Our Ethos for English
At Mapplewell Primary School we aim for excellence in English achievement. We provide pupils with opportunities to develop their use, knowledge and understanding of spoken and written English within a broad and balanced curriculum. We teach pupils to develop skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate creatively with the world at large. English lessons are taught discreetly on a daily basis but the core skills of reading, writing and speaking and listening are embedded within all lessons.
Our English lessons promote an independent, can-do culture, centred around pupils taking ownership of their own learning. Our ‘no hands up’ approach ensures all pupils have opportunities to speak and share their opinions and ideas whilst being valued as a member of the community. We promote learning partner work throughout school and provide ample opportunities in lessons to allow time for pupils to discuss their learning with peers, recognising not all pupils will be confident in sharing their ideas with the whole class and therefore allowing time for pupils to discuss learning in situations they feel more comfortable with.
We strongly believe in promoting reading for pleasure in all pupils and know that if we succeed in doing so our pupil’s lives will be enriched as they are more likely to flourish academically, socially, emotionally and with future education/careers.
Teaching and Learning approaches
Read Write Inc (RWI)
We are extremely proud to have achieved the RWI model school status, which acknowledges the high standard of teaching and learning exposed in these lessons. RWI is a method of learning centred round letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid pupils in their reading and writing. Using RWI, the pupils learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write. We start by teaching phonics to the pupils in the Nursery class. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps pupils learn to spell well. We teach the pupils simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. The pupils also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’. The pupils practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
When using RWI to read the pupils will:
- learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
- learn to read words using Fred Talk
- read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
- show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions
When using RWI to spell the pupils will:
- learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds.
- learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk
- write simple sentences
- compose stories based on picture strips
- compose a range of stories based on writing frames.
Below is a link to the RWI website that explains in more detail the resources used to deliver the programme and many video clips to demonstrate how RWInc is taught.
Also, by navigating the website you will find useful activities to support your child at home.
Early Years Foundation Stage
At Mapplewell Primary School we place a strong emphasis on developing and promoting language skills in the Nursery and continuing to build on these skills in the subsequent years. Recent development of the learning environment within the Foundation Stage aims to provide our pupils with explicit opportunities to enjoy learning and develop literacy skills in various contexts. We believe in developing pupils English skills from an early age and plan literacy and oral work into all activities, providing a language rich environment for all pupils. Dialogue between adults and pupils is paramount; on a daily basis planned opportunities for adults to communicate with pupils engaged in self chosen activities plays a crucial role in the planning and assessment cycle. Phonics is taught alongside reading and writing using the RWI programme. This starts in Nursery when pupils are ready to access more formal learning opportunities and continues in Reception with differentiation to meet the needs of all pupils.
Key Stage 1 and 2
The Read Write inc (RWI) programme continues to be implemented in Key Stage 1. Differentiated groups are led by class teachers and support staff, where reading, writing and speaking and listening skills are promoted in a fun purposeful way. Pupils are challenged at a level appropriate to their learning and because of this self-esteem and motivation towards learning is enhanced. In Year 2 when pupils complete the Read, Write inc programme they move onto class literacy lessons. This then continues through to Year 6, where we deliver lessons using a three reads approach, ensuring pupils can read with fluency and pace and are able to comprehend the texts. Writing aspects of the lesson involve a plan, draft and revise approach encouraging self-assessment leading towards progress being made alongside the ongoing feedback provided by the teacher. Reading is taught daily in all classes using the whole class Reciprocal Reading approach, in these lessons pupils predict, clarify, question and summarise the texts they read, primarily focusing on developing pupils comprehension skills. Reading for pleasure is also promoted in all classes, each class have a class book which is read through daily story times and time is provided within the school day for pupils to read silently to themselves.
At Mapplewell Primary School our pupils will be encouraged to:
- Read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding, using a range of independent strategies to take responsibility for their own learning including self-assessment
- Develop a love of reading and a desire to read for enjoyment;
- Show an interest in words and their meanings; developing a growing vocabulary in relation to grammatical terminology;
- Show an understanding of a range of text types, media types and genres;
- Be provided with opportunities to peer and self-assess their own work enabling ownership over their work;
- Celebrate their achievements by displaying their work in a rich and stimulating language environment, where speaking and listening, reading and writing are integrated
- Foster an interest in words and their meanings,
- Presented written work using fluent and legible handwriting.