At Burleigh Primary School we use Herts for Learning (HfL) exemplified planning units, which are based on high-quality texts, as the backbone of our English curriculum, although each unit is adapted by the teachers to suit the needs of their children in their year group. Each unit includes aspects of speaking and listening skills (such as oral rehearsal and vocabulary development), reading, grammar, spelling and punctuation skills (as set out in the National Curriculum) and the application of these in independent writing. Throughout the unit, children are encouraged to edit and proofread their own work and at the end of each term they 'publish' a piece of writing. Children think about the audience and purpose of their writing and consider its effectiveness and impact on the reader.
Writing is a key part of learning in English. At Burleigh Primary School we want our children to become confident, fluent writers who can write for a range of purposes and audiences in all curriculum subjects. We want children to be able to use a variety of sentence types, choose effective vocabulary and spell accurately, considering the impact of their writing on the reader. To be a good writer, children need to speak fluently and confidently in sentences and need to read widely.
At Burleigh Primary School, we want our children to love and appreciate reading. We want them to read a range of books that are of an appropriate level of challenge, fluently and confidently. We aim for our children to be able to discuss the texts they are reading and make links with other books and real-life experiences. Whilst doing this, we want them to develop their vocabulary to aid their learning, improve their writing and foster a lifelong love of reading. This will enable them to be secondary school ready, so they can access the whole curriculum available to them. We do this by selecting appropriately challenging texts in our English lessons for both independent reading and guided reading and for reading aloud to the children. Lists of recommended texts for each year group can be found on the year group pages.
We follow our ‘Phonics First’ programme, which is aligned with Letters and Sounds. In Early Years and Key Stage One, all children are exposed to and taught the correct age-related content. Children are supported in class by the teaching assistant to ensure that lessons are accessible for all. Children who need more support are given additional phonics lessons in the afternoon.
In lower Key Stage Two, phonics is incorporated into spelling lessons where appropriate. Those children who did not meet the phonics expectations at the end of Key Stage One are taught phonics in small groups or one-to-one in Year Three and beyond if required. For consistency, resources from Key Stage One are used to help us to close the gaps and are adapted to meet the needs of individuals.
In Key Stage 2, children have spelling rules to learn in addition to a list of statutory words. The ‘No Nonsense’ spelling programme facilitates an investigative approach to learning spelling rules.