At Bardsey Primary School, we place great emphasis on good speaking and listening skills. We aim for all our children to become clear communicators and to achieve success as confident readers and writers. English and Literacy is at the forefront of our priorities as a means of impacting on a broad and balanced curriculum.

The National Curriculum (2014) clearly states that teaching the English language is an essential, if not the most essential role of a primary school. At school we recognise that without effective communication, little achievement can be made. We know that we have a duty to ensure that English teaching is a priority and we recognise that this is necessarily cross-curricular and a constant throughout school life and beyond. Aims and objectives The study of English develops children’s ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes. The use of written and verbal language in the classroom enables children to communicate ideas, views and feelings creatively and imaginatively. As they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry, playscripts, non-fiction and media texts, children gain an understanding of how language works. Children use their knowledge, skills and understanding in speaking and writing across a range of different situations.

The aims of English are:

• to enable children to speak clearly and audibly in ways which take account of their audience

• to encourage children to listen with concentration in order to be able to identify the main points of what they have heard, and respond appropriately;

• to enable children to adapt their speech to a wide range of circumstances and demands

• to develop children’s abilities to reflect on their own and others’ contributions and the language used

• to enable children to evaluate their own and others’ contributions through a range of drama activities

• to develop confident, independent readers through an appropriate focus on word, sentence and text-level knowledge;

• to encourage children to become enthusiastic and reflective readers through immersion in challenging and lengthy texts

• to help children enjoy writing and recognise its value

• to enable children to write with accuracy and meaning in narrative and nonfiction

• to increase the children’s ability to use planning, drafting and editing to improve their work

At Bardsey, we believe that reading is an important life skill and we strive for all children to enjoy and value it. We recognise that enjoyment in reading arises from deriving meaning from text. It is our aim to develop and create passionate readers for life.

Home Reading: In EYFS, KS1 and KS2, children take home a reading book based on their reading level. The children change their books on set days dependent on their year group. They select their own reading book and they record the title in their home Reading Record or Weekly Planner. Children may choose texts that they are familiar with or a new text. Children are expected to read each evening at home with their families and to make comments in the reading record books.

Reading for Pleasure: Each class has a designated Reading Corner or Book Resource Area which is an engaging and comfortable environment to stimulate and engage children during quiet reading time. There is also a book trolley with a range of book titles. These books are ‘real’ stories with interesting themes which can stimulate points for discussion.

Many exciting and rewarding activities are arranged in school to promote the pleasure and knowledge that can be gained from books. Some of these events include “Book Week”, visits by published authors, skilled story tellers from many cultures, in-school performances by professional theatre groups, making books, using drama, dance and music to illustrate texts.

We aim to instil a passion for reading in all our children and therefore regular guided reading is integral in our school curriculum. Guided Reading lessons are planned around the 4 main comprehension strategies of predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarising. This approach has been adapted in order to develop the children’s comprehension skills and to develop their ability to question things themselves. Child led dialogue is an important element of this session.

Baseline Expectations: - 1 to 1 reading takes place in Reception and every child reads at least twice a week with an adult. -

Guided Reading takes place regularly in Years 1-6. This lesson lasts at least 20 minutes. - Priority 1 to 1 reading with an adult takes place every day for children that are below national expectations or target expectations (numbers of children will vary per class). 

At Bardsey Primary School, we believe that the mastery of written language is one of the most powerful gifts that we can provide to our children. We believe that writing should be purposeful, rich and enjoyable for all. 

Shared writing: Shared writing takes place within the Literacy lesson; the teacher models the writing process to the whole class as an expert writer, articulating the process. Teaching objectives are pre-planned and sessions are characterised by explicit teaching of specific writing strategies, oral response and high levels of collaboration. The children join in individually or through partner work, with the writing, where appropriate.

Guided writing: Guided writing takes place as part of a guided session within a unit of work. During guided writing the responsibility for writing shifts to the learner. Guided writing takes place with a group of children with similar writing targets/needs. During a guided writing session the children will write with a teacher supporting. It is intended that guided writing provides a forum for children to demonstrate what they have learned about writing and to further develop and extend their writing skills.

Children will have opportunities to develop their ability to write in increasing detail as they work their way through the school. In Key Stage 1 children will respond to stories and begin to plan and write their own, developing their ability to convey meaning and use written language to construct sentences. Children will be encouraged to use their imagination to write creatively and descriptively.

Children will learn to write a variety of non-fiction texts through the creative curriculum. These are: Explanation Writing, Journalistic Writing, Biography Writing, Discussion Writing, Report Writing, Instruction Writing and Persuasive Writing, to name a few. 

At Bardsey Primary School, we firmly believe that a sound understanding of grammar will lead to an improved understanding of English and how the written and oral language works. Grammar is taught minimum 2 or 3 times a week in Key Stage 1 and 2, in line with the objectives in the new curriculum. We believe that the teaching of grammar should, as far as possible, feed into the writing activity that the children are undertaking and should not be taught in isolation. Children are taught and encouraged to use the correct grammatical terminology from Key Stage 1 onwards.

All teachers follow the expectations set by the spelling guidance within the New Curriculum Framework 2014. In Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, spelling will be taught and monitored daily through discrete phonics lessons. In Key Stage 2, spelling activities are undertaken at various points during the week. Spellings are systematically taught according to spelling patterns. This then feeds into a weekly homework cycle. Please see the school’s Spelling Policy for further information about how spelling is taught. 

High standards of handwriting are expected across all subjects. Children are encouraged to develop a neat, joined style of handwriting which is developed as they progress through the school. It is an expectation that all children demonstrate good posture when writing and hold their pencil/pen accordingly.