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Northfields Infants and Nursery School

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Northfields Infants and Nursery School

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English

English at Northfields

 

At Northfields Infants and Nursery School we recognise the importance that a strong foundation in English plays in preparing children for their future education journey and wider role in society. Our English Curriculum follows the guidance set out in the 2014 National Curriculum Programmes of Study in Spoken Language, Reading and Writing.

 

We aim to: - 

  • Ensure that children are given many opportunities to develop and practise their speaking and listening skills across the curriculum through role-play, drama activities, debate and discussion.
  • Build confidence in and develop the skills that children need to enable them to discuss, elaborate on and explain their ideas and understanding as preparation for writing.
  • Encourage our children to develop a passion for books and reading, both for pleasure and for information
  • Ensure our children leave Year 2 as fluent and confident readers with well-developed comprehension skills
  • Support our children with their development of a wide vocabulary and an understanding of grammar and the conventions of Standard English
  • Develop children’s ability to write clearly and coherently in a range of styles and for different purposes

 

 

 

 

Spoken Language

At Northfields the development of strong Spoken Language skills is at the heart of our whole curriculum. Teachers plan regular opportunities to enable children to develop their confidence and practise speaking and listening skills in safe and supportive environments. In the EYFS skills are practised in circle times and snack times and through a variety of play based and role-play activities. We value the importance of play in the development of speaking and listening skills and every class from Nursery to Year 2 has a role-play corner in their classroom. In Key Stage 1 Spoken Language is taught through regular opportunities for discussion, explanation and opportunities to ask and answer questions. We are strong supporters of the Talk for Writing approach which encourages children to learn to recite a familiar story and then to use these ideas and structures to construct new versions of the story, finally leading to original pieces of work. Throughout the school year teachers plan regular speaking and listening weeks where children have the opportunity to participate in drama based activities such as hot seating, conscience alley and role-play. Children in every year group participate in class assemblies two or three times a year and we traditionally present our annual Christmas School Performance which allows the Year 2 children a wonderful opportunity to perform in front of a large audience.

 

Philosophy for Children

We have a whole school approach to Philosophy for Children (P4C) which involves the children thinking about a statement or question which is introduced at the beginning of every week and reviewed at the end. Each half term has a different focus with the emphasis placed not on the answer but the explanation of their reasoning behind their decision. With P4C we stress that there is no such thing as a wrong answer and every response is equally valid as long as it can be explained. As a school we are extremely positive about the benefits of P4C and have found that children are much more willing to ‘have a go’ and share their ideas and they demonstrate a greater ability to justify their responses showing a deeper level of thinking. 

 

Reading

Our goal is to inspire our children to develop a love of books and reading from a young age which will stay with them throughout their lives. In addition to our well stocked school library, each classroom has their own book corner and children are always encouraged to access this to share a book in their free time. Each teacher makes it a priority to read regularly to their children and we aim to finish each day with class story time. Throughout our daily reading sessions children have opportunities to practise both aspects of reading, i.e. Word reading and comprehension by participating in a range of activities including individual reading with an adult, guided group reading, comprehension and spelling activities and learning via our online reading and phonics platform, Lexia. Children are also able to access Lexia at home. We value the role that parents can provide in supporting their child’s reading development and encourage regular reading at home by providing reading books and library books to be shared.

 

Phonics

Reading is taught across the school through daily sessions of synthetic phonics. We follow the Twinkl phonics programme. TAP HERE to find out more.

 

Writing

In EYFS the initial emphasis is focused on children making marks on paper which represent something to them. Over time the mark making develops into letter formation and then into single words and short phrases. Throughout the school we follow the Twinkl handwriting programme which teaches the children letter shapes which are grouped into similar shape families. Once correct letter formation has been established children will be taught how to begin joining some of their letters in Year 2.

 

In all year groups we use ‘Have a Go Writing’ as a means of encouraging children to give writing a go without worrying too much about perfect presentation or spelling. We want children to feel confident in their writing and this comes with regular practise. Children may be given a picture as stimulus for their ‘Have a Go Writing’ or they may be asked to write about a topic with which they are already familiar. Children across Key Stage 1 are taught the differences between fiction and non-fiction writing and learn how to write for a range of purposes including narratives, poetry, reports, explanation texts, lists, instructions and recounts.

 

Grammar and spelling are taught in discrete sessions in Key Stage 1 and the children are given weekly spellings to learn which are tested informally in school. Each group of spellings follows a particular spelling rule. When marking children’s writing teachers initially focus on the correct spelling of common exception words (tricky words which cannot be segmented using phonic sounds) and look for children to make phonetically plausible attempts at other words. Once each spelling rule has been learnt teachers will look to see this applied in the children’s independent writing.

 

 

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