Here at Okehampton Primary School, the curriculum encompasses several areas which develop children's ability to read, write and organise their ideas orally. A more in depth programme of study is followed to teach children spelling. Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation are taught through the real texts of our teaching sequences. In line with the new guidance, key skills are now taught earlier, starting in KS1. Objectives for grammar and spelling are more specific and the content is more advanced. Formative assessment is used to track progress and a range of interventions are available to support learners.
We aim to ensure that all children:
We firmly believe that meaningful talk helps children make fantastic progress in reading and writing, as well as other areas of the curriculum. Speaking and listening is essential in supporting children to develop and organise their ideas. We also value drama, providing children with opportunities to grow in confidence and independence. It is not only an interesting and exciting subject, but a dynamic and exciting part of the Primary Curriculum. At Okehampton Primary School, we use drama across all our subjects in an innovative and kinaesthetic way, allowing children of all ages to tap into their creativity, explore new concepts and contribute to their imagination.
Children are given opportunities to:
At Okehampton Primary School, we believe that reading is the best gift that you could give your child. We have tailored a policy to support all children in their learning of reading and to inspire children to become life-long readers. One of the main aims of English in the new National Curriculum is to ‘develop [pupils’] love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment’. This is to be achieved by ensuring that they ‘develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information’.
KS1 - We use a range of schemes such as Rising Stars and Collins Big Cat to provide a rich a varied text base. These texts are organised into bands using book band and bench-marking guidance. This expands into early KS2 as necessary to ensure the needs of our children are being met.
KS2 - We continue to use a range of schemes as well as our extensive library to ensure children are reading for information and for pleasure. In addition, our 'Accelerated Reader' programme allows children to read a broad range of texts and provides opportunity for independent reading at 90-95% rate of accuracy. When appropriate, 'Accelerated Reader' can also be used for KS1 pupils. For further information about 'Accelerated Reader' please see the parent information document below.
We provide the children with opportunities to:
Across the school, teachers and support staff strive to promote an engaging and creative writing environment. Okehampton Primary School firmly believes that great readers become great writers and so teachers choose extremely high quality and stimulating texts as a basis for writing. Quality-first planning ensures children are challenged to become more confident and adventurous writers. Pupils become familiar with a range of text types and their features so that they can begin the exploration of language and structure. Once fully immersed in the text, it becomes a tool to explore ideas about language and structure (layout, level of formality, organisational devices, setting, character etc.) Class discussions give a context to grammar and syntax, which subsequently helps to develop and enrich pupils’ own writing skills. By exposing our children to a wide bank of texts, we are helping to generate interesting ideas from them.
We provide children with a range of experiences and give opportunities to:
The 2 statutory appendices – on spelling and on vocabulary, grammar and punctuation – give an overview of the specific features that should be included in teaching the programmes of study.
Opportunities for teachers to enhance pupils’ vocabulary arise naturally from their reading and writing. As vocabulary increases, teachers should show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language. They should also teach pupils how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than 1 meaning. References to developing pupils’ vocabulary are also included in the appendices.
Pupils are taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English. They are taught to use the elements of spelling, grammar, punctuation and ‘language about language’ listed. This is not intended to constrain or restrict teachers’ creativity, but simply to provide the structure on which they can construct exciting lessons. A non-statutory glossary is provided for teachers.
Throughout the programmes of study, teachers will teach pupils the vocabulary they need to discuss their reading, writing and spoken language. It is important that pupils learn the correct grammatical terms in English and that these terms are integrated within teaching.
Click here to learn more about English, in the National Curriculum.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.