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  • Oracy

    Oracy Intent

    We believe that through drama, debate and discussion opportunities, we can improve the verbal communication skills of all children and inspire them to be confident and expressive public speakers.

    Implementation

    At Green Dragon we recognise the importance of spoken language in the development of the whole child.  The quality and variety of language that children hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing.  The skills of speaking and listening are explicitly taught, and children are given a wide range of opportunities to practise these skills and develop confidence and competence.

    • Throughout the school, children talk about their learning, developing ideas and understanding through discussion, asking questions, being able to listen carefully to others’ views and giving them time to respond, sometimes challenging others’ viewpoints, negotiating with others in group work and considering a range of viewpoints. 
    • Talk partners are often used as a strategy to encourage discussion in lessons.
    • Relevant vocabulary is explicitly taught in lessons across the curriculum so that our children’s knowledge and understanding of vocabulary increases.
    • Talk for Writing is used throughout the school in order to embed key vocabulary.
    • In EYFS and KS1, opportunities to develop their spoken language include role play within the indoor and outdoor learning environments where children can explore language in contexts such as a garage or a hairdresser’s or a café, for example. 
    • As the children become older, opportunities are extended with the children preparing to speak to an audience through debate, using ICT presentations or posters as prompts.
    • Spoken language is also developed through drama activities as children improvise, refine and rehearse scripts and learn to present these to an audience – for example – in their class assemblies, school productions or Shakespeare.  Rehearsing ideas through role play and spoken language enables children to explore different genres, identify with characters and develop vocabulary: teachers often use this approach as preparation to improve the quality of written work.

    Impact in Oracy 

    • Children enjoy taking part in class debates and are able to articulate their point of view effectively.
    • In KS1, children make good progress in Oracy and perform confidently in class assemblies and the yearly Nativity production.
    • In KS2, children perform confidently in class assemblies as well as during celebrations for Easter and Eid and the Year 6 end of year production. Children are keen to participate and enjoy learning lines and performing in role.
    • Children read expressively in whole class guided reading sessions and know how to use their voice to express emotion.
    • Class assemblies are well attended by parents, who enjoy the assemblies and always provide positive feedback to class teachers and school governors.
    • In Y5 the children are challenged to develop their oracy skills through film making.
  • Phonics

    Phonics

    We base our teaching of phonics around the Letters and Sounds programme. Letters and Sounds is a focused teaching strategy that teaches children the sounds made by letters and combinations of letters; within this programme, children are also taught the skills of blending sounds together in order to read words and segmenting sounds as they learn to spell. Phonics is taught through 6 phases:

    • Phase 1 supports the development of spoken language.
    • Phase 2-5 is a systematic approach to phonics teaching and word recognition skills
    • Phase 6 focuses on word-specific spellings and the rules for spelling alternatives.

    Phonics is taught as a discrete session every day in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.  Those children, who did not achieve the Phonics Check in Year 1, are given additional support through interventions in Year 2.

    Phonics is still taught to those children in Key Stage 2 who do not have a secure phonic knowledge. The application of taught phonics skills runs throughout the whole curriculum.

    Phonic Knowledge and Skills Taught in each Phase

    Phase

    Phonic Knowledge and Skills

    Phase One (Nursery/Reception)

    Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

    Phase Two (Reception) up to 6 weeks

    Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

    Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks

    The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

    Phase Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks

    No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

    Phase Five (Throughout Year 1)

    Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

    Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)

    Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.

    How can you help your child become a reader for life?

    • Read to them
    • Listen to them read
    • Tell them stories in your home language
    • Take them to your local library
    • Give them  quiet time to read at home
    • Turn the television off and talk about what they are reading
    • Ask them questions

    You can click here to view videos and further phonics/reading links - thank you.

  • Reading

    Reading Intent

    Our intent is to instil a love of reading in all pupils.  Through the use of quality core texts, we provide opportunities for children to explore their imagination, improve fluency and expression, enrich vocabulary, broaden knowledge and develop deeper understanding.

    Implementation

    Our English curriculum centres around the use of high-quality and age-appropriate core texts.  Each core text has been carefully selected to create opportunities to develop reading fluency and comprehension with a focus on key reading strategies and skills.  In the National Curriculum, reading consists of two dimensions - word reading and comprehension. As the children move through the school, they are taught a whole range of reading skills, which include the following:

    • Decoding and blending (EYFS + KS1)
    • Recognition of ‘tricky’ words on sight (EYFS + KS1)
    • Retrieval of information from a text
    • Participating in discussions about books that are read to them and those they can read for themselves, building on their own and others’ ideas and challenging views
    • Interpretation of information and drawing inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence
    • Predicting what might happen next
    • Commenting on the writer’s use of language, structure and presentation
    • Performing a text
    • Identifying the writer’s purpose and viewpoint
    • Summarising a text or part of text
    • Distinguishing between statements of fact and opinion
    • Identifying how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning
    • Identifying and discussing themes and conventions in and across a wide range of writing
    • Making comparisons within and across books

    Guided Reading

    • Children take part in guided reading lessons (approximately 30 minutes long), where pupils are exposed to texts linked with the class topic. 
    • During the session, pupils have opportunities to read aloud or in silence, in pairs, or listen to an adult read.  
    • Discussions take place on the text, with the focus on the reading objectives from the National Curriculum.
    • A range of questions are asked which are appropriate to the abilities of the pupils yet encourage deeper understanding.
    • Follow-up activities are given for children to demonstrate their understanding of the text.  These could include comprehension questions, vocabulary work, or a short writing activity.
    • Pre-reading of the core text with an adult is often provided for lower ability children; guided group work is also carried out from time to time (and on a more frequent basis in Key Stage 1) so that the children are immersed in texts appropriate for their reading ability.
    • In EYFS and Year 1, children participate in small group guided reading sessions with a range of texts appropriate for their reading level.  Follow-up activities are also included.

    Other reading opportunities

    • A wide selection of texts that are structured in different ways, including fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books are continually woven in alongside fiction texts to help provide background information for the children on the fiction text they are reading.
    • A wide range of reading books are available in the school. All children from Nursery to Year 6 choose a reading book to take home and this reading book is changed weekly. We expect family at home to read these books with their child daily.
    • Every classroom contains a selection of books which are directly linked with the class topic. This offers opportunities for the pupils to apply their reading skills across the curriculum.
    • The classroom reading area is filled with books suitable for their reading age. This is a comfortable place for children to read throughout the day.
    • Children have the opportunity to take part in ‘Reading Buddies’, in which they mix with other pupils from different year groups and share a book together.
    • Children who struggle with reading or are reluctant readers will receive 1:1 reading opportunities or additional reading support.  They will often be given a range of books with high interest yet match their current reading age.

    Reading for Pleasure

    Children have opportunities to read for pleasure within the school day.  They all have a book that they choose to read independently.

    • Children are read to each day by their class teacher. This could be a book that the teacher recommends to the class or a recommendation from a child to further promote a love of reading.
    • Every classroom has a special book box which contains texts that have been carefully chosen by the class teacher.  Children are encouraged to select books from this box.
    • Children have access to a school library with a vast range of books.
    • The school has strong links to Brentford Library and pupils attend workshops there whenever possible.  
    • Throughout the school year, the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author visits, Parent workshops and Book Fairs to further enrich the English curriculum and to share the importance of reading with our parents, carers, and wider community.
    • Children take books home to read either independently or with a family member.

    Drop Everything and Read (DEAR)

    What is DEAR?

    Drop Everything And Read time, better known as DEAR time, is a time regularly set aside in the classroom schedule for both children and our teachers to "drop everything and read." DEAR time conveniently accommodates a variety of our children's interests and ability levels, since they select  book they wish to read.

    • DEAR supplements our reading by encouraging independent reading, but it does not replace guided reading.
    • DEAR is an important part of the classroom schedule. It is scheduled for the same time each day or week, so the children recognise that DEAR time is a priority and can look forward to this special time.

    Impact

    As a consequence of our core text approach to the teaching of English, we believe that the children have developed an enjoyment of the subject and have accumulated vital skills that will ensure our pupils are academically prepared for life beyond primary school and throughout their educational journey.  The English Curriculum has ensured that our children make good progress from any starting points, and that the attainment outcomes for the majority of pupils are at least in line or exceed age-related expectations.

    We measure the impact of the English curriculum in a variety of ways:

    • Formative assessment through marking and feedback, pupil observations, key questioning, class discussions
    • Pupil attainment and progress data
    • End of Key Stage outcomes (EYFS, Phonics, KS1 and KS2)
    • Learning walks and observations
    • Book looks and moderation of work
    • Pupil conferencing
    • Children presenting work in class and for a wider audience

    Impact in Reading

    • Children make good and, in some cases, accelerated progress in reading through whole class guided reading.
    • Guided reading ensure that all children are exposed to high-level questioning and responses from the best readers in the class.
    • Guided reading ensures that all children in the class are exposed to challenging vocabulary, and pre-teaching enables children to understand words without affecting fluency.
    • Children really enjoy reading the core texts. They often role-play characters from the text in the playground and enjoy sharing the same story as a class. They are fully emerged in the world of the story.
    • Children feel supported by 1-1 reading sessions with a range of adults throughout the school such as senior leaders, chair of governors , reading volunteers and teaching assistants.
    • Parents have the opportunity to provide comments and feedback in home reading journals Y1-5, which help teachers to provide appropriate home reading books.
    • Children have many opportunities to read for pleasure.
    • They discuss books that they have enjoyed and recommend them to their friends.
    • They enjoy opportunities to read independently and develop their reading stamina. 
  • Writing

    Our intent is for every child to write for pleasure and to be equipped with the skills to write fluently, accurately, creatively and with the ability to adapt their language and style for a range of contexts.

    Implementation

    We aim to encourage children to produce well-structured, detailed writing in a range of genres, where the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the audience and reader.  Across the school, our writing opportunities are developed through the core texts within each year group. Our curriculum provides opportunities for all children to explore high-quality texts in depth, enhancing comprehension and providing meaningful contexts and purposes for writing.  They have opportunities to write at length, in extended, independent writing sessions at the end of a unit of work – applying their taught skills to an unsupported piece of writing.

    The teaching of writing often follows this format:

    • Immersion in a genre, including: Talk for Writing, role play, class discussion, paired discussion, sentence construction, punctuation and grammar work related to the genre, development of working walls, teacher modelling, text marking of modelled texts in the same genre as the one to be written and short pieces of writing.
    • Planning – this could be a supported activity involving writing frames and differentiated success criteria.
    • Writing- this can be both independent (with the aid of writing frames and success criteria) or supported (frequent teacher modelling, shared writing, or guided writing.) 
    • Proof-reading and evaluating own work. Often, the children proof-read with a partner and evaluate it together.
    • Peer marking – marked by another child against the success criteria, stating what they have particularly liked about the piece of writing and what they feel could be developed further. Sometimes, the children work in pairs whereby they look with a partner at their own piece of writing and then at their partner’s.
    • Teacher marking- teachers mark writing using green and pink pens to guide children of ‘what went well’ and ‘even better if’.
    • Editing and ‘blue pen’ opportunities- children working on the comments which have been highlighted by the teacher or their peer in their books.
    • Publishing- children publish written pieces.  These are often celebrated in assemblies or put on display.
    • On many occasions, children have a ‘Cold Write’ – they plan and write an unseen piece in the same genre. 
    • Children are widely encouraged to write in other areas of the curriculum, applying what they have learnt in English.
    • Opportunities to write for pleasure include morning writing activities, homework projects and writing competitions both in school and nationally. 

    Grammar

    At Green Dragon, we understand the importance of grammar and recognise that it gives the children more conscious control and choice in the way they speak and how they write.  Grammar lessons are taught throughout the week either in guided reading sessions or at the beginning of English lessons, where they are relevant to the genre being worked on.  Discrete sessions allow for opportunities to identify, practice and consolidate grammatical understanding through a range grammar tasks. It is class teachers' expectations that, following the sequence of lessons to form building blocks to a piece of writing, children will begin to independently apply the grammar skills and content taught and embed these within their writing.

    Spelling

    Spelling, appropriate to ability and age expectation, is regularly in line with statutory guidance as outlined in the National Curriculum English Appendix 1 - Spelling. The children are taught a range of strategies to enable them to spell words correctly and are encouraged to apply these strategies to their independent writing.  Class teachers uses ‘Spelling Shed’ to support with the teaching.  This can then often be used as homework for children where applicable. Spellings are sent home in each year group as part of the children’s homework; the pupils are then tested on these words in their weekly spelling tests.

    Handwriting

    At Green Dragon, the importance of children being able to write legibly, fluently and at a reasonable speed is recognised. With these skills, children have a much greater chance of being able to reach and demonstrate their true potential throughout their school careers and in their lives beyond school.

    In the EYFS, great emphasis is placed on developing children’s gross and fine motor skills so that they are ready for writing.  Letter formation is taught in small groups during free flow activities; whereas pupils in KS2 practise handwriting directly into books. Across the school, handwriting is carefully modelled by the teachers and support staff. The use of patterns to support letter formation and appropriate letter-joins is also embedded enabling children to further develop their fine motor skills. High expectations are also communicated as part the success criteria for the lesson. Successes and improvements are recognised through displayed work and through the award of a pen licence.  A high standard of presentation is encouraged and expected in children’s written work across the curriculum.

    Impact in Writing

    • Children enjoy the variety of writing opportunities that they are given. They talk positively about writing in role or writing about their own experiences.
    • Children are able to link their writing to the core text. They understand the world that their story is set in and are able to write confidently as a result of this.
    • Due to the variety of educational visits offered, children have many opportunities to recount their experiences in writing, whether it be a recount or diary entry.
    • Children write for real-life purposes too such as for the school newsletter or an election speech to be voted onto the school council or for  House Captain Speeches. They can express their opinions clearly and use appropriate vocabulary.
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