Tirlebrook English Curriculum Intent
It is our intent at Tirlebrook Primary School to provide a stimulating environment in which children are inspired to love reading, writing and drama. As a child grows up, being able to read and write confidently not only enables them to discover new facts and to learn at school, but also allows them to articulate their learning in a range of ways, often opening them up to a world of new ideas, stories and enjoyable opportunities along the way.
Our commitment to delivering a creative curriculum forms the basis of reading and writing at Tirlebrook Primary School. Both aspects of our English curriculum are planned and enriched through and across all subjects of the curriculum in order to provide children with the opportunity to read and write in a variety of meaningful and purposeful contexts. In this way, it is our intention to build opportunities where skills in reading and writing are transferrable and motivate and inspire children at our school in their English.
It is our intention to embed the foundations of reading and writing throughout each child’s educational journey; through our unique and engaging programme of study, key grammar and punctuation skills will be practised and learned; spellings understood; reading methods and techniques will be mastered and handwriting skills will be secured. It is our aim to ensure that these skills are progressively taught throughout the years to provide access and challenge to all of our children.
To ensure our children develop a deep understanding of their community, their country and the wider world, it is our intent to supply all pupils with a rich and diverse reading and writing diet through literature from a range of cultures and perspectives. By doing this, it is not only our intention to provide our children with the opportunity to explore challenging and ambitious vocabulary but also an opportunity to nurture a respect and appreciation for the diversity of society and the world in which we live; this will also allow our children to develop a growing understanding of their own culture and that of others.
It is our intention that vision is that when children leave Tirlebrook, they do so as fearless and creative individuals, who are enthusiastic writers, readers and story tellers.
Tirlebrook English Curriculum Implementation
At Tirlebrook Primary School, English is delivered across the school through sequences of progressive learning in reading, writing, phonics, spelling and handwriting, with daily timetabled lesson time dedicated to one or more aspects of the English curriculum. Links between and across all aspects of the English curriculum, including grammar and punctuation, ensure a cohesive approach to the teaching and learning of English. Further opportunities to develop, consolidate and extend English skills are timetabled to support the development of skills in English with additional opportunities planned through cross-curricular learning activities that allow our children to transfer their knowledge and understanding of the foundations of the English curriculum in meaningful and purposeful ways that demonstrate English is a life skill.
Tirlebrook English Curriculum Implementation - Writing
Teachers plan and deliver inclusive lessons to progressively build writing skills using ‘Talk for Writing’ as a principal approach. Across the school, children are introduced to inspirational model texts that are studied, internalised, vocalised, analysed, interpreted and imitated, before being innovated and then invented which requires the children to apply their learning and skills to a new text of the same genre as the model text.
English writing lessons at Tirlebrook Primary School follow a five-part structure which promotes whole class shared discussion, paired learning, shared writing, guided group learning, independent application and self/peer review, evaluation and assessment.
Each lesson starts with an activity that allows the children to communicate their ideas. At this stage in the lesson, children draw on and activate prior knowledge to engage with and explore language, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation creatively.
Teachers use the model text or other appropriate resource (depending on the ‘Talk for Writing’ phase) to explain the lesson skill and provide examples of how this skill can be developed and achieved in writing. Children are given the opportunity to practice applying the skill with a learning partner and encouraged to talk, discuss and share their ideas with the class, both verbally and in writing.
During the next stage of the lesson, teaching staff begin to model the writing process and gradually transition into a shared-writing activity to demonstrate how the lesson skill can be applied effectively. Teachers skilfully model accurate use of grammar and punctuation, correct spelling, ambitious vocabulary and joined, legible handwriting while also modelling strategies to promote enjoyment for writing by reducing cognitive load for mistake making, and subsequently reviewing any written work for mistakes and modelling how to correct them.
Children are given the opportunity to work independently to demonstrate their security of the lesson skill and objective through a carefully selected activity that promotes creativity. Where available, class teaching staff use this time to live mark work, address misconceptions and support the correction of mistakes. Where children have previously been identified as requiring additional support or intervention, they will join the teacher-led shared-writing group.
At the end of each lesson, children may be given the opportunity to re-read, edit and improve their written work or request that a peer read, edit and support them to improve their written work; occasionally, a single piece of work may be reviewed by the whole class while the teacher models, with support from the class, how to edit and improve it. Children may then be given the opportunity to share their work for their peers to enjoy and constructively and positively respond to.
Being immersed in a vocabulary-rich environment is a core thread in the delivery of our Tirlebrook Primary School writing curriculum, with all children expected to use classroom resources (promoted by the teachers) to assist with their writing – this could include annotated text maps, key vocabulary displays, examples of shared writing displayed, vocabulary cards, statutory spelling lists etc.
In our early years setting, the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach is gradually established, focussing initially on the children engaging with the model text. The model text may be used as a stimulus for continuous provision activities to develop enjoyment of texts with the teacher modelling and scribing writing activities. Over time, as the children explore vocabulary and are curious with language, the teacher encourages them to progress to become independent writers who develop resilience for and enjoyment of writing. Further learning opportunities are planned into the classroom environment through ‘in the moment’ teaching opportunities that are personalised to the child in supporting them to achieve and progress to the next challenge in their learning journey.
A ‘Growth Mindset’ approach to learning supports the delivery, teaching and learning of the Tirlebrook Primary English writing curriculum that empowers children to write for enjoyment, in-line with the lesson skills being developed, to make mistakes that can then be corrected – a process explicitly modelled by our teachers.
Children in Year 1 – Year 6 are formally assessed at appropriate stages of learning within the ‘Talk for Writing’ framework throughout the academic year. At the beginning of each new writing unit, children complete a cold task (Cold Write) to establish a baseline for their knowledge and understanding of a particular text type, genre and theme – the results of this cold task inform whole class teaching and learning as well as identify a personalised target that recognises a specific area for development for each child. At the end of each writing unit, children complete a final assessed task (Hot Write) to show progress and attainment towards the writing objectives of the National Curriculum for English, as well as their personalised target. Alongside these assessments, children’s independent writing is assessed, including independent cross-curricular writing, and used to support a teacher’s judgement for each child’s attainment towards age-expected skills and objectives (as identified in the National Curriculum for English). In the early years setting, children are initially assessed using the ‘Reception Baseline Assessment Framework’; they are then continually assessed throughout the academic year with a final assessment being completed at the end of the academic year against the ‘Early Learning Goals’.
Tirlebrook English Curriculum Implementation - Reading
Teachers at Tirlebrook Primary School have developed a bespoke curriculum built on a foundation of ‘Whole Class Reading’ that accommodates and support the needs of all children and instils in all children an enjoyment and excitement for reading within the framework of the National Curriculum for English.
Teachers plan and deliver sequences of weekly timetabled reading sessions to children in Year 1 – Year 6 that focus on developing a set of essential skills (Decode; Explain; Retrieve; Interpret; Choice). Each lesson builds on the last and lesson content encourages the activation of prior knowledge, learning and skills. Teachers select high-quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts, resources and stimuli for interpretation and study, including those with themes that interest the children in each cohort and, where appropriate, ensure that texts selected allow for the expansion and extension of knowledge from topics and subjects being taught across the wider curriculum, for example science, history, religious education etc.
Reading lessons at Tirlebrook Primary School promote engagement and active participation through the inclusion of practical activities, i.e. speaking and listening tasks, drama, games, rhymes and chants (for example). Each sequence of lessons follows a suggested four-part structure with each lesson promoting paired learning, questioning, discussion and independent application that encourages all children to articulate their thoughts, ideas, knowledge and understanding, both verbally and in writing.
‘Vocabulary & Contextualisation’ – teachers share with the children the background and context to the text to be studied in the sequence of learning before sharing key vocabulary that the children will be exposed to in the text. At this point in the learning sequence, children undertake tasks to explore, define and analyse the vocabulary as part of a pre-teaching exercise before viewing the target text.
‘Model Reading & Locate Vocabulary in Context’ - teachers introduce the text for study, read it (modelling fluency, pace and expression) and give the children the opportunity to share their initial responses to the text. Children are then guided by the teacher to explore the author’s use of language and vocabulary, identifying vocabulary that had been pre-taught and considering its use within the context of the text, as well as identifying further vocabulary that they are unsure of.
‘Questioning & Enquiry’ – teachers lead a whole class discussion and analysis of the text being studied, focussing on a set of essential skills to assist with unlocking the text. During this stage of the learning sequence, children read the text in pairs, groups and individually, annotate it and are further encouraged to respond to the text, both verbally and in writing.
‘Independent Application’ – during the final stage of the learning sequence, the whole class undertake further study of the text, including taking the opportunity to recap key vocabulary and previous responses and also consolidate understanding of the text, focussing on the previous lines of enquiry. Children work independently to demonstrate their developing security with reading skills and understanding of the text by responding to a task selected by the teacher that assesses one or more of the essential skills for reading. Learning outcomes may differ according to the skill being assessed and could include written work, annotated pictures, drawings and drama (for example).
In our early years setting, prior to commencing more formal reading lessons, children are exposed to a daily shared reading session in which new vocabulary is introduced and taught, simple retrieval and inference questions are asked and pictures are discussed.
Alongside the formal teaching of reading, children in our early years setting and KS1, as well as children in KS2, read regularly with an adult. One-to-one reading sessions in our early years setting and KS1 focus on fluency, decoding, inference and the use of expression which helps teachers select appropriate reading texts.
Children throughout the school are encouraged to develop an enjoyment of reading through Tirlebrook Primary School’s daily ‘Read @ Three’ which brings children in each class together to share a story that is read to them by the teacher. Fiction, non-fiction and poetic texts selected are high-quality and include a diverse range of authors and characters from a variety of cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds.
To support the formal teaching of early reading within the English curriculum, promote fluency and encourage enjoyment for reading, home reading texts for children in our early years setting and children in KS1 are carefully selected and matched with each child’s phonics phase, individual needs and ability and are fully decodable. Additional richer reading texts that are phonically plausible provide additional challenge for children and encourage understanding as well as fluency.
To support the formal teaching of reading within the English curriculum, encourage independence and promote reading for pleasure while reading to learn, children in Year 3 – Year 6 are enrolled in the ‘Accelerated Reading’ scheme. The ‘Accelerated Reading’ scheme provides structured progression through a range of texts suitable to each child’s age and ability both at school and at home. When children in Year 2 demonstrate security in their age-related reading objectives, they are also enrolled into the ‘Accelerated Reading’ scheme.
Children in Year 1 – Year 6 are formally assessed at appropriate junctures throughout the academic year using NFER standardised testing and past KS1 and KS2 SATS papers. Alongside this, children in Year 3 – Year 6 are regularly assessed as part of the ‘Accelerated Reader’ programme. The results of these assessments inform future teaching and support bespoke intervention work for children requiring additional reading support to assist them with meeting age-related learning expectations. In the early years setting, children are initially assessed using the ‘Reception Baseline Assessment Framework’; they are then continually assessed throughout the academic year with a final assessment being completed at the end of the academic year against the ‘Early Learning Goals’.
Tirlebrook English Curriculum Implementation - Phonics
At Tirlebrook Primary School, phonics is formally delivered to children in our early years setting and KS1 through a series of daily timetabled lessons, with additional opportunities found for practising, consolidating and applying skills throughout the week.
Teachers use the DfE validated systematic synthetic phonics programme ‘Floppy’s Phonics’ as a principal resource to deliver phonics as part of the National Curriculum for English. Each phonics lesson within a sequence builds on a previous lesson and content and alternates between teaching a new phoneme and participating in consolidation activities that may include reading, handwriting and spelling.
Children participate in regular phonics assessments that allow teachers to track and monitor progress and achievement. The results of assessments allow for bespoke interventions to be implemented where appropriate; in addition, they allow for home reading texts to be carefully selected and matched to each child’s phonic knowledge to support early reading skills.
Tirlebrook English Curriculum Implementation - Spelling
At Tirlebrook Primary School, spelling is formally taught to children in Year 2 – Year 6 through a sequence of lessons taught consecutively.
Teachers use ‘Spelling Shed’ lesson planning and resources to deliver a progressive, challenging and enjoyable spelling scheme within the framework of the National Curriculum for English.
Children in Year 2 – Year 6 are formally assessed in spelling at appropriate times throughout the academic year using NFER standardised testing and past KS1 & KS2 SATS papers. The results of these assessments inform future teaching and support bespoke intervention work for children where areas for development are identified.
*Our approach to the delivery of phonics and spelling at Tirlebrook Primary School has been adapted in the wake of children’s absence from school due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and specifically as a result of the DfE’s altered Year 1 Phonics Screening. Timescales for children transitioning from phonics to spelling have been delayed to support the needs of the children at Tirlebrook Primary School.
Tirlebrook Curriculum Implementation - Grammar & Punctuation
At Tirlebrook Primary School, the teaching of grammar and punctuation within the English curriculum is integrated into our ‘Talk for Writing’ approach and carefully planned into sequences of learning. Occasionally, discrete lessons for the delivery of grammar and punctuation within the English curriculum may be necessary and appropriate in order to share a challenging concept, precision teach an aspect of grammar or punctuation or correct a class-wide misconception (for example). High-quality and appropriate resources will be selected and prepared by the teacher to meet the needs of all children.
Children in Year 2 – Year 6 are formally assessed at appropriate times throughout the academic year using NFER standardised testing and past KS1 & KS2 SATS papers. The results of these assessments inform future teaching and support bespoke intervention work for children where areas for development are identified.
Tirlebrook English Curriculum Implementation - Handwriting
At Tirlebrook Primary School, the teaching of handwriting is integrated into daily timetabled spelling lessons. Teachers select high-quality resources to assist with the planning, delivery, teaching, learning and application of handwriting.
In our early years setting, children are taught the fundamental skills for handwriting, including posture and pencil grip which then develops and progresses from mark making into a pre-cursive style that is initially modelled and then explicitly taught. By the end of Year 2, in-line with National Curriculum objectives and end of KS1 expectations for writing, children are expected to have developed a joined, cursive handwriting style which then further develops through continued explicit teaching and practice into a joined, legible handwriting style when writing at speed and may have adopted a style personal to the child and is transferrable between all written work.
Handwriting in Year 1 – Year 6 is assessed as part of the formal writing assessment. The results of these assessments identify children who may require additional support with their handwriting and/or fine motor skills and enables teachers to put bespoke intervention planning in place where appropriate.
Tirlebrook English Curriculum Impact