At Applecroft we want all our children to learn to speak, read and write fluently, with confidence and enjoyment. The literacy skills and knowledge our children learn will enable them to communicate and explore ideas, feelings and opinions in order to participate fully and richly in the world around them. Through reading in particular, pupils are able to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.
The overarching aim for English is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils to confidently use spoken and written language to communicate, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
English at Applecroft
At Applecroft School we aim, where possible, to deliver the English curriculum through a thematic approach and book based units of work. Children are given the opportunity to develop a love of literature and books, encompassing fiction, non-fiction and poetry, including traditional and classic texts and develop an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage. From the outset, phonics is taught daily and reinforced and practised through the school's reading scheme. The teaching of reading is focused on developing fluency and comprehension skills. Children will be read to regularly each week so that they experience books and texts which may be beyond their own reading capacity.Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. At Applecroft, we aim to develop pupils' confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills and provide opportunities for all children to enrich their vocabulary and participate in classroom discussions, assemblies and drama. We want children to be able to write with confidence and accuracy for a variety of purposes and audiences whilst developing their own individual style. We want our children to be able to write with grammatical accuracy and be able to apply spelling patterns correctly using a neat and fluent cursive handwriting style.
We want our school to be a place where children are read to, enjoy, discuss and work with high quality books. These ‘essential reads’ would be a store of classics, creating a living library inside a child’s mind. This is the ‘Reading Spine’. We have provided the Pie Corbett reading spine in our classrooms so that children have access to these high quality texts.
Pie Corbett says…
Great books build the imagination. The more we read aloud expressively, and the more children are able to savour, discuss and reinterpret literature through the arts, the more memorable the characters, places and events become, building an inner world. A child who is read to will have an inner kingdom of unicorns, talking spiders and a knife that cuts into other worlds. The mind is like a ‘tardis’; it may seem small but inside there are many mansions. Each great book develops the imagination and equips the reader with language.
Great stories speak to us as individuals and some children will return to certain books again and again. Great stories also build our language because around 75 per cent of our vocabulary comes from our reading. Reading develops the ability to think in the abstract; to follow lines of thought. Schools that have a reading spine, build a common bank of stories that bind the community together. These are shared and deeply imagined common experiences.
Reading Spine books for each year group.
Back on Track English: September 2020
Despite all our best efforts we know most children have missed some key learning in English in the last academic year. Opportunities to discuss, reflect, interact and use immediate feedback are harder to achieve remotely and we know these make a huge difference to children’s learning and progress. We carefully assess all children’s needs as they return to school and focus on key objectives and core skills in the English curriculum. We are using ‘Back on Track’ materials specifically designed to address this. As necessary, we track back so the foundations for core learning are addressed, explored and embedded. Individual children will then be able to access their age appropriate curriculum over the course of the year.
In English we will be using a series of units based around some wonderful books which have been carefully chosen to engage pupils in each year group. We are excited about these new units of work and know the children will feel inspired too. Our first book will be aimed at whole school engagement using the amazing wordless picture book 'Journey' by Aaaron Becker.