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English

‘Children should be taught to write and speak fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and, through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.’

(DfE New Curriculum document 2013)

The study and mastery of English is an essential means by which to empower pupils to interpret the world around them; appropriate skills and knowledge in English are key to thinking and learning.  Through our curriculum at Connaught, children are enabled to express themselves creatively and imaginatively whether they are immersed in reading, composing written texts or engaging in oral debates and presentations.

Reading

At Connaught, we ensure to build on the progress made in Key Stage 1. The focus is on developing higher order reading skills such as inference and deduction, skimming and scanning and the ability to read texts critically. In addition to shared analysis of reading material in curriculum lessons, children continue to participate in daily ERIC sessions where the development of comprehension and reflection skills is a priority; in these sessions, books are selected at a higher level than might be read independently to provide appropriate challenge. Where necessary, specific phonic support is used to develop children’s reading skills through the use of interventions such as Read, Write Inc and Booster Phonics.

A wide range of rich, stimulating texts, both fiction and non-fiction, are available for pupils in the classrooms and library. Children choose library books or their own texts to take home and read; they are encouraged to record their own thoughts and opinions about the books in their Reading Record. We believe that this not only helps to develop inferential skills, but also supports a lifelong love of reading. Those children who still require a more structured approach to reading have access to the Book Banded books to help them to continue to grow in confidence as readers with a text that is appropriate for their age group. The school runs annual book days, book fairs and Readathon challenges to promote reading.

Reading at Home:

Suggested Reading List for Year 3

Suggested Reading List for Year 4

Suggested Reading List for Year 5

Suggested Reading List for Year 6

These lists are intended to be a guide to books suitable for children in Key Stage 2. Covering a range of genres, the lists are drawn from a number of sources including teachers own recommendations; suggestions by respected authors; reading lists suggested by other schools and the National Literacy Trust’s website.

Some of the texts are more difficult to read than others and care should be taken when choosing those which your child might enjoy. Try the ‘Five Finger Test’ – open the book at random and ask your child to read aloud, holding out a finger for each word they do not know or cannot pronounce. Just one finger and the book is probably too easy; two or three fingers is an appropriate level; four might be too challenging and perhaps a book to read with an adult; five fingers suggests this is a book to leave until they are a little older.

For more information on how to support your child’s reading, please read the following document:

Supporting Reading at Home

Activities When Hearing Readers

Questions to Ask

Writing

At Connaught, lessons are planned to develop the children’s ability to produce well structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. Attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English, grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling. Teachers model writing strategies and the use of phonics and spelling strategies in shared writing sessions. Guided writing, used particularly in pupil conferencing sessions, targets specific needs of both groups and individuals, whilst children have regular opportunities to write at length to produce compositions for their writing portfolios in extended independent writing sessions.

The children are given frequent opportunities in school to write in different contexts and for a variety of audiences, using quality texts as a model. An increasing shift towards a wholly cross curricular approach means that the children’s writing always has purpose, such as creating promotional material for their own travel agency or writing to the government about environmental issues: this results in deeper engagement and motivation. Opportunities to ‘jump start’ writing are regularly provided through carefully planned drama, role play, hot seating and film clips. Children may be asked to produce their writing on their own or as part of group; they are also given the opportunity to use ICT for their writing.

Please find below some further documents which may help you to support your child with their writing:

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar: Parent Workshop

Tips for Better Writing

New Curriculum Glossary

Spoken Language

Speaking and listening skills are vital in all learning and social situations. We encourage our pupils to speak clearly and articulate their views and opinions by encountering a range of situations, activities and audiences, which are designed to develop confidence and competence. Speaking in public is important and children have many opportunities to hone these skills through active participation in Circle Time, drama activities, school council meetings, class assemblies and school productions. Not least, we have the long held the tradition of bi-annual class talks which pupils prepare and practise independently to then present to their classmates.

Homework

Children are expected to read aloud at home on a weekly basis, making a reflective comment about they have read. Parents are required to sign the reading record and this is then monitored by the teacher. There will usually be at least one other English homework per week – a written piece or a SPaG task. Children should practise their spellings; they are given weekly spellings from the National Curriculum Spellings and a list every half term from the new National Curriculum statutory spelling lists.

Statutory spelling lists

Weblinks

Please use the following links for KS2 English skills practice and guidance:

Useful websites for English:

Instruction and activities on Reading, Writing and SPaG:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/english/

Links to online skills practice:

http://www.crickweb.co.uk/ks2literacy.html

http://www.topmarks.co.uk/english-games/7-11-years/spelling-and-grammar

Comprehensive list of links to various areas of English:

http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/interactive/literacy/index.htm

Literacy ‘Boot Camp’ for upper KS2 (first 5 days free)

http://www.compare4kids.co.uk/literacy.php