English Learning Zone
At Ixworth CEVC Primary, we are passionate about English!
At Ixworth Primary school we encourage children to be as creative as possible in all aspects of their learning. From the moment the children enter our school in Nursery we give them opportunities to develop their language skills, read, write and interact with others. Whether it be mark making in the early years or creating their own fictional story in KS1 and KS2 we believe it is important to engage children in these experiences all the time. We have a strong ethos in sharing our love of reading with the children and stories are shared on a daily basis in the form of whole class story time, weekly reading buddies across the school, sharing class texts and encouraging children to read for pleasure and visit our well-stocked library.
Every lesson is an English lesson and will include some aspect of speaking, reading or writing to help develop skills, knowledge and understanding in other subject areas. Teachers deliver lessons that are linked to topics and that give children the opportunity to experience writing in all areas of the curriculum. Whether it be writing a diary entry as a Viking warrior or investigative writing in science, we believe that children should use English skills every day.
The four main areas of writing that we develop across the school include; writing to entertain, writing to inform, writing to persuade and writing to discuss. Across these text types the children develop the skills needed to progress in these areas and experiences are encouraged to help them explore how to use these skills effectively. This can be seen through teachers planning different activities for the children to write about; For example creating a persuasive poster to buy homemade Mayan hot chocolate to writing a persuasive letter to the council outlining the need for more play equipment in the local park. Allowing the children to see how different forms of writing can be used in different subjects is key to embedding these skills.
We use several strategies and programs across the school to help children engage in these four areas of English, Talk for writing, developed by Pie Corbett, is one of them. It is a powerful tool as it is based on the principles of how children learn. It is effective because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it. The children are fully immersed in a text and thoroughly enjoy learning a book ‘off by heart’ and then putting all the language features they have learnt in to their own writing. We also use strategies to help children to learn how to self-assess their own work, peer assess and set goals which allows the children to really take ownership of their own work and set the next steps in their learning.
Reading is encouraged as soon as the children enter the Nursery setting and throughout their time with us at Ixworth. We share lots of information with parents and carers on the best possible ways to assist their child with reading at home. We have reading logs and planners to encourage children to develop their love of reading at home and to record this for their teachers to celebrate with them. We have reading schemes to help children begin their reading journey with us, including Oxford Reading Tree, Big Cat Phonics and Dandelion Launchers. We also have a section of non-fiction and fiction books for the children to enjoy in their classes as well as in our library.
In the Early Year and KS1, the Letters and Sounds phonics programme is used to teach the children phonics through daily fun and interactive activities. This is supported by Jolly Phonics and other such strategies to keep the children engaged and progressing with this skill.
Throughout KS1 and KS2 we use the National Curriculum as guidance for teaching spelling rules, punctuation and grammar. Each teacher plans Spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) in to their lessons daily and the children complete several different tasks to help them embed the objectives set. Throughout the year children have the chance to show mastery in oracy skills in English in the form of Christmas productions, class acts of worship and special assemblies.
Let’s get started
Our English Zone contains regularly updated sections for pupils, staff and parents to explore both in school and at home. Below are links to popular, useful school-based and commercial English websites.