English at Newfield Park
At Newfield Park Primary School, we believe that language and English is fundamental to the overall development of children and their access to the curriculum in all its aspects. We recognise that the acquisition of English, both spoken and written, will empower our pupils and provide the foundation for all their future learning.
We promote a culture of reading, not simply as a life skill, but to also develop in pupils a love of books and literature that will not only support their learning across the curriculum, but also enrich their lives. Our reading is separated into three, straightforward strands, as detailed in the policy. We believe that the understanding and intelligent use of English is the cornerstone of a child’s education; we strive to engage pupils through an ever increasing amount of ‘reading for pleasure’ initiatives, working with parents to ensure children are reading high-quality texts on a daily basis.
We provide children with a range of real-life purposes to write for, making use of visual literacy when possible and ensure that children experience a range of purposeful genres before they leave Primary Education.
We believe that all children should have ample opportunities for speaking and listening and our bespoke “Six Strands” help us to achieve this in a simple, child-friendly way which builds progressively from Early Years to Year 6. Children will have various ways of learning and utilising these crucial life-skills, from Class Assemblies to Debating Clubs.
At Newfield we believe that high quality, discreet synthetic phonics lessons are essential to the development of early reading and spelling. We base our phonics lessons on the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme but have adapted it to suit our needs at Newfield. We assess the children’s phonic knowledge at least termly, and this assessment is used to identify children who need a ‘catch up’ intervention. Home and guided reading books for Reception and Year One children will be phonic based texts, based upon the child’s phonic ability. Children will not access book banded books until Year Two.
Our early, rigorous work on Phonics blends into our work on Spelling which is underpinned by our use of an adapted version of the Rising Stars Spelling scheme. We believe all pupils should learn (and overlearn) spelling patterns as they progress through Primary Education, focusing on weekly spellings which are taught through lessons, games and fun quizzes. There is a specific focus on High-Frequency and Common Exception Words. Pupil’s engagement in Spelling tasks is further increased by our use of Spelling Shed in KS2; teachers set specific spellings on a weekly basis which relate to what pupils have been learning in school that week. For pupils whose spelling is a challenge, various ‘Wave 1’ interventions are put into place throughout the year, with teachers working with the SENDCo to determine the best course of action.
Statutory requirements for the teaching and learning of English are laid out in the National Curriculum in England: English Programmes of Study – Key Stages 1 and 2 and in the Communication and Language and Literacy sections of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Our curriculum is drawn from these documents but is bespoke to Newfield Park Primary School.