At Newbold Church of England Primary School (NCS), English equips pupils with skills and articulacy that will enable them to understand and influence the world as they grow. These skills include the ability to interpret and to express meaning from a range of sources and in a variety of contexts, and to understand and develop complex ideas. Our aim is for pupils to find, long after their time with us, that the English skills they have developed will continue to widen their options and underpin their successes, whatever their future path in life may be.
English is an overarching discipline; it is the medium through which meaning and expression is conveyed and the gateway to other branches of learning. Our English curriculum encompasses the National Curriculum Aims "to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment" (DfE 2013).
Reading at Newbold Church Primary School
"Reading is the finest teacher of how to write." - Annie Proulx
At Newbold Church Primary School, we aim to foster a love of language and reading and, therefore, attach great importance to enabling our children to become fluent readers whilst promoting reading for enjoyment. We are determined to develop independence and fluency in all readers to ensure a life-long love of reading and ensuring that they can all achieve their full potential across all areas of the curriculum. We approach reading in three different ways; reading for pleasure, reading across the curriculum and teaching reading skills explicitly.
We ensure that our children will experience a wide range of texts that promote fluency, understanding and develop regular reading habits. In school, texts are chosen to reflect our rich literary heritage and we place an emphasis on regular reading and reading for pleasure, both in school, and at home . Through a progressive use of language rich texts, children’s ability to work with more complex language is developed. Engaging texts are key to the planning and delivery of Reading and Writing in our school. Reading is a vital skill and we encourage parents to join in the excitement with their children learning to read. We have a well-stocked library and children are encouraged to utilise, discuss and recommend books they have read.
- We follow the Super Sonic Phonics scheme from Nursery to Year 1/2, which teaches the children the 44 different sounds in the English language and 175+ different ways of writing those sounds (graphemes). The correct enunciation of phonemes and modelling of blending by all adults at Newbold Church Primary School is of paramount importance in the accurate and effective teaching of phonics.
- The children have access to a range of different reading books. Each child in Reception and Year 1/2 will have access to a fully phonetically decodable book matched to their stage of phonics and a reading for pleasure book from within their coloured book band. Children also are able to choose a library book, which aims to develop their love of books and reading.
- From Y2/3-6 we use Read, Write Inc to plan and teach spelling patterns. The children can access to being able to practice their spellings online at home, to apply and embed the skills they have learnt.
- For any children working on Phases 2-5 in year 3 or beyond, we provide individualised intervention to diminish gaps and accelerate progress for these children including use of Nessy.
- From Reception to Y6, children have whole class reading and we use a variety of text types and genres to ensure full coverage of different curriculum areas.
- From Y3-Y6 children have access to Accelerated Reader (AR) which allows them to read a book within their reading age and then complete a quiz after to ensure they have understood what they have read. The children complete a star reader assessment each half term to ensure that they are improving their ZPD and achieving the desired amount of progress.
- Children from Y1 to Y6 also partake in reading strategy, which is included within their timetable. During the time the children are able to read with/to an adult and other children and carefully considered questions are asked by the adult to ascertain children’s ‘levels of understanding.
- Time is included across each classes daily timetable to allows for whole class reading whereby the teacher/teaching assistant in the class shares a rage of genres with the children.
We ensure a progression of skills in Phonics throughout Early Years and KS1 and expect that by the end of KS1 children can;
- Independently use their phonic knowledge to read fluently, sounding out and blending unfamiliar words without support,
- Read age appropriate books with increasing fluency and expression.
- Read accurately words containing two or more syllables.
- Read words containing common suffixes.
- Make predictions and inferences based on what they have read themselves and what has been read to them by others.
By the end of KS2 children can;
- Confidently read aloud with intonation and expression, drawing on subtle clues from the text.
- Express individual interests, thoughts and opinions on texts.
- Compare and contrast different texts on the same subject.
- Explain and comment on structural devices used in a variety of texts.
- Evaluate, comment and compare the different styles of writers – providing evidence and explanations (PEE – point, evidence, explain).
- Perform familiar poems using tone, pitch and other devices to engage the audiences.
Reading opens the door to the whole curriculum – How parents can help create a reading culture in their homes
Research shows that learning to read is directly linked to children’s success at school and beyond. It also shows that those who read regularly and for longer dramatically increase the number of words they are introduced to. This in turn impacts on their success across the whole curriculum.
We believe that the relationship between school reading and home reading is vital. It is never too early to start sharing books with your child. Learning to read is about listening and understanding as well as working out print. When children hear stories, they are exposed to a rich and wide vocabulary. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to read. Some of the things that you can do include:
- Reading aloud to your child, talking about the words and pictures, and sharing ideas about the book.
- Reading yourself: Children who see adults reading, and enjoying reading, are much more likely to want to read themselves
- Making sure your child is surrounded by books: You don’t need hundreds of books at home and you don’t need to spend lots of money! We recommend regular visit to our local libraries in Duffield and Belper.
- Most importantly, talk to your child. Spend time with them, doing simple activities (playing, cooking, making something or playing a game). As you talk about what you’re doing, you are helping them to learn new words. Later, when they see words written down, they have already heard them and know what they mean.
How should I read to my child?
- As you read to your child, bring the characters to life – talk about the characters, the drawings and the events so that the story starts to come alive.
- Don’t be afraid to try different voices or try out your acting skills! Remember that your face says it all so exaggerate your expressions.
- Emphasise repeated words and phrases (‘I’ll huff and I’ll puff!’). Encourage your child to say the words with you.
- Turn off the television and concentrate on enjoying the book.
- Try audio books that the children can listen to in the car together on journeys, on tablets or phones.
How often should I read to my child, and how long for?
Be guided by how long your child will listen for. For younger children, this may be quite short periods of time, while slightly older children may be readier to listen for longer. Many experts suggest that a routine helps to support reading. A bedtime story can be a nice way for you to spend a small amount of time together and wind down after a busy day.
How often should I hear my child read? We recommend that you hear your child read five times every week. As your child progresses in their ‘learning to read journey’ the duration of these sessions will lengthen. By the end of key stage 1 your child will be reading with more confidence and fluency. You may think that they no longer need you in their reading journey. You are still play a vital role in this process. We still endorse the importance of hearing your child read to you as they progress through key stage 2. They will still need discussions regarding the language and plot of the texts they encounter. All children are encouraged to record the reading at home they do in their reading records (this can be completed by the adult or the child, as they get older).
Writing at Newbold Church Primary School
"Reading and writing float on a sea of talk..." - James Britton
We aim to prepare and equip children with the writing skills they need to become confident, independent writers and bring enjoyment into writing to inspire them. Through a balanced and broad curriculum, we intend to provide regular opportunities for children to write from different perspectives, e.g. to write as a historian. We want to ensure that all children, regardless of background and experiences, are provided with the scaffolding support and tools that they need to succeed.
Our writing is underpinned by the standards of reading in our school, which supports vocabulary and the understanding of conventions and structures of a range of text genres. Writing also builds on the development of accuracy in spelling and developing a progressive understanding of grammar and punctuation, which ensures that children can clearly, accurately and coherently explain their understanding and ideas. Our approach to writing is creative and inclusive and we believe enjoyment should be at the centre of teaching the subject. All classes undertake writing for a range of audiences and purpose.
- Grammar and punctuation is taught both explicitly and implicitly within English lessons.
- Children are encouraged to use their knowledge of texts to write for a variety of purposes such as: explanations, instructions, reports, balanced arguments, stories and poems. They learn to plan, draft, revise, edit and present their work, before evaluating the success of their writing.
- From Nursery, our children are introduced to letter and as they progress through school, the children are encouraged to write in a neat, legible style using a cursive script (from Y2 onwards).
- Drama and speaking and listening are an integral part of our curriculum in order to encourage self-confidence, imagination and empathy. It is used collaboratively alongside other subjects to engage pupils actively in a topic and develop a deeper understanding.
- All children have the opportunity to look at a range of genres and develop their skill set in writing. Each year, a new genre is introduced to the children as well as the chance to revisit previously taught ones. Our intention is to build on the children's repertoire year on year and to allow them to become more confident writers who are able to write in a range of styles and for varied audiences.
By the end of KS1 children can;
- Apply their phonics knowledge by using strategies taught in Phonics lessons.
- Write independently, sequencing sentences.
- Write simple coherent narratives.
By the end of KS2 children can;
- Write effectively for a range of audiences and purposes, selecting appropriate language and form.
- Use a range of punctuation, tenses and dialogue in their writing effectively.
- Use grammar and vocabulary efficiently to suit the needs of the writing.
- Develop speed and fluency when writing in cursive script.
Speaking and Listening at Newbold Church Primary School
Both in English, and across the curriculum, children are supported by the development of skills in spoken language. Subjects are explored and developed through discussion, and used in presentation, performance, expression and debate.
Supporting Children with SEND to access all elements of English lessons
All lessons are planned to ensure that all children are able to access all elements and work is carefully differentiated to cater for all needs.
As with all other areas of the curriculum, we use SEND codes to show how we will adapt our teaching to ensure all children are fully supported.
Where children need 1-1 support with a TA to be able to fully engage in English lessons, this will be provided.
As part of our monitoring processes we ensure that children with SEND are able to fully access all aspects of the English curriculum.
Pupil Premium Children
As part of our monitoring processes we ensure that children in the receipt of Pupil Premium are able to fully access all aspects of the English curriculum.
Click here to view the whole school English overview
50 classic books children should read
10 top tips for parents to support children to read
1. Encourage your child to read
Reading helps your child’s wellbeing, develops imagination and has educational benefits too. Just a few minutes a day can have a big impact on children of all ages.
2. Read aloud regularly
Try to read to your child every day. It’s a special time to snuggle up and enjoy a story. Stories matter and children love re-reading them and poring over the pictures. Try adding funny voices to bring characters to life.
3. Encourage reading choice
Give children lots of opportunities to read different things in their own time - it doesn’t just have to be books. There’s fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comics, magazines, recipes and much more. Try leaving interesting reading material in different places around the home and see who picks it up.
4. Read together
Choose a favourite time to read together as a family and enjoy it. This might be everyone reading the same book together, reading different things at the same time, or getting your children to read to each other. This time spent reading together can be relaxing for all.
5. Create a comfortable environment
Make a calm, comfortable place for your family to relax and read independently - or together.
6. Make use of your local library
Libraries in England are able to open from 4 July, so visit them when you’re able to and explore all sorts of reading ideas. Local libraries also offer brilliant online materials, including audiobooks and ebooks to borrow. See Libraries Connected for more digital library services and resources.
7. Talk about books
This is a great way to make connections, develop understanding and make reading even more enjoyable. Start by discussing the front cover and talking about what it reveals and suggests the book could be about. Then talk about what you’ve been reading and share ideas. You could discuss something that happened that surprised you, or something new that you found out. You could talk about how the book makes you feel and whether it reminds you of anything.
8. Bring reading to life
You could try cooking a recipe you’ve read together. Would you recommend it to a friend? Alternatively, play a game where you pretend to be the characters in a book, or discuss an interesting article you’ve read.
9. Make reading active
Play games that involve making connections between pictures, objects and words, such as reading about an object and finding similar things in your home. You could organise treasure hunts related to what you’re reading. Try creating your child’s very own book by using photos from your day and adding captions.
10. Engage your child in reading in a way that suits them
You know your child best and you’ll know the best times for your child to read. If they have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) then short, creative activities may be the way to get them most interested. If English is an additional language, encourage reading in a child’s first language, as well as in English. What matters most is that they enjoy it.
Last updated August 2023