At Hartsfield, we believe that English is core to every child’s education.
We believe a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society and to expand their horizons. Within our curriculum, we aim to provide opportunities for children to become confident learners; ready to move on to the next phase of their education.
We champion reading as a vital life skill. We want our children to become resilient, independent learners with a passion for reading that they will carry forward into their later lives. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We want all our children to have a secure grounding in phonics decoding, fluency and prosody, underpinning their early reading, alongside all aspects that enable a child to fully question and comprehend a text.
We want to nurture a culture where children take pride in their writing, write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts and to apply their powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness within their work. Our children will need to write letters correctly using a common formation before moving onto a fluent and cursive style in Year 2 - a style that we will maintain throughout each child’s time at Hartsfield. We will teach the children to plan, draft and edit their own writing across a range of genres. We intend to give all our children frequent opportunities to develop their writing both within English sessions and through cross-curricular writing opportunities. We want to embed learning about grammar, punctuation and spelling from the Early Years throughout children’s time at Hartsfield
We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening, and to use discussion to communicate and further their learning. We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge base in English following a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. They will learn to speak clearly, fluently and confidently to a range of audiences and will recognise and use a varied, nuanced vocabulary.
All our children, including disadvantaged or those when SEND will have the knowledge and cultural capital to succeed in life and will consistently achieve highly.
The English curriculum covers a wide range of knowledge and skills, progressing as the children move through their time at Hartsfield. Our curriculum is directed by the Early Years Framework and the National Curriculum for English, which set out statutory requirements for learning across the primary phase.
Teachers subject knowledge in English will be excellent. Our own use of English, through speaking, listening, writing and reading will ensure children learn well.
The work will be planned and delivered to the children across the school working towards providing sufficient cumulative knowledge and skills for future learning.
Reading is prioritised.
Reading is a vital part of our curriculum and is integral to all of our lessons. No child will be disadvantaged when it comes to reading.
At Hartsfield we teach reading through:
Phonetic awareness is crucial for the development of reading by segmenting and blending sounds. In EYFS and Year 1 we will deliver our own bespoke phonics programme based on the phases 1 to 5 of Letters and Sounds. Children will be expected to have completed Phase 4 by the end of EYFS and Phase 5 by the end of Year 1. Children in Year 2 will complete our own spelling programme ready for Essential Spellings in years 3 to 6.
Any children with misconceptions, misunderstanding or having missed lessons due to absence will be quickly assessed and interventions put into place directly.
At Hartsfield, we aim to teach lessons which focus on developing pupils’ level of understanding of the text, through discussion, written and oral tasks; and the exploration of new vocabulary. Pupils will be taught to retrieve, infer, predict, summarise, analyse and evaluate the books they choose to read and whole class, teacher inspired texts.
At Hartsfield, we inspire our pupils to read for pleasure and to read widely. In these lessons, pupils will explore a book, developing their reading skills and their ability to understand the author’s intent, connections and links to their own experiences. Discussion and critiquing are key aspects of these lessons. Teachers carefully select texts that are above each child’s own reading ability and are of a high calibre.
Reading across the curriculum:
At Hartsfield, we maximise opportunities for pupils to read. We focus on the teaching of reading whilst increasing the pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the topics being taught in all curriculum areas.
Hartsfield promotes Everyone Reading in Class (ERIC) to support independent reading. Children from EYFS to year 6 are expected to take home a book for pleasure from a selection of fiction and non-fiction books.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. Attainment in reading is measured summatively at the end of each year using comprehension tests and the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two. Teachers are given the knowledge and expertise to continually assess the children and adapt learning, put interventions in place and to plan consolidation lessons. These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally.
Writing is an important part of our curriculum and is an integral part of all of our lessons. Writing is purposeful. No child will be at a disadvantage when it comes to writing.
We use an adapted ’The Write Stuff’ approach for years 1 to 4. Each writing unit is planned in accordance with the national curriculum objectives, whilst considering the purpose of writing.
It is paramount that children are rigorously taught correct letter formation from the very beginning of their time in school. During EYFS children are taught to sit properly in order to have the correct posture for writing, hold a pencil in the correct position and develop a legible handwriting style. We use a systematic and progressive approach.
Teachers are expected to role model the school’s handwriting style when marking children’s work, writing on the board and on displays around the school.
Spelling, grammar and punctuation
Throughout the English curriculum, pupils will be taught key elements of spelling, punctuation and grammar, and will be given opportunities to apply these to their own writing. The National Curriculum (2014) sets out the statutory requirements across the primary phase, including key grammatical vocabulary and spelling rules.
In EYFS, children will be introduced to basic sentence punctuation such as capital letters and full stops. This will be discussed through reading, then also modelled and encouraged in group work.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, the children will be taught grammar, punctuation and spelling rules within their English lessons as well as using these within their own writing.
At Hartsfield, we follow the progression of knowledge and skills set out by the National Curriculum which sets out the statutory content to be introduced and the relevant vocabulary with which the children should be familiar. We teach the Common Exception Words and High Frequency Words spelling for Years 1 and 2. Herts Essential Spelling Programme is used in year 3 to 6, to support our teaching of spelling rules and the required word lists for each phase.
The National Curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. At Hartsfield we feel spoken language is of much greater importance than the National Curriculum gives weighting for. Continuous professional development has helped our drive to embed and model inspiring spoken language across the curriculum and create staff who are confident to maximise opportunities within their classrooms.