English at HMS
At Hanborough Manor School, we understand that reading is a fundamental skill which underpins all other learning, and at we want our children to become fluent, passionate, lifelong readers. Our curriculum is designed to promote curiosity as well as confidence and pupils will be exposed to a vast range of both picture and chapter books, including those from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Starting with a comprehensive reading scheme in early years, children will be immersed in texts which inspire their imaginations whilst their reading comprehension is challenged through high-quality questioning. This is built upon in KS1 with written evidence of the children’s understanding being used to record their thoughts and emotive reactions to texts. In KS2, children are taught a range of skills, including retrieval, inference, prediction and vocabulary choice through the use of high-quality texts which complement their written work. The books we learn from have been carefully chosen to engage even the most reluctant reader and allow access for those with the highest level of SEND. We are conscious that children respond differently to different authors and the characters in their books, and our curriculum has incorporated authors and protagonists of different genders, races and backgrounds so that all of our children can see a part of themselves in the texts they read. Modern day stories, as well as literary classics have been included to ensure children are exposed to varied dialects and a range of the English language.
We intend for our pupils to become confident writers, who develop stamina for writing from the Early Years to Year 6. By building on a range of skills as they work through each journey of writing, our pupils will become independent writers and will develop, and fully invest in their own unique style. At Hanborough Manor, we have developed a high-quality text-based curriculum which is designed to inspire and motivate. Pupils will be exposed to a broad diet of both picture and chapter books, covering a range of genres. Our curriculum has been specifically tailored to meet the needs of all the children in our school, as we have considered how our children progress with their writing, and books have been carefully chosen to engage even the most reluctant leaners. Learners are challenged and encouraged to take risks and view mistakes as part of the learning process. We want our pupils to set high expectations for themselves, where they take pride in all aspects of learning and in every piece of writing they produce – both in English and across the curriculum.
Implementation of reading:
Whole class reading: At least three times per week, our pupils in KS1 and 2 will be read to by the class teacher or teaching assistant. Whilst they are being read to, the children following along with a copy of the text. The adult is modelling reading fluency, and by following along, the children hear how punctuation and dialogue effect the flow of the writing.
Guided Reading: An extract of text is shared with the children, and then a series of questions are given to them to answer. The questions will test a range of reading skills, including retrieval, inference and vocabulary. There will be a minimum of three guided reading sessions each week.
Ongoing teacher assessment will determine whether the questions have a single focus (for example, all inference one week, and all retrieval the next) or whether they cover a range of skills each week.
Individual reading: Each week, the children will chose their own reading book and will read it to themselves. The aim of individual reading is to allow children to enjoy the calm of the activity and promote a passion for a genre, or literature in general. Teachers and TAs can direct children to new authors or genres if they feel that a child’s reading diet is particularly restricted, therefore subtly exposing them to a wider range of books.
Implementation of Spelling:
Teachers use No Nonsense Spelling to ensure that particular spelling rules are taught in the appropriate year group. In addition to this, Key Stage 2 also learn key word lists as stated in the National Curriculum (Y3/4 statutory spelling list and Y5/6 statutory spelling list). In Key Stage 2, there are timetabled spelling sessions each week. In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, spelling is taught through phonics. Spelling forms part of our weekly homework in all year groups.
Implementation of Writing:
Each unit of writing will consist of learning done over roughly a 3-week learning journey. This is in order to ensure that the build-up of knowledge and skills is progressive and clear, and curriculum coverage is met. Leaning journeys are based around a high-quality text, carefully chosen to inspire the children and to be aspirational for their age-range. After an immersive start to the unit of writing, children will analyse the model text to find out how they can be successful when writing in a particular genre or style.
The appropriate grammar, punctuation and spelling are then taught, so pupils can build up a sound knowledge of the conventions which make up writing according to the national curriculum. These language features are then applied to a piece of independent writing, which is assessed against a framework, to determine how well a child can write for their age. Over the course of the year, each pupil will build up a folio of writing, covering fiction and non-fiction texts, building on their knowledge of what they have learned previously, and showing a development of their own, individual writing style.
In Early Years and KS1, children are encouraged to form clear, legible letter formations. From year 3 onwards, The school follows the ‘continuous cursive’ style of handwriting and the children use handwriting pens to present their work with tidiness and pride. Handwriting is taught daily in Early Years and KS1, and at least three times a week in KS2.