English is one of the core subjects in the National Curriculum. Developing good speaking, listening, reading and writing skills is extremely important, as these skills enable children to make good progress in all areas of the curriculum, and to develop the communication skills needed to help them in all aspects of their life.
This page will provide you with some information and resources which may help you to support your child as they progress on their learning journey through primary school.
Throughout their time at Etwall Primary School, we teach children to write in a fluent, legible, cursive (joined up) handwriting style. During their time in EYFS and KS1, children will be taught handwriting on a regular basis using the Nelson Handwriting scheme. They will learn how to form individual letters correctly and how to sit them on the line, and this will lead on to learning how to join letters together (as appropriate) using a cursive style of handwriting. Handwriting lessons are linked to weekly phonics lessons, to help children to learn their phonemes and to practise how to form these letters.
In KS2, children will continue to have regular handwriting lessons, in which they practise cursive writing using their weekly spelling list, to help them to learn the spelling pattern and to practise joining these letter strings together correctly. Children in KS2 are expected to use a ‘joined up writing’ across the curriculum and to leave primary school using a fluent, cursive style of handwriting, as per National Curriculum expectations.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
As part of the English National Curriculum 2014 expectations, KS1 and KS2 children are taught about the rules of spelling, punctuation and grammar, to help them to understand the structure of our language. A good understanding of these areas also helps the children to develp as confident writers.
Below are some documents which may help you to understand the terminology and rules that your child will be expected to know and use, from years 1 to 6, so that you can support them in this area of the curriculum. There is also a document with some spelling games that you can play with your child, to help them to learn their spellings.
Developing good reading skills is essential for children to ensure they are able to access all areas of the school curriculum. At Etwall Primary School we encourage our children to read for enjoyment as often as they can. Encouraging a love of reading in your child at as young an age as possible helps them to progress well across the curriculum, as they can access a world of knowledge and enjoyment through literature.
In school we have a large range of Oxford Reading Tree and phonics books which the children use as they learn to read. In addition to this we have a well-stocked library which the children visit each week to encourage them to read for pleasure. Each classroom also has a selection of age-appropriate reading books for children to enjoy.
We use the Super Six Skills across school to teach children to read and to comprehend confidently. We have six characters linked to these skills as follows: Mana the Monitor, Cameron & Colin the Connectors, Priscilla the Predictor, Quentin the Questioner, Stan the Summarise and Vernon the Visualiser. These skills are taught in reading lessons across the curriculum, so that children can successfully read for meaning. These characters are on display in all classrooms and children enjoy using them in their reading work!
During their time in EYFS and KS1, children will be taught phonics daily to help them to develop as readers. Lessons are planned on a weekly basis using the Letters and Sounds framework of progression, tailored to the needs of our phonics groups.
Phonics objectives that classes are working on each week can be found on your child's half termly homework booklet, which is on their class webpage, and they are also emailed out at the beginning of each half term. Please refer to these to see what your child is learning in phonics, so that you can support them at home!
The attached leaflet aims to guide you through Phase 1-3 phonics, from sounding out letters to building more complex words. It give you simple ideas to try in a relaxed ‘playing together’ way so that your child can enjoy themselves and learn at the same time.
Websites that help children to learn phonics include Phonics Play, Bug Club and Spelling Shed - school has a subscription to Bug Club and Spelling Shed and your child's log in details for these websites can be found in their learning journal.
Talk for Writing
At Etwall Primary School we teach writing using Pie Corbetts’ Talk for Writing approach. This means that we learn a text map from the genre of writing we are studying (imitation phase); learn about the features of this text type and practise writing using these features (innovation phase) and then apply these new skills to our own writing (application phase). Throughout the unit we also do lots of wider reading of the text type, to help us to become familiar with its features. In our classrooms you will find the current text map that the class is working on and a working wall containing features of the writing genre we are learning about, to help us with our writing.
At Etwall Primary School the children are set writing targets each half term. These consist of around three personal targets to help each child to progress in their writing. They are stuck in the front of writing books so that children can refer to them when they are writing in all subjects across the curriculum, not just in English. Teachers and children regularly assess their work against their targets, to ensure that progress is being made. Targets are also stuck into learning journals so that parents can see what their child's targets are, and can support them at home.