At Sandon Primary Academy, we strive to create articulate, imaginative communicators who have a genuine love of language and the written word.
Our English curriculum aims to equip children with the essential writing, reading and oracy skills they need by providing an enriched and engaging curriculum where there are extensive opportunities to apply skills in English. In line with the objectives set out in the National Curriculum, children develop key skills in the areas of vocabulary, grammar and punctuation, composition of text, handwriting, word reading and comprehension. Children learn to Speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of standard English. Intended learning is designed in such a way to ensure that all children, regardless of background, ability or additional need thrive and flourish in these areas.
Across Early Years and Key Stage 1, systematic, synthetic phonics, writing, handwriting and early spelling is delivered through the Read, Write, Inc programme to ensure consistency in teaching and to make sure all children leave the key stage reading at a level appropriate for their age.
Once children are fluent readers with strong phonic knowledge and can write a series of sentences with basic purpose, they will begin the school’s English curriculum and the Read, write Inc spelling programme. A text-based approach is used, exposing children to a broad range of quality texts and poems. These have been carefully selected in order to engage, inspire and motivate all children.
Across Key Stage 2, reading is taught using a whole class approach to maximise the time pupils read with the teacher and benefit from the teacher’s expert explanations, modelling, questioning and feedback. A range of texts are used in order to increase reading mileage and exposure to the wide range of patterns that exist within and across books. Reading is assessed constantly during reading lessons through both children’s written and oral responses. In addition to this, all children in Key Stage 2 complete a summative assessment (PIRA) each term to further inform teacher assessment and to match home reading book levels. Furthermore, a high quality whole class text, read purely for enjoyment, is read daily to model enthusiasm for books and enable children to become a community of readers; ensuring that they can share in experiences of a wide repertoire of books.
Skills and knowledge in writing narrative, non-fiction and poetry follow clear progression and learning is built on year by year and sequenced to maximise pupil outcomes. When producing a piece of writing at Sandon, children begin their writing journey by becoming fully immersed in reading and exploring text to generate ideas and develop vocabulary. This is achieved through a multitude of engaging activities from exploring the streets of Paris or New York using our VR Headsets to hunting the school grounds for dragon’s tails. Talk for writing is integral at this stage of the writing journey to enable pupils to internalise texts and therefore apply structures and patterns to their independent writing. Pupils will then engage with a series of sentence level lessons where they will apply new skills and knowledge when writing purposefully. Finally, pupils will enter the innovation stage where strong subject knowledge ensures that teachers provide high quality models for pupils to support with their own writing. Teachers accurately assess children’s writing using a large evidence base in line with our carefully developed writing assessment file which shows examples of the expectation for each year group.
Skills in spoken language are carefully threaded throughout all parts of the school curriculum. Children are taught to Listen and respond appropriately to each other, ask relevant questions, articulate and justify answers, give well-structured descriptions and explanations, maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations.