At Harlands, we foster children’s development of reading and writing through our Golden Threads of creativity, community and choice. This ethos ensures that our young people will take a positive view of English, and will be able to access the material to cultivate powerful knowledge of the subject. By the time they leave the school, pupils will be able to meet their aspirations of articulating their ideas clearly, listen and respond appropriately to others, and use their skills to explain and justify their opinions.
The teaching of English at Harlands is holistic. It is designed to ensure children are able to access all areas of learning, and to help them become effective readers, writers, and communicators. English provides a foundation for children’s learning across the whole school, so the intent is to promote high standards of language and literacy. This means that children will have control over their spoken and written word, and a widespread enjoyment for reading. At Harlands, we use Rosenshine’s ‘Principles of Instruction’ to challenge and inspire our pupils through targeted questioning, guided student practice, and regular review. Across the school, children are encouraged to read high quality texts, from engaging fiction to non-fiction texts about relevant topics.
To achieve this intent, we ensure cohesion across the year groups. In Early Years, children’s interest in the subject is ignited, through stories and an exploration of the world around them, so that by the end of the year, these pupils see themselves as readers and writers. As the children develop through Key Stage 1, their daily exposure to reading, writing and spoken language means that they are able to start making inferences about a text, and link sentences and paragraphs using cohesive devices. Through Key Stage 2, the child’s individual author’s voice is developed further, and they begin to write increasingly complex stories and other type of texts, making sure to reflect on and edit their work independently.
Guided Reading also plays an important role across the year groups, helping a child’s confidence grow through discussions around vocabulary, inferences, and predictions that happen in small groups around a book or story chosen to appeal, interest and challenge the individual.
Across all Key Stages, this regular exposure to the subject is seen in a plethora of ways. By exploring books through focused drama and practical activities; to workshopping and assessing their writing through the use of technology, children come away as empathetic and reflective learners.
It is intended that children will grow throughout their school journey with a lifetime love of reading and writing, whilst also having the confidence in the skills they have practised to achieve as they continue to mature. Children will also have the confidence to express their opinions, able to agree and disagree with others clearly and articulately.
The subject’s impact on our learners is assessed in a variety of ways. Teachers both mark and discuss learning seen in exercise books in a way that encourages children to thrive on feedback. More summative assessments are seen three times a year where a child’s progress in reading, spelling, grammar and punctuation is more formally tested. This puts children in a good place to leave Harlands having made the best possible progress as a result of our Quality First teaching.
At Harlands, the teaching of English will ensure our learners are confident to take risks and not afraid of making mistakes to expand their experiences. They will feel valued as part of the school community, and that they were encouraged to find their voice and use it.