At The Gateway Primary Academy, we recognise the fundamental role that the good quality teaching of English plays in a child being successful in the future. The high quality teaching of English is a key priority for us as a school and our cross-curricular curriculum ensures that English is embedded across all subjects.
Our teaching of English is broken down into 4 key areas, which are:
- Spoken language
- Spelling, punctuation and grammar
The teaching of English plays a key role in our school aims.
- As a school we ensure that English is taught within a broad and balanced curriculum and the children have regular opportunities to practise their skills in the foundation subjects.
- Our English is predominantly text based and we choose high quality texts which appeal to the children in our school and link to our topics. For more information on our authors across the school visit our reading information page. We regularly discuss our text choices with the children and encourage the children to share their views.
- Across the school, English is taught within our safe, positive and nurturing environment to enable our children to become confident when communicating their ideas, whether it is through spoken language or written work.
- We aim to promote a love of learning English through a language rich environment, which displays and values the children’s work and reflects key, high quality vocabulary.
- We also promote a love of reading through regular reading of carefully chosen class texts, a wide range of the high quality books for the children to choose from and book corners, which we develop with the children.
- We work hard as a school to promote independence in English for all groups of children, through a carefully planned differentiated approach, such as: word mats, visuals or the use of computer for Clicker 7.
- We encourage children to be creative in their writing and we regularly celebrate writing in our school, for example in our Key Stage sharing assemblies or in the ‘Happy Book’.
- We recognise the key role that our partnership with parents plays to develop the English skills of our pupils. We develop this through parent workshops, guidance in their reading record and through regular target setting. Parents are given regular information about what we are learning in class through the home learning log and an overview of our texts are available online.
Our school aims were written as a staff and are very important to us. Every adult in the school recognises the key importance of these aims when teaching English at The Gateway.
The Learning Environment
Our school environment reflects the fact that we value books and texts of all kinds. We promote English as a tool for learning, and aim to develop children’s pleasure in reading, writing and a love of books.
Each class has:
- A well-organised and welcoming book corner, containing a wide range of scheme books, big books, fiction and poetry
- Displays of non-fiction books related to the current topics being explored
- Other age appropriate areas in the classroom, e.g. story cds, story bags, writing tables, computers and role play areas
- Displays across the curriculum which celebrate achievement in English and promote good quality communication of learning,
- Displays with clear labels that question, inform and provide a vocabulary resource
Further resources of fiction and non-fiction guided reading packs, big books, poetry, plays, fairy tales, multicultural stories and story CDs are kept centrally. We also have access to the Oxford Reading Tree story books online.
Our school library contains a range of non-fiction texts to support topics throughout the school.
SEN and differentiation
We identify pupils with difficulties in acquiring literacy skills as early as possible in order to ensure that their self-esteem is not adversely affected. We recognise that children learn at differing paces and we place particular emphasis on ensuring skills are developed within a framework that is meaningful for individual pupils. The development of literacy skills is set as high priority for pupils with particular needs, in order to support their access to the full curriculum.
Support for these pupils is provided within groups, or on a one to one basis with a Teaching Assistant (TA). TAs support learning with direction from the SENCo, class teacher and senior leadership. A range of interventions to support learning in English are offered:
- Clever fingers (EYFS + KS1 handwriting)
- Additional phonics input
- Hot list reading
- Targeted speech and language work
- Personalised programs
- Fine motor support
- Pre-teaching for grammar and punctuation
- Spelling interventions
- Writing conferences and editing
- Use of ICT to support learning in English e.g. Clicker 7, spell checkers
Please speak to your child's class teacher if you have any concerns about your child's learning in English.