All areas of the curriculum involve both teachers and pupils using English. It is the principal means by which we think, define what we experience and feel, and interpret the world in which we live. It is the means by which we communicate with others. Therefore, it is our aim to ensure that we enable all of our pupils to develop the use and understanding of Standard English in all aspects of speaking, listening, reading and writing, including spelling and handwriting.
Our children follow a text based literacy approach, whereby English lessons are taught through quality rich texts, both fiction and non-fiction. They are taught the fundamental skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening through whole class novels.
Reading is a vital life skill. We work collaboratively with parents to foster a love of reading within children. We have a wide range of reading materials to appeal to all interests, including reading opportunities for a range of purposes across our curriculum.
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 English 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.
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 English. 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.
As well as reading on a personal level, children are involved in reading activities throughout the day:
- Daily English lessons – which include reading and discussing a range of texts as a class or in a group. Skills such as inference and deduction are taught as well as grammatical and punctuation conventions.
- Daily Guided Reading sessions – children read and discuss texts in a small group with adult support, with a focus on developing inference and deduction skills.
At JWJS 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 at all times.
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.
‘Green for Great’ and 'Pink for Think' marking is used to inform pupils of their next steps, and thus encourage them to reflect, edit and improve their writing.
A major focus at JWJS is on grammatically accurate and fluent writing. Teachers model the writing and planning process through shared writing sessions, where ideas are developed. Grammar and punctuation are taught contextually. Writing opportunities at JWJS are diverse and occur on a daily basis to improve children’s skills in writing effectively for a range of purposes and audiences. The materials and reasons we use to inspire children to write are varied and demonstrate to pupils the importance of writing.
Strategies we use to help children improve their writing:
- children read and analyse a range of texts identifying the features of effective texts.
- adults model how to construct pieces of writing to enable pupils to develop the process themselves.
- pupils write with adults to create different texts.
- pupils analyse, edit and redraft their own and others’ writing.
- ‘working wall’ displays in the classrooms prompt children to consider the structure of their writing as well as the vocabulary, sentence structure and punctuation they use.
- spelling patterns are taught, then explored through investigations, dictionary
- children write fiction and non-fiction texts for short and extended periods of time as a class, in groups, in pairs and as individuals.
EGPS (English Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling)
At Joydens Wood Junior School, EGPS is embedded into our curriculum and is taught in discrete lessons. Children are encouraged to include the new weekly grammar element in their writing so as to ensure that they can use it in the right context and it is embedded in their progression. Each week children are given a 'family' of spellings to learn so that they recognise the patterns, not just the words.
Children are taught to develop their speaking and listening skills through:
- participating in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, drama and debates. - listening and responding to others appropriately.
- articulating, and justifying, answers and opinions through discussions and debates.
- speaking audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English.
At JWJS, we teach children to write cursively. Initially, in JWIS, pre-cursive letters are taught but, once the children can form lower case letters correctly with flicks, then they are taught to join. Children are encouraged to use neat, legible, join-up handwriting which is modelled daily by class teachers. As children’s handwriting becomes increasingly fluent, they will make the transition to writing with pen.
Purple Editing Pens
To help children spot the mistakes in their own work, they use purple editing pens to edit and improve their work either as they write or in response to feedback comments from teachers and their peers.