The English curriculum comprises three core areas: speaking and listening, reading and writing. At Joydens Wood Junior School we aim to develop children’s understanding and learning across all of these areas simultaneously, enabling them to hone their skills and become confident users of English.
We believe that it is every child’s right to learn to read but we hope that our children go beyond this and develop a love and pleasure for reading that continues into adulthood. Reading is taught across the curriculum through shared reading in Literacy lessons, Guided Reading and reading aloud to children. Staff are reading role models who demonstrate and encourage a love for reading, through engaging children in class texts and sharing new authors in our monthly Book Assembly. Children have access to a wide variety of reading materials in class reading areas, the school library, Guided Reading sets and carefully selected core texts used in our teaching of Literacy. We also ensure that children experience access to good quality literature through visiting authors and book fairs throughout the year. Staff track the progress of children throughout the year using National Curriculum objectives, ensuring that each child is supported and challenged at their appropriate level. For those children who need further support in their reading, intervention sessions are provided on an individual or small group basis using Better Reading Partnerships and Developing Inference. Children are expected to read to an adult daily and to record this in their Reading Record. To ensure that each child is reading across a range of genres and at an appropriate challenge level, teachers use Reading Walls in the Reading Record to suggest titles and authors for each child to read next. These choices are personalised to the child depending on their reading ability and previous choices.
At Joydens Wood Junior School we believe it is essential for children to develop a love and flair for creative writing, as well as become confident writers who can write for a range of purposes. To achieve this goal, writing is embedded across the curriculum and opportunities for extended writing are provided not only in English lessons, but through Mantle of the Expert. In addition to year groups following a set Mantle of the Expert topic each term, a whole-school week-long story is followed once a year, with the ultimate aim being to encourage writing in context and then celebrate the children’s achievements with an exhibition to visitors. For more information on our recent Mantle of the Expert weeks, please see our portfolios on the website under Literacy.
We encourage children to build upon the knowledge and understanding they bring with them from Key Stage One through developing their unique writer’s voice. We recognise the value of ‘Talk for Writing’, thus ensure that opportunities for speaking and listening in all writing units are planned for. Writing is taught through shared writing, guided writing and anonymous/peer-marking under the class visualiser. The ‘Tickled Pink’ and ‘Green for Growth’ marking is used to inform pupils of their next steps, and thus encourage them to reflect, edit and improve their writing. Every child is also given the opportunity to discuss and practise their green ‘next steps’ one-to-one with a Teaching Assistant trained in pupil conferencing. Using evidence from class work and assessments, teachers create personalised writing target cards for each child, detailing a grammatical/spelling target and a target to develop creativity in the writing through interesting sentence structures and breadth/quality of vocabulary use. These targets aim to continually inspire and challenge the children to improve their writing and are shared with parents.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening skills not only develop oral fluency, pronunciation, expression and presentation skills, they underpin the development of ideas for writing and provide a means for understanding characters and situations in texts. Children are provided with a range of opportunities to develop these oral skills within their English lessons, through short drama activities such as hot-seating and internal monologues, performing plays and stories, reciting and performing poetry and preparing for debates and discussions. A range of drama activities are also used extensively to drive the Mantle of the Expert topics in the foundation subjects, giving children of all abilities the opportunity to learn in role and explore the feelings and decisions of others. Children are set ‘Talk Homework’ weekly, comprising of a debate question or statement with which they should discuss with family and friends at home. The children are encouraged to share their ideas in Monday’s whole school assembly through the form of a debate. We believe that these opportunities not only broaden children’s knowledge and understanding of current affairs, they also hone their skills in articulation and presentation to an audience. Furthermore, activities and achievements from our school debate club can be found on the website under Literacy.
Our full English Policy can be found on the website under Literacy.