English

ENGLISH

The English Curriculum at Deepdene has its foundations in the National Curriculum 2014. Through engaging, thought provoking and enjoyable Literacy lessons we teach our pupils to read, write and speak and listen effectively. A love of reading is at the heart of our school and the values of reading for pleasure are made evident in all the work that we do within the Literacy classroom and across the school as a whole.

SPEAKING AND LISTENING

The Four Strands of Speaking and Listening: Speaking; Listening; Group Discussion and Interaction, and Drama are delivered in a cross-curricular approach as well as being explicitly taught in both Literacy and Speech and Drama lessons. These communication skills are critical to later life and at Deepdene we establish them in our young learners at an early age.

READING

Taking pleasure in reading and communicating the value of this to our pupils is prioritised at our school. Teachers model reading for pleasure with their classes and the school enthusiastically embraces opportunities to celebrate books and reading with national events like World Book Day and National Storytelling Week taking central stage on our school calendar. In the classroom, challenging and inspiring English texts broaden pupils’ experiences and prepare them well for their next phase in education throughout Key Stages 1 and 2.

Pupils at Deepdene enjoy a wide range of reading opportunities. This includes the teaching of phonics; shared reading and independent reading. A range of reading schemes are used throughout the school, including those that are book banded and all classrooms have a good range of material to choose from. Each child has a reading record in which they keep a log of the books they have read. Both teachers and parents comment in this book and it can be used to track a pupil’s reading habits over time and to celebrate achievements in reading.

WRITING

Opportunities, organisation and provision for the teaching and learning of writing are as follows:

  • Emergent writing: In Reception and Key Stage 1 children are given regular opportunities to write freely within a particular genre and across the curriculum. This gives them the opportunity to become emergent writers.
  • Shared Writing/Guided Writing/Independent Writing: these different methods all play a pivotal role in the teaching of writing during Literacy lessons at Deepdene. There are also frequent opportunities for independent writing throughout the other curriculum areas.
  • Extended writing: Throughout the term there are opportunities for extended writing. On a termly basis samples of these extended writing outcomes are used for assessment purposes and kept as records of a child’s progress in their personal Literacy Assessment folder.
  • Handwriting: The school encourages cursive handwriting script and this is taught and reinforced regularly in Key Stage 1. As children move through the school, opportunities to practice handwriting continue and class teachers encourage children to write in pen when they feel the child is ready.
  • Spelling: Children from Years 1 to 6 are given lists of spellings each week to learn at home. Children are tested on these words weekly.

Teachers provide personalised learning targets in Literacy and the children work to achieve these over the course of a term. These targets are shared with parents and are often displayed in the back of the children’s exercise books.

Work is marked and assessed in line with the school’s assessment policy and regular meetings involve teachers moderating the assessment of this work. Teachers use the age related expectations guidelines issued nationally to assess pupils’ progress in Literacy. In line with the new National Curriculum requirements and the raised expectations that this document outlines, teachers evaluate whether a child is working at/below or above the level expected for their age on a termly basis. The findings of our assessments are used to inform planning to help the teaching and learning process.

Katherine Croucher/Head of Literacy