- About Us
It is our intent at Crook Primary School to provide all of our children with a high-quality English curriculum, which develops their love of reading, writing and discussion. One of our main priorities is to ensure that by the end of their primary education, our children have the required knowledge and skills that allow them to speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial and will give our children the tools they need to succeed in life. Through using high-quality texts, immersing children in vocabulary rich learning environments and ensuring new curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met, the children at Crook Primary will be exposed to a language heavy, creative and continuous English curriculum which will not only enable them to become primary literate, but will also develop a love of reading, creative writing and purposeful speaking and listening.
With regards to reading, we intend to encourage all children to read widely and often across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live; to establish an appreciation of reading for pleasure; to gain knowledge across the curriculum; to develop their comprehension skills; and to expose them to a wide range of vocabulary so that they able to decipher new words and then use them when speaking both informally and formally. Phonics will be emphasised in the early teaching of reading when they start school in Reception, and it is our intention to ensure that, by the end of KS1 all children are emergent readers. This will be further developed in KS2, where we intend for all children to be able to read easily, fluently and with confidence, in any subject as they progress into secondary education.
With regards to writing, we intend for our children to be able to plan, draft, proofread, evaluate and edit their writing. To be able to do this effectively, children will be encouraged to use a range of planning frameworks; in addition to developing effective transcription and composition all of which support the planning and writing process. They will also take pride in their writing, develop awareness of the audience, purpose and text type for a piece of writing, as well as adapting their language, style and grammar in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We also intend for pupils to leave school being able to use fluent and legible handwriting.
With regards to spelling, our teachers will show children how to understand the relationships between words. They will also teach children how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than one meaning, and we intend for our children to apply spelling patterns correctly to pieces of writing.
With regards to speaking and listening, we want to inspire children to speak clearly, fluently and coherently in front of others and ensure they use discussion in order to learn and to communicate; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas, make formal presentations and participate in debate. We want them to be able to listen attentively with understanding, pleasure and empathy and contribute to group discussions effectively.
We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum and framework that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion.
Early reading in the Foundation Stage and KS1 is supported through the Little Wandle Letters & Sounds scheme. Regular training and development days ensure that staff are equipped to teach with the expertise and skills required to deliver phonics teaching and promote excellent progress, as well as a love of reading. Children will be exposed to fully decodable individual phonics books, which are matched to their phase and will allow for oral rehearsal of sounds taught. When children have completed the programme, they will progress onto Accelerated Reader.
By the time children start KS2, they will have an Accelerated Reader book, which is at their reading level. These books are chosen independently by the children. Children receive additional Accelerated Reader sessions that are dedicated to independent reading. By the end of Year 4, those children who are reading beyond age related expectations are able to access a wider range of books that are not levelled to further enhance their reading interests.
With our reading aims in mind, we have a discrete lesson for shared reading for all years from Years 2 to 6. This ensures that reading comprehension and reading fluency is explicitly taught every day and that every child is given the opportunity to read aloud to the class at least once a week. A wide range of fiction and non-fiction books to support and enhance these lessons were purchased so that all staff felt proficient and skilled in delivering these sessions effectively and children would develop their cultural capital whilst being exposed to rich vocabulary.
Each class is able to access the local library as well as a school library, which has an up-to-date selection of books to provide quality reading materials for all children to promote reading for enjoyment. The children also take part in organising and developing their classroom reading area. Reading is celebrated throughout the school with creative displays which celebrate authors, children’s favourite books and their reading achievements. In addition to this, throughout the school year the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author and poet visits, parent reading workshops and a range of trips and visits which enrich and complement children’s learning. All classes take part in daily story times at the end of the day to continue to foster a love for reading.
Reading at home is regarded as an important part of reading development. Children select their own texts from MyOn and these are changed as soon as they are finished.
As we believe consistency and well-taught English is the bedrock of a valuable education, at Crook Primary, we ensure that the teaching of writing is purposeful, robust and shows clear progression for all children. When planning English lessons, teachers make links to other areas of the curriculum to ensure that cross curricular links provide further context for learning. Teaching blocks focus on fiction, non-fiction or poetry. Lessons are sequenced so that they build progressively towards an extended piece of writing. In line with the new national curriculum, we ensure that each year group is teaching the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for that age group. As well as teaching the objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in cross-curricular writing opportunities and ensure that most children are achieving the objectives at the expected level and that some children can achieve at a greater depth standard. In this sense, assessment of writing is also more fluid as teachers can assess against a set framework. All year groups use the same format for assessing writing, which have been produced in line with the end of Key Stage assessment frameworks as published by the Department for Education.
In order to expose children to a variety of genres which helps to utilise and embed the writing skills, teachers use a writing journey to plan, structure and teach their English lessons. This journey is designed to show progress, teach the year group objectives in the context of a text, apply and consolidate these skills and develop vocabulary, which has been taught using the SEEC model during discrete vocabulary lessons each week. Writing is taught through the use of age-appropriate quality texts, which expose the children to inference, high-level vocabulary, a range of punctuation and characterisation, real-life situations and current affairs. Each text is purposefully selected in order to promote a love of reading, engagement and high-quality writing from each child. Children are provided with opportunities to write for a range of purposes and audiences. Teachers use shared writing sessions to model writing skills, teaching children how to compose, amend and revise their writing. Children organise and present their writing in different ways.
At Crook Primary School, we identify children who need support and provide intervention in the most effective and efficient way that we can. We run intervention reading groups and are fortunate to have volunteers who also come in regularly to hear children read. All children on the SEND register have reading and comprehension as one of their targets. Teachers plan and teach English lessons which are differentiated to the particular needs of each child. We help each child maximise their potential by providing help and support where necessary whilst striving to make children independent workers once we have helped to equip them with the confidence, tools and strategies that they need.
We run parent information sessions and provide information leaflets on phonics for Year 1 parents and SATs for Year 2 and Year 6 parents so that they understand age-related expectations in Reading and Writing. These sessions are always very well attended by parents and carers.
Assessment for Learning is embedded in English lessons and children are active in reviewing the successes in their work and identifying, with support from their teacher, target areas for development to ensure a continuous and individualised approach to improving their work. We teach children to become critical readers of their own writing by using self-evaluation and checking their work independently for sense, accuracy and meaning. Regular English book scrutinies are carried out to check all teachers are following our marking policy for extended pieces of writing.
Handwriting is also taught using Letter Join, during discrete handwriting sessions. Within Letter Join, there is a clear skills progression from EYFS to Year 6, so that by the end of KS1 children can use leading lines and by the end of KS2, children write fluently using joined writing.
Speaking and Listening
With regards to speaking and listening, we give our children confidence in themselves as speakers and listeners by showing them that we value their conversations and opinions. We also encourage a respect for the views of others. Teachers provide a model of speakers and listeners in our day-to-day interactions with them and with other adults in our school. We help children at Crook Primary to articulate their ideas and provide purposes and audiences for talk within a range of formal and informal situations and in individual, partner, group and class contexts. We provide opportunities to perform to a larger audience, in assemblies and a Year 6 production, where children’s efforts and skills are acknowledged by staff, parents, carers, visitors and peers. Children are also provided with a range of experiences where they can work collaboratively and participate in opportunities to reflect on talk and explore real and imagined situations through role play, hot seating, drama and discussions. To develop their ability to listen with attention and understanding, children are given opportunities across the curriculum to ask and respond to questions appropriately.