English

Phonics

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Intent

At Millfields Primary School we are passionate about inspiring all children to become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. Through phonics, children learn to segment words to support their spelling ability and blend sounds to read words. The teaching of phonics is a high priority. We also value and encourage the pupils to read for enjoyment and recognise that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills.


Implementation

Through the teaching of Letters and Sounds and supporting resources, for example Phonics Play and Twinkl Phonics, we create an environment where the children are taught the essential skills needed for reading and spelling.


Phonics is taught daily to all children in Foundation Stage and KS1 with interventions planned for those children who are working below expected levels. Extra support is provided to those in Year 2 who have not passed phonics screening in Year 1 and into Key Stage 2 where needed.


Each phonics lesson includes the following elements:

  • Revise – overlearn the previous graphemes and words

  • Teach – introduce a new grapheme/words

  • Practise – develop GPCs (grapheme phoneme correspondences) / read and spell new words

  • Apply – use new graphemes/words in games and activities to secure knowledge

  • Assess – monitor progress within each phase to inform planning


Staff systematically teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. Phonics is delivered in a whole class format because it enables staff to ensure application across subjects embedding the process in a rich literacy environment for early readers. Pupils have regular reading sessions with an adult where we ensure the pupils are regularly practising and applying their phonics knowledge. In the EYFS the continuous provision matches the pupil’s current knowledge and understanding whilst ensuring the children are suitably challenged.


Teachers regularly assess the pupil’s phonics knowledge using the phonics assessments and reading end points. These regular assessments inform planning and allow teachers to identify any gaps in learning.

The children read books which match their current phonics level. They are encouraged to read regularly at home to ensure fluency in reading is developed. Books are chosen from our reading schemes – Dandelion Phonic Readers, Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds and Big Cat books.


Impact

Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to achieve being fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. Children can then focus on developing fluency and comprehension throughout the school. As a result of high quality phonics provision, children make good progress from their starting points and the majority are ready for the next stage in their education. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1 and through regular teacher assessments. However, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.

Phonics Leader - Mrs Katie Thompson

Deputy Phonics Leader - Mr Sean Congram

Phonics Link Governor - Mrs Katie Moore

Reading

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Intent

At Millfields, the teaching of reading is a top priority for our curriculum. We believe that reading is integral to a child’s education. It helps our pupils to understand and appreciate the world around them, see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves. Our curriculum strives to foster a lifelong love of reading and inspire the next generation. We give our children the very best start they can have - balancing learning to read with enjoyment of books and other texts.


Implementation

We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading. Using the National Curriculum for English we created end points for each year group to ensure coverage and the progressive development of skills.

Early reading is supported through the systematic teaching of phonics using the Letters and Sounds programme. Regular training ensures that staff are equipped to teach with the expertise and skills required to promote excellent progress, as well as a love of reading. The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. Timely intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels as soon as their needs are identified.

We recognise that systematic, high quality phonics teaching is essential, but additional skills and opportunities are needed for children to achieve the goal of being a well-rounded reader, namely comprehension. Reading comprehension is developed through a combination of modelled, shared, guided, individual and independent reading, where teachers use a range of high quality texts and focused skill teaching. Children read and enjoy high quality fiction and non-fiction texts, including, but not limited to, those outlined in the Millfields Literary Spine. Where possible these are linked to topics across the curriculum. In these sessions children develop their key reading skills of decoding, Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising (VIPERS). They also continue to develop their reading fluency skills and broaden their vocabulary.

Our younger pupils in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 regularly read as individuals with an adult in a 1-2-1 session. This allows adults to attend to the needs of the individual child. Some children in Key Stage 2 will also continue to have this support, the focus being on the lowest 20%. Small group intervention reading sessions in Key Stage 2 will also be used to allow decoding, comprehension and inference skills to develop. We have a range of intervention books that can be used to support children’s reading journey, these include Jelly and Bean, Dandelion launchers and Project X.

All classes enjoy a daily class story, for pleasure, to excite and engage the children. Staff use the texts outlined in the Millfields Literary Spine for their year group and regularly promote new publications and award winning books. Children and staff are actively encouraged to share their reading recommendations.

Reading at home is encouraged and promoted through individual and class incentives. Children in Foundation Stage and Year 1 take home a book matched directly to their current phonics level; they also choose an additional book to share with their family at home. Following this, children work through our school reading scheme – these are levelled books which match the child’s current reading ability. The reading schemes used include: Collins Big Cats, Dandelion readers, Songbirds, Phonics Bug and National Geographic texts. All children have a reading scheme and a reading for pleasure book.

We encourage all parents to take the time to hear their children read and talk about the books with them. Reading and sharing stories at home is one of the most important ways that parents can help their child to succeed. By showing children that reading is both important and enjoyable, this has a positive impact on the attitudes and beliefs and will instil in children the love of reading,


As a school we promote and support reading through a range of reading initiatives:

  • All of our classes enjoy weekly visits to our school library

  • Children take part in organising and developing their classroom reading area and an annual competition ensures that efforts are recognised

  • Poppy, our pets as therapy dog, makes weekly visits to our school to hear children read in small groups

  • Our year six pupils enjoy supporting our Foundation Stage children with their reading on a weekly basis

  • A team of pupils work with the reading lead to produce termly copies of ‘The Millfields Reading News’

  • Elected librarians work alongside the reading lead

  • A team of parent volunteers help to run our school library

  • A range of book clubs are run every term

  • Kindles support the teaching of reading

  • Special reading events are planned to celebrate World Book Day. Children are engaged in a host of reading activities.

  • We regularly host Scholastic Book Fairs where books are promoted and children are encouraged to buy books to read at home


Impact

By the time our pupils leave us as Year 6 readers, we aspire that they are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments. A love of books and a passion for reading cannot be easily measured. Imprinting an early love of reading that will blossom throughout their lives; that is what we hope to achieve.

Reading Leader - Mrs Rachel Smith

Deputy Reading Leader - Mrs Kathryn Russell

Reading Link Governor - Mrs Katie Moore

Writing

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Intent

Our aim at Millfields Primary School is that every child in our school is inspired by different types of writing and can become a confident and enthusiastic writer themselves.


We want each child to appreciate the joy that good quality writing brings to the reader and understand that information can be shared in exciting ways which inspires the reader to want to find out more.


We aim to deliver engaging and meaningful writing sessions so that by the time they reach Year Six, each child:

  • Has the confidence and ability to write with fluency and develop their author’s voice.

  • Can consider the impact they want their writing to have on a reader and use a range of strategies to achieve this.

  • Has a sophisticated bank of vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to keep their readers interested.

  • Can structure and organise their writing to suit the genre and subject they are writing for and, when required, include a variety of sentence structures.

  • Has excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented, punctuated and spelled correctly.

  • Can re-read, edit and make both independent and suggested improvements to their writing.

  • Can appreciate that high quality writing takes place in all subjects in the curriculum and is not only the staple of the English lesson; that informative writing is key in all subjects; that reports, essays, biographies etc. take place in all areas of life. Even stories can be real and a part of Music, Art, PSHE, RE, Science, Geography and History, such as when writing biographies.

  • Has made as much progress as possible to reach their full potential and is ready to use these skills as they head into secondary education.


Implementation

We follow the National Curriculum (2014) and plan our teaching and learning from this to ensure we cover a broad and varied curriculum. We always aim to reach beyond what is prescribed in the curriculum so that the learning in our school is appropriate to the needs of our children and meets the needs of the community.


We have, in all subjects, developed ‘End Points’ which we want children to reach and these will support teachers with planning and assessment.


Each Year group has a list of outcomes or ‘End Points’ which need to be met by each child to be considered as working at expected for that year group. Teachers use these End Points to plan, teach and assess the knowledge and skills needed for children to progress in each subject.

Children are expected to develop good quality writing in all subjects and use the appropriate subject-specific vocabulary in their writing. Lessons are taught in both specific and cross curricular ways so that specific subject knowledge can be covered and children can create high quality writing within all subjects.

Children are expected to be writing on a daily basis, for a range of purposes and subjects. Writing is taught to be progressive and develop greater skill.

Handwriting skills, grammar, spelling and punctuation are taught discretely, in each class, on a regular basis; children are then supported to use and apply these skills to their writing until they are able to do this independently.

Each subject has an exercise book assigned to it where high quality writing specific to that subject can be recorded – such as a biography of an artist as they study a style or art type in Art. Writing will be taught, recorded and assessed in all of these books, not only English books.


Impact

The impact of a consistent approach to the teaching of high quality writing is that every child will achieve good to excellent progress, according to their individual needs. Each child will identify themselves as a writer, with growing respect with their own ability, resilience when something is difficult, and a greater ownership and positive mind-set with what they can achieve.

This progress will be evidenced throughout children’s school books and through conversations with pupils.

Writing Leader - Mrs Kathryn Russell

Deputy Writing Leader - Mrs Rachel Smith

Writing Link Governor - Mrs Katie Moore

Spoken Word

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Intent

At Millfields we recognise the importance of developing our pupils' spoken language. Spoken Language underpins the development of reading and writing and permeates every aspect of our curriculum. The quality and variety of language that our pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. As staff we ensure that we provide opportunities that continually develop our pupils' confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. They will develop their capacity to explain their understanding of books and share their ideas before they write. They will be assisted in clarifying their thinking through probing questions and to address any misconceptions.


By the end of Year Six, all of our pupils will have been inspired by their participation in group and class discussions and debates. They will gain knowledge, skills and understanding associated with drama practices, such as role play and have had the opportunity to improvise, rehearse, refine, share and respond to drama and theatre performances.


Implementation

At Millfields we have created a range of opportunities that allow our children to develop their spoken language skills. Children are regularly encouraged to share their views in class and develop their listening skills so they can effectively communicate in a range of situations and to a range of audiences. They have the opportunity to work in groups of different sizes - pairs, small groups, larger groups as well as a whole class.


As our pupils progress and develop their skills, they are able to take turns and participate more effectively and constructively in conversations and debates. At Millfields we focus on developing our pupils’ vocabulary; ranging from describing their immediate world and feelings to developing a broader, deeper and richer vocabulary to discuss abstract concepts and a wider range of topics, and enhancing their knowledge about language as a whole. Pupils regularly receive constructive feedback on their spoken language and listening. This not only improves their knowledge and skills but also establishes secure foundations for effective spoken language in their studies at Millfields, helping them to achieve in secondary education and beyond.


We have developed a progressive range of spoken language opportunities that allow our pupils to focus on developing key skills. These start in EYFS with star of the week and culminate in year 6 with the Rotary Public Speaking Competition.


Impact

When our pupils leave us at the end of year 6 we hope that they have achieved the ability to:

Speak confidently, audibly and effectively

Use Standard English when the context and audience require it

Work effectively in groups of different sizes and take on different roles, such as leading and managing discussions and reviewing and summarising

Listen to and build on the contributions of others by asking questions to clarify and inform, and challenging courteously when necessary

Plan for different purposes and audiences, including selecting and organising information and ideas effectively and persuasively for formal spoken presentations and debates

Listen and respond in a variety of different contexts, both formal and informal, and evaluating content, viewpoints, evidence and aspects of presentation

Improvise, rehearse and perform play scripts and poetry to generate language, discuss language use and meaning, use intonation, tone, volume, mood, silence, stillness and action to add impact


Spoken Word Leader - Mrs Rachel Smith

Deputy Spoken Word Leader - Mrs Kathryn Russell

Spoken Word Link Governor - Mrs Katie Moore