Our English Curriculum is taught so that all children extend their written and spoken communication skills as well as their understanding of what they read through quality modelling and questioning. Continuous assessments and feedback during lessons allow adults to quickly address misconceptions and direct teaching to close any gaps in learning. Teaching units are structured to enable all pupils to achieve success in their work.
Children are enabled to extend and reflect on their experiences and gain essential skills through a consistent approach to English throughout the school. The spiral curriculum for English builds on key concepts and deepens in complexity as children progress through the school. Throughout the school, the skills of English are taught systematically in line with the requirements of the National Curriculum. A broad and balanced approach is used in teaching reading and writing to ensure that every child has the best chance of succeeding.
High expectations and a strong ethos of inclusion in classes enables all pupils to achieve success in their work and feel proud of their achievements. At Rougham Primary, we believe that everyone is a writer. Our teaching sequence is designed to enhance enjoyment, support all learners and prepare children for learning. Our English curriculum ensures that all children have the same knowledge and ideas to incorporate into their work by providing shared experiences and vocabulary to incorporate into their work.
Children are exposed to a wide range of high quality texts in both our reading and writing curriculum to inspire their wonder and excitement for learning. The ideas and interest sparked by engaging stimuli encourages all children to shine brighter. Our school-wide focus on oracy encourages children to share their work and ideas and build ambitious, collaborative vocabulary to incorporate in the flow of their work. Our development of language enables children to make choices on the vocabulary that they think is most effective and creative in their writing.
Enriching experience days are planned into our teaching units to ensure that all children have a level starting point for their work. The children were inspired by a visiting author and were filled with enthusiasm and excited to write their own stories based on some of his books in the Autumn term.. Performing poetry and school plays encourages and showcases oracy and drama skills at Rougham Primary.
Phonics and Reading
Children are introduced to phonics in the EYFS through a daily whole class session which follows the Little Wandle programme and this continues into Year 1 and Year 2. Decodable reading books are used alongside the children’s phonic teaching and help the children’s reading fluency to develop.
Reciprocal reading techniques are introduced in the EYFS and run throughout the school. Children’s comprehension is developed during whole class reading sessions through the key skills of predicting, questioning, clarifying and summarising. These skills are introduced by high quality modelling in EYFS and KS1 and are built on in LKS2 so that by UKS2 the children can work in small groups with each child being responsible for a reciprocal reading skill.
At Rougham Primary we follow the Write Stuff approach for fiction units. This was introduced in September 2020 to bring clarity and consistency to the teaching of writing across the school. The approach guides children through the whole writing process – generating ideas, planning, writing, editing and re-drafting. The tools for effective writing are displayed in Writing Rainbows using the FANTASTICS, the GRAMMARISTICS and the BOOMTASTICS.
The FANTASTICS are used for description and allow children to use the nine lenses to explore characters, setting and plot.
The GRAMMARISTICS cover grammar objectives beyond National Curriculum objectives and are taught in context.
The BOOMTASTICS contain a range of figurative language used for fiction writing. However, some of the lenses are used in non-fiction writing too – such as puns for newspaper headlines and persuasive adverts.
The units consist of sentence stacking lessons, which focus on the skills of writing and produce a paragraph of writing in each lesson based around one plot point. Experience Days are built into The Write Stuﬀ teaching sequence to enhance enjoyment, raise excitement and preparedness for writing. These also ensure that all children have the same knowledge and ideas to incorporate into their writing.
The approach is built on high expectations of quality for writing. All pupils are involved in collaboratively building vocabulary vaults enabling them to access a rich bank of language. The children write their own sentence following a class model and have the opportunity to 'deepen the moment' where they can explore the plot point further and demonstrate their own creative sentences using their previous learning.
Non-fiction units are developed by class teachers following National Curriculum expectations and are linked to cross-curricular themes where appropriate. Our non-fiction writing is planned as a sequence which begins with children looking at the features of a piece of writing in the same genre, after which they experience a series of lessons which equip them with the experiences, grammatical knowledge and writing techniques to complete their own writing in the same genre.
Spelling is taught in Year 1, 2 and 3 using the Little Wandle scheme. The activities build on the children's phonics knowledge and support segmenting and blending words. The scheme introduces rules used in spelling and allows application of the skills already learnt. In Year 4 to Year 6, spelling follows the Jane Considine Spelling Programme. This follows a two-week schedule. In week one, there is one 50-minute spelling lesson comprised of a 30-minute spelling investigation and a 20-minute Go Grapheme Grafters session. This leads on to daily 10-minute Fast Task spelling sessions in week two which are designed to: define key vocabulary, stretch pupils thinking with words/concepts that are challenging, make spelling associations and share findings with the class and explain learning. Each child in Key Stage 2 also has personalised ‘Focus Five’ spellings to learn and show that they can spell by writing them correctly in their independent writing. The ‘Focus Five’ is updated as children learn the spellings of the five words.
Children begin learning letter formation in EYFS using Little Wandle in the Autumn term before moving on to Letter-Join in the Spring. We follow the Letter-Join handwriting scheme throughout the school. This offers clear progression across the school, moving from securing correct letter formation to securing the joins and practicing speed and fluency, and developing a personal style. Letter-Join focuses on whole-class teaching using digital resources to enable modelling and interactive learning.
We actively develop opportunities to extend reading and writing opportunities across the wider curriculum and encourage children to use the skills they are taught during English lessons to do this successfully.