English at Rufford
Our English curriculum is based around high quality texts (fiction, non-fiction and poetry). Through these texts, children explore language and improve their reading, writing and oracy skills. Our lessons are adapted from the Wordsmith scheme to meet the needs of our children. Wordsmith ensures clear progression through the standards and expectations of the National Curriculum. We are focussed on ensuring children have a secure knowledge of language, and of the necessary grammar and punctuation skills, while providing a range of opportunities to be creative.
Children are provided with opportunities to write in English lessons and across the curriculum. Whenever children are writing at length, they use the process of writing: plan, draft, write, edit.
Grammar is taught in context within the Wordsmith scheme and, where teachers identify specific needs for their class, discrete grammar lessons address these issues.
Here is our long-term planning for English: View Now
Each Year Group has an overview for English which includes our key texts, our cross-curricular reading and our class reader texts:
For Spelling, we use resources from Spelling Shed because their approach matches our focus on research-based practice and the importance of retrieval.
We teach spelling through Orthography:
“Orthography is how patterns of letters are used to make certain spoken sounds in a language.”
This means our children will continue to build on the firm foundations built whilst studying phonics in their early years of education. They will continue to break down spellings into the smallest units of sound and cluster them into syllables in order to read and write words efficiently.
We also use Morphology:
“Morphology describes how words are structured into subcomponents to give meaning.”
Children will study words; word parts; their meanings and how this affects spelling.
There are lessons throughout the scheme that consolidate children’s knowledge of common morphemes such as root formations, prefixes and suffixes.
And, we use Entymology:
“Etymology describes the origins of words, which can lead to certain patterns of spelling.”
Most lessons in the scheme include an etymology element that allows our teachers to teach the children about the origin of the words that they are learning about.
Children will be able to see how the English language has, over time, borrowed and integrated words and spellings from a range of source languages. For example, the latinate verbs which follow Latin prepositions in English words such as: -act (do), -pute (think) or -opt (choose).
All staff have received training on the teaching of Kinetic Letters. We use the Kinetic Letter programme for the teaching of handwriting from Nursery to Year 6.
Kinetic Letters® is a handwriting programme for use in primary and secondary schools.
Four main threads of:
• Making bodies stronger,
• Holding the pencil,
• Learning the letters, and
• Flow and fluency
It enables children to develop legible handwriting that is produced quickly and automatically. With the development of automaticity, handwriting becomes a valuable tool and not a hindrance to learning.
The Kinetic Letters® font covers all the letters in the alphabet and is based on a set of rules that have been made as simple as possible to enable fast learning. The order in which letters are taught recognises the cognitive development of children.
Strength: Writing is a fine finger operation; children must have core body and arm strength to be able to control their fingers precisely.
Pencil hold: The pencil/pen grip must be comfortable to allow writing for long periods (e.g. exams often last for hours). Pens and pencils with a triangular cross-section assist in developing the correct hold.
Letter formation: The movements to form the letters begin with whole body movements and progress through writing in sand trays to writing on whiteboards and finally writing on paper. In Kinetic Letters®, all the letters and numbers are formed by one of two monkeys, a brave one (Bounce) who goes to the top branch of the tree, and a scared one (Skip) who goes to the lower branch.
Flow and fluency: Letter movements are minimised to help a fast writing style to develop. There are no lead-in strokes (a waste of time and effort).