The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go - Dr Seuss
In studying English at Beehive Lane, pupils develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. The English Curriculum we offer enables every single child, regardless of individual characteristics, circumstances or disadvantage the opportunity to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively. Pupils learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction and media texts. The study of English helps pupils understand how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. Using this knowledge pupils can choose and adapt what they say and write to different situations. Opportunities are provided for pupils to become confident, competent and expressive users of the language with a developing knowledge of how it works and opportunities to develop a rich and powerful vocabulary.
Our Curriculum is designed to equip pupils with the language skills they need to become effective communicators and language users as members of the school community and the wider world. English is both spoken and written, so our intentions relate to all modes of language speaking and listening, reading and writing. By our own attitudes towards our pupils as language users, we endeavour to foster within them respect for each other’s language. We provide a rich and stimulating language environment, where the teaching of speaking and listening, reading and writing are integrated into all subject areas.
For every pupil, we ensure we create an environment which seeks to encourage high quality debate and reasoning whilst endeavouring to foster respect and tolerance in line with British values. Questions, debates, discussions, challenges or performing arts or external visits are used as starting points and ensure deep thinking and challenge. The objectives in the year groups provide opportunities to develop confidence, resilience, respect and thinking skills through solving problems, debate and discussion. They build towards identified clear end points, enabling purposeful and deep learning experiences which prepare children for the next stage of their education and life. It is important that our Curriculum creates an environment where pupils are encouraged to construct and convey meaning, both in speech and writing, of factual, imaginary and personal experiences.
Challenging and highly engaging, carefully selected Focus Class Texts provide a basis for high quality reading and speaking and listening skills and coupled with the provision of carefully selected books and resources in all areas, contributes to a rich, varied and highly engaging English curriculum.
High expectations, through the development of excellent attitudes to learning from all pupils and staff, is the key to highly effective learning in English at Beehive Lane. This is constantly developed through staff training and development, the curriculum we use and in all lessons and during monitoring. As a school we use the English Planning Kit which is a resource to enable the delivery of the 2014 National Curriculum coherently and effectively. The school enhances and adds to the Curriculum to tailor it to our school and this ensures we are able to exceed the National requirements in English. The Planning Kit details small learning steps based on the NC and a more detailed progression. Additional objectives are taught where gaps or weaknesses have been identified. This ensures a more rounded and complete English Curriculum for our school. Following the structure of the National Curriculum, the English Planning Kit is divided into four key areas which are then subdivided.
In complex areas such as Reading Comprehension, there are a further ten sub-strands e.g. predicting, summarising and inferring. It is these clear objectives which teachers use as a basis for their planning. In all areas of English the objectives are cumulative and ensure that pupils are secure in previous objectives before moving on. All objectives are challenging to ensure all pupils make outstanding progress.
In terms of assessment we use the English Assessment kit which enables us to assess the English Planning Kit both thoroughly and thoughtfully. All strands are assessed and recorded on Target Tracker and English Assessment Grids. All teachers assess the three main areas of Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening. Assessment in English is also periodic, informed by evidence collected in lessons. Termly Reading, GPS and Writing tests are used to inform next steps and gaps. We also assess children using the Reading Fluency Scale and the twice annual Salford Reading Test alongside Teacher Assessment and Reading Accuracy Assessments. Spelling and Grammar tests are also used. (see attached for further information). In Early Years as a result of increasing numbers of children who are not school ready and have weak speaking and listening skills on entry to school , we use the Wellcomm Assessment Kit to assess and support children to close the gap and meet the needs of pupils in this area. Comprehensive and regular Phonic Assessment is used in each Phase to inform next steps.
The teaching of Reading begins in Reception and follows the Letters and Sounds Programme. This ensures we exceed the expectations of the National Curriculum and the Early learning Goals. The teaching of systematic, synthetic Phonics begins immediately the children start school and may include Phase 1 if appropriate to specific children. As a school we have clear expectations of pupils’ phonics progress and this is reviewed daily in the Phonics lesson and more summatively each term to ensure the children are reaching age related expectations. All children continue with a phonic education through KS1, with each element applied to spelling as well as to reading. Children who do not reach age-expected levels of attainment in phonics by the end of KS1 may continue into Year 3 with this approach, for either, spelling, reading or both.
Assessment in Reading is carried out by the Class Teachers and SLT and decisions made about the progress of pupils made in conjunction with all Reading Assessments. These include J.B. Assessment Sheets (all reading strands), Phonic Assessment Sheets, Formative and Summative assessments. The focus needs to be on identifying concerns and needs immediately and closing the gap quickly. Intervention is carefully planned to ensure low attaining pupils receive extra reading support and become confident, fluent readers. Extra provision is planned for and delivered by the Class Teachers. Some intervention may be delivered by trained LSA’s only as requested by Mrs Coote (SENCO) or Mrs Middleton ( English Subject Leader) or SLT. Support programmes include Precision Teaching, Catch Up and Project X reading programmes and are highly beneficial in supporting our children enabling them all to make outstanding progress. Our partnerships with parents are crucial in ensuring this success.
As a school we follow the Book Banding system and this ensures the sequence of reading books shows a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge matched to Letters and Sounds. Children follow book bands beyond Lime Books if necessary, however some greater depth children will become Y readers. All children from Year 2 onwards have access to quality class texts (fiction and non-fiction) and this forms a key part of our school curriculum.
Every child takes home a reading book daily which is of a suitable level and are expected to read at home 5 times per week to practise the skills they have been taught in school. This home-school partnership is key in ensuring children become lifelong readers who love reading. The children are encouraged to read aloud to an adult to ensure fluency and accuracy and so that parents and children can engage in dialogue and questioning about the book. The school Reading Diary has questions organised into question types which parents are encouraged to use as directed by Teachers. The highlight of each term is our Reading Awards assembly which the children love and creates a real buzz around reading. The children get to share some of their favourite books and receive rewards and book prizes for all the reading stars earned.
Children also take home the Class Texts used in their specific Year groups and often complete homework related tasks. Reading focussed assemblies are highly engaging and the children love to participate. We enjoy sharing all types of stories, poems and news on a regular basis in class and as a whole school and this often leads to new initiatives and current affairs being widely discussed. A favourite recent assembly involved us watching Michael Rosen perform his infamous Chocolate Cake poem! This excited the children to write and share some of their own poems.
Children also have wide access to select books to take home from the library and from our non-fiction resources for enjoyment. We also participate in a scheme called Keep on Reading which is run by a local retired Head teacher called Les Kemp and is targeted at Year 3 and 4 children. Every child in these Year groups takes a set book home (the same across each class) and has it read to them by a parent. The books are carefully chosen to be engaging for the children. They have 2 weeks to share the book and discuss with parents /carers and then we run a follow up session in school, which is great fun and involves the children taking part in fun book and character related activities and competitions. This is a fun and novel way to ensure children at Beehive Lane get to engage with and love books. They also have access and are widely encouraged to read for enjoyment across the Curriculum and parents and children are taught about and encouraged to use websites such as the Book Trust, First News and the Open Library to source books and stories of particular interest. Many children enjoy listening to the Book Trust Story time and also enjoy participating in activities and book related quizzes and games to make reading fun. We also have a very high uptake of children who take part in the Summer Big Read run by the County Council and this involves children reading 6 books and taking part in fun activities through the summer.
(see attached separate Grammar and Spelling Intent, Implementation and Impact statements)
The English Curriculum at Beehive Lane organises writing into planning, composing and evaluating in line with the National Curriculum and extends the objectives in composing to cover a wide range of skills. All teachers use the English Planning Kit and follow the sequence of teaching for writing, indeed teachers are trained to a high standard to deliver all lessons in a creative and engaging manner. All lessons are planned using clear, progressive objectives and great emphasis at Beehive Lane is placed on using drama and quality Talk for Writing as part of the teaching of writing. The children always follow the writing process and this starts with Book/Text Talk and Analysis to understand the main features needed to write in a particular genre. Discussions connected to real world issues and events form a crucial aspect of our teaching. This ensures children are highly engaged and have a purpose for their writing. This leads to the application of key skills across the whole curriculum and leads to a wide range of rich learning experiences enabling the application of skills across all subjects.
Children have opportunities to write and present speeches, tell stories and perform poetry to real audiences and take part in inter school competitions. They all take part in drama presentations, plays and performances and especially enjoy theatre visits, film making and storytelling. This is critical in ensuring children understand the link and are able to become ‘Readers as Writers and Writers as Readers’. This philosophy is engrained at Beehive Lane Primary School and permeates all aspects of our teaching. For many years we have been a Leading Literacy School and often participate in and lead projects and ventures with other schools.
At Beehive Lane we are pleased to work closely with ‘Just Imagine Storytelling Centre and enjoy this partnership as it is of real benefit to our staff in terms of professional development and our children. We are fortunate to have had training, participate in on-going Project work and work alongside new authors, who often visit our school. The children have access to Writing Workshops and are able to broaden their horizons in terms of reading a wide range of material and some are inspired to write their own stories and articles and may even choose to become authors. This is closely linked to our school policy of encouraging aspiration and success for all children. These links with the ‘real world’ are vital in showing the children that they can achieve and reach their potential.
The impact is measured in terms of the exceptional progress our pupils make from their low starting points and the attainment levels they reach. Our aim is for all children (including SEN and disadvantaged) to achieve exceptionally well in skills and knowledge across the whole curriculum in terms of academic, social, creative and personal skills.
Pupils at Beehive Lane are able to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and communicate with others effectively. Pupils learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction and media texts. Our Pupil Perception feedback and outstanding attainment at the end of EYFS, Key Stage 1 and 2 reflect this. All our pupils make excellent progress in reaching age appropriate levels of fluency in reading and writing. This enables them to access all areas of the Curriculum. Pupils with SEND make outstanding progress and gain skills which they will need in order to succeed in life.
Our pupils participate in Reading, Drama, Writing, Poetry, Performances and Presentations and the impact is clear to see. Beehive pupils are confident, resilient, creative and enquiring and are able to argue rationally and tackle challenges without fear of failure. We strongly believe they are equipped for the next stage in their education. Effective learning, which is defined as an alteration in the long term memory which enables children to remember and use knowledge and apply skills to learn and solve problems across a wide range of interest areas is evident to see at Beehive Lane.
As a result we have a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who are proud to showcase their talents in all areas of English.