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English @ SLE

You are never alone when lost in the magic of a book.
- Marie Lu
At Shortlanesned School our English curriculum has been developed to recognise the importance of English in every aspect of our daily lives as well as to inspire and develop our children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. It is important to us that all our children love to read, take pride in their writing and can clearly and accurately communicate their thoughts and ideas in a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and to be able to use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
Our intents are for all children to be able to:
• Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
• Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
• Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
• Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
• Develop a love of writing and to be able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively 
• Re-read, edit and improve their own writing
• Confidently use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling
• Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
• Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and clearly explain their understanding and ideas
• Become competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world.
- Susan Sontag
Through our immersive curriculum our children experience English learning through many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. All children enjoy a daily English lesson. We use a wide variety of experiences, quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. A class reading book is chosen termly to suit and immerse the children through the current topic. We ensure that cross curricular links with concurrent topic work are woven into the programme of study. We strive to ensure that children enjoy their English learning improving their desire to learn and flourish as befits our school ethos of Smile - Learn - Excel.
Furthermore we ensure that:
  • Teachers create a positive reading and writing culture in school, where both are promoted
  • Promotion of reading through teachers reading out loud regularly to their class
  • Pupils in EYFS and KS1 to have daily phonics sessions
  • Year 1-6 have daily spelling, grammar and punctuation sessions.
  • Age appropriate spellings sent home weekly for pupils to practise 
  • Guided Reading sessions in all classes
  • Accelerated Reader is used effectively to monitor progression of understanding as well as decoding of words
  • Higher order comprehension skills are learnt and developed through shared reading and regular written tasks
  • Children are supported to be adventurous with vocabulary choices through displays in class encompassing all curriculum areas
  • Vocabulary mats to be used where needed and thesauruses and dictionaries which are easily accessible 
  • Children acquire strategies to enable them to become independent learners in English for example - spelling rules and patterns and how to tackle unfamiliar words when reading
  • Pupils to discuss and to present their ideas to each other by talking, being able to elaborate and explain themselves clearly, make presentations and participate in debates.
  • Working Walls – all classes aiding pupils and guiding them through the process of Reading and Analysing, Gathering Content, Planning and Writing.
  • Teaching a range of genres across the school (progressing in difficulty) both in English and other curriculum areas; resulting in pupils being exposed to, and knowledgeable about, literary styles, authors and genres. 
  • Displays of writing, in class, shared areas and on the school website, giving a purpose and audience, to encourage pride in work and to show that work is valued 
Our children clearly love to read. They show us this during shared and independent reading sessions through their enthusiasm for the text and their knowledge of the plot. Accelerated Reader highlights a number of our children reach 1,000,000 words read during Years 5 and 6. Children are fully involved in choosing books to stock in our school library and passionately argue for their particular favourite authors or stories. Our immersive curriculum allows us to ensure that our library has books directly linked to topics taught - which are used by children to further their knowledge. 
The impact of our our English curriculum permeates throughout all areas of our children's educational journey at Shortlanesend School. We have noted that skills taught in English lesson are transferred into other subjects. There is a clear consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives noted in cross-curricular writing for example.
Our children immerse themselves into stories and develop into confident orators through opportunities in lessons to role play as characters from the class reading book, or historical personalities from different periods of time. Class plays provide further opportunities to perform. Our school currently holds an Aspire Silver Award for Pupil Voice.
We hope that as children move on from us into the next stages of their life, that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to develop.
Handwriting is a skill which, like reading and spelling, affects written communication across the curriculum. Children must be able to write with ease, speed and legibility. At Shortlanesend School we implement the Nelson Handwriting Scheme, which supports children to learn to join letters and words as a series of flowing movements and patterns. Handwriting skills are taught regularly and systematically, throughout the school. Teachers ensure that their handwriting role models the Nelson style
Aims of Handwriting Teaching at Shortlanesend: 
  1. Achieve a neat, legible style with correctly formed letters
  2. Develop flow and speed
  3. Naturally produce the letters automatically and in their independent writing
For children to be successful in meeting these aims our children:
  • Experience coherence and continuity in learning and teaching across the school.
  • Develop a recognition and appreciation of pattern and line
  • Are given support in finding a comfortable grip.
  • Understand the importance of clear and neat presentation in order to communicate meaning clearly
  • Are encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their work
  • View improved handwriting with a sense of enjoyment and achievement
  • Are supported in developing correct spelling quickly through a multi-sensory approach to handwriting.
  • Are able to write quickly to aid expressing themselves creatively and imaginatively across the curriculum Write for a range of purposes.
  • Use their skills with confidence and pride in real life situations
Our Early Years Children take part in activities to develop their fine and gross motor-skills and recognition of patterns, for example, to form letters using their index finger in sand or using paint. Our children begin to learn how to correctly hold a pencil or other writing implement. Next they develop to learning how to hold a pencil effectively to form recognisable letters, with increasingly accurate formation. Two begin with our children are provided with opportunities to develop their handwriting, using the Non-Nelson style, to their full potential. Once confident they refine their handwriting through Neslon Workbooks - these flow into Year One.
Key Stage 1
Our children continue to develop fine and gross motor-skills with a range of multi-sensory activities. Teachers and TAs continue to guide children on how to write letters correctly, using a comfortable and efficient pencil grip. Children should now be leaving spaces between words accurately. The childen move from Nelson Workbooks to regular Nelson exercises written in the back of their English books by the end of Year 2. By the end of Key Stage 1 we strive to ensure that our children children will be able to write legibly, using upper and lower-case letters appropriately and correct spacing between words using a cursive style.
Key Stage 2
During this stage the children continue to have direct teaching and regular practice handwriting supported by the Nelson scheme.Our children should achieve a clear, fluent style and by the end of Year 6 be able to adapt their handwriting for the for different purposes, such as: a neat, legible hand for finished, presented work, a faster script for note making and the ability to print for labeling diagrams. During KS2 childen have the opportunity to request a Pen License. The request is made in writing in the form of a letter to our English Lead, Mrs Ashley.  Should the letter meet the required standard of presentation, layout and neatness the child is awarded a Pen License and a handwriting pen and will be able to use pen for the majority of their written work.
Provision for left-handed children
The majority of left handed children (approximately 10% of the population) are boys. All our teachers are aware of the specific needs of left-handed pupils and aim to make appropriate provision to support these children. Th provision includes:
  • Paper/books need to be positioned to the left for right handed writers and to the right for left handed writers.
  • It may be slanted to suit the individual in either case
  • Pencils should not be held too close to the point, so children;s sight is not impaired
  • Children should be positioned so that they can place their paper to their left side
  • Left-handed children should sit to the left of a right-handed child so that they are not competing for space
  • Further practising with left-to-right exercises may required before a child writes left-to-right automatically
  • Teachers are aware that it is very difficult for left-handed pupils to follow handwriting movements when a right-handed teacher models them
  • Teachers take time to demonstrate to left-handers on an individual or group basis
The Learning Environment
In all classes, pencil pots with suitable materials are available for pupils to work at their own tables. Classrooms are equipped with a range of writing implements (including triangular pencils), line guides, word lists and dictionaries.
Home Support
We aim to make our parents and guardians aware of our agreed handwriting style and encouraged them to practice this with their children at home. Please click the link below to gain further understanding:

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