“Literature should jolt the senses, making us feel alive. In school, we only have time to read books that bite and sting… if the books that we read do not wake us with a blow to the head, what’s the point in reading? A book must be the axe, which smashes the frozen sea within us. Literature in the classroom should have that extra bite – to surprise, challenge, delight and create wonder as well as the inexplicable charm of rhythmic and memorable language. We should read, explore and perform…”
Our English champions are: Mrs Swash and Miss Killeen
Our inclusive approach to our English curriculum at Lea enables all children to be authors, poets, writers, reporters and editors! Reading and writing are at the heart of our curriculum at Lea and underpin all that we do. By the end of Year Six, we expose our children to a wide range of genres, purposes and audiences which enable them to express their individuality, diversity and creativity as both readers and writers. Our children will acquire a wide vocabulary through reading as well as being provided with opportunities to develop their spoken language which develops their overall confidence in writing.
Being curious about reading is pivotal at Lea Community Primary; our children have a real thirst for reading across the curriculum and beyond. Our children leave Lea as lifelong readers and have the essential skills of comprehension, grammar, punctuation and spelling to become successful in their future. We encourage children to write ambitiously and confidently in a supportive climate and provide opportunities for children’s imaginations to flourish.
Our English implementation is built on three pillars: effective teaching and learning, high expectations, and a broad and diverse curriculum. We provide a vast range of books and texts that reflect the diversity of our pupils' backgrounds while balancing cultural capital. We use high quality texts to underpin our teaching sequences, ensuring that our students have access to the best in literature and a clear understanding of the writer's intentions. We teach grammar and vocabulary explicitly and regularly, integrating it into our writing curriculum, helping our pupils communicate more accurately and effectively.
High expectations form the bedrock of how we teach all aspects of English. Expectations are communicated clearly to pupils, setting high standards for both written and oral communication.
We follow the 'Red Rose Letters and Sounds' phonics scheme.
Children begin their phonics journey as soon as they start school at Lea. They are taught phase 1 phonics and swiftly move on to learning the phase 2 GPCs. Children are encouraged to learn the phonemes using a variety of interactive games, sound buttons and building and blending activities before moving onto reading and writing simple sentences. Alongside this, children are taught 'tricky words' which are words that cannot be decoded. Children are taught the correct letter formation using rhymes and these are practised in phonics- encouraging children to form letters correctly.
Phonics is taught daily within short burst sessions following a synthetic, systematic approach: revisit and review, teach, practise and apply.
Our planning exemplifies our systematic approach and we use Phonics Tracker to assess children's progress in line with our long-term plan. From this, teachers can highlight any additional support needed for our children to narrow the gap.
Parents are also informed about children’s phonics progress to ensure they have lots of opportunities at home as well as in school to consolidate their learning. Our home readers are 100% phonetically decodable and are closely matched to each child’s daily phonics learning.
Children take part in 30 minute quality reading sessions every day. These are instructional teaching sessions and focus on fluency, prosody (reading with expression) and comprehension. Here, an adult works with children reading at a similar level. These sessions are designed to ensure children are exposed to a range of texts and question types as well as having opportunities to explore books verbally, answering written comprehension questions and completing activities related to the key text.
Children who are struggling with fluency will have additional reading sessions to close the gap and support their reading development. Children may also pre-read the text so that their guided reading session is a re-read rather than a new read. Your child's class teacher will work closely with you if they feel extra support is required.
Each class has a list of quality texts that are closely aligned with those to class topics and the Lancashire Talk Projects. This ensures all children are exposed to challenging and high-quality texts regardless of their reading capabilities.
Early reading is supported through the Red Rose Letters and Sounds delivery, 1:1 reading and targeted interventions. Regular training and development days ensure that staff are equipped to teach with the expertise and skills required to promote excellent progress, as well as a love of reading. Each class’s timetable is organised to enable weekly access to the library, with an up to date selection of books to provide quality reading materials for all children to promote reading for enjoyment. Children’s efforts of reading at home are recognised each week during our celebration assembly.
Here at Lea Community, we learn to write through the Lancashire Talk Projects. Their aim is to be immersive, interactive, and creative whilst ensuring key writing skills are learnt and developed.
The process of the Talk projects puts talking at the centre of our writing success. Through regular reading and enabling quality discussions about our reading both during English and Reading Time, we build our children’s vocabulary and they become accustomed to rich and exciting language.
The Talk Projects consist of three stages: Reading, Gathering Ideas and Writing. During our Projects, we immerse our children in story/ sentence language and structure which they firstly retell and rehearse orally through drama and story maps. We then link the reading skill to a daily short writing opportunity cumulating in a weekly extended write.
Once the text is learnt by the class, they move onto ‘gathering ideas’ which is where the children are encouraged to adapt and change the text.
Finally, the ‘writing’ phase involves the children innovating the core text so that they can be creative and let their imaginations flourish whilst being taught how to apply specific grammar and punctuation skills to a genre of text.