Fairfield Park Lower School

 

English

At Fairfield Park Lower School, we value English.

We are SKILLED READERS, ELOQUENT SPEAKERS and CONFIDENT WRITERS!

We have ambitious aims for all of our children to become lifelong learners and to build their cultural capital by utilising their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. In addition to discrete English, phonics, spelling, reading and handwriting lessons we create opportunities for children to develop their use of the spoken and written word across the curriculum.  We use a diagnostic approach to implementing interventions and regularly review these to ensure that children achieve their full potential and progress.

Skilled Readers

At Fairfield Park Lower School, our children are empowered to become enthusiastic and motivated readers who love literature and take enjoyment when reading for pleasure.  They have a confidence to read a wide variety of genres and text types and our lessons incorporate the reading of texts that provoke thought within children.  Our children grow in their ability to decode words in order to be able to read fluently with understanding – these skills are developed through a supportive network and regular reading time with adults and peer readers alike. 

Reading Progression of Skills

 

Reading Curriculum

We believe in the simple view of reading and we ensure that our whole class teaching and interventions target the development of both decoding and language comprehension.  Early reading is taught through daily discrete phonics sessions, following the Letters and Sounds programme.  We aim to foster an early love of reading by sharing a wide range of texts with children and by celebrating and prioritising reading on our school timetable.  While learning phonics, children will bring home a decodable phonics books matched to the sounds they are learning or have learnt.  This helps consolidate their learning. 

 

Reading for pleasure is encouraged and children regularly listen to texts, beyond their current stage of independent reading comprehension, which are read aloud by an adult who will model fluency, expression and intonation.  They are given the opportunity to discuss their understanding of this challenging reading material and adults will support them to develop their comprehension strategies.  Reading for pleasure is by no means limited to fictional texts; children are given access to brochures, instructions, newspapers, comics and digital texts.  Children are also encouraged to read independently, with their peers, with younger children and with adults at home.  Children have the opportunity to take home a reading book to share with an adult at home from their “real book approach” selection.  These books align to a book band colour appropriate for the child and children will be able to read them, with a little adult support to understand vocabulary or pronounce some unfamiliar words. 

 

Reading at Home

To support reading at home, each year group has some suggested questions you may wish to ask your child while you are reading with them. 

Reading Questions for Reception 

Reading Questions for Year 1

Reading Questions for Year 2

Reading Questions for Year 3

Reading Questions for Year 4

 

Reading

Intent

At Fairfield Park Lower School our children are empowered to become enthusiastic and motivated readers who love literature and take enjoyment when reading for

pleasure. In order for children to access, listen to, share and enjoy a range of texts, we develop reading comprehension by teaching both decoding skills and language comprehension.  We aim for our children to have the confidence to read a wide variety of genres and text types and our lessons incorporate the reading of texts that provoke thought. We recognise that pupils who read on a regular basis, in school and at home, have a higher chance of fulfilling their academic potential across the curriculum.  The teaching of reading is therefore prioritised across the school with precise interventions addressing gaps in children’s knowledge

Implementation

We believe that there are two distinct components to teaching children to read; decoding and language comprehension. When these components are mastered, children are able to enjoy, understand and utilise reading material. 

We follow the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme and deliver daily discrete phonics lessons throughout EYFS and Key Stage 1.  Where necessary, phonics is continued into Key Stage 2 and we use a multisensory approach regardless of age and stage. 

We foster a love of reading from an early age and ensure that children have opportunities to read for pleasure both independently and by listening to stories shared in class.  We provide a range of text types for children to explore and we celebrate and encourage the reading of brochures, newspapers, instructions as well as a wide range of digital texts.

We ensure that reading is prioritised on our school timetable and that children have many opportunities to read alone, in groups, with their peers, younger children and adults.

We celebrate reading through whole school events such as World Book Day, through celebration at Golden Good News assemblies and through regular communication with parents.

We ensure that school staff receive regular reading training and that all members of our team are early reading experts.  Our training may include visits from external specialists, internal staff CPD, specific intervention training and peer observations.

Impact

Children will develop both fluency and comprehension skills enabling them to access learning across the curriculum.

Children will build cultural capital and become educated, well rounded citizens.

Children will develop a lifelong love of reading.

Children will develop their vocabulary through an interest in words and their meanings.

Children will develop their technical vocabulary across a wide range of subjects.  They will understand grammatical terminology and use this to discuss both published writing and their own independent work.

 

Phonics

Intent

At Fairfield Park Lower School, we value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers and take enjoyment when reading for pleasure. We acknowledge that children need to be taught the key skills in segmenting and blending to be equipped with the knowledge in the first steps of reading.

We also value and encourage the pupils to read for enjoyment and recognise that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills. The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

Implementation

We believe that there are two distinct components to teaching children to read; decoding and language comprehension. When these components are mastered, children are able to enjoy, understand and utilise reading material. 

Through the teaching of ‘Letters and Sounds’ the children are taught the essential skills needed for reading. Actions from Jolly Phonics are also used to supplement teaching. Phonics is a priority on our timetable and is taught daily to all children in Foundation Stage and KS1. Where necessary, phonics is continued into Key Stage 2 and we use a multisensory approach regardless of age and stage.   

Teachers assess (half termly but more often if required) the pupil’s phonics knowledge. These regular assessments inform planning and allow teachers to identify any gaps in learning. Interventions are planned for those children who are working below expected levels and are monitored on a half termly basis.

Pupils have regular reading sessions with an adult where we ensure the pupils are regularly practising and applying their phonics knowledge.

In EYFS the sounds of the week are added to a phonics working wall and in Year 1 as each sound and Phase is taught it is displayed for the children to refer to.

The children have reading books which they are encouraged to read regularly at home which match their current phonics knowledge.  Reading books are grouped by phase, sound or a reading for pleasure book.

We ensure that school staff receive regular reading training and that all members of our team are early reading experts.  Our training may include visits from external specialists, internal staff CPD, specific intervention training and peer observations.

Impact

Through the teaching of systematic phonics, children will become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school.

We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of phonics and reading is embedded throughout the whole school curriculum.

Children will build cultural capital and become educated, well rounded citizens.

Children will develop a lifelong love of reading.

 

 

 


 

Eloquent Speakers

At Fairfield Park we believe in giving children a real reason for purposeful talk in a safe and encouraging environment and children will want to talk, discuss, explore, predict, explain and come to their own conclusions. We teach children, through the art of Speaking and Listening, that their views are appreciated and valued by all their peers and adults. Across the curriculum, adults model enriched vocabulary in the classroom which enables children to practise these skills with others.

Speaking and Listening Progression of Skills

 

Speaking and Listening

Intent

At Fairfield Park it is our intent that our pupils:

  • Express their opinions, articulate feelings and listen to and respond appropriately in a range of situations;
  • Participate with different groups of children to present ideas with confidence, valuing the views of others;
  • Speak audibly and confidently before an audience (for example when performing in school plays and assemblies).

 

Implementation

Approaches to teaching and learning encourage pupils to voice their ideas in small group and class discussions, as we recognise that sharing and explaining concepts with peers enhances learning. Staff model the use of higher level vocabulary within their speech and expanding children’s vocabulary is a key focus from EYFS. Subject specific vocabulary is embedded across the curriculum, through teacher modelling, in context. Contextual learning helps children to understand new words and supports them in including them in their work.

Guided Reading sessions encourage pupils to explore unfamiliar vocabulary and expand their knowledge of words. Staff model correct grammar in speech and encourage children to reflect this in their use of spoken and written language. Children are given the chance to orally rehearse ideas for writing regularly.

Drama is used across the curriculum to explore and engage children in their learning. This gives children the chance to embed vocabulary in shared activities. Each class leads a class assembly once a year for parents. 

Children in Reception perform a nativity play each Christmas; Years 1 and 2 also perform a Christmas production; Years 3 and 4 rehearse and perform a carol concert; Year 4 perform in an end of Year Leavers concert in the Summer.

Impact

In a safe and encouraging environment, children develop into confident communicators who illuminate the goodness in each other by listening, speaking with kindness and empathy and explaining with clarity and confidence.  Children recognise that speaking and listening can lie at the heart of conveying character, and that through speaking and listening effectively, misunderstandings can be addressed and relationships enhanced.

 

 

 


 

Confident Writers

At Fairfield Park Lower School, we believe that oracy and writing go hand in hand.  We ensure that children are given the opportunity to write from experience, to discuss and dramatise their ideas and to collaborate with others.  We also believe that reading and writing are intrinsically linked and we aim to foster a love of reading, for a range of purposes and for pleasure, from a young age.    

Writing Progression of Skills

 

Writing Curriculum

The links between reading, writing and the spoken word form the foundation of our English curriculum; we ensure that high quality texts are utilised throughout the teaching of writing and that children have the opportunity to orally rehearse their compositions. We ensure that children have the opportunity to write for a range of purposes and that they understand the audience for whom they are writing.  They learn about grammar, features of different text types and punctuation before planning their own independent compositions.  Writing stamina is built through extended writing sessions across the curriculum and children are actively encouraged to evaluate and edit their own writing and the writing of their peers.  We celebrate writing through Golden Good News assemblies and through regular communication with parents. 

 

Our individual writing curriculum maps show the genres that children will meet and learn during each year group. 

 

Writing Curriculum Map for Year 1

Writing Curriculum Map for Year 2

Writing Curriculum Map for Year 3

Writing Curriculum Map for Year 4

 

Handwriting

Children’s handwriting during their time at Fairfield Park Lower School is developed from single letter formation to a consistently joined handwriting style through the use of the Penpals handwriting scheme.    We encourage children to take pride in their presentation in books and we also give a specific focus on handwriting through a display in each of the classrooms in Year 1 to Year 4.  Regularly during the half term, children have the opportunity to complete a handwriting challenge where improvements in the standard of presentation are celebrated and displayed. 

 

Handwriting Guide

Handwriting poster – "How to grip your pencil"

Pencil Skills 

 

Spelling 

We teach spelling using a range of active and multisensory approaches. We recognise that children learn in different ways and our approach to teaching spelling follows this ethos.  Children may practise spelling using our circuit equipment or other outside learning environments, they may use mnemonics to aid recall of the particular spelling patterns or they may use more traditional rote learning techniques.  In regular taught sessions, they build their knowledge of word families, prefixes and suffixes, common exception words and spelling rules through these multisensory approaches.  Words of the week are sent home to practise and the meanings of these are reinforced during English lessons.  Teachers embed spelling in all lessons and accurate spelling and word choice is promoted across the curriculum. 

 

Spelling Guide

 

As your child learns to read you might hear them talk about the 'common exception words' they are learning.

 

Common exception words are words in the English spelling code that work in an unusual or uncommon way. They are not words for which phonics 'doesn't work', but they may be exceptions to spelling rules, or words which use a particular combination of letters to represent sound patterns in a rare or unique way. Some exception words are used very frequently, which is why children are introduced to them very early on in their phonics learning. 

 

In KS2, the National Curriculum sets out ‘statutory spelling words’ that children are expected to know.  There is one set for Lower KS2 and another for Upper KS2.  At Fairfield Park, we have separated the Lower KS2 statutory spelling list into two lists: one for Year 3 and one for Year 4. 

 

The words that children are expected to be able to spell by the end of that year group can be found here:

 

Reception word list 

Year 1 Common Exception Word list 

Year 2 Common Exception Word list 

Year 3 Statutory Spelling Word list 

Year 4 Statutory Spelling Word list 

 

Writing

Intent

At Fairfield Park, we believe that children should be equipped to express themselves using the power of the written word.  We recognise that writing is intrinsically linked to reading and the spoken word; this relationship is acknowledged and built upon in teaching across the curriculum. 

We ensure that children are given the opportunity to write from experience, to discuss and dramatise their ideas and to collaborate with others.  Writing tasks will begin with a creative input, with opportunities for talk or to note ideas down in the first instance.  This creative process is enhanced by the use of new technologies to allow children to create multimedia texts and to explore the world of film and digital media.  Teachers will then model writing and share aspirational examples before allowing the children the space and time to write independently.  As children progress through their writing journey, they are given increased ownership over editing their finished pieces and they are actively encouraged to make ambitious grammatical and linguistic choices.  New terminology is introduced as an integral part of English lessons and the skills of transcription, grammatical and phonological awareness are planned for and taught discretely, as appropriate.’

Implementation

The links between reading, writing and the spoken word form the foundation of our English curriculum; we ensure that high quality texts are utilised throughout the teaching of writing and that children have the opportunity to orally rehearse their compositions. 

We ensure that children have the opportunity to write for a range of purposes and that they understand the audience for whom they are writing.

We model writing for a range of purposes, both by using published examples and by collaborating on shared pieces before moving onto independent writing.

We use Working Walls to illustrate our writing journey; we encourage children to use the examples and modelling displayed to scaffold and develop their own writing.

We ensure that children are given opportunities to evaluate and edit their own writing and the writing of their peers.  We celebrate children revisiting their work and making more ambitious vocabulary choices, improving sentence structure and correcting minor errors.

We use the Penpals handwriting scheme to move children from single letter formation to a consistently joined handwriting style.

We celebrate writing through Golden Good News assemblies and through regular communication with parents.  We place a specific focus on handwriting during half termly handwriting challenges where improvements in the standard of presentation are celebrated.

We ensure that school staff receive regular training in the teaching of spelling, punctuation, grammar and composition and that all members of our team are aware of curriculum expectations.  Our training may include visits from external specialists, internal staff CPD, specific intervention training and peer observations

Impact

Children will be able to express themselves using the written word.

Children will be able to communicate with a range of audiences; adapting their writing to meet the needs of their readers.

Children will appreciate the work of their peers and that of published writers; both on paper and via digital media.

Children will build cultural capital and become educated, well rounded citizens.

Children will develop their vocabulary through an interest in words and their meanings.

Children will develop their technical vocabulary across a wide range of subjects.  They will understand grammatical terminology and use this to discuss both published writing and their own independent work.