At Lynch Hill, we are dedicated to inspire a love for both reading and writing through our English curriculum. It is our aim that children will then want to continue to read and write outside of the classroom and across all other areas of the curriculum. We also aim to promote high standards of spoken language through the integral use of oracy throughout the curriculum as we recognise that developing a love of language in our children is vital in achieving success at school and later in life.
Writing and reading are at the heart of everything we do here at Lynch Hill. We aim to ensure that all children can read fluently with a good understanding and that we develop a love for literature through the promotion of reading for enjoyment across the school. It is important that our children are also read to and can experience the simple enjoyment of hearing a story and being able to immerse themselves into plot.
Within writing, we ensure that children acquire a wide range of vocabulary, an understanding of grammatical rules and that they can write clearly, accurately and coherently. They should then be able to adapt their language and style of writing for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. At Lynch Hill, we encourage a passion for writing and the development of creative pieces of literature. Through speaking and listening opportunities, we hope that children will be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas and that this will help to develop the children as writers.
We are proud to be a Read write Inc school and a PiXL school and recognise that such affiliations enable us to offer high quality teaching and learning opportunities which we implement within our classrooms with rigour and enthusiasm.
Our English curriculum is designed to develop all children’s knowledge and skills within both reading and writing in order to enhance and enrich learning across all other curriculum areas. The children are made aware that there is a key progression of knowledge and skills within English and are helped to develop these throughout their school career. At Lynch Hill, English is taught through a range of selected texts covering all genres across the school. These texts appropriately challenge and excite our pupils and are adapted to meet the needs of our learners.
As readers, children work through the Read Write Inc scheme and then move to explicitly developing their fluency and comprehension skills from accessing a wider range of texts. As a PiXL school, we embrace the wealth of reading resources available to ensure that age-appropriate skills and text knowledge are being developed and that specific gaps and misconceptions can be addressed through the use of the DTTR approach.
Within lessons, discussions take place to extract key language, develop oracy and develop the understanding of how language is used. Teachers model high quality writing, showcasing exemplar texts and by using the ‘thinking out loud’ technique in order to inspire children and demonstrate the writing process. Through the studied texts, children explore different styles of writing and how authors write for a specific purpose and audience. Our pupils can then create their own written texts using the skills that they have acquired, not only in English but across other curriculum areas.
Across the school, English books demonstrate the impact of quality first teaching and the children’s understanding of the skills required to become a successful writer. The impact of English teaching is also measured across the curriculum through the children applying their grammatical knowledge and understanding of writing techniques within other subject areas, both orally and within written work. Children show that they can analyse and edit their own work as well as that of their peers, which shows a deeper level of learning. Discussions with pupils demonstrate that children feel challenged within lessons and that they are being equipped with the skills and knowledge to carry them into the next stage of their education.
Children at Lynch Hill are keen to participate in reading challenges and writing competitions throughout the school year, demonstrating their knowledge and love for English. Displays within classrooms showcase pupil’s learning journeys throughout a unit of work, new vocabulary acquired. The impact of English teaching at Lynch Hill will hopefully develop life-long writers and readers.
At Lynch Hill School Primary Academy, we place great emphasis on the teaching the basic skills of reading and writing so that children can access learning across the curriculum and become independent.
Literacy, or English, as it is more commonly referred to, involves key areas:
- Speaking and Listening
At Lynch Hill we are passionate about reading and we endeavour to make sure that all our children develop a love of reading and that every child leaves us as a reader.
In the Early Years, pupils are taught primarily through focused play activities. During the Reception year, pupils are gradually introduced to aspects of English and are introduced to Read Write Inc Phonics, a complete literacy programme for 3 to 7 year-olds, learning to read and write.
Although reading is taught using synthetic phonics, the programme is so much more than that. It covers all of the new National Curriculum requirements for language and literacy. All children in Key Stage 1 have daily phonics sessions, beginning with simple sounds and building up to more complex sound combinations. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading but it also helps children to learn to spell. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. The children also practice reading (and spelling) words such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’. We call these ‘red words’ because they cannot be sounded out phonetically. In these sessions, the children practice their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘red words’ they know. They start to believe they can read, and approach the reading with a “can do” attitude and improves their confidence. The teachers read to the children, too, so that they are exposed to a range of texts such as stories, poetry and information books, building their vocabulary in order to help their writing.
As children move through the school, they are given more choice and take a greater responsibility for their reading. The children read in small groups, as well as individually on a weekly basis. By the time the children leave Key Stage 2, we aim for the children to become fluent and reflective readers, able to tackle a wide variety of reading materials and to make good choices for their reading.
At Lynch Hill, we operate a home-school reading system so that children can take books home to read with an adult. We have two well-stocked libraries, which ensure that children have access to a wide range of material. The pupils in Key Stage 2 also have access to our e-library where the pupils can select eBooks from home.
Supporting your child with their daily reading is one of the best ways you can help them. Here are some tips to encourage and support your child at home:
- Talk about the story and the characters as you go along.
- Visit the library and borrow books you enjoy reading together.
- Choose subjects your child prefers - factual books or stories.
- Look for words in everyday life, not just books. Read newspaper headlines, shop signs or menus in cafes.
- Make reading fun.
Writing is an important tool for learning and plays a vital role in all areas of the curriculum.
At Lynch Hill, children are given many opportunities to write for different purposes and audiences. We aim for a high standard of presentation, and the children follow a cursive style of handwriting throughout the school. Through our teaching we also provide time for planning, editing and revising and encouraging pupils, throughout the process, to read as a writer and write as a reader.
At Lynch Hill, we want to make sure that every child learns to be a competent and confident speller so we dedicate time each day for specific spelling lessons. We take a structured approach and the children learn and practice not only spelling patterns, but also how they relate to the sounds, thereby giving them the building blocks to be able to spell almost any word.
When the children have completed our reading programme (Read, Write, Inc.) and enter KS2, they continue to focus on a sound and its graphemes over a one to two week period. The child not only learns how to spell the related words, but also how to adapt it, for example by making it into a plural or adding ‘ed’.
Speaking and Listening
Pupils are encouraged and helped to talk clearly, confidently and with expression in order to communicate their ideas and feelings. They are taught that, to become effective listeners, they need to be attentive and concentrate. Opportunities to develop these skills include presenting to an audience, class discussions, role play and following instructions.
We believe in the importance of children mastering spoken and written literacy skills. Learning to understand the structure of the language is seen as integral to the development of reading and writing skills.
How to help your child: We teach the Grammar curriculum throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and have been asked by several parents how they can help their children with this aspect of English. One way of achieving this is to become familiar with the terminology used in the curriculum and to use this with children whenever an opportunity arises. With this in mind, we have discovered a fantastic 'Jargon Buster' which gives explanations of all of the terms used together with examples. If you would like to read more please go to the Oxford University Press or click on the link below: