“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” – Anne Frank
“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.” – John Jakes
“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” – Phillip Pullman
“I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” – William Wadsworth
What we believe:
At Hayton C of E Primary School, we know that in order to provide a high-quality education, which will help prepare our pupils for their futures, children must have a solid grasp on all aspects of English: reading, writing, grammar and spelling. As Hayton has literacy at the core of our ambitious curriculum, we help inspire our pupils’ curiosity and provide pupils with crucial skills that are fundamental to unlocking all subjects in the curriculum and, equally as important, help them to explore the world around them, through secondary school and beyond.
Our Hayton ‘Curriculum Compass’ for English:
Knowledge is our North: a knowledge-rich curriculum
Reading, writing and oracy are the tools within in which all knowledge is imparted and entrenched therefore ‘English’ is embedded throughout, within and across our ‘Hayton Curriculum’ Within ‘English’ itself, knowledge starts from the earliest of experiences with phonemic awareness, leading to phoneme/grapheme correspondences – with children learning to read being our absolute priority. Alongside this, children constantly build their personal bank of vocabulary as well as knowledge of the way the English language works, its grammatical conventions, sentence components, its subtleties and nuances. Children also build a knowledge of ‘rich stories’, being exposed to high quality texts that are read to them, shared and discussed with them as well as reading for themselves. Knowledge of famous authors and poets are embedded within our curriculum ‘golden thread’ of ‘significant people’ (VIPs).
Skills are our South: understanding our place in the world
For centuries, words have been our most powerful tool in helping generations recognise their past, to help understand their present in order to better inform their future. At Hayton Primary School, we share this love of vocabulary and the magic of words. Through reading a range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and traditional tales, our children are immersed in a breadth of vocabulary to help them explore their place in the local community, their nation and the world, and use these texts as fuel to write their own musings on the world they live in to help continue this cycle.
Excellence is out East: aspiring to achieve
Through rich stories, pupils meet significant people (from the past and present), who have left an everlasting imprint of our world (Our Hayton ‘VIPs’: Very Important People). By introducing pupils to these figures within English lessons, or other subjects across the curriculum and story time, important themes, values and lessons are shared. Reading inspirational stories, begins to open our minds to the possibilities of our future and allow us to set aspirations we wish to achieve.
Worldliness is out West: broadening horizons
The literary world takes many shapes and sizes and holds a whole range of possibilities. It is an area where imagination can take hold and transport us to different cities, countries or realms. Through a variety of carefully chosen books, children at Hayton are introduced to places beyond the school gates and meet people from the past and around the world. By putting the stories into context, we bring to life the sense of curiosity, exploration and discovery and, in turn, evoke these ambitions in our children.
As a school, we aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping children with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading both across the curriculum and at home. As a school, we aim to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- become competent in the art of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
Rich stories and books are the building blocks of our curriculum
Here at Hayton C of E Primary School, we see books at the centre of all learning for our pupils of all ages. Early reading is of the utmost importance; sharing stories, rhymes and books with pupils in early years helps them to practise vocabulary, understand the world around them through aiding their curiosity, imagination and eagerness to thrive. To encourage this through school, we have a whole school reading library as well as class reading areas and a 'Book Nook'!
Our 'Reading Without Limits' Whole School reading challenge gives an added dimension and structure to children’s reading diet. These books have been carefully selected to ensure a wealth of authors, genres, cultures and communities are explored so that all of our children are able to relate to these inspiring stories. Sharing these stories with pupils allows them to connect to other people, understand and experience shared ideas, explore history and values, as well as develop key emotional intelligence skills. Through exploring exciting books not only in English, but across the curriculum will help spark a love of reading for life.
Class teachers plan units of lessons according to the progression of knowledge and skills documents for English and our long and medium term plans. These are structured around class texts that has been purposefully selected. While reading the book, teachers begin to sequence their lessons to build up to a written outcome, which excites and enthuses the pupils. During these lessons, children will practise skills that enable them to successfully complete the task. In order to ensure coverage of a range of writing purposes (to inform, to entertain, to discuss and to persuade), audiences, layouts and grammatical devices, class teachers use the English overview and our mixed-age long-term plans. This allows pupils to build on past pieces of writing by applying previous skills as well as combining it with new concepts to ensure progression.
How do we do it?
Our English Learning
The below document shows our learning in English his year. As you can see, we LOVE books!
English - Reading and Writing Long Term Plans 2023 onwards
English - Reading and Writing Planning 2022-23
The English curriculum has been carefully mapped out to ensure revisiting of key knowledge throughout the year, whether this be through basic skill inputs, starters, interventions, or whole class teaching. Class teachers’ planning incorporates time to recap previous learning to then build on knowledge and understanding in new, related areas of study. When possible, class books are chosen to fit with an area of study across the curriculum; this allows purposeful links to be made, meaning that knowledge and understanding is consolidated in both English and another subject within the curriculum. The skills and knowledge imparted in each unit are derived from the National Curriculum and expanded upon to ensure that all children meet a high standard and minimum requirement, from which class teachers can augment knowledge and conceptual understanding based on the individuals within their cohort.
We value the power of authentic experience; learning is brought to life AND given relevance and meaning. Class teachers therefore carefully select purposeful, verbal and written outcomes to mark the end of a piece of work linked to the class text. Supporting our key driver of ‘Worldliness is our West: Broadening Horizons’, pupils practise a range of key skills to showcase the learning they’ve embedded over the half term through completing two pieces of extended writing in the half term, which is close-marked by class teachers using our Hayton Writing Assessment and Progression documents. This could be through a written letter, a debate, writing a postcard or diary entry, taking on a journalistic approach by writing for a newspaper or creating a piece of poetry and delivering it aloud to peers to hear. It is through these outcomes, we hope to inspire our pupils’ writing and open their eyes to a world of possibilities, where English is at the forefront. As well as this, across the curriculum, children are given opportunities to write at length in a range of subjects to practise embedding subject-specific vocabulary and write in a range of styles.
Teaching and Learning
The National Curriculum (2014) forms the basis of teaching and learning. Programmes of study have been developed on a rolling programme based on the curriculum for England. Teachers plan for different groups depending on pupil need; these include whole class, small group, paired and individual.
The teacher works towards each child’s individual learning needs, employing a range of teaching strategies, including:
- Role play and use of props
- Drafting and editing
Beautiful work (VIPs - VERY IMPORTANT PRESENTATION): At Hayton, we celebrate beautiful work! Driven by our value of ‘pride’, we teach children the importance of well-presented, carefully planned work. Children are proud to display their outcomes; resilience, effort and progress are praised.
Working walls and display: On the wall of every classroom, English working walls can be found, where the current whole class text is displayed for children to investigate and explore. Each display is split in half, so that reading around the book is regularly updated to support pupils with character facts, key moments within the narrative and questions they have regarding the book so far. The other half shows ‘Hayton Writers’. When building up to an extended piece of writing, class teachers update this half with: grammatical devices which have been studied; the purpose for writing, audience and layout the writing will take (PAL); modelled writing examples to provide children with examples of what they will be doing; examples of WAGOLLS that have been analysed; a success criteria, which is added to as the sequence of lessons progress; and key vocabulary that has been discovered on route to the writing that pupils would need to use their work.
Spelling/phonics displays: In every classroom, support with spelling or phonics is displayed permanently to guide children with their spelling rule of the week. Phonics posters are on display in EYFS and KS1 classrooms to act as an aid to pupils when writing or reading.
How do we know if we are having an impact?
Assessments are made in line with the school assessment policy and are made at the end of each unit of study, in line with the revised age related expectation descriptors in the National Curriculum (2014). In addition to this, formal assessments in reading and writing are made termly in line with the school assessment policy. Marking is in line with the school’s policy: Teachers’ aim when marking is to ensure progress. Both verbal and written comments are made, all with the aim to identify misconceptions, identify errors; or extend children’s thinking. ‘Think Pink’ steps are used to move children forward in their learning, address misconceptions, or consolidate learning.
Ongoing assessment strategies are embedded within teacher practice and aim to support children knowing more and remembering more. Class teachers plan for opportunities to include strategies such as : ‘Refreshers’ and ‘Flashback 4’ which all aim to support children with retention and recall so that they are able to consolidate and build on previous taught content.
Children are assessed during their reception year using the Foundation Stage Profile and are formally assessed at the end of each Key Stage. Test materials from NFER are used termly in Years 1 to 6 to monitor ongoing progress and to track individual pupils. Teachers use ongoing formative assessment to ensure planning is based on prior attainment and that pupils know what they are to do to achieve the next step. For our formative assessments and for our small, next steps in learning we use our 'Reading and Writing Criterion' see below:
Writing Assessment Criterion
Oxford Primary Reading Assessment Handbook
Parents are invited to discuss their child’s progress twice a year and are sent an annual end of year report, detailing the child’s literacy development and giving them individual targets for the next academic year. Children are aware of their own personal targets through variety of methods employed by different class teachers. It is expected that children can articulate their targets and verbalise what they need to do in order to improve their work. In addition to this, 'Hayton Great Writer' targets are updated at the beginning of each writing unit. Targets are shared at the beginning of a sequence of lessons and then used to review progress following extended writing.
At the heart of our curriculum here at Hayton Primary School lies basic skills in maths and English. Through our bespoke English curriculum, we hope to have inspired pupils through the texts they have read and subsequent writing opportunities it led to. By exploring a range of texts and genres during their time here, pupils are able to develop their own reading diet and have a love of books that they take with them on their next steps of education.
Here at Hayton, pupils will have confidence when writing at length and take pride in the work they produce, ensuring they incorporate a range of skills they’ve developed over their time at school.
Due to their key grasp on all aspects of the English curriculum, they are able to self-assess their writing and provide insightful, constructive feedback to their peers to further develop their work.
From their lessons, pupils will understand the importance of English as a stand-alone subject, but how it is woven into all aspects of curriculum.
Through participating in English lessons and a range of English events (Roald Dahl Day, National Poetry Day, National Word Day and World Book Day), children are able to explore all aspects of English and begin to delve into the different career paths linked to this subject. From this exposure to a range of different important dates and significant people across the English sphere from various backgrounds, all children understand that they are poets, writers, authors and journalists and are capable of achieving amazing things and contributing to literature in the future.
Spelling at Hayton
The teaching of Grammar and Spelling is in line with the requirements of The National Curriculum (2014). To be able to spell correctly is an essential life skill. When spelling becomes automatic, pupils can concentrate on the content of their writing and the making of meaning. We have an effective approach to the teaching of phonics in the EYFS , Year 1 and into Year 2 where needed. This is further built on throughout Year 2 and KS2, where the children continue to develop their spelling ability through the 'Spelling Shed' programme. We also use the cursive handwriting style from Year 1. We understand there is research both for and against teaching children cursive writing from the beginning, however our action in-school research suggests our children benefit from learning from the beginning as it frees up working memory and cognitive load – they more quickly develop automaticity in both their spelling and writing.
We aim to use explicit, interactive teaching, which draws children’s attention to the origins, structure and meaning of words and their parts, the shape and sound of words, the letter patterns within them and the various ways they can learn these patterns.
In Reception and KS1, daily phonics is the key to the children’s learning of spelling. From Year 2 and into KS2 the children move towards using their phonic knowledge to help them to understand spelling rules and patterns. We teach children to use their growing understanding of the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words to support their spelling. Helping the children to understand how to use and apply known spelling patterns (and to develop strategies to tackle tricky words) is the key to helping them to become successful spellers. Spelling skills are taught daily in both KS1 and KS2.
When writing, children should be concentrating on higher order thinking skills and should simply ‘have a go’ at spelling. Where words are spelt incorrectly, they are highlighted in their books. Children are then given the correct spelling, copying it correctly at least 5 times. Staff also recognise common errors in class and these are added to weekly spellings.
The children have weekly games set on 'Spelling Shed' to support their spelling practice at home. As well as this, please see the below document for ideas for games and activities you could play:
Please click HERE for a link to Spelling Shed