English Programmes of Study
At Montrose Primary School, the overarching aim for English is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. At Montrose, learning objectives in every lesson are aligned to the National Curriculum.
The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
At Montrose, pupils will engage in a variety of different fiction and non-fiction text types, become familiar with a range of classic and contemporary authors and develop a strong grammatical understanding of the English language. As we follow elements of the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach at Montrose, pupils will be submerged into a world of storytelling from foundation stage to year 6, learning to internalise text and language patterns from an early age as well as developing their understanding of British culture, identity and literary traditions. Children use their knowledge, skills and understanding in spoken language and writing across a range of different contexts and, where appropriate, regularly apply these skills across the curriculum including within foundation subjects.
Children are encouraged from entry to develop an interest in all kinds of books and the print around them. Children will have the opportunity to:
In the Foundation Stage, children are taught to read using the KTC phonics programme. This continues into KS1 until a child’s phonetic knowledge is secure. This is supplemented by home reading books from Oxford Reading Tree, Treetops, Big Cat and other recognised schemes and guided reading sessions using the PM benchmarked series of books. This ensures all children read books at an age- and ability-appropriate level. Books are banded to suit ability right through to KS2, offering a large range of quality reading materials for children to choose from. This is closely monitored and matched to the needs of all learners. Children in KS2 also participate in daily guided reading sessions using quality, age-appropriate texts following the Bug Club Comprehension scheme. Our physical reading resources are significantly supplemented by the Bug Club online reading library, through which every child has access to age- and ability-suited texts, chosen by their teacher. All children are accurately assessed using the PM Benchmarking system at least three times a year to ensure they read books with an appropriate level of challenge and to monitor their progress, fluency and understanding when reading.
Engagement in Reading
We encourage children to keep a daily log of their reading in reading records and to actively promote what they read to other children through book reviews and presentations. Each month, every class nominates a ‘reading champion’ who has been a good ambassador for reading; they are rewarded by choosing a new book to add to the class’s library. These join each classroom’s extended provision which consists of a range of poetry, non-fiction and other non-banded books. Children have opportunities to explore and share these during designated ‘free reading’ sessions.
Every year, we come together as a school to celebrate reading during Roald Dahl day, World Book day and National Poetry day. On these days, children take part in a wide range of creative activities as part of mixed-ability classes, giving them an opportunity to explore exciting new books or established classics with different teachers and pupils.
In year 5, children take part in a library project where they visit the library for several storytelling and book exploration sessions. As part of the project, children are registered to use the library and receive their own library card.
In year 6, children join with several other schools across Leicester to take part in the Our Best Book project. An expert from the library service visits the school in October to introduce a long list of 20 exciting new books from some of the most popular contemporary children’s authors. Given until January to read, review and share opinions on these books, children then vote for a short list of 5 books, which they are then given multiple copies of to get their teeth into. Later in the spring term, children vote for the top 3 ‘best books’ and children who have participated with particular enthusiasm are invited to attend a special awards ceremony at Leicester Tigers and see which book tops the vote to become this year’s Best Book.
In the Early Years, children are taught to read and write using the KTC phonics programme. This is complemented by opportunities to read, write, speak and listen every day, through planned and child-initiated activities linked to stories, poems and curriculum themes. In Year 1, children continue progressing through the KTC phonics scheme. This is taught in whole class groups, supplemented with shared/guided reading and shared/guided writing activities linked to core texts or creative curriculum themes. In Years 2 to 6, children take part in a daily English lesson, working on units of English linked to core texts, narrative genres, poetry and creative curriculum themes. Lessons focus on one aspect of the teaching sequence for writing (reading, grammar, planning, drafting, editing to improve), leading to purposeful writing outcomes. Children have the opportunity to write at length at least once per fortnight, providing an opportunity to apply skills they have developed in focused English sessions. Using elements of the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach, pupils are submerged into a world of storytelling, learning to internalise text and language patterns from an early age as well as developing their understanding of British culture, identity and literary traditions.
At Montrose, we write for a purpose. To see which text types are covered in each year group, see our writing coverage chart.
Writing across the Curriculum
In addition to the writing opportunities as part of the English teaching sequence, there are planned activities across the wider curriculum to encourage children to apply their skills within a context where there is distance from the point of learning. This provides stimulating and purposeful opportunities to write, whilst revisiting and revising previous skills and learning. Across our whole curriculum at Montrose, we aim to support our children in becoming confident and proficient writers and to take pride in their work.
Spelling and Handwriting
Spelling is taught using the No Nonsense Spelling programme. This is begun in Y2, when children are secure with their knowledge and application of phonics, and continues throughout Key Stage 2. Children take part in daily spelling sessions every morning, focusing on spelling rules, patterns and conventions as detailed in the National Curriculum. These sessions also teach strategies for learning the statutory word lists for Y2 – Y6. Children may be set homework tasks to practice in order to consolidate their spelling accuracy. Handwriting is taught regularly, following the Penpals handwriting scheme, leading children to the development of a personal fluent, legible and efficient joined handwriting style.
Occasionally, children require extra support outside of timetabled English lessons. A range of interventions take place across the school to support children who are at risk of not meeting age-related expectations, amongst more tailored 1:1 support in specific cases. These include:
- Reading Coaching
- Beat Dyslexia
- Acceleread, Accelewrite
- Taming Tricky Words
- Precision Teach
- Inference Coaching
- KTC Phonics for KS2 pupils
- Academic Coaching
- Let's Talk language group
- Support with individual speech and language therapy plans
- Speech sound groups
- Handwriting interventions – Speed Up, Teodorescu
Please use the links below to find out more:
Wigston Lane, Leicester, Leicestershire