Throughout the school English is taught as both a means to enjoyment and as a fundamental life skill.
The areas of reading, writing, spelling, grammar, speaking and listening are taught through a variety of approaches, which allow discussion, language exploration and reflection across the curriculum.
At Bordesley Green Primary School our goal is to develop an intrinsic love for reading in each and every one of our children. We aim to develop reading skills through using picture clues, developing a secure knowledge of stories and books, and by using phonic knowledge.
We use a wide variety of texts in school specially selected to motivate and inspire the children.
Talk for Reading
We have adopted the ‘Talk for Reading’ strategy in school for teaching reading comprehension. Developed by Pie Corbett, it uses carefully selected texts by well-known authors. All aspects of reading are taught through the ‘class reader’ with a focus on deepening children’s understanding and appreciation of books through drama, art research and, of course, discussion.
We use picture books initially leading on to novels in key stage 2 by such authors as J. R. R. Tolkein and Louis Sachar.
We aim to develop a real love of reading alongside teaching the skills of reading.
All children take part in regular guided reading sessions where reading skills are taught in differentiated groups. It is taught through a structured phonics scheme and a combination of different colour banded reading schemes including: Oxford Reading Tree, Heinemann Storyworlds, Rigby Star and Lighthouse.
Children will have the opportunity to choose books to read at home at a level appropriate to their reading ability. We value the contribution parents give and aim to work in partnership with them.
Children visit the school library on a weekly basis and select texts to share a home.
At Bordesley Green Primary School we have developed a powerful and effective approach to teaching writing through storytelling based on Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’. Throughout the school, we place a strong emphasis on children reading stories and enjoying a range of literature. Through regular ‘Talk for Reading’ sessions we want children to build up a widespread and rich vocabulary for use in their writing.
‘Talk for Writing’ principles are centred on teaching in a way that enables students to talk about the text before they actually write anything. It involves warming up vocabulary through different activities and using a story map to internalise the language of a text. It provides a pattern for students to imitate.
Once the story has been learnt children are encouraged to adapt it. This is known as the ‘innovation stage’. During this stage children make the story their own, for example, changing a character or setting.
The final stage of the ‘Talk for Writing’ process is the invention stage. This allows children to become independent writers by applying the skills they have learnt throughout the process. This step will continue to focus on the next steps needed to support progress in learning.
The texts chosen for ‘Talk for Writing’ are used as the stimulus for non-fiction writing opportunities set out in our medium term planning.
To find out more about Talk for Writing please click here.
We follow the Nelson handwriting scheme.
At Bordesley Green Primary School we follow Letters and Sounds programme supplemented by the Jolly Phonics scheme to teach phonics.
Letters and Sounds aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare the children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It is broken down into six phases to allow sounds to be taught in a certain order.
To find out more information on Letters and Sounds click here.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening is incorporated across the curriculum in drama, debates, discussions and presentations as well as being an integral part of all English lessons.
English in the Foundation Stage Curriculum
The children in the Foundation Stage are taught through a topic-based curriculum.
The skills children taught follow the EYFS curriculum with children working through the Development Matters bands to the Early Learning Goal at the end of the Reception year.
For more information about the EYFS curriculum click here.
Emergent writing is encouraged through all activities including role-play and outdoor play. The children move towards recognising and forming letters correctly and then begin to use these when writing independently. They are encouraged to use their phonic knowledge to sound out words for their writing. We aim for children to use their skills independently across all curriculum areas, showing increased confidence as they progress through the Foundation Stage.
‘Talk for Writing’ is incorporated into the teaching of writing within EYFS.
Children’s reading skills are developed in all areas of the curriculum (including the outdoor curriculum) alongside designated guided reading opportunities and ‘Talk for Reading’ sessions.
The daily teaching of the Letters and Sounds document supported by Jolly Phonics enables children to apply their phonic knowledge in both their reading and writing.
If you would like any further information regarding the teaching of English at Bordesley Green Primary School please contact Miss Grant or Miss Ennis.