English at Manor

At Manor, we recognise that our pupils require a greater emphasis on all aspects of English to meet the expectations of the National Curriculum. English skills are taught daily across the school with most children receiving approximately ten hours of English based learning a week.

Spoken Language

At Manor, we recognise that spoken language is very important to our pupils, many of whom speak English as an additional language. Modelling appropriate and expressive speech is an integral part of our teaching, both within English lessons and across the curriculum.
We believe that spoken language skills are an intrinsic part of the writing process. A child needs to be to say a sentence before they can write it. As such, oral rehearsal and communication around writing is carefully planned for throughout the writing process.

Reading

We recognise that reading is a core tool for life and we aim to foster a love of reading in our children. We have identified that children need to be heard reading regularly and be provided with reading opportunities across the curriculum. The school teaches and develops reading through a whole-class approach using a balance of short quality texts (Language and Literacy) and longer texts, such as chapter books. The school further promotes reading by timetabling (3.00-3.15pm) dedicated ‘Drop Everything and Read’ and class novel sessions where teachers read high quality texts to promote a love of reading.

Through reading, pupils are introduced to new vocabulary that can then be used in their own writing and speech. Time is spent discussing vocabulary – including the explicit teaching of unknown or technical vocabulary and investigating double-meaning words, devising strategies to read around a text for sense.
Manor Primary also promotes the use of the local library service. The school actively takes part in special events as part of World Book Day and the summer reading challenges.

Word Reading

Reading is taught discretely at Manor Primary on a daily basis. We use a systematic approach to teach reading using the Ruth Misken model of RWI. Pupils are grouped accordingly to the reading ability across phases. Class teachers have overall responsibility of the teaching of reading within their class, however, a number of teaching assistants and HLTAs are trained to teach RWI and have their own group. The RWI leader oversees all groups and provides on-going support in the delivery.

It reception, focus is on children sounding and blending unfamiliar printed words quickly and accurately. Children are taught:

  • To discriminate between separate sounds in words
  • Grapheme-phoneme correspondences
  • To apply the skill of blending phonemes in order, all through a word to read it
  • To recognise sight vocabulary identified as ‘tricky words’

It is the aim at Manor, that by the end of KS1, all children should be able to decode quickly in order for them to be able to develop the breadth and depth of the reading and become enthusiastic readers. As soon as pupils can decode and read fluently, they are taken off the RWI programme and learn through a range of high quality short and longer texts.

Any pupils that are not making expected progress will be identified through the on-going use of data to inform staff and will receive 1:1 RWI support in the afternoons.

Comprehension

Comprehension skills are taught across the school. In EYFS, children are taught and encouraged how to use a range of texts to find information, how to form their own opinions of a text and share their ideas in a range of situations.
From Year 1 to the end of Key Staff 2, pupils are taught specific skills which enable them to decode meaning of a text and how to form and express their own personal opinions and make comparisons. Teachers use the performance indicators for reading to question pupils and ensure their understanding of a text.

Home reading

All children are provided with a choice of fiction and non-fictions books from the classroom and school library. Classroom bookcases are organised to be easily accessible. Texts linked to topics will also be displayed and made available in classes.

Writing

The key skills of composition, planning and drafting, punctuation, spelling, grammar and handwriting are taught explicitly in the context of English based sessions. In order to develop children’s writing composition and stamina, short burst writing is essential at each stage of the journey providing ample opportunities throughout a week.
All units of work start with a cold task and end with a hot task. Cold tasks are independent based on the intended outcome of the unit. Personalised targets are identified to support planning and these are shared verbally and written down. In addition, children’s responses in the cold task can be used to support intervention, pre-teaching and key teaching points within the sequence of work.

Hot tasks are at the end of the learning journey – they demonstrate what the children can apply independently.
At each stage of the journey, gamification opportunities are sought to engage learners reinforcing key ideas such as specific areas of grammar being taught.

The children are provided with model texts which they unpick and contrast with other texts. Children use these models to make adjustments to create new texts. Following this, children manipulate the text further – changing the audience, period of time, viewpoint etc. Children are provided opportunities to manipulate their writing by writing for different audiences or changing the effect it has on the reader e.g. changing the vocabulary to alter the mood. Where relevant, children publish the work that they have produced for a variety of purposes which may include (but not be limited to) for school displays; writing to an author or creating a class novel/book.

Each classroom has a ‘Writing Showcase’. This is a dedicated area where each child in the class has a frame of writing of a piece of work that they are proud of. A photocopy of the work is placed on the frame for the sole purpose of children’s work being valued and celebrated. This is updated throughout the year so that children can see the progress that they are making.