At Laburnum, we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion and will allow them to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to become lifelong learners and linguists.
It is our intention to immerse pupils in the wonders of quality texts to instil a love for reading, a passion for discovery and a confidence to explore their imagination. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. It is our intention to broaden our pupils' exposure to high level vocabulary to allow pupils to apply their understanding of vocabulary and grammatical features within and across the English curriculum. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening in order to express their emotions and ideas effectively.
We strive to teach the children how important their reading, writing, speaking and listening is in the real world both now and in their future; developing an awareness of the audience, purpose and context alongside an increasing knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. As English underpins all other areas, the children will be provided with good quality reading and writing opportunities across the curriculum also. We believe that a secure basis in English skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
Phonics: At Laburnum, we use the Twinkl phonics teaching programme and resources alongside the Bug Club phonetically decodable books and online texts.
Spelling: From years 2-6, we use the Jane Considine Spelling sequence.
Vocabulary: Every class has a ‘Word of the week’ which the children are encouraged to use across the curriculum. Every classroom has a vocabulary display where all new vocabulary is displayed and regularly referred to by the classroom staff.
Reading: Children have a phonetically decodable reading book from Reception class when they can successfully blend and segment. At Yellow level, the children will then choose a second book from the school reading scheme. Depending on the child’s confidence and fluency, the children may keep a phonetically decodable book or may move across to the reading scheme. Those children who are receiving phonics intervention, will also have a phonetically decodable book linked to their phonic level. Free readers have a Reading Journal to record thoughts, opinions, questions, character and plot information about the books they have read-one page per text. Children who do not read regularly at home are targeted to read with our reading volunteers. The children stay the same each week so that they build a relationship with the volunteers and have the opportunity to read and discuss what they have read.
Writing: We teach both reading and writing based on the CLPE Power of Reading texts. Every class has one text per half term to study and use as prompts for writing. Non-fiction genres are covered either linking to the text or linking to other Foundation subjects by way of a double page spread each half term.
Handwriting: Handwriting is taught alongside Phonics in Reception and letter formation is explicitly taught and practised daily. In year 1, children will begin to join digraphs so as to recognise them as a complete sound. In the summer term, they will be taught lead ins and outs. Children will be taught to join fully in year 2. In KS2, handwriting is taught in conjunction with Spelling.
Speaking and Listening: daily circle times support speaking and listening and these are also scaffolded by the use of sentence stems across the curriculum.
For further details please see planning and progression document.
We value vocabulary development and ensure that children are encountering good quality vocabulary across the curriculum. All subject plans have core vocabulary highlighted and each class has a ‘word of the week’. Children are regularly collecting good quality vocabulary in class to add to working walls. Drama is used to develop an increased understanding of characters and plot and allow children to explore them in more depth. High standards of English are embedded into everything we do allowing for cross curricular reading and writing opportunities.