Literacy and English
Why do we teach this? Why do we teach it in the way we do?
At Woodlands Primary school, we believe that literacy and communication are key life skills. Through the English curriculum, we will help children develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language and equip them with the skills to become lifelong learners.
Literacy is at the heart of all children’s learning. Literacy enables children both to communicate with others effectively for a variety of purposes and to examine their own and others’ experiences, feelings and ideas, giving these order and meaning. As Literacy is central to children’s intellectual, emotional and social development, it has an essential role across the curriculum at Woodlands and helps pupils’ learning to be coherent and progressive.
At Woodlands Primary School we strive for all of our children to be literate. By the end of Year 6 we aim for all children to be able to:
- be effective, competent communicators and good listeners;
- express opinions, articulate feelings and formulate responses to a range of texts both fiction and non-fiction using appropriate technical vocabulary;
- foster an interest in words and their meanings, and to develop a growing vocabulary in both spoken and written form;
- have an interest in books and to read for enjoyment, engaging with and understanding a range of text types and genres;
- be able to write in a variety of styles and forms showing awareness of audience and purpose;
- develop powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness in all areas of literacy;
- use grammar and punctuation accurately;
- understand spelling conventions;
- produce effective, well-presented written work.
What do we teach? What does this look like?
Statutory requirements for the teaching and learning of English are laid out in the 2014 National Curriculum and in the Communication, Language and Literacy section of the Early Years Foundation Stage (2014)
As a school from EYFS to Year 6, we follow the ‘Pathways to Write’ mastery approach which is an English long term planning tool that school has purchased. Pathways to Write provides children with specific “keys” for the children to focus on in their writing. These include skills the children have mastered in previous years –gateway keys- and new targets called mastery keys which are taken from the year group that the children are currently in. Each class has a visual display of these keys and the children regularly refer to them in all writing. From Y2 – Y6 we use ‘Pathways to Read’ as a whole school approach to reading. ‘Pathways to Read’ provides pupils from Y2 to Y6 with the skills to equip them through the reading process to become competent and fluent readers. Reading lessons are linked to high quality texts and staff plan to provide engaging and purposeful reading lessons.
The school uses a variety of teaching and learning styles in English lessons and all staff follow the ‘mastery’ approach to the teaching of English. Our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in language, reading and writing. At Woodlands, we do this through a daily lesson, where we adapt our teaching styles to suit the needs of the individual child. Throughout the week there are daily phonics lessons for Foundation Stage and KS1 children and any children in KS2 that need continued phonics support.
In all classes, children have a wide range of literacy abilities. We recognise this fact and provide suitable learning opportunities by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies. Children requiring additional support receive this through small group sessions. One particular intervention we use in these sessions is ‘Pathways to Progress’ which is a writing intervention programme, linked to the Pathways to write themes, but designed to be delivered in addition to pupils’ English lessons. It is facilitated by a teacher or teaching assistant and aims to consolidate or re-teach learning objectives following a revisit, review, teach and apply structure.