At South Farnborough Junior School, English and the teaching of English is the foundation of our curriculum. Our main aim is to ensure every single child becomes primarily literate and progresses in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Staff at South Farnborough feel it is seminal to highlight and be aware of the differing groups of learners and vulnerable children in their class. Once this information is acquired, teachers can plan and teach personalised English lessons, which focus on the particular needs of each child. We recognise that each child has their own starting point upon entry to every year group and progress is measured in line with these starting points to ensure every child can celebrate success.
In addition to being a daily discrete lesson, English is at the cornerstone of the entire curriculum. It is embedded within all our lessons and we strive for a high level of English for all. Through using high-quality texts, immersing children in vocabulary-rich learning environments and ensuring new curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met, the children at South Farnborough will be exposed to a language heavy, creative and continuous English curriculum which will not only enable them to become primary literate, but will also develop a love of reading, creative writing and purposeful speaking and listening.
With these aims in mind, we have ensured that half an hour of discrete reading teaching happens daily across a two-week planner. This ensures that reading is explicitly taught every day and that vulnerable groups can be highlighted and supported appropriately to further ensure progression, and that specific year group skills are secure. Lesson are planned based upon appropriate texts and allows the children to learn comprehension skills but also independence, a love of wider reading and exposure to rich vocabulary, which is absolute key in all sessions for all learners. Reading is not only celebrated in classrooms at South Farnborough, around school and in our library, you will find displays which celebrate authors and children’s favourite books to promote a love of reading and complement children’s learning.
As we believe consistency and well-taught English is the bedrock of a valuable education, at South Farnborough we ensure that the teaching of writing is purposeful, robust and shows clear progression for all children. In line with the new national curriculum, we ensure that each year group is teaching the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for that age group. As well as teaching the objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in engaging writing opportunities and ensure that most children are achieving the objectives at the expected level and that some children can achieve at a greater depth standard. In this sense, assessment of writing is also more fluid as teachers can assess against a set framework. All year groups use the same format for assessing writing, which have been produced in line with the end of Key Stage assessment frameworks as published by the Department for Education.
In order to expose children to a variety of genres which helps to utilise and embed the writing skills, teachers use learning journeys. Each journey is designed to show progress, teach the pertinent year group objectives, apply and consolidate these skills, and develop vocabulary. Writing is taught through the use of a quality text, which exposes the children to inference, high-level vocabulary, a range of punctuation and characterisation. Each text is purposefully selected in order to promote a love of reading, engagement and high quality writing from each child.
Below are examples from each year group where children will have the opportunity to use their English skills across the wider curriculum:
|Year 3||Year 4||Year 5||Year 6|
Diary entry from the POV of a child in the Stone Age.
Information leaflet/non-chronological report on volcanoes.
Non-chronological report of a chosen national park.
Newspaper report about the Viking raid on Lindisfarne.
Write an explanation text about mummification.
Biography of Samuel Cody.
Information leaflet/fact file of the Amazon River
Persuasive writing Athens vs Sparta.
Information text/non-chronological report on the Maya civilisation.
Contrasting diary entries. A child who lives in Hampshire and a child who lives in Florida.
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly, children become more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and the manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross-curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific punctuation and grammar objectives. We hope that as children move on from us to further their education and learning, that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.