English

 

At Chorlton Park, our aim is to ensure that

  • Every child can communicate effectively through speaking and writing;
  • Every child enjoys reading and can make choices about what they read;
  • Every child can reflect on their work, take pride in it and suggest ways to improve it.

Our vision and intent for reading is for all children to become fluent, resilient readers with a love of books and authors. We therefore offer children a varied reading experience based on high quality texts, which include stories, information books, poems and playscripts. We ensure that children have opportunities to read independently, with their peers, with adults and also to have stories read to them. Throughout school, we teach children a range of strategies to tackle new sounds, new words and new concepts.  

We have adapted the Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage and the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for Reading, to develop a modern and engaging curriculum which meets the needs of our pupils.

Phonics and Early Reading

Since January 2022, we teach early reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme validated by the Department for Education. We start teaching phonics in Nursery (Phase 1) and follow the Little Wandle progression from Reception into Year 1, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of letters (graphemes) and sounds (phonemes) to read and spell as they move through school. Some children carry on learning phonics into Key Stage 2.

For more information on Little Wandle, visit: https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/

Reading books

We believe it is important for children to develop good life-long reading habits at home. We work with parents to ensure that children read at home as often as possible and become enthusiastic readers.

In Nursery, children are invited to choose a picture book from our class library with their parent to read at home.

In Reception and Year 1, children take 2 books home. The children apply their phonics by reading a phonetically-decodable book which is closely matched to their phonics ability and also take-home books from other schemes so they are exposed to a wide range of reading materials.

In Year 2, children take home a phonetically decodable book or a banded book closely matched to their reading ability and a reading for pleasure book which they are encouraged to read and explore with an adult.

Throughout the rest of the school, children are given banded books according to their reading ability. Our books are carefully selected from a range of schemes which include Pearson Bug Club, Oxford Reading Tree and Collins Big Cat.

Every child in school is given a Reading Record at the start of the year which they use to record their reading at home. Parents and teachers can also use the Records to communicate about the child’s reading.

Fostering reading for pleasure

‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)

We believe in developing a love of reading in children and see it as one of our key school improvement priorities.

We have a commitment to make every day a reading day. Our timetable therefore includes a range of opportunities for children to read and be read to. Every class has a wide selection of story books, information books and poetry which adults share with the children.

In addition, we organise a range of reading events which include World Book Day celebrations, whole school arts projects around a book and events with authors. In the last few years, our pupils have had a chance to meet famous writers and illustrators such as Thomas Taylor, Nick Sharratt, Marie Basting, Yvette Fielding, Kate Milner, Onjali Rauf, Tom Palmer, David Baddiel, Matt Lucas, Cressida Cowell, Chris Smith and Greg James and many others.

Library

We have a fantastic, well-resourced library at Chorlton Park. We encourage children, parents and carers to visit it as often as possible.

 

Writing

At Chorlton Park School, we believe in giving all children the chance to develop as skilled and creative writers, who can write effectively for a range of audiences and purposes.

1. Curriculum and pedagogy

The teaching of writing is delivered in a creative, stimulating and cross-curricular way, often linked to our Big Idea topics and based on high quality books and texts (Our English Long Term Plans for each year group can be found in the list on the right). Children are taught a range of skills based on the National Curriculum which they use to write different types of narrative texts, information texts, and poems. Spelling, grammar and vocabulary are taught in discrete sessions as well as during English lessons and children are shown how to punctuate and structure their writing correctly, becoming fluent with the relevant terminology.

To prepare for their writing, children are provided with opportunities to use drama techniques and to share their writing orally which enables them to imitate the language they need for their work.

Each child is set short-term writing targets (as next steps in Early Years and on a target flap in the rest of the school) which helps them improve their work. We also teach children how to review, correct and edit their own work and that of others.

2. Handwriting

Handwriting is a physical motor skill which is an integral part of the teaching of writing. We believe in enabling all children to develop a fluent, legible style of handwriting. We provide opportunities for children to develop, practise and perfect skills and provide targeted support to any child experiencing difficulty. Handwriting is taught weekly throughout school. The Penpals for Handwriting scheme is used as a basis for planning, teaching and assessing children’s progress. It is linked to the objectives of the National Curriculum.

 

Spoken language and oracy

At Chorlton Park, we want to develop our learners into confident communicators who can use spoken language effectively in a range of situations. We recognise the importance of quality speaking and listening to underpin children's literacy development and we also value our community's linguistic and cultural diversity.

Every member of staff at Chorlton Park encourages quality talk and endeavours to model quality talk themselves. This takes place in lessons, assemblies and throughout every aspect of school life.

Talking partners is a strategy that is used to give children opportunity to rehearse their ideas orally before feeding back to a group or to the class. We also use speaking frames/Kagan structures/adult support to ensure high quality talk in the classroom.

Drama, presentations and debating sessions are used to encourage the development of speaking and listening skills; to help children formulate their ideas; and to encourage them to embrace the British values of tolerance, respect and democracy,

 

If you have any questions about our English curriculum, please contact Rémi Gonthier, Curriculum Design and English Lead.