Below is the link to our Phonics and Early Reading Policy
English at The Ryde School
What the research tells us:
Education Endowment Fund research indicates that all pupils benefit from oral language interventions, and some studies show slightly larger effects for younger children and pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds (up to six months’ additional progress).
Education Endowment Fund research indicates that Phonics approaches have been consistently found to be effective in supporting younger readers to master the basics of reading, with an average impact of an additional four months’ progress.
Education Endowment Fund research indicates that reading comprehension approaches deliver an additional six months’ progress. Successful reading comprehension approaches allow activities to be carefully tailored to pupils’ reading capabilities, and involve activities and texts that provide an effective, but not overwhelming, challenge.
Education Endowment Fund research indicates that children benefit from a balanced approach to literacy that includes a range of approaches. The emphasis of the different approaches will shift as children progress; effective diagnosis can help to identify priorities and focus teaching to ensure that it is efficient.
Reflecting Realities report 2020 states:
We know that access to quality literature transforms children’s personal and academic growth, and lays the foundations for improved life chances. The right book can set a child on this path and open up worlds beyond their wildest imagination whilst giving them a better chance at making it in the world in which they inhabit.
English Curriculum Rationale
At The Ryde we enrich pupil’s time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences which we hope will enable them to become the readers, and writers of the future. The English curriculum at The Ryde creates a love of reading, writing and oracy. It is ambitious and empowers our children to be able to apply their skills across all curriculum areas. Reading is a key life skill which, all staff at The Ryde are dedicated to securing for every pupil. We use a wide range of texts which inspire our pupils to become lifelong readers as well as enabling pupils to be prepared for academic success. The breadth of our exciting written curriculum enables pupils to develop excellent written skills that will prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences on offer to them as they grow up. We want our children to use their literacy skills to explore the diverse world in which they find themselves, to ask questions about complex issues and to seek and create solutions.
Our English curriculum is designed to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping our pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The curriculum 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 a diverse, 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 art of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
Our English curriculum is designed to offer our children a literary rich curriculum that is broad and balanced and through which they will have, by the end of each milestone, a long term memory of an inspiring and motivating body of literature as well as the skills to read, write and communicate across all curriculum areas.
Each milestone spans two years of study. The two years of a milestone have different teaching approaches. In the first year of the milestone the teaching will be direct instruction and use of scaffolds to support the children with new skills and knowledge. In the second year of the milestone teaching will support more independent and investigative learning as children will have sufficient knowledge and skills to apply to tasks of greater depth.
The English curriculum consists of the key threshold concepts of:
- To read words accurately
- To understand texts
- To write with purpose
- To use imaginative description
- To organise writing appropriately
- To use paragraphs
- To use sentences appropriately
- To present neatly
- To spell correctly
- To punctuate accurately
- To analyse writing
- To present writing
- To tell stories with structure
- To hold conversations and debates
Teachers think carefully about the text types being used in their classes. Teachers consider the five text types that Doug Lemov believes children should have access to if they are to successfully navigate reading with confidence. The five text types include:
- Archaic language
- Non-linear time sequences
- Narrative complexity
- Figurative/symbolic language
- Resistant texts.
Alongside this, teachers also consider the following factors in text choices:
- diverse representation
- introduce relevant social issues,
- ask big ethical questions,
- pose moral dilemmas,
- offer joyful literary experiences
- are aspirational.
The English curriculum is centred around carefully chosen class texts. This method of study provides a powerful shared experience and allows children to engage with a wide variety of text types on a deep level.
English skills are key to being successful in other curriculum areas. Reading is promoted across the curriculum with opportunities for reading being encouraged in all lessons.
We place the utmost importance on teaching the skills of reading to ensure that every child has the necessary skills to access the curriculum as well as developing a love of reading. From the first days in Reception class there is an emphasis on the importance of teaching phonics using the Little Wandle programme. All children in Reception, Year One and Year Two receive a daily phonics lesson. This work supports the teaching of early reading skills. Guided reading is used across Key Stage 2 to teach reading and in particular, to develop comprehension skills. Guided reading at times is organised in small groups and at other times the whole class explores a text.
Children have time built into their timetable to read independently. They are able to choose books from their well-stocked class library and the school libraries. Children are encouraged to keep reading journals with completed tasks. Teachers read a wide range of books to children. The experience of class texts helps foster a love of literature.
Children are encouraged to be inquisitive about word meanings. Activities to develop children’s vocabulary are planned for.
Children have opportunities to practise reading fluently. Echo reading is used to help children shape their reading in class. Children read in small groups and individually to help them feel confident when they are asked to read aloud in a range of contexts.
Every year our pupils in Years 5 and 6 experience performances with The Young Shakespeare Company. The pupils become part of the performance and this powerful experience ensures that children feel confident when tackling archaic text types. Regular author visits are organised to allow pupils to hear about the process of writing and illustrating: this in turn opens up the possibilities when writing and illustrating their work. Story tellers visit the school enabling children and parents to learn about the rich tradition of storytelling.
Writing is a key skill that enables children to express their ideas across the curriculum. We ensure that children develop into versatile writers who can communicate effectively to different audiences. Children are taught to identify the features for different types of fiction and non-fiction writing. They are taught grammar and spelling skills alongside the text types being studied. Children are given opportunities to practise grammatical structures before completing extended written pieces. Teachers are skilled at teaching planning, drafting and editing skills to help children become independent writers. Modelling and shared writing is used to help scaffold writing for children. Using well-chosen vocabulary is encouraged in all written work.
In each year group we have interleaved our history, geography and science topics across the year. Meaningful links are made between subjects. This process allows the children to write in depth and with an excellent grasp of subject knowledge across the curriculum. The transfer of knowledge to the long term memory allows children to focus on the written skills when communicating their ideas for a range of purposes.
Early Years practise is centred around developing language and this approach is followed through the school to ensure that children are able to express themselves eloquently in a range of situations. Children are encouraged to use exact vocabulary when they are expressing themselves. Children are taught to listen and respond to each other in pairs, small groups and to the class. As a result children become confident members of the School Council and Eco-Committee.
Teachers continually assess and give verbal and written feedback to children as they are working. Rubrics are used for each unit of work to help children understand:
- the learning journey
- what is expected to complete tasks successfully
Staff and pupils use the rubrics to reflect on the tasks completed.
Summative assessments are completed termly. These help teachers identify progress and then action plan when dips in progress occur. Data from all groups of children is scrutinised and any patterns are explored.
Reading is monitored closely with regular bench marking taking place to ensure that the texts that children are reading are carefully matched to the child’s de-coding ability, comprehension skills and reading stamina.
In National tests at the end of Key Stage 2 our pupils attain well. Both reading and writing scores are above both the National and County levels. Significant numbers of children attain greater depth in the National Reading test. Secondary schools report that children from The Ryde are well prepared for secondary school and confidently participate in all aspects of school life.
Most children reach the required standard in the phonics screening at Year 1 and for those that do not attain the standard, support is planned so that they can successfully complete the test in Year 2.
Data from all groups is scrutinised on a termly basis and where there is a gap in attainment or progress support is put in place to support the learner with accessing the curriculum. Results are reported to senior leaders and the link governor. This process provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of teaching and learning in English.
Planning is monitored at the beginning of each term and at intervals in between, in line with other monitoring actions such as: work scrutiny, pupil voice, staff voice, displays, learning walks/lesson observations.