English is crucial to the success of pupils in both their career aspirations and their quality of life. Strong English skills are encouraged at Chantry and our book-based curriculum continues to make a huge impact on SATs results. The ability to read, write and articulate ideas are promoted in other areas of the curriculum.
World Book Days, Book Weeks, theatre productions, WOW Days, Fantastic Finishes, Storytellers and many more events enrich our children’s understanding and knowledge of their world. Books in the curriculum have been specifically chosen to broaden pupils’ thoughts and ideas of different cultures and periods of time. The book-based curriculum has put English into context and learning has become more meaningful to both teachers and pupils.
At Chantry, it is our aim to promote a love of reading and the ability to critically evaluate books. As such we encourage children to read within whole class teaching sessions. These sessions are held daily across key stages one and two, and focus on teaching and developing the children’s understanding of the reading domains. This is achieved through a mixture of activities that link to the process of reading and the different assessment within it, as outlined in the National Curriculum. These activities include teacher led questioning, reading for reflection, evaluating word and punctuation choice and comprehension.
To encourage regular reading at home, pupils from Reception through to Year 6 are encouraged to take part in the RED (Read Every Day) Challenge.
To take part in the RED Challenge, children need to read at home five times every week. Each time they read at home, we ask that an adult signs their reading record. On Mondays, we count up the number of signatures and award children with a sticker. Once children have earned six stickers they win 25 Red Dojo dollars.
Please see an information sheet about our RED Challenge.
Writing is a primary means of expression, both for personal cognitive purposes and for communicating meaning with others. Our aim is to develop in our children the ability to communicate their ideas fluently and accurately through their writing.
Pupils learn how to write with confidence, fluency, imagination and accuracy by orchestrating their knowledge of context and composition (text level), grammatical knowledge (sentence level) and knowledge of phonics, word recognition and graphic knowledge (word level at Key Stage 1) and a wider range of spelling strategies at Key Stage 2.
We provide a wide variety of reasons and purposes for writing and in the early years provide many opportunities for child initiated and role-play writing.
As soon as children are able to form most letters correctly and have a good pencil grip, we teach a fluent and legible handwriting style that empowers children to write with confidence and creativity. We encourage children to ‘have a go’ at writing as soon as possible and to use their phonic skills and knowledge to spell.
At Chantry, we teach writing following a three staged approach of: Imitation, Innovation, and Invention; incorporating the ‘Talk for Writing’ principles. Teachers regularly model writing in daily shared writing sessions and we provide regular opportunities for children’s writing and ideas to be shared, displayed, published and celebrated.
This approach centres on children learning quality texts off by heart so that rich language and structure is embedded and built upon in every year group. Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. We teach all of our English through fun activities that help the children rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing. This enables them to choose the writer tools they want to use in their independent writing, which in turn helps them to develop their own literacy voice.
All of our writing is taught with a clear audience and purpose in mind.
At Chantry, teaching of spelling embraces knowledge of spelling conventions – patterns and rules; but integral to the teaching is the opportunity to promote the learning of spellings, including statutory words, common exceptions and personal spellings. The children have a spelling test once a week based on Spelling sent home.
Also, we subscribe to Spelling Shed, an online spelling platform, which our children can access both in and out of school. The platform features fun spelling games and activities and has been created following key National Curriculum objectives it takes children through the statutory and non-statutory spelling lists in each age phase.
At Chantry Primary Academy we acknowledge the highly important key life skill of reading; not only throughout education, but in employment and understanding the world around us. Through a passionate approach towards teaching reading, this gives our children the building blocks towards becoming confident and enthusiastic readers.
We use a systematic synthetic phonics programme. Jolly Phonics, as it enables us to teach our children how to become fluent and experienced readers and writers. This programme supports writing through its approach to segmenting words and reading through its systematic approach to blending sounds. We encourage our children to read a wide variety of books; fiction and non-fiction; so that they are able to develop their knowledge around themselves; the world; build on their imaginations and make links between the curriculum. One of our aims is to create excitement and a love and passion for reading. We are committed to providing a vocabulary rich environment in our school, which starts with the foundation of phonics; learning to read.