Our English coordinator is:
Miss L Eke
English at Towngate Primary Academy
Our Curriculum Intent:
It is our intention when teaching the English curriculum that our pupils acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to become lifelong learners and linguists. We strive to ensure that all our pupils receive a well-rounded learning experience when reading, writing, speaking and listening which will equip them with the fundamental tools to achieve in the academy and beyond. It is our intention to immerse pupils in the wonders of quality texts to instil a love for reading, a passion for discovery and a confidence to explore their imagination.
English is a core subject of the National Curriculum and a prerequisite for educational and social progress as it underpins the work undertaken in all otherareas of the curriculum.The acquisition of language skills is of the utmost importance to us here at Towngate and therefore the teaching of all aspects English is given a high priority within school. Confidence in basic language skills enables children to communicate creatively and imaginatively, preparing them for their future journey through education and beyond.
- Our aim is to ensure that every child becomes a reader, a writer and confident speaker by the time they leave Towngate Primary Academy.
- To promote and instill a love for reading, writing and high-quality literature into pupils at all ages.
- To derive an English curriculum which is sequences to develop the acquisition of knowledge and skills.
Our English curriculum is derived around a sequence of high quality age-appropriate texts. We use each book to create opportunities to develop reading fluency and comprehension with a focus on key reading strategies and skills; develop grammar and punctuation knowledge and understanding to use and apply across the wider curriculum; explore the writing structure and features of different genres, identify the purpose and audience; plan and write an initial piece of writing with a clear context and purpose before evaluating the effectiveness of writing by editing and redrafting.
Reading for Pleasure
Reading is not only celebrated in classrooms here at Towngate Primary Academy. Around school, you will find displays which celebrate authors - including our author of the term displays, inspiring reading corners and spaces, children’s favourite book, authors, genres and recommended reads. At Towngate, we celebrate reading throughout every phase in the academy: we offer First Steps Together sessions for our Nursery pupils and parents, Book Shares in both Early Years and Key Stage One, Story Sharing sessions with the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher, reading open sessions, as well as implementing a book-led curriculum across all phases. In addition, throughout the school year the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author and poet visits, Shakespeare Week, Book Fairs and sponsored reading events to further enrich our English curriculum.
Each week, we spend time enjoying reading for pleasure in our classrooms during a dedicated reading for pleasure time. When we read for pleasure, pupils are able to choose the books they wish to read and enjoy, can choose to share a book with a peer, read the 'Picture News' newspapers to read about the world around them, choose to read topic books related to our wider curriculum or listen to an adult in the classroom reading aloud to the children.
Additionally, at 3.00pm everyday, pupils end the school day by sharing a story in their classrooms; adults read a class book aloud to the children to further promote a love for reading into every school day.
Language Acquisition & Vocabulary Development
We endeavour to ensure we provide our pupils with a 'language rich' environment; we do this with our links to the School Library Service, which ensures we have a wide range of texts displayed around our academy, to correlate with our wider curriculum. We work closely with a range of book fairs in raising the profile of reading to ensure we share the importance of reading with our parents, carers and wider community. Within our classrooms, we explore ambitious vocabulary across the wider curriculum to ensure we acquire an understanding of tricky language across the wider curriculum through the use of our knowledge organisers and working walls.
At Towngate Primary Academy, we aim to share our vision of high aspirations for all of our pupils through our high expectations across the wider curriculum; by setting these high expectations, our pupils are aware of the standards we expect in all lessons and learning opportunities.
We strive to ensure that our children's attainment is in line or exceeds their potential when we consider the varied starting points of all our children. We measure this using a range of materials, whilst always acconsidering the age-related expectations for each year group. Children will make at least good progress in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening from their last point of statutory assessment of from their starting point in Nursery. We intend the impact of our English curriculum will ensure our pupils are academically prepared for life beyond primary school and throughout their educational journey.
British Values in English
At Towngate Primary Academy, our values are at the heart of all we do: within our English teaching in the academy, we strive to provide opportunities for pupils to develop their own core values whilst instilling the Fundamental British Values in many opportunities within units of work. Here are some examples of how we consolidate our pupils' understanding of British Values hand in hand with our own English curriculum:
Pupils will learn about democracy through the choice of English literature used. Examples of this include Shakespeare's Macbeth which is studied during Shakespeare Week, The Hobbit (a classic fiction text written by JRR Tolkien), Street Child and Goodnight Mr Tom.
- Individual Liberty:
Pupils will develop their individual liberty through freedom and choice of the content, audience and purpose of their writing (including developing and justifying own opinions).
- Tolerance and Mutual Respect:
Pupils will learn about mutual respect through exploring character's relationships, friendships and behaviours. Children will be provided with the opportunity to discuss, debate and justify their own views and opinions, which in turn will develop empathy for others. Children will read and write about others' personal experiences through autobiography work, non-fiction texts and narrative work.
- Rule of Law
Texts are chosen to provide our pupils with a chance to explore the rule of the law in an age-appropriate manner.
Reading at Towngate Primary Academy
Reading is a high priority area of our English curriculum at Towngate Primary Academy. Reading is a fundamental skill, used to stimulate children's imaginations and learn to acquire a love for books. A centralised aspect of our Book-Led Curriculum across the Academy, reading influences the thoughts, feelings and emotions of all of our learners. We carefully monitor the children’s reading at home and encourage parents to be fully active and engaged with us in this in order to support their child’s ongoing development.
Reading takes place at least once a week in a Guided Reading group with a teacher or teaching assistant. If children are working below their chronological reading age, targeted intervention and support is put in place. Children in all classes still have access to story time and have a class book for a sustained period: this ensures that reading is correctly modelled to children as well as giving them the opportunity to enjoy being read to! Each term, our classes have a new 'author of the term' and are able to read a wide variety of texts written by specific authors.
At Towngate Primary Academy, we use the Oxford Reading tree scheme to support our children in developing their reading skills. The books are banded according to their level of difficulty, providing children with a challenging reading experience which also allows them to use their developing phonic and whole word knowledge to read independently. The Oxford Reading tree scheme comprises of a mixture of Fiction, Non-fiction and Traditional tales, which allows children to experience a variety of texts. Oxford Reading Tree books include series such as Floppy’s Phonics, Biff, Chip and Kipper, Traditional Tales, Songbirds Phonics, inFact, and Story Sparks.
Please see our 'English Policy' for further information about reading within the Academy or take a look at the 'Recommended Reads' for your child's year group.
Writing at Towngate Primary Academy
We aim to develop children’s ability to produce well-structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the audience / reader. Particular attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English: grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling. Our approach at Towngate Primary Academy when teaching writing covers the transcription and composition requirements of the National Curriculum.
Throughout Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, our writing follows the Book-Led curriculum in place across the academy. Writing opportunities are sourced and developed based on the class text within each year group. Our curriculum allows Key Stage Two children to have the opportunity to explore high-quality texts in depth, enhancing reading comprehension and providing meaningful contexts and purposes for writing. The teaching of this programme is flexible and class teachers are then, in turn, able to apply their own creativity to cover the objectives across Key Stage 2.
Teachers clearly model writing skills and document the learning journey through consistent working walls; guided writing sessions are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals. Children 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. For further information about the variety of novels used to stimulate writing in each of our classes, please see our book-led curriculum overview.
Grammar at Towngate Primary Academy
As stipulated in the National Curriculum, the grammar of our first language is learnt naturally and implicitly through interactions with other speakers and from reading. Explicit knowledge of grammar is, however, very important, as it gives us more conscious control and choice in our language.
Grammar lessons are taught weekly as part of our book-led curriculum and sequence of lessons. Pupils are taught discrete grammar skills using our Collins Connect scheme of learning, allowing opportunities to identify, practice and consolidate grammatical understanding. Opportunities are then provided for our pupils to apply their grammar understanding across 'reasoning' style grammar tasks. It is class teachers' expectations that, following the sequence of lessons to form building blocks to a piece of writing, pupils will begin to independently apply the grammar skills and content taught and embed these within their writing.
Spelling at Towngate Primary Academy
At Towngate Primary Academy, spelling is taught regularly in focused sessions within each class. Class teachers use Collins Connect to support with the teaching for spelling and this can then often be used as homework for children when 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.
Please find attached our long term spelling overview, linked to the National Curriculum English Appendix 1.
Please see our twitter feed to explore our English curriculum in further detail!
Take a look at the recommended texts for your child's year group as published by Explore Learning:
100 books to read before you leave primary school:
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
The National Association for the Teaching of English ran a survey to find teachers’ top 100 fiction books all children should read before leaving primary school.
At Towngate, we are committed to ensuring all pupils develop a life-long love for reading before embarking on their next phase of education.
Support your child in developing a love for reading by aiming to read each of the texts suggested before leaving primary school!