At Harry Gosling, our vision is to help the children in our school become independent readers and writers with the ability to clearly articulate critical, inventive and imaginative ideas. We believe that purposeful talk is at the centre of successful English learning and lessons are planned to build the children’s discussion skills, sentence structures and vocabulary. Grammar skills for each year group are taken from the national curriculum, and are taught in context as children learn different genres and communication techniques. However, phonics (in EYFS and Year1), spelling, handwriting and reading all have discrete lessons throughout the week.
Our curriculum is topic based and each new unit is centered around a high quality text, which changes half-termly. This text is read as a class and used a writing stimulus for the unit. We expect two writing outcomes from each unit from differing genres. The outcomes are written independently by the children and published in different ways to celebrate their work.
Throughout the year we also have a number of whole school events to celebrate English. The children enjoy taking part in our annual spelling bee, world book day, book fairs and performances. Reading at home is encouraged and each week, children take home books from the school or classroom library. They earn arm bands for the number of days that they read at home.
We follow the Ann Smalberger phonics scheme which is based on 'Letters and Sounds.' Children in Nursery through to year 2, receive daily phonics teaching. Please see our phonics overviews here.
To hear how to pronounce the different sounds, click here
All children at Harry Gosling read daily. In is our aim that all children are able to read by the time they leave Phase 2. Children in Reception to year 3 take part in Shared Reading and Guided Reading. In Shared Reading, children read as a whole class and are taught reading strategies and comprehension skills to help them read independently. In Guided Reading, children read in small groups with an adult and have the opportunity to apply reading skills that they have been taught. Throughout the week, children also have the opportunity to read in a range of curriculum subjects, complete comprehension activities and read for enjoyment.
Children in years 4-6 take part in the 'Big Read' where the whole class reads the same, high-quality text. This gives the children the opportunity to read a range of exciting texts, develop their vocabulary and comprehension skills.
All children have a reading record and take books home to read every night. Children have the opportunity to earn 'Reading Bands' by recording the number of nights they have read in their reading journals.
Children who need further support in their reading, may take part in a range of catch up programmes. This could include 1:1 reading, additional guided reading, additional phonics or 'Early Words' interventions.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling:
Grammar and Punctuation are taught as part of our writing units of work. All writing units of work include which grammar and punctuation features should be taught within a unit. Please see the English units below for more information. In year 6, children attend 'Early Bird' lessons. These lessons run before school and children have additional teaching around grammar, punctuation and spelling.
In reception, year 1 and year 2, children learn spelling through a mixture of phonics, learning high frequency words and words from the KS1 spelling list. In years 2 - 6, children also follow the 'No Nonsense Spelling' scheme of work. Children have two spelling lessons a week and a spelling test. Spellings are also given as part of homework.
Writing units are centered around a core, high-quality text which links to the children's wider learning in their topic themes. As well as their core text, children also have the opportunity to read a range of books relating to their theme or genre. A topic theme lasts for one half term and children will study two different writing genres per half term. We use the 'Talk for Writing' approach to teaching writing which encourages children to orally rehearse and learn pieces of writing. This in turn, enables children to use ambitious language structures and vocabulary in their own writing. We see excellent outcomes in writing through using this approach.
Each half term, children write two pieces of work independently from two different genres. We call this writing 'STAR' write. Before this final piece of writing, the unit of work will have taught the children the language, grammar, vocabulary and punctuation needed in order to make their final piece of writing successful. Children also have the opportunity to edit, re-draft and improve their pieces of writing before publishing them.
Due to the COVID-19 school closure in Spring and Summer 2020, we have adapted our English curriculum for the academic year 2020-2021 to address gaps in children's learning. Please see our English overviews below.