English at Discovery
At Discovery, we strive to ensure that all pupils receive an engaging, rich and quality English curriculum where core reading and writing skills are embedded. Pupils develop their word reading and comprehension skills as set out in the National Curriculum. Within writing, children develop their handwriting, transcription, composition, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation.
Speaking and Listening
Pupils are exposed to a wide range of language during English lessons and throughout curriculum subjects to develop and broaden their own vocabulary.
At Discovery, staff ensure that they consistently model good speaking and listening skills. Adults encourage pupils to adapt the language for the given purpose and/or audience. When developing speaking and listening skills, adults sensitively correct standard English by repeating sentences back using the correct grammar and vocabulary.
We ensure that pupils who attend Discovery are given a wide range of opportunities to apply their spoken language skills in different contexts; including drama opportunities, performances and presentations.
Within all lessons pupils are given the opportunity to develop their speaking and listening skills in a variety of ways. Collaborative learning where meaningful discussions and debates take place are promoted. Pupils are encouraged to ask and answer questions to deepen their understanding of various concepts.
Reading and Phonics
At Discovery, we use Letters and Sounds as our main approach to teaching high quality phonics. The scheme supports pupils’ word reading skills and spelling. We also use elements of Jolly Phonics to support pupils’ phonics learning.
Discrete daily phonics sessions take place in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. Within daily lessons the teaching sequence is as follows:
In EYFS, we use a range of exciting rhymes, songs, practical activities and outdoor learning to embed reading in a range of contexts, demonstrating to children the impact of reading in every aspect of life. Initially, pupils are taught to listen for sounds and rhythms, then they begin to learn the sounds of single letters. When children are confident with some of the Phase 2 phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (letters), then we introduce them to Phonics books that are decodable enabling them to begin to read independently. The main phonics book scheme we use within school is ‘Phonics Bug’ books. Children are able to move through the different stages of books as their Phonics knowledge increases enabling them to start to become independent and fluent readers. Pupils are introduced to VIPERS focusing on developing the V (vocabulary) and R (retrieval) skill.
Link to Letters and Sounds Document –
In KS1 Children are given a wide range of opportunities to practise their phonics and reading through the whole curriculum. Reading is explored through whole class shared reading, independent reading and guided reading with an adult. There are also regular opportunities for children to read on an individual basis with an adult. Children continue to use our decodable phonics books until they become a confident reader with a strong sight vocabulary. At this stage, they then progress to reading books from the 'Accelerated Reader' programme. This programme grades children’s literature meaning most books are ‘real’ books. Children are encouraged to make choices about the texts that they read, children then read the texts at home and at school. Once a child has read a book they complete an online quiz to assess their understanding of what they have read. This enables children to develop their comprehension skills as well as their decoding skills. Within guided reading sessions, pupils continue to build on their VIPERS skills with I (inference), E (evaluate), p (predict) and s (sequence) being introduced and explored.
In Key Stage Two, pupils continue to develop their reading skills building on the strong foundations which are already in place. Children are given the opportunity to explore reading throughout the curriculum subjects. They explore reading through whole class reading, independent reading and shared reading. Pupils continue to progress with the ‘Accelerated Reader Programme. Our creative cornerstones curriculum provides pupils with quality, engaging texts which encourage a deep range of literature across different genres, cultures and styles. Whole class reading takes place within KS2 and pupils work on developing all of their VIPERS skills (s now referring to summarise) which cover the comprehension objectives set out in the National Curriculum. Quality reading materials from various media are selected from a wide range of sources including songs, poetry and short films. By the end of Key Stage Two, our aim is that all children will be fluent and confident readers who have a strong passion and love for reading.
‘Drop Everything and Read’ is a daily whole school reading approach. Staff and pupils take this time to share a story with one another to promote a love of reading across the school.
Pupils in the Early Years Foundation Stage are provided with many engaging and exciting mark making opportunities. Pupils are encouraged to give meaning to the marks that they make within focus activities and child initiated play. Emergent writers are encouraged to develop their writing through stimulating activities and we recognise the importance of these stages within a pupils’ writing development.
Throughout their time at Discovery, pupils will become creative and imaginative writers. Core texts are used to support the development of writing. Cross curricular writing opportunities support pupils and support embedding core English skills. Talk for writing is promoted to support and develop pupils writing skills. Pupils have a clear understanding of the purpose of their writing and who their target audience is. The pupils writing will include their rich based vocabulary. Pupils use their reading skills effectively to support their writing.
Pupils are given opportunities to plan and draft their writing as well as editing writing to improve on a produced piece of work. Children are given opportunities to familiarise themselves with the genre/text type they are using. This is followed by pupils capturing ideas using oral rehearsal. Teachers provide modelling of high quality writing to show pupils’ expectations and support their writing skills. Teacher scribing, supported and guided writing opportunities are provided. Regular independent writing for pupils is promoted to develop their writing.
Cursive handwriting is introduced to pupils in Key Stage One when they have developed and are confident using their precursive letters. Cursive handwriting is modelled by staff to show pupils how to form each letter correctly.