Together Everyone Achieves More
English at Fleetdown:
At Fleetdown Primary Academy we believe that English is a fundamental life skill and we want to instil a love of reading and writing for every child. We aim to achieve this using a variety of resources and programs to support and challenge pupils.
In Key Stage 1 and the Early Years, our children take part in daily Read Write Inc sessions to give them the best start at becoming successful readers. RWInc is a multisensory approach to teaching synthetic phonics and pupils are provided with a picture, a rhyme and an action to help them learn each different sound. This is an effective and interactive way for our youngest pupils to learn, practice and recall phonemes on a daily basis. It aims to build pupils' speaking and listening skills, as well as prepare pupils to learn to read, by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. If you would like any advice about how to best support your child with their phonics learning, please don’t hesitate to speak with the class teacher. For further information on Read Write Inc, please visit: this link. There is also a link on our website which allows you to hear each of the ‘pure’ sounds so that you can best support your child in modelling and practising sounds at home.
At Fleetdown, we believe that all children should have the opportunity to build their reading comprehension skills alongside their fluency. Therefore, we teach these skills explicitly in reading lessons 4 times a week for 20-30 minutes dependent on key stage. Within these lessons, children focus on the skills needed to become excellent readers: predicting, retrieving, inferring, summarising, clarifying and questioning. In order to do this, teachers use a wide range of stimuli – not just novels – to capture children’s interest and again, reinforce the love of reading.
It is also extremely important for children to see adults enjoying reading so teachers in every class share stories every day with the children, exposing them to rich vocabulary and a wide variety of genres.
Alongside this. Every child has the opportunity to visit our fantastic library pods once a week to change their home reading book, with the guidance of an adult, and enjoy reading with their peers and teachers. Books within the library are colour coded (in progress) by their lexile measure. Children are then given a colour to choose from according to their academic attainment in reading.
This process in currently in the early stages of set-up. We should have it all running smoothly soon.
We are currently reviewing our reading rewards system to make them even better. Please bear with us during this period of change.
At Fleetdown Primary Academy, we want every child to enjoy writing and develop the skills necessary to become confident and enthusiastic writers. We use a range of techniques to inspire our pupils including a range of stimuli (from videos to novels, to real life experiences). Teachers use our knowledge and skills progression grid, and their genre coverage map to generate amazing teaching ideas. For information on your child’s year group’s coverage – please see their curriculum map for this academic year which can be found on their year group webpages.
We believe in creating a language rich environment, therefore each classroom is well equipped with dictionaries, thesaurus’, word banks and modelled writing created by the class teacher which is displayed on the working wall or washing line for the children to access in every lesson. We also believe that it is important to develop pupils’ stamina and therefore give the pupils a dedicated opportunity for sustained writing at least once per unit during English lessons, whereby they will have the opportunity to undertake planning, writing, editing and self and peer assessment of their written work.
In Reception, pupils focus on the development of mark making, moving to simple letter formation and then writing words and sentences in contexts that are meaningful to the children.
To help children spot mistakes in their own work, we use ‘Purple Perfect Pens’ in Years 1-6. Each child uses their own purple pen to edit and improve their work as they write. The pens help to build the children’s learning power and improve their confidence as they are able to edit their own mistakes before their work is handed in. They really enjoy using the purple pens and look forward to using them to make their work even better!
At Fleetdown, we also place an emphasis upon basic standards and promote neat handwriting through daily cursive handwriting practice. We use Letterjoin when the children join us in Reception to encourage accurate letter formation with lead ins, which the children know as ‘get readies’ and lead outs known as ‘flicks’. If you would like to access Letterjoin at home to support your child with their handwriting, please ask your child’s class teacher for the log-in information. Children in Years 5 and 6 are also rewarded with a handwriting pen once their handwriting is neat, joined and legible.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
In both Key Stages 1 and 2, children are explicitly taught a new spelling pattern each week through the use of a range of resources. This takes place during a dedicated spelling lesson once per week which is 20-30 minutes long.
Children are taught a variety of spelling strategies which can be personalised for them. Spelling words are sent home weekly to practice and are assessed through weekly tests, dictations and within the sequence of teaching.
Grammar and punctuation are embedded within our curriculum and are taught within the context of the units of work taught.