in line with their peers. ‘Guided Reading’ sessions take place in all year groups and reading journals will now be introduced a year earlier, in Year One , as a result of NFER tests and PM Benchmarking results. Daily ‘Quiet Reading’ sessions take place across the school where children are immersed in an extensive range of literary types, as books and reading activities are rotated throughout the week. During their time with us, our children will experience World Book Days, library and theatre visits, parent readers and reading challenges to further foster a love of literature.
Across the EYFS and Key Stage One, all children receive daily English and Phonics lessons. Teachers reflect upon whether our units of work are inspirational, demonstrate clear progression and are supporting the needs of current pupils, whilst satisfying the National Curriculum Framework. Formative and Summative assessments and end of year pupil questionnaires inform this and planning is then regularly amended accordingly. English Learning Walls in classrooms prompt and support children’s thinking, learning and independence in lessons. More recently, we have further embedded the importance of a rich vocabulary for all through our ‘Word Aware’ project.
We have developed a ‘Green Pen’ developmental marking policy whereby the marking of children’s writing is made purposeful, encourages independence and is time effective for teachers and teaching assistants. This initiative allows teachers to consolidate children’s learning in Phonics and encourages self-editing and ownership of personal targets.
We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children and constantly seek ways to provide them with the tools to do so, for example, through phonics workshops, vocabulary lists, reading bookmarks, home reading diaries, phonics sound lists, curriculum learning maps, Friday Friends, termly targets, open mornings and providing opportunities for parental feedback and ideas.
Through book trawls, assessment and data analysis, progress in English at our School is clear to see, with our data mostly being in line with or above National Averages. Children develop transferable skills that are embedded across the curriculum and through appropriately scaffolded tasks, pupils of all abilities are able to work independently, enhancing their self-esteem. Whilst our data is pleasing, the real win for us is the high level of pupil engagement and the positive, can-do attitude towards English expressed by our pupils, with 100% of children expressing enjoyment for their English lessons in an end of year questionnaire. Parents and carers have a good understanding of how to support their children at home.
|Autumn||Labels and captions News writing||Handa’s Surprise||Stories with familiar settings Oliver’s Vegetables||Instructions||Traditional Tales||The Christmas Story||Christmas Rhyming|
|Spring||Literacy from film
Baboon on the moon
|Narrative stories from a range of cultures – patterned language||Skills verb and noun endings||Non-chronological reports – Aliens||The Easter Story|
|Summer||Alphabetical Order and Dictionary Work||Non-fiction stories about fantasy worlds space super heroes and dinosaurs||Poems on a theme||Non-fiction information texts
All about animals
|Looking forward Fact Files|
|Autumn||Instructions||Dogger – familiar settings||Traditional Tales with a twist||Recount||Major Author||Christmas Poetry|
|Spring||Major Author||Katie Morag||Mock SATS||Dragonology – non chronological report||GFOL Diary||Recount trip|
|Summer||Ahlbergs unit||Character description||Lighthouse Keepers Lunch||Dangle|