At Liberty Primary School we aim to develop a love of reading, writing and communication in each and every pupil. Our English curriculum focuses on the skills and knowledge our children need to become confident and capable readers and writers. Our English curriculum has been looked at closely to ensure skills and knowledge progression from Early Years all the way up to year 6. Texts have been carefully selected (for both reading and writing) to cover a range of different genres, to reflect the diversity of and to engage our children. High quality texts, used in reading and writing, ensure children have access to the vocabulary required of their age. We give our children experiences both inside and outside the classroom to help develop their reading and writing.
We want all children to leave Liberty with the skills and knowledge to be confident communicators and independent learners of the English language so they are ready for secondary school and beyond.
At Liberty Primary School we follow the aims of English from ‘The national curriculum in England’
How we do this at Liberty includes:
The writing cycle
English lessons are taught daily. Children follow the Liberty Writing Cycle of looking at a genre of writing, identifying what makes it a particular type of writing, looking at a good example, participating in activities to develop the skills and knowledge required for the genre (hot seating, drama, questioning, working on grammatical features etc) as smaller steps and modelling help long term memory, then completing a BIG (Brilliant, Independent, Great) write for the genre of writing (an independent piece of writing) and then checking own work and editing before the cycle starts again on a new genre. Verbal and written feedback is given to the children to ensure impact on outcomes.
We ensure the children have the chance to write through cross curricular links mainly linked to our Cornerstones Curriculum, therefore making it more relevant to what they are learning. The children are given purpose to write which leads to a higher quality outcome.
Writing across the school
English is integrated throughout school life at Liberty. Children are given the opportunity of participating in writing competitions, World Book Day and themed whole school writing days and weeks.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS)
GPS is taught as part of English lessons. Teachers will teach the required GPS alongside the genre of writing.
At Liberty Primary School, we are very proud of our pupils’ handwriting and take particular care in our cursive/joined-up handwriting style. This is progressive throughout the school and covers the requirements of the 2014 National . Handwriting is a basic skill that influences the quality of work throughout the curriculum. At the end of Key Stage 2 all pupils should have the ability to produce fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy joined-up handwriting, and to understand the different forms of handwriting used for different purposes.
We are delighted that is part of the handwriting scheme and any of our pupils wishing to practise their handwriting at home can log in to the Letter-join website on iPads and tablets as well as desktop and laptop computers. There you will find the same, easy-to-use handwriting resources we use at school.
Children are explicitly taught the skills of reading (outlined in the National Curriculum and the KS1 and KS2 test domains) through the use of VIPERS which were created by Rob Smith (The Literacy Shed).
The Reading Vipers are used by both KS1 and KS2 with a little adaptation. The difference being the S.
VIPER whole class reading lessons take place 4 x a week for 20 minutes in KS1 and 30 minutes in KS2.
Reading across the school
Dedicated time in the school library at least once a fortnight, reading displays, book corners, book fairs, reading for pleasure at the end of the day and our reading volunteers all enrich our English curriculum.
We teach phonics by following the DfES' Letters and Sounds’ scheme of work. Using a variety of resources such as ‘Jolly Phonics’, we teach the children how to recognise individual sounds in words, links sounds to actions and then use these sounds to segment and then blend the sounds together to read words. The children use decodable phonics books in lessons and in the environment, so they can practice and apply their decoding skills. Pupils have regular reading sessions with an adult and during whole class phonics, we ensure the pupils are regularly practising and applying their phonics knowledge using decodable books that are based on ‘Grapheme, Phoneme, Correspondence’ (GPC) taught in the week during whole class phonics lessons.
The teaching of phonics is broken down into 6 separate phases of either sounds or patterns. As the phases progress so does the expectation of the sound or pattern. It is the expectation at Liberty that pupils will be on phase 6 when they enter Key Stage 2, however some children may still require teaching from phases 2-5. Children have a phonics lesson every day in groups so we can ensure they are making rapid and sustained progress.
Learning and spelling words is important to your child’s future. Spelling words help lay the basic foundation that your child will need throughout their education and life. Spelling is important because it aids in reading. It helps cement the connection that is shared between sounds and letters.
At Liberty Primary School we use the ‘Spelling Shed’ app to help our children to learn their spellings. The Spelling shed is a whole school spelling scheme giving 100% coverage of the national curriculum. It is fully controlled by the class teacher and enables each child to have custom spelling lists created for their ability. The scheme is accessible at home on a tablet or phone so that children can practice their spellings as part of their homework in a fun and engaging platform with games to play.
Teachers set weekly spellings, in Years 2-6, to be tested in school and these are set via the app. The spelling shed has three levels of difficulty to support pupils of all abilities through appropriate challenge.
We measure the effectiveness and impact of our English Writing, Grammar and Spelling curriculum in a variety of different ways. We use National and summative testing to assess pupils' outcomes for Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling as part of the Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs for Year 6 pupils). Additionally, pupils complete writing assessments on a half termly basis, where written work is assessed to inform teachers of pupils' next steps and successes. The impact of the curriculum is seen through pupils' national assessment results.
Through lesson and pupils' book monitoring, it is evident that pupils are being well supported to acquire the necessary skills and subject knowledge in order to become established and confident writers and work monitored in books demonstrates that the curriculum is taught at an age-appropriate standard across each year group, with additional opportunities planned for pupils to demonstrate their ability to work at a higher standard. Lesson observations demonstrate that learning is being broken down into smaller steps and modelling supports pupils in the writing process - ensuring that the subject as a whole is regularly being reviewed to ensure learning is being embedded into pupils' long term memory.
The impact of our writing, grammar, spelling and punctuation curriculum can also be measured through the acquisition of pupil voice and talking to the children about their own learning. Pupil voice indicates that the children are enjoying their learning and can talk about the subject and curriculum opportunities.