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Harston and Newton Community Primary School
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English

At Harston and Newton we believe that literacy and communication are key life skills.  Through the English curriculum, we will children to develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language and equip them with the skills to become engaged and lifelong learners. We want children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety and ensure that our teaching of English develops children into fluent, confident readers and for them to recognise the essential link between reading and writing. The English curriculum at Harston and Newton is delivered using the National Curriculum English Document. The Early Learning Goals are followed to ensure continuity and progression from the Early Years Foundation stage through to the National Curriculum. Where appropriate, literacy units will link to curriculum themes to promote cross-curricular learning. 

 

Speaking and Listening

The National Curriculum reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically.  At Harston and Newton, children regularly communicate for a range of purposes, contexts and to different audiences, understanding the need to appropriate register for effective communication.  Across all curriculum areas, children work in groups, participate in conversations, discussions, debate, presentations, performances, role plays, improvisations and debates.  Children are taught to articulate and justify their opinions and how to share their own ideas, insights and opinions and ultimately ensure that their thinking is made clear to themselves, as well as to others.  We also ensure that children receive constructive feedback on their spoken language and listening, not only to improve their knowledge and skills but also to establish secure foundations for effective spoken language in their studies at primary school, helping them to achieve in secondary education and beyond.

 

Reading

Reading is an important part of the English curriculum, as it supports all other aspects of learning and is key to developing effective writing skills. By the time they leave us to move onto secondary school, we want all children to be able to read fluently, with enjoyment and good understanding. We help children to acquire these reading behaviours through dedicated daily literacy lessons, but also by focusing on the key skill of reading and comprehension across the whole curriculum.  Children read and discuss a wide-range of texts to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.  We use the Book Band system from Reception to Year 4, to ensure that children are exposed to high-quality texts at an appropriate level for their developing reading skills and children from Years 5 and 6 read a wide variety of books from our library.  We believe that reading for pleasure is essential and we aim to foster a love of reading in all children.  Every child in Key Stage 1 takes home a library book each week, in addition to their graded reading book. We have recently renewed the book stock in both our infant and junior libraries and expect all children to read at home for at least 10 minutes every day.

    Shared reading takes place within English lessons to expose children to more challenging texts in addition to daily Guided Reading sessions where children work in a small group with the class teacher. Teachers also share stories and poems with the class, displaying an enthusiasm for reading and setting a positive example as a reader.

 

Writing

At Harston and Newton we want children to see themselves as writers and know how to confidently communicate their ideas in writing both in English and across all curriculum areas. In English lessons, high quality texts are used as the starting point for writing units of work, so that children have a clear understanding of the features of the text type they are working on. In devising a unit of work, teachers ensure that children will be taught how to analyse text, plan, revise and evaluate their own writing.  Modelled, shared and guided writing is an important part of this process, and is crucial for the development of children’s writing to help children understand the composition process and how to write coherently, with an awareness of purpose, audience and context.  

   Children are expected to write frequently in a range of forms across fiction, non-fiction and poetry, both creatively and to task.  This may include personal reflective writing, evaluative responses to a different texts, short tasks such as writing as a character description or writing a whole story or report as an extended piece of writing. 

   Accurate grammar, punctuation and spelling play a key role in the children’s writing, and children cannot achieve the expected standard for their age without a secure grasp of these building blocks for writing.  Presentation is also key and we encourage all children to develop their own unique, legible and joined handwriting style.  These skills are taught explicitly and children are expected to apply their grammar and spelling knowledge in their writing. 

 

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School is open for keyworker children and Pre-School, Reception, Year 1, Year 5 and Year 6. All places are now taken. We continue to provide Home Learning for all year groups
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