English is the most important subject for all pupils. It enables pupils to access and respond to all other subjects and is key in providing them the opportunity to express their thoughts, feelings and skills across the curriculum. English is relevant to virtually all fields and careers, wherever speaking, writing or critical thinking is required, English is important.
ENGLISH ACROSS THE WEEK
At Monega Children have clearly identified English lessons across a week that enable children to develop the breadth of skills required to have a strong command of spoken and written English. We believe that a clear, systematic approach to delivering our English lessons allows pupils to feel secure in their reading, writing and oracy skills, and an overall understanding of the expectations of each learning opportunity.
|Grammar lessons form an intrinsic part of each week’s learning, and threads through each lesson that follows subsequently. It affords students the time to acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar’s mechanics and a knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.|
|Reading for comprehension is an invaluable skill in today’s society. In an age where news sources, infographics and social media spill into our everyday discourse, we present children with a range of text types and focus on the skills that allow them to comprehend, understand and analyse what they’re reading.|
Oracy & Context
|The use of structured discussion enables pupils to explain clearly their understanding and ideas, teaching them to elaborate and politely question each other when in disagreement. Oracy and Context lessons give pupils a chance to become competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate. We have developed a scheme entitled ‘Express Yourself’ which is embedded across the school.|
|We provide students with the ability to consistently produce sustained and accurate writing from different narratives and non-fiction genres with appropriate structure, organisation and layout devices for a range of audiences and purposes. With writing at the heart of our English curriculum, we are transparent with the expectations of our pupil’s outcomes - arming them with an understanding of how to write at length. Extended Writing lessons teaches pupils how to prepare, plan and execute a well-written, lengthier piece of writing.|
Edit & Redraft
|Once pupils have completed their Extended Write, they are given the opportunity to revisit their writing. This allows them to ensure they rehearse skills they have previously learnt from their grammar lesson, but to also make judicious changes to their writing. The idea behind the Edit & Redraft lesson is to allow pupils to see themselves as writers, fully engaging with the writing process.|
At Monega we aim to ensure that all children see themselves as writers. Writing is practiced throughout the week in all subject areas. Handwriting is taught as a discrete subject before every written English lesson in each class and is part of the homework from Reception to Year 6.
Children write for a range of purposes and audiences, with children being given the opportunity to write independently, for an extended period of time across a variety of subject areas. Pupils rehearse key skills in forming letters fluently, spelling words and articulating ideas. We pose an emphasis on ambitious vocabulary, ensuring writing is always improving - pupils have ready access to scaffolding, writing resources, dictionaries and thesauruses. Furthermore, teachers provide clear modelling and think aloud their own writing strategies to enable pupils to improve. Next step marking improves progress in writing and allows pupils to rehearse key vocabulary. Pupils are encouraged to self-assess and edit their writing, and share their own practice with their peers.
Monega pupils are strong writers, and we pride ourselves that writing across our curriculum is the same standard as in our English books. Children are given the freedom to believe in themselves as writers from a very young age. Careful coaching, assessment and rehearsal of key skills (phonics, spelling, composition) ensures that children make exceptional progress from their starting points. Our English curriculum aims to encourage and promote an enjoyment, and love of, reading and writing through various events that take place throughout the year. These include: writing workshops, handwriting drives, World Book Day, and Book Fairs, and visits to the local library.
Here at Monega, we pride ourselves on our high levels of presentation. All pupils are encouraged to write neatly and legibly and all attempts at early writing are praised and encouraged. More developed writers are awarded our prestigious "Pen Licence". Excellent presentation is encouraged within all curriculum areas as a means of ensuring that all work is to the highest standard possible.
Every child reads, and is read to, every day
Reading is the skill prioritised above all others and all children are expected to develop reading fluency with good understanding of what they have read. Ensuring high levels of motivation for reading encourages children to develop the habit for both pleasure and for information. We expect children to:-
- Read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
- Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
- Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.
Children are taught to use Jolly Phonics as a medium through which to acquire the phonetic knowledge needed to read and write. Teachers listen to their children read through the guided and shared reading sessions within the English lesson. Parents are actively encouraged to listen to their children read on a daily basis.Phonics continues to be taught at all ages through reading and spelling feedback.
We encourage all children to develop the skills to ‘Express Yourself’. We know that reading heavily influences pupils' capacity to engage in debate, and explanation and reasoning. We recognise the need to develop fluency when reading and the importance of acquiring a wide vocabulary. It is also clear that pupils' understanding of grammar and linguistic conventions is supported by their ability to read. All of these skills are taught directly within our English lessons across the week and reinforced across the curriculum.
Pupils have in-depth books in each year group that they spend more time studying, they also have a year group poem that they will recite. Units of work are planned that follow the teaching sequence centred on a core text.. we believe it is important to analyse a range of texts in English lessons as it challenges pupils to understand characters’ motivations, cultural contexts, and the causes & effects of various actions in stories’ plot lines.
Pupils develop positive attitudes towards reading, finding passions, strengths and interests in reading and speaking. Books are chosen carefully to represent pupil’s lives but also to allow them to experience things that they haven’t encountered. Pupils work hard to build their reading skills and Regular reading is rewarded. Children can win prizes by progressing in reading.