English

'English is a complex subject that combines the disciplines of English language and literature. Studying English is vital to understanding the rest of the curriculum, as well as for educational success beyond school. But more than this, English allows pupils to explore the power and beauty of literature and language.'

OFSTED English review, May 2022

 

English is taught across our school in an engaging and stimulating way, using exciting stories and relevant texts (which are often linked to our topics), drama and lots of talk. We give children the opportunity to be reflective and share their own ideas in a comfortable environment, as well as developing the children’s resilience when they are asked to improve and up level their own work.

A rich vocabulary- Developing a rich vocabulary is fundamental to children's success within all areas of the curriculum so at Newbrough we give lots of time and thought to this; We have vocabulary books that the children in KS2 use to collect exciting new words and their meanings as they hear them within lessons- they can then use them when writing their own work. You will also find relevant and challenging vocabulary written all around the classroom across the key stages.  Our classroom walls are working walls and we use this space to capture words that we can use. Making this visual means the exposure to new vocabulary is much higher. 

Developing independent reading skills - Each day all children have the time to read both independently and in group situations. Children have access to a large selection of books to take home daily as well as a well-resourced library to explore. Phonics is taught to Year 1 discretely every day, using our phonics scheme Little Wandle. Children learn to read sounds and apply them in their written work. Early Years focus on learning the sounds in an interactive way, following our phonics scheme. This will eventually enable the children to use their phonetic knowledge to decode words.

Discover new genres and texts - We give all children the experience to discover different texts to widen their vocabulary range, as well as exploring different genres. This is done throughout English lessons and topic lessons. Teachers also share stories regularly with children, as a whole class, at the end of the day. This gives them the experience of accessing stories which may be too difficult for them to read independently and will encourage discussion around the text. Sharing a wide range of stories helps to spark the children's imagination and stimulate curiosity.

Develop spelling, punctuation and grammar skills – Spelling, grammar and punctuation skills are taught during English and key skills sessions across the week for children in Years 2-6. There is a different spelling focus each week and punctuation and grammar is taught throughout English lessons in a way that makes it relevant for their learning- in the context of their current work. 

Be proud of their own achievements in English- We regularly give children the time and space to share their written work and develop their speaking and listening skills by asking them to read out and perform work for others to hear in our weekly celebration assemblies. Great writing is displayed throughout school on our walls, giving children a chance to see their impressive work being admired by others. 

Inspiring others - In Class 4, our Upper Key Stage 2 pupils have the opportunity to become Reading Ambassadors- they take on the role of responsibility and choose a book to read to another class on a weekly basis. The younger children love to hear their older peers read aloud to them and the weekly sessions allow the ambassadors to build a relationship with the younger children and recommend and review books together whilst inspiring the younger readers. 

 

 

Helping your child at home-  There are many ways you can help your child to develop and grow their skills in English. Listed below are just a few ideas which you may like to try. Find what works for your child and your family. 

Bedtime stories- Reading aloud to your child is one of the best ways you can support your child in all areas of their learning. Sharing a story, nightly, before bed will increase their understanding of the world, expose them to new and interesting ideas and vocabulary and bring up great topics for discussion. Making it part of their bedtime routine will foster a love of reading that can last a lifetime. Even children in Year 6 love being read to and an adult reading a more challenging chapter book aloud to them will enable to access stories which they maybe couldn't read themselves yet. 

Playing games- There are countless games you can play which use the skills needed to be successful in English.

Here are a few of our favourites: 'I spy', scrabble, crosswords, matching pairs, wordsearches and jigsaws all help children with their English skills.

Putting days of the week and month in order, using alphabet tiles to get the alphabet in the correct order starting A-Z, then backwards and then working from M to fill in the previous and next letters all work on the sequential memory- a key skill for spelling and reading. 

Talk about it- When your child has read their reading book to you, ask them to retell the story in their own words, ask them how a character might be feeling, how they know that and get them to predict what might happen next. Use a dictionary to find the meaning of words they don't know yet and ask them to rate the book they read- with reasons for their answers. 

Model it- Children learn from watching others- When you read together, take time to do the silly voices, put expression into your voice and show them how different characters might walk and talk. If they see you having fun with it, they'll want to try it too. 

 

If you need any book recommendations please see the upcoming book lists for ideas of age appropriate books available at local libraries or to buy. The list will be sent home termly in book bags.