English at Christ Church
At Christ Church, the high quality teaching of English is a key priority and we believe that teaching children not only to read and write successfully, but to enjoy the journey, is key to enable them to reach their full potential. We aim to develop a life long love of reading and writing through good quality texts that leads to a love of English literature and language.
World Book Day 2023
Writing at Christ Church
Christ Church Primary School is using The Literary Curriculum as our whole-school English strategy.
At Christ Church we want to make sure that our expectations are high and that we have good progression in writing skills across the school. Through this approach children develop the skills to become fluent, creative writers with the ability to write coherently for a range of purposes and different audiences.
Click here to view our overview of literary themes and texts
The National Curriculum Programmes of Study
By placing books at the core, we are allowing teachers to use the text as the context for the requirements of the National Curriculum. Writing opportunities are meaningful and the audience is clear. Books offer this opportunity: our final aim would be that that children have real reasons to write, whether to explain, persuade, inform or instruct and that where possible, this can be embedded within text or linked to a curriculum topic.
The programmes of study for writing at Key Stages 1 and 2 consist of
- transcription (spelling and handwriting)
- composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).
Writing has a high profile at Christ Church. In order to make good progression in writing, children need to:
- Enjoy writing and recognise its value,
- Write with confidence, clarity and imagination,
- Write grammatically correct sentences that are punctuated accurately,
- Understand the features of and how to write in a range of genres and non-fiction texts,
- Plan, draft, revise and edit their own writing,
- Develop an adventurous and broad vocabulary,
- Know their next steps and how they can make their writing better,
- Develop fine motor skills to ensure consistent mark making with increasing dexterity, to produce recognisable letters, developing into a continuous cursive style of handwriting,
- Use phonological knowledge and spelling rules to spell accurately.
Spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
There are two statutory appendices in the New Curriculum on Spelling and on Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation. Spellings are taught weekly using Literary Leaves meaning spellings are meaningful and can be used in context during the current book sequence. These spellings are sent home weekly for them to learn at home. Grammar and punctuation is taught as part of the English lesson. Grammar and Punctuation is taught through writing and reading sessions. The Literary Curriculum embeds phonics, spelling and grammar throughout their book sequences to allow children to cover the full curriculum whilst also using these skills purposefully and in context.
Click here to view the National Curriculum Spelling Appendix Years 1-6
Click here to view the National Curriculum Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation Appendix Years 1-6
Phonics and Reading at Christ Church
EYFS and Key Stage One
At Christ Church, we follow Bug Club for the teaching of SSP (Systematic, Synthetic Phonics). Throughout each phase taught, formative assessment takes place and any children not making expected progress are identified and given extra support or additional teaching.
At the end of Year 1, children take the National Phonics Screening Check. This requires children to be able to read 20 real and 20 fake/nonsense words to assess their ability to decode words phonetically. Any children who do not pass the phonics screening will continue to receive additional phonics support in Year 2.
Individual and group reading is used throughout EYFS and Year 1. Children read decodable books which are closely matched to their phonics learning until they are confidently reading with increasing fluency. Children are exposed to a range of decodable books including non-fiction books, books that relate to their current topic and picture/reading for pleasure books. The class teachers and English lead regularly monitor reading assessments and identify 'hot list' readers who read at least three times per week to develop fluency and accelerate progress.
In Year 2, individual reading and whole class comprehension sessions are used throughout the school year until Summer Term 1. Children then move onto Literacy Leaves sequences where they will deepen their comprehension skills and written comprehension skills whilst continuing to improve their fluency during whole class taught lessons. Again, children identified as making slow progress become 'hot list' readers who read at least three times per week one to one with an adult to develop fluency and accelerate progress.
Key Stage Two
In Key Stage 2, children are taught reading through Literacy Leaves learning sequences. Children engage in purposeful, meaningful reading experiences, embedded in a language rich environment with a fantastic range of diverse, relatable texts. In lessons, directed activities are given to explore and analyse a text in greater depth. Planning and teaching is scaffolded to ensure that ALL children are achieving excellent outcomes despite their decoding level. Throughout these lessons, teachers continue to model reading skills, using echo and choral reading, with reading out loud being a core component to ensure children continue to have opportunities to develop their fluency and prosody.
Those children in KS2 who are not achieving age-related expectations will continue to read three times a week, one to one with an adult to ensure their fluency skills continue to be developed and progress is accelerated.
A love of books and learning at Christ Church goes beyond just learning to read and write and we would encourage the children, staff and parents to also read for pleasure at home too. We are working alongside LoveReading4Kids and you can too. See the information below:
Red Ted at Christ Church
Hi! My name is ‘Red Ted’ and I am a very special bear!
Did you know that once a half term the teachers at Christ Church award me to a class member who has worked really hard to either improve their reading, read regularly and fill in the Reading Record or have taken on more challenging books.
I am given out at Family Collective Worship and it is always a very proud moment – so from Reception, all the way to Year 6, you have the opportunity to give me a home.
Maybe I will be coming home with you soon, so keep reading!