At Beacon Primary Academy, English and the teaching of English plays a key role in developing the foundation of our curriculum. Our English lessons develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and grammar and vocabulary. English is taught in a cross-curricular way, linking up with other areas of the curriculum. We teach our pupils to speak clearly, to convey their ideas fluently and confidently and to ask questions. Their vocabulary is developed systematically, across the whole curriculum. By equipping children with these vital skills we are providing them with opportunities to be resilient and capable learners, respectful and informed citizens, creative contributors and confident individuals.
We develop writing skills so that our pupils have the stamina and ability to write at the age expected standard. To support children in moving towards independent writing we provide a wide range of activities including use of film and imagery, modelled, shared and guided writing, peer editing and discussion. We provide opportunities for writing for purpose and we encourage pupils to see themselves as authors. We follow the writing structure of ‘The Write Stuff’ by Jane Considine and its clear pathway to promoting effective writing.
Handwriting, Spelling and Grammar sessions are incorporated into the English lessons and also on their own merit within the timetable. A range of extra activities are used to promote literacy within the school including themed days such as World Book Day, author visits, use of the outdoor area and trips.
At Beacon Primary Academy, we strive to teach children to read effectively and quickly, using a consistent Phonics programme which includes the daily teaching of synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary, decoding and encoding words as well as spelling and accurate letter formation. We passionately believe that teaching children to read and write independently, as quickly as possible, is one of the core purposes of our school. These fundamental skills not only hold the keys to the rest of the curriculum but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances.
Children are tracked on their phonics progression, alongside their reading fluency and interventions are swiftly put into place for any child who may need extra support. Our pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure and to read widely, which is celebrated as a whole school in weekly celebration assemblies.
The children will be heard reading individually and in groups. The guided reading sessions cover both fiction and non-fiction books and cover the key reading domains to develop key skills in reading comprehension. Parents are given clear expectations about reading at home and receive any support needed through parent workshops to develop their use of phonics and how this can be used at home to support their children. The children are also given the option to take a home a book to read for pleasure and of their choice. As a school we also ensure that children are read to by a teacher every day. This could be a class book or a recommendation from a child.
Our aims for English link closely to our wider Curriculum Intent – see the table below.
National Curriculum English Programmes of Study:
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