English at Our Lady Star of the Sea
We follow the Literacy Company Pathways To Write scheme which places emphasis on the use of high quality books as stimuli for writing. We deliver our writing curriculum through a text-based, mastery approach. Through using books as a writing tool, the children are exposed to high quality language from a variety of different authors and genres and are provided with many different writing opportunities.
The children are introduced to a book through a hook and they initially focus on a few ‘gateway keys’ (national curriculum skills that the children should already know) that will be built upon throughout the unit of work. These are revisited throughout the unit of work.
Once the teacher is happy that they are secure in the gateway keys, they progress with the book with a focus of between three and five ‘mastery keys’ (national curriculum skills that are brand new to the children). Children are exposed to these skills in several different ways in order that they are able to practise and master them.
Each unit of work has a genre-specific outcome and the children finish their work with an independent piece of writing. The children are given time to edit their work in order to improve various aspects; this may include the editing of spelling and punctuation or it may be more key-specific editing (e.g. have they used the mastery keys effectively in their work?).
Through writing, the children are exposed to many different elements of vocabulary, punctuation and grammar. The full break down of the areas of SPaG taught in each year group is available at the following link: Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation
At Our Lady Star of the Sea, the children follow the Oxford Reading Scheme through coloured bands until they become free readers. One of the most important elements in supporting a child’s reading ability is regular home reading and this is one of the ways in which you can best support your child during their journey with us in school.
When learning to read fluently, the children are asked questions about their books. This looks slightly different across school. The children in EYFS are asked prediction and simple retrieval questions around the books they are using to learn to read. In Key Stage 1, the children are introduced to group guided reading sessions, during which they work alongside an adult to answer a variety of questions about what has been read whilst still focusing on the fluency element of reading. In Key Stage 2, the children have two guided reading sessions per week, during which they are exposed to rich text and they answer questions based on what they have read. This can involve some of the following:
- - predicting information
- - retrieving information
- - inferring information
- - discussing new words
- - asking questions about what has been read
- - summarising what has been read
- - comparing books/authors/characters