Our English leader is Mrs Day. She is passionate about inspiring children to read, write and talk confidently. She leads the English team which includes:
- Mrs Day - English Team Leader
- Miss Rashbrook - reading Leader
- Mrs Day - Writing and Speaking and Listening Leader
- Mrs Anderson and Mrs Davey - Phonics Leaders
- Mrs Henson - MFL Leader
t is our intent at St. Andrew’s Primary School to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English that will enable all children to discuss, read and write coherently. We want our children to have a positive attitude towards communication and to be able to confidently express their ideas and feelings. At school we recognise that without effective communication, little achievement can be made. English teaching is a priority and we recognise that this is cross-curricular and a constant throughout school life and beyond. It is part of the ‘essential knowledge’ (p6 National Curriculum) that is needed in society.
We believe that reading is an important life skill which enables children to access the entire curriculum as well as the wider world; therefore, we develop a love of reading and competency in all areas of reading through phonics, 1:1 reading sessions and reading high quality texts aloud to the children.
St Andrew’s Primary School uses ‘Power of Reading’ to promote a love of literature. Through this, we focus on using high quality children’s texts to provide creative teaching approaches to engage children in the literacy curriculum. This supports teachers to nurture a whole school love of reading and writing. As well as this, we create the ethos of reading for pleasure and understand the importance of reading aloud to children and creating the right reading environment. As a school, teachers provide storytelling and drama opportunities as well as time for exploring the development of language and narrative; developing fictional narratives; reading skills and strategies; exploring non-fiction and the importance of poetry. Following the ‘Power of Reading’, each year group will cover a variety of high quality texts, to ensure the teaching and learning of reading, writing and grammar is engaging and inspiring. In order to incorporate all of English and ensure children are aware of links within the subject, children will explore a key text related to their topic. Through exploring the text, children will have the opportunity to see high quality vocabulary and accurate use of punctuation which will be used as a stimulus for their grammar lessons. Further to this, children will use these skills in their extended pieces of writing.
Our work in the design of our English curriculum, offers multi-layered professional development, drawing on the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education’s (CLPE’s) highly regarded classroom-based research and experience of working with teachers. The Power of Reading project combines the use of outstanding books for teachers and children with an approach to teaching the English Curriculum that is creative, engaging and develops a love of literacy.
These aims are embedded across our literacy lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum, that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion every day. Through our use of CLPE's 'The Power of Reading', we use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children to have literature at the heart of our English curriculum, providing the inspiration for children's writing. Teachers also ensure that cross curricular links with concurrent topic work are woven into the programme of study.
The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
At St Andrew's we have, in recent years, reviewed and revised our stock of children’s literature and invested in a new library. We worked closely with Essex Libraries to ensure the books we offer are up to date, relevant to our curriculum and children's interests and provide a diverse range of characters, subject matters and authors. Furthermore, we have also invested in new early reading texts from 'Big Cat', which link directly to our phonics curriculum. Our children's reading and book choices are tracked using accelerated reader, allowing staff to closely monitor the progress of every child's reading and ensuring children are reading challenging texts from their personalised starting points. Our Reading Buddies scheme introduced in autumn 2022, goes from strength to strength with children looking forward to reading to a buddy every week in school.
At St Andrew's, we have a policy of 'live' marking used across our whole curriculum. This ensures that children are given regular feedback throughout the lesson and are able to show progress by putting this straight into action during the lesson. Teachers assess children throughout the lesson and identify children at the end of each lesson who need further support during our daily 1:1 conferencing with support staff during the afternoon. This means misconceptions are addressed quickly and allows the time for children to either have some 'pre-teach' before the next session or to be challenged to make their work from that day even better.
We also identify children who need additional support and provide intervention in the most effective and efficient way that we can. We run intervention groups across the week and are fortunate to have parents and community volunteers governors who come in regularly to hear children read and run targeted support groups with children. At St Andrew's we are proud of our inclusive approach and this can be seen in every classroom. Teachers plan and teach English lessons which are differentiated to the particular needs of each child. Children who are on the SEND register and require additional support in English or with basic literacy skills, have individual support through plans created in meetings with our experienced SENCO, teachers and support staff. We help each child maximise their potential by providing help and support where necessary whilst striving to make children independent workers once we have helped to equip them with the confidence, tools and strategies that they need.
We love to celebrate success of all learners and strive to help all children achieve their goals. Reading is celebrated in classrooms and weekly in our celebration assemblies, attended by parents. Take a walk around St Andrew's and you will see our bright and colourful displays celebrate children’s writing, their favourite books and reading reward schemes. In addition, throughout the school year our English curriculum is enhanced through World Book Day, drama workshops and a range of trips and visits which enrich and complement children’s learning in English. Every classroom celebrates reading through our engaging reading corners, where children can start a lifetime love of reading.