The English Journey
Teachers plan English journeys for their class based on assessment from Educater, children’s interests and writing purposes which are yet to be explored. The objectives are taken directly from the National Curriculum for each year group, however, it may be necessary to take objectives from the year group below to support children with particular concepts. We use objectives from Educater to set targets and these are shared and reviewed with children. We use the ‘metal system’ and assessment for learning to allow children to identify their own level of challenge.
The English journey encompasses skills for reading, grammar, writing, speaking and listening which are woven through exploration of purpose, form and impact on the reader. Writing skills are practised and applied through a learning journey which aims to creatively explore the skills needed to write purposefully. Quality children’s literature forms the centre of our English journeys and children write for a range of purposes which link to these texts to ensure writing is purposeful, meaningful and in context. Our texts link closely to our wider curriculum, where children practise consolidating and applying their skills to a writing in different areas . We use the National Curriculum to teach progressive skills, spellings and grammatical content.
A consistent learning journey is embedded through the school where reading is at the heart. Objectives are taught through a learning journey which includes:
- text exploration (of examples of best practice) to identify structural and language features;
- reading activities- which explore the reading domains;
- skill rehearsal at sentence and text level where grammar is woven through and talk for writing, role play and drama through the initiate sections. During the skill progression and composition stages, shared and modelled writing will feature so that children see teachers as writers and have a deeper understanding of impact can be achieved. Teachers use the three-part lesson approach from 'The Write Stuff' when delivering the skill progression and grammar sessions. A grammar progression has been produced to show expectations for each year group and staff use this to inform planning and the shape of journeys;
- transferring reading into writing and writing for a range of purposes through different forms;
- applying different techniques and understanding the impact a writer can have on an audience through an independent silver write (showing a range of genres and purposes);
- the opportunity to consolidate and apply writing for different purposes;
- learning walls which are updated with each journey to support the children's learning;
- ICT used where it enhances, extends and complements English teaching and learning;
- There is some flexibility within the journey allowing for creativity, for example, the length may vary and certain elements may have more of a focus depending on what will have the most impact on reading and writing.
- Feedback on learning is an expectation throughout all aspects of English and can be through teacher marking, self and peer assessment. Staff have been trained on the use of key word, intervention marking to ensure children are given verbal feedback which can be acted on immediately to move learning forward and to address misconceptions. Stickers are used to inform misconceptions and to challenge learning in line with 'The Write Stuff' symbols used to inform our skills sessions
- We begin teaching reading and writing through a programme of systematic, synthetic phonics using the Letters and Sounds scheme. We use assessment to adapt our teaching to match the emerging needs of early readers and writings
- We use quality books which are finely banded to ensure progressively challenging material- Oxford Reading Tree and Rising Stars form our banded reading books. Past the lime level, children have access to a wide range of children’s literature, including texts from Collins Big Cat, to develop a love of reading, covering a range of exciting authors and topics.
- Reading opportunities are implemented through each English journey and through our Irresistible Learning.
- Activities link closely to the reading domains and are an integral part of the English journey in exploring grammatical features. It is through these reading activities that children are supported in transferring reading into writing.
- 'Bug Club' is also used daily in addition to reading activities explored in the journey to develop children's comprehension and vocabulary understanding. Children follow the Bug Club sessions and record evidence in their Bug Club workbooks (in Key Stage 2).
- In Key Stage 1, children have one discrete session per week in addition to the guided reading opportunities through the English journey, to develop fluency of reading at their appropriate book band. Children are encouraged to develop comprehension of what they read and build on their decoding and reading strategies in context. This time is used for introducing, practising and gathering evidence for the reading of the Common Exception Words in context. Key Stage 1 use the Bug Club teaching resources to support their planning of guided reading.
- We strongly believe in promoting reading for pleasure and therefore children are given opportunities during the day for DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time where they can enjoy a range of reading material which may be different to their reading book.