“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”
– Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie
English at St Peter’s Primary School
Our English Curriculum is driven by a deep rooted passion for high quality texts. These texts are used as a stimulus to drama, to discussion, to debate, to explore ideas, to expand vocabulary, to improve reading comprehension and writing skills. A daily Whole Class Guided Reading session allows children to explore fiction and non-fiction texts under the guidance of the class teacher. Driven by high quality texts and opportunities for talk, writing skills develop. Grammar, punctuation and spelling are taught discretely within English lessons.
Further detail on the way in which we teach English at St Peter’s is found below.
For each unit of work (key text) the children are expected to produce at least two pieces of high quality writing. There are three essential components in the way we teach writing at St Peter’s Primary. These are the deconstruction, e-plan and success criteria.
Deconstruction: The children analyse a quality piece of text of the same genre as the piece they themselves will write. This will be a teacher written piece of extremely high quality.
E-plan: Having gained a clear understanding of the genre, the children now plan their writing using the e-plan format.
Success criteria: A triangular success criteria enables the children to take ownership of a piece and have a clearer understanding of the steps to success. After each writing session, children ensure that they have assessed their writing against the criteria and ticked off areas that they have met.
Spelling will be taught using the statutory spelling lists and agreed spelling strategies.
GPS is embedded throughout EVERY English lesson, ensuring that the correct terminology is in constant use e.g. adverbial opener as opposed to ‘ly’ opener. Each key text has a GPS focus.
At St Peter’s Primary School reading is a vital part of all children’s learning and progress.
The schools main reading scheme is ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ however this is supplemented with other schemes including: Project X and Graphic Novels. All books are colour banded which ensures appropriate challenge is provided for all children. Children leave St Peters as confident, competent readers with a love of reading. The reading scheme across school is constantly evolving and as a result children are provided with books that not only challenge but also interest them and encourage a love of reading.
Phonics, is an important daily lesson in each class from the EYFS through to Year 1. The school follows the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme which develops the children’s ability to hear, discriminate, recognise and write the sounds .Phonic work is combined with the school’s structured reading scheme to develop reading skills.
Every year in June, the Year One pupils take the National Phonic Screening check. The children are expected to reach a benchmark level. Parents are provided with a preparation pack to support their children in readiness for this assessment. Our parents are excellent at supporting the school phonics and reading homework.
Reading with adults at school:
EYFS- Chn read at least once a week with an adult.
KS 1- Chn read at least once a week with an adult.
Whole Class Guided Reading
We devote a lot of time to Guided Reading and it is therefore imperative that these sessions are purposeful and impactful. Guided Reading takes place at least 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes with an explicit focus each day on each area of reading comprehension. Teachers expertly model the comprehension process whilst using targeted questioning to deepen understanding.
Each week, each child is to receive spellings as homework, focusing on words from the statutory spelling lists. At the beginning of the following week, children should be tested on these words; this should be evidenced in their Learning Journals or Skills Books.
Reading at home
Children must be reading at least five times during the week. Daily reading should be incentivised using a whole school reward system. Those children who haven’t read the requisite amount, stay inside and are read a high quality, engaging key text by a class teacher or peer.