At Banks Road Primary School, we believe that a high quality English curriculum will give our children the best possible chance to become competent communicators and thinkers, who love reading and writing.
We advocate that children in EYFS and Year 1 use phonics as the first strategy for decoding unfamiliar words.
We provide a rigorous and well-organised English curriculum that is underpinned with high quality texts to support our children to develop a rich and varied vocabulary. These progressive texts are used to teach children to write with grammatical accuracy, apply spelling patterns and produce a range of independent writing that is celebrated for each individual child.
Our staff model writing using neat handwriting and expose our children to a wide range of vocabulary, providing them with opportunities to apply their language skills.
By the time they leave our school, we want every child to be a confident reader, who can read fluently and widely, expressing their preferences and opinions.
The teaching and learning of phonics is the core purpose of the Reception Year. We teach phonics as the key strategy to decoding through the careful, consistent implementation of our phonics programme, Read Write Inc. Children read sounds and blend them into words using Read Write Inc. Children practise building fluency and expression using books that are closely matched to their phonic knowledge and ability.
We teach a structured shared reading lesson daily to ensure children can access the vocabulary and meaning of the text before they apply their reading skills. We ensure there is a balance of text types.
All year groups are provided with a high quality text that is selected from our own Banks Road Reading Spine. All of our English work is planned and delivered around this text. All units of work start (cold task) and end (hot task) with an independent task to assess what children know and can do. Assessment of these independent pieces of writing inform the teacher’s planning. Teachers model the writing process at all stages through means of explicit teaching.
Vocabulary, spelling and grammar
We explicitly teach tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary across the curriculum.
Handwriting is taught explicitly in EYFS using Read Write Inc letter formation. Handwriting is taught explicitly from Year 1 - Year 6 using Letter-Join. Children in KS1 use pre-cursive handwriting and KS2 are taught a cursive handwriting.
Reading for Pleasure
Adults model reading to children daily. Children have access to books to read purely for enjoyment in each classroom. Children also regularly visit our school library, our local library and our outdoor reading areas.
At Banks Road we teach our English curriculum using the Literacy Counts, Read to Write Scheme. These units of work are adapted to meet the needs of our children and inspire our children though high quality literature. All year groups immerse themselves in a new ‘vehicle text’ each half term; this vocabulary-rich text drives learning and hosts a wealth of writing opportunities across the curriculum.
Read to Write
Our children are hooked into the ‘vehicle text’ using props, drama and character role play. This section of learning is vital to engage children in the learning for the whole unit.
In this section of the unit, the children will learn to identify specific writing techniques in an ‘example text’; this supports children to meet the requirements of the end goal - independent writing.
This stage allows the children to build on their learning and demonstrate this when planning their independent writing.
During the final stage of learning, daily modelled and guided writing takes place. Children then have the opportunity to apply their writer's skills and knowledge to independently write, draft, revise and edit a piece of writing.