English Intent, Implementation and Impact
To enable children to become accurate and confident communicators across a range of genres and contexts
At The Reddings school, we understand the significance of being able to effectively and confidently communicate both through the spoken and written word. Not only is it a vehicle by which effective learning takes place, but it also enables us to live productive and successful lives beyond
our school years.
We aim for our children to develop a meaningful understanding of how the English language can be manipulated for a range if audiences and purposes through the study of a range of genres and text types. We teach punctuation and grammar within the context of the book or genre being studied so that children gain a true understanding of what to use, when to use it and why. By possessing this command over the English language, we empower and enable our children to access learning across the entire primary curriculum.
We guide children towards becoming independent editors of their own writing using a graduated response to scaffolded feedback. We develop children’s thinking about their work with peer feedback, whole class feedback and writing conferencing.
We recognise that, for some, writing can be a daunting process; through the use of personalised and bespoke resources, carefully thought-out scaffolds and targeted support based on secure assessment for learning, we strive to embody our school’s mantra: Success For All.
At The Reddings, we recognise the importance of using outstanding models for writing to inspire our children to produce their very best work. Our writing curriculum is therefore led using high-quality texts to stimulate imagination, develop and enrich vocabulary and provide excellent
examples of grammatical forms and sentence structures used purposefully and for effect on the reader. These texts are occasionally picture books, but also consist of a range of shorter and longer novels which have been carefully chosen to be pitched suitably for each year group. We also occasionally use video stimuli from the Literacy Shed to generate excellent writing. Where meaningful and relevant links can be made, our chosen texts link closely to another curriculum subject (such as history, geography or science).
Within writing lessons, our children produce a range of text types. In narrative lessons, they will learn how to write stories in a range of genres and styles including fairy tales, mystery, horror, adventure, and fantasy stories. When producing non-fiction, the children will have experience in
writing the following text types: non-chronological reports, recounts, instructions, explanations, persuasive texts and discussion (upper key stage two only).
Children are taught in English lessons that last an hour. A typical teaching sequence lasts three weeks (a longer amount of time is spent when novel studies are undertaken in phase 3) and culminates in an end written outcome – either a genre of narrative writing, a non-fiction text type
or a form of poetry. Our teaching sequences broadly follow the principles of the teaching sequence for writing: immersion and enjoyment of the text type; identifying and analysing features, audience and purpose; practicing the necessary grammar and punctuation skills required; shared and modelled writing and finally independent writing with editing. Incidental pieces of writing skills are utilised across the teaching sequence to intelligently rehearse key features of. Our teaching sequences are either planned independently or utilise planning provided by Herts for Learning and the Literacy Shed.
All learning is pitched towards the age-related expectations for their year group. For Years 2 and 6, these are the national end of Key Stage One and end of Key Stage Two Teacher Assessment Frameworks; for all other year groups, they are set out using the Herts for Learning Teacher Assessment Framework. Within these frameworks lie the requisite statements of text composition, grammar, punctuation, spelling and handwriting that state what working at age-related expectations looks like.
Teachers regularly use assessment for learning to identify children who require further support or scaffold within a teaching sequence and work with guided groups accordingly. We regularly update our TAF documents to ensure that gaps in learning and skills are identified and subsequently filled.
Children write in a semi-cursive style of handwriting using the Nelson Handwriting scheme. This is directly taught once a week and then practised in multiple sessions across the week. Handwriting lessons are recorded in English books so that children see it as an integral feature
of their own writing Children are encouraged to maintain high standards of presentation in all curriculum areas.
In the Early Years, Year 1 and in Year 2 (autumn term only), children learn to spell using Read Write Inc phonics (see Early Reading/Phonics document for further information). From Years 2-6, Spelling is taught using the Herts for Learning Essential Spelling scheme. It is taught daily
for approximately twenty minutes. Each teaching sequence consists of the consolidation of previous and relevant learning; direct teaching of a spelling rule or sound; meaningful practice and an assessment task at the end (this is often a dictation activity). Children are encouraged to develop a deep understanding of etymology and morphology and continue to apply their knowledge of phonics where appropriate when learning to spell.
Children make good progress from their starting points and leave our school with the functional skills they need to be able to access the secondary school curriculum and beyond. They develop an appreciation for the craft of writing and understand how to write for a range of audiences and purposes effectively and thus setting themselves up for success for the remainder of their academic careers and beyond
To embed the core skills of decoding to enable our children to become successful readers for life
At The Reddings school, we recognise that early reading is the crucial foundation upon which successful learning is built upon both within and beyond the classroom. We also, therefore, understand the importance of the successful teaching of synthetic phonics to enable children to
decode what they read effectively and fluently.
We teach phonics this through the government approved Read Write Inc. scheme (as developed by Ruth Miskin). The programme gives our children the ability to read and write letter sounds before blending them together to pronounce entire words. The 44 sounds (known in this scheme as speed sounds) that all children need to be able to read and write are organized into three sets. These are taught in a highlystructured fashion as outlined below.
Our children’s learning journeys begin in Nursery where they will be introduced to the Set 1 speed sounds in short bursts of learning. They will begin to practice the skills of reading whole words using Read Write Inc. sound blending books.
In Reception, the children continue to learn the Set 1 speed sounds. They undertake an initial assessment of their phonetic knowledge so that they can be grouped accordingly. Phonics teaching is subsequently delivered in small groups by trained teachers and teaching assistants to
ensure that learning is tailored to the needs of every child and delivered in a way that is personable and supportive. Assessments are undertaken half termly to ensure that children remain sufficiently challenged and are taught with precision to accelerate their progress.
By Year 1, children will be able to read and write all Set 1 speed sounds and progress to learning all of the Set 2 sounds and some of Set 3.
Children continue to be taught in small groups.
In Year 2, children will continue to learn the Set 3 speed sounds until the end of the Autumn term; by this point, they will have successfully completed the RWI scheme and will therefore be fluent and confident readers.
Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc. lessons:
- Purpose – know the purpose of every activity and share it with the children, so they know the one thing they should be thinking about
- Participation – ensure every child participates throughout the lesson. Partnership work is fundamental to learning
- Praise – ensure children are praised for effort and learning, not ability
- Pace – teach at an effective pace and devote every moment to teaching and learning
- Passion – be passionate about teaching so children can be engaged emotionally.
Within these sessions, children learn to read and write using a number of techniques. Children are encouraged to use pure letter sounds (“mm,” not “muh”) when learning to read and use Fred Talk to segment and blend sounds. Children are also encouraged to use “dots and dashes” to represent the sounds that form the words that they read (a dot is used when one letter is making one sound; a dash is used when more than one letter makes one sound). They will also be taught to read “alien words” which require the children to apply their phonetic knowledge to nonsense words. Additionally, children are taught guided reading with books that match the focus speed sound of the lesson. These books are grouped by colour and align with the order that the speed sounds are taught in.
Within all the books children will have red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.
At the end of the school week, children take home two books. One of these books is a Read Write Inc. Book Bag book which directly match to the sounds that they have learned that week and in previous lessons. They are entirely decodable and provide children with meaningful opportunities to consolidate and practice their phonics. We encourage children to read the book multiple times to develop fluency. The other book they take home is a library book from our book corners: these are intended for sharing with their adults at home purely for pleasure. By doing so, we provide children with the broad and rich reading diet that they need alongside purposeful application of phonics.
Results in the Year One phonics screening check will reach the government’s expected standard as a minimum. Children will therefore leave Key Stage One as fluent and confident readers who have embedded secure decoding strategies for reading. They will be able to access the Key Stage Two curriculum successfully; moreover, they will be equipped with the tools they need to be able to truly enjoy reading. With decoding becoming second nature to them, they can focus on the comprehension of texts but, additionally, the love of a wide range of fiction and nonfiction books.
To create confident and fluent readers by providing a broad and rich reading diet
At The Reddings school, we understand the importance of reading in the lives of our children. As well as being the vehicle in which all successful learning takes place in, it is an essential life-skill which drastically improves the quality of people’s lives and can provide great pleasure and comfort. We aim for our children to enjoy a broad and rich reading diet. By doing so, we aim to achieve the following:
- To enable all children to access all curriculum subjects by improving their reading fluency
- To extend and broaden children’s vocabulary
- To enrich children’s cultural capital
- To nurture children’s imaginations
- To develop a genuine, life-long love of reading
In the Early Years and Key Stage One, children are taught the core skills of decoding: the recognition of the 44 sounds and their corresponding graphemes, and the ability to blend these sounds to read whole words. This is taught through the teaching of Read Write Inc. phonics (see
Early Reading and Phonics document for further information).
Once children have completed our phonics scheme, they take home a reading book from our class libraries. These are chosen by the children with guidance from the class teacher where appropriate.
Beyond phonics instruction, children at The Reddings are taught to read using whole class guided reading. This is the teaching of reading fluency and comprehension in a whole class setting. Texts are pitched at an instructional level (in which children can read them with between 90-94% accuracy) and at the age-related expectations for their year group. Texts are chosen using a number of criteria:
- If they are highly recommended for the year group
- If they are interesting and exciting
- Their relevance to our wider curriculum subjects
- Their relevance to our school community
The texts chosen are usually shorter extracts and are taken from a range of sources including short chapter books, novels, picture books, song lyrics, newspaper articles, non-chronological reports and poems. Children also undertake guided reading lessons relating to their chosen class
novel which is read for pleasure at the end of every school day.
In Year 2, children continue to apply their phonetic knowledge to read texts during whole class guided reading lessons. They develop fluency and prosody by re-reading passages and extracts with guidance and modelling from the class teacher. This may take the form of whole class choral reading, echo reading (copying back from the teacher model) or paired reading. They also encounter a great deal of new vocabulary that they learn in the context of what they have read. We teach our children strategies by which to work out the meaning of unfamiliar language to enable them to develop independence as they progress throughout the school. During this pivotal year of learning, reading comprehension skills are gradually and gently introduced to the children alongside the development of their reading fluency.
These comprehension skills are categorised into six broad domains referred to as Reading VIPERS: vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval, and sequencing (summarising in KS2). These key skills, as identified by the Literacy Shed, align with the National Curriculum expectations for reading and underpin all questioning in our guided reading lessons.
Children continue to learn to read through whole class guided reading lessons for the entirety of KS2. As children progress through the school, reading comprehension becomes increasingly important to enable children to truly enjoy and engage with the increasingly challenging texts that
At The Reddings, our reading curriculum is ambitious and challenging. We believe that all children, regardless of decoding ability, can gain a great deal by participating in these lessons. We understand the importance for children to be exposed to high-quality texts, unfamiliar and challenging vocabulary and increasingly complex themes and ideas. We also understand, however, that some children require reading instruction with texts that are more readily decodable; we therefore provide one to one reading interventions to small groups of children to enable them to keep up and catch up with their peers.
Children at The Reddings develop a love of reading by being exposed to broad range of texts through whole class guided reading lessons. By reading shorter extracts, children are given tantalising tasters of books from our class libraries which incentivises them to want to read more for themselves.
By exposing them to a broad range of text types, we are empowering our children to better understand and engage with the world around them. It enables our children to access learning across the curriculum (in which the ability to infer and retrieve information is critical) Not only does
this prepare them suitably for their end of Key Stage Two assessments, but also for secondary school life and beyond.