This policy reflects the values and philosophy of Edge Hill Junior School in relation to the teaching and learning of English. It gives a framework to which all staff, teaching and non-teaching, work. It gives guidance on planning, teaching and assessment. This policy is intended to be used in conjunction with the National Curriculum (2014), which gives details of what pupils in each year will cover.
Our Philosophy of English.
English is an essential element of our school’s curriculum. It equips our children with the necessary skills to access all other areas of the curriculum as well as providing them with a range of opportunities designed to develop both their confidence and ability in all forms of communication both within and outside the school environment.
The process by which this will be achieved is one which embraces literature as a source of awe and wonder and promotes a variety of teaching strategies in order to offer our children both intellectual challenge and an appreciation of our language.
This policy document, having been presented to and agreed upon by the whole staff and Governing Body, is distributed to all members of the teaching and non-teaching staff and the curriculum committee of the Governing Body. It is also available on the school website.
Our aim is to deliver the legal requirements as set out in the National Curriculum (2014). This will be done through the provision of experiences and learning which will enable children to:-
Be effective, competent communicators and good listeners;
Express opinions, articulate feelings and formulate responses to a range of texts both fiction and non-fiction using appropriate technical vocabulary;
Foster an interest in words and their meanings, and to develop a growing vocabulary in both spoken and written form;
Enjoy and engage with and understand a range of text types and genres;
To be able to write in a variety of styles and forms showing awareness of audience and purpose;
Develop powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness in all areas of English;
Use grammar and punctuation accurately;
Understand spelling conventions;
Produce effective, well-presented written work.
By the time children leave our school, we expect them to communicate through speaking and listening, reading and writing, with confidence, fluency and understanding and in a range of situations. We want every child to take pleasure in reading across a range of genres and have a strong motivation to read for a variety of purposes.
By the end of Key Stage 2, the majority of pupils should be working within the range of 6 within to 6 secure +.
The time allocated for English is in line with recommendations for Key Stage 2. This amounts to 7.5 hours per week.
In addition, it is expected that cross-curricular links will contribute to pupils’ effective learning in speaking and listening, reading and writing. This is reinforced through our delivery of the curriculum. Children will also benefit from regular story sessions (at least 3 times a week).
The teaching of English throughout the school will be in mixed ability classes. At times decided by the year group, the teaching of a certain topic or group of lessons may be in ability grouping.
Extra adult support is available in every class, during the morning session.
The school recognises the value of literacy intervention programmes and these will be implemented as and when it is seen as appropriate.
Teaching and Learning.
The National Curriculum (2014) forms the basis of teaching and learning. All children receive at least the minimum entitlement of a daily English lesson.
Teachers work towards independent learning and plan for different working groups. Teachers employ a range of generic teaching strategies.
The English Coordinator has written the long term English plan. This details the areas of non-fiction, fiction and poetry to be covered in each year group to ensure the coverage of a range of text types and genres. Year Groups use this and the National Curriculum (2014) as a starting point for creating their medium term English plans. These are then used as a basis for short-term planning and adapted according to the needs of the children.
Short term planning will be put on the Shared Area of the school computer system. This ensures that all staff are able to have access to it if necessary.
The length of a unit may vary. Teachers plan closely with year group colleagues to ensure consistency of opportunity for all children.
Clear learning objectives are set for each session. These are shared with pupils and are stuck into books under the date. Teachers differentiate according to the needs of the pupils and use intervention programmes for targeted support.
English skills are developed across our curriculum and links are made where appropriate.
ICT is used where it enhances, extends and complements English teaching and learning. Additional adults are used to support the teaching of English. They work under the guidance of the teacher with groups of children or individuals as necessary.
Learning Outside the Classroom.
Every term, each class has a Forest School Week. During this week, the children take part in various activities in the woodland each afternoon. These afternoons are run by the Forest School Practitioners with support from the class teacher.
During Forest School Week, the English planning in the morning will reflect the activities taking place in the afternoon. For instance, the children may be den building in the afternoon and then the following morning they might write instructions on how to build a den or they may be making miniature gardens in the afternoon and the next morning they might label a photograph of their completed gardens with their decisions and then explain how those decisions would help someone to live off the land.
The English planning for Forest School Week is done in collaboration with the Forest School Practitioners to ensure the best impact on the children’s learning.
All children receive quality first English teaching on a daily basis and activities are differentiated accordingly. In addition, where identified pupils are considered to require targeted support to enable them to work towards age appropriate objectives, intervention programmes will be implemented. Teachers and teaching assistants plan programmes together and monitor progress of these pupils.
Pupils who are working significantly outside of their age appropriate objectives can enter a third wave of support – a small group of children who are withdrawn from English lessons in order to take part in an intervention group of no more than 10 children who take part in carefully planned lessons enabling them to learn the skills they need in order to work successfully within a mixed ability class. The time children spend in this small group is flexible depending on individual needs.
Pupils who are working above their age related expectations are differentiated for in the classroom.
The needs of children with English as an additional language will be met through planning and support from teaching assistants where appropriate. This is supported by our Equal Opportunities Policy.
Class Organisation and Teaching Style.
English skills will be taught primarily through English lessons, which are a minimum of 1 hour per day, throughout the school.
Three lessons a week will be linked to the text type/genre being studied. One will be a set Spelling session and one will be English taught through another subject. The English lessons in Year 6 may differ depending on the needs of the children as they approach their statutory tests.
In addition, children will also have a daily Guided Reading session of 25-30 minutes.
At Edge Hill Junior School, class teachers are responsible for their own class organisation and teaching styles, while ensuring that these complement and reflect the overall aims and philosophy of the school. Children are given the opportunity to work as a class, as individuals and as part of a group. The choice of class organisation is determined by the learning task or by the activity.
Differentiation will be provided not only through setting but also though a variety of methods within the class.
Staff work in year groups and as a staff regularly to discuss class organisation and teaching styles. Good practice is shared, book scrutinies take place and peer observations can be set up when necessary.
Assessment, Recording and Reporting.
Assessments are made in line with the school assessment policy.
Teachers use effective assessment for learning to ensure planning is based on prior attainment and that pupils know what they need to do to achieve the next steps. Group or individual targets are set accordingly. Marking is in line with the school marking and feedback policy.
Analysis of assessment data is used to set targets. Where applicable, school issues are addressed through targets linked to appraisal.
Children are informed of their targets through comments written in purple pen at the end of a piece of work and are supported to make progress towards them. Children are also involved in setting their own targets using self-assessment. Peer-assessment is also used when appropriate.
Teachers keep records on the school assessment system in line with the school assessment policy that enable them to deliver an effective, creative and relevant curriculum that builds on prior attainment and meets the needs of pupils.
The Senior Management Team and the English co-ordinator will take responsibility for planning the monitoring of English throughout the school. It could be in the form of:-
Collating examples of weekly plans from teachers;
Lesson observations and feedback;
Team Teaching with colleagues;
Interviews with children;
Drawing up action plans and implementing necessary changes.
Teachers are expected to keep up to date with subject knowledge and use current materials that are available in school or online.
Training needs to be identified as a result of whole school monitoring and evaluation, performance management and through induction programmes. These will be reflected in the School Development Plan. The English co-ordinator will arrange for relevant advice and information, such as feedback from courses or monitoring, to be disseminated. Where necessary, the English co-ordinator will lead or organise school-based training.
Resources and Accommodation.
A comprehensive range of resources is available in school. Every class has a selection of dictionaries and thesauruses and a class fiction library.
There is a non-fiction library in the ICT suite in addition to a Swap Shelf to encourage reading for pleasure.
Reading books are colour coded. Purple and below are in the intervention room (mobile classroom), Gold-Brown are stored on the bookshelf at the bottom of the Year 5 stairs and Brown-Dark Red are kept on the bookshelf at the bottom of the Year 6 stairs. This is to ensure all children have access to them when necessary.
For Guided Reading, multiple copies of Folen’s Momentum are available in the photocopying room between the Year 5 and Year 6 stairs and multiple copies of Bug Club are available in the Intervention Room (Purple and below) and in the staff room (Gold and above). Teaching manuals are kept with the sets of books.
Other teacher resources are located in classrooms and are shared between all staff (including visiting students).
The English Co-ordinator is responsible for maintaining resources, monitoring their use and organising storage. Staff submit resource requirements to the English Co-ordinator, as well as notifying them of any damaged stock. Resource purchasing is in accordance with normal school procedures and is based upon the English budget which is bid for from the main school budget by the co-ordinator.
This policy will be reviewed annually by the English co-ordinator, in consultation with the staff, and as and when elements of English are identified or prioritised within the School Improvement Plan.