English

English at Westlands

Intent
At Westlands we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.

Implementation
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. Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014 and is adapted to meet the needs of the learner.

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.

Reading

At Westlands Primary, we want to foster a lifelong love of reading by exposing our children to various literature across all curriculum areas. We believe reading opens up a new world for children and gives them the opportunity to explore new ideas, visit new places , meet new characters and develop a better understanding of other cultures. Through building up the children’s vocabulary it gives them the word power they need to become successful speakers and writers as well as confident readers. Reading is a key life skill and we strive to embed a culture of reading into the core of what we do. Providing opportunities for children to read both independently and aloud as well as allowing them the chance to discuss and recommend books they have read to their peers. Reading and quality literature is implicitly interwoven into our curriculum through the use of key texts to expose our children to various genres and famous authors and to enhance the variety of exciting topics that we teach.  

Writing

To develop the appropriate subject specific knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum, at Westlands we have undertaken a multifaceted approach to writing, whereby all subject areas include the opportunity for pupils to express their thoughts in a range of written styles. It is vital that our children are exposed to a range of exemplar texts, from across different genres and subject areas, to embed ambitious vocabulary choices and secure expectations of writing across the curriculum.  Writing is a crucial skill that is embedded across all year groups; consolidation of fine motor skills and phonic strategies are implemented in lower school and working towards securing confidence with independent pieces is of priority in KS2. We hope for our students to leave Westlands Primary with a certainty that they are able to communicate effectively in writing – and enjoy being able to express themselves in this way.

For further details of this please refer to individual year group’s long term plans and information sent out by class teachers.  

Impact
As a result we have a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. They are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas. Our attainment at the end of EYFS, KS1 and KS2 is above that of Staffordshire and the national average.

Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning and is a continuous process and is used to inform future planning and teaching. Teachers make assessments of children daily through:    

  • regular marking of work
  • analysing errors and picking up on misconceptions
  • asking questions and listening to answers
  • facilitating and listening to discussions
  • making observations.

Formal testing also takes place each term in each class. In Years 2 and 6 there may be additional formal testing in order to prepare children for their Statutory Attainment Tests.

Policies and Action Plans

English Policy 2022

English action plan 22-23

Handwriting Policy

Skills Progression in Reading

Skills Progression in Spoken Language

Skills Progression in Writing

June 2024
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