To deliver an exciting and engaging English curriculum which champions reading and both enables and empowers children’s written and oral communication and creativity.
Teaching children English skills gives them a voice and empowers them. Speaking, reading and writing underpins much of what we do and who we are. Teaching the skills needed to speak, read and write successfully, enable children to thrive- whatever the future may bring.
Knowledge & Skills: Our children will be introduced to different genres of writing through key texts.
They will investigate these texts as readers, then talk about their key features, as writers. They will learn about the grammar and sentence structures that have been used to create each genre and will practise constructing similar pieces, imitating the style.
As children become more confident as writers, they will invent pieces of their own based on all they have learnt. Our children will be taught the knowledge and skills to be able to control their speaking and writing consciously, using correct Standard English, whilst also becoming more confident to experiment with authorial tone and technique.
Experiences: Our whole curriculum celebrates English as it is at the heart of everything we do – from PE to RE to Maths. We also have a list of wider experiences that we offer to pupils to enhance their English skills. Please see our Boarding Passes for an overview of trips, workshops, visitors and celebrations.
Be a part of what is happening in English at Ardleigh Green Junior School by checking out Twitter (X).
Long Term Plans:
Phonics & Reading
At Ardleigh Green Junior School our aim is for all children to continue on their journey to becoming fluent and confident readers. We aim to make the transition from KS1 to KS2 as seamless as possible, seeking to close any gaps in learning quickly and effectively. We understand the phonics journey and recognise that for some, that journey must continue.
When children transition into KS2, their reading progress is shared and colour bands are used to support those readers who continue to progress towards Lime Band. Once children reach Lime Band, we seek to move them on to free reading books which are organised into shelves for each year group. Children will progress as fluency and comprehension skills build.
The reading shelves provide children with age-related literature but children also have access to a wider range of reading material which can be tackled independently or shared at home. There are the Recommended Reads, which are books that have been selected by the Literacy Trust for each year group; the Chicken and Frog recommended reads which are books recommended by a local bookshop and sent through on a monthly basis; library books; classroom bookshelves and Mrs Johnson’s bookshelf.
Those who need some support with their reading journey are heard regularly on a 1:1 basis but all children are heard read through shared reading, which takes place weekly and often cross-curricularly.
To further encourage reading for pleasure, teachers share books with children at story time on a regular basis and time is allocated for children to read books quietly by themselves. All the children in the juniors have a reading buddy from another year group and some children support KS1 with their reading.
Comprehension begins with discussion around the vocabulary used in shared texts and new vocabulary is displayed and revisited. Questions are then posed to help children to explore general understanding, meaning, motivations, reactions, literary techniques and styles as well as layout features and their purposes. Children are encouraged to offer their own opinions and support these opinions using evidence from the text.
Children at Ardleigh Green Junior school consistently achieve standards that are higher than the National Average. For our most recent KS2 data click here.
Reading at Home
As reading is the key to learning, regular rehearsal and practice is essential. The more children read at home, the more confident they become as learners. We ask that all pupils agree to read at home at least three times a week. Many of our pupils read more often than this and we celebrate commitment to reading with dojos and rewards in school.
When children are reading at home, we ask that they read with an adult. Where children are confident and fluent readers, we ask that adults support by discussing new vocabulary and chatting about plot or content. We want reading to widen children’s understanding of the world and enhance their ability to describe it.
Click on the link to read our tips for Reading with Children at Home.
Phonics & Spelling
At KS2 we capitalize on the children’s phonological awareness and encourage them to use it when spelling.
Alongside the introduction of new spelling rules, patterns and core words we also dedicate time each week for practice and for revision. We call our revision sessions Phonics for Spelling and during this time we look at phonemes that can be spelt using multiple graphemes as well as how to use common homophones correctly. Our aim is to encourage confident spellers who draw upon prior knowledge to assist them when spelling new words.
Each year group has five lists of tricky words that they are asked to learn on a half-termly basis. These words can be found printed in the children’s homework diaries.
Speaking & Listening
Speaking and listening are also key life skills. They are taught and practiced across our curriculum and are evident in the way that children listen and engage with adults during lessons, with each other and in their wider school life.
Children are encouraged to read aloud with confidence; to share ideas and take part in discussion; to present work to the rest of the class; and to take part in performances and musical productions. They are also encouraged to hone their skills during PE lessons.
Grammar & Writing
In order to become confident writers, children need first to be able to explore different genres of writing as readers. Our approach to writing is to `read as a reader, read as a writer and write as a reader’.
The first step children take to producing a quality piece of writing is to read and investigate examples of the genre they are going to write. During this investigative stage, children will explore vocabulary, note down useful phrases and learn about the grammar and sentence building skills they will need to write their piece. Having worked through these stages, children then do some planning so that they can imitate the style of writing that they are studying. As children become more confident as writers, by the end of KS2, they use what they have learnt to invent their own pieces of writing based on what they have learnt.