By the time children leave Knighton Mead, we expect them to communicate through speaking and listening, reading and writing, with confidence, fluency and understanding and in a range of situations. We aim to equip them with the literary skills and knowledge to aid them with their next step in education. We also aim to foster an enjoyment and love of literature for all children.
At Knighton teachers will deliver the statutory requirements of the NC 2014 English programme of study. All children receive a minimum entitlement of a daily discrete English lesson alongside discrete spelling, reading, grammar, phonic and handwriting sessions. In addition, it is expected that cross-curricular links will contribute to pupils learning in speaking and listening, reading and writing.
Writing at Knighton is delivered through a ‘Book Rich’ curriculum in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 and a ‘Novel Led’ curriculum in Key Stage 2. This approach enables all children to experience a wide and varied range of high quality novels, picture books and non-fiction texts.
Our approach to the teaching of writing is underpinned by an engaging 3 phase approach which allows the children to read as a reader, read as a writer and write as a reader. This approach allows children of all abilities to develop the skills to become confident readers, speakers and then, over time, transfer these skills into becoming confident writers. As they develop, children are encouraged to see writing as a powerful means of self – expression and a creative form of communication. Pupils in time develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation.
All writing at Knighton takes into consideration the ‘Super 6’ of writing. These are: sentence structure, cohesion, punctuation, vocabulary, tense/person and paragraphs. Purpose and audience is also a key element of our teaching as well as the use of Alan Peat sentence types, this is to ensure that the writing they produce is engaging and interesting.
We explore different types of writing at Knighton, such as; persuasions, instructions, reports, recounts, narratives, discussions and explanations. We aim to make writing fun, purposeful and stimulating for our children.
Reading at Knighton is divided into two parts: ‘Reading for Progress’ and ‘Reading for Pleasure’. Both are considered equal and are aimed to allow our children to develop the necessary skills in reading and to develop a lifelong love of reading.
‘Reading for progress’ is achieved through continual assessment and matching children to appropriate books that challenge and engage them. ‘Reading Recovery’ levelled books and PM benchmarks are used in EYFS and Year 1, whereas ‘Star Testing,’ ‘MyOn,’ and ‘Accelerated Reader’ are used for pupils from Year 2 to 6. Children are given the opportunity to read and enjoy these books in school during our 20 minute ‘Drop Everything and Read Time’.
Another important element of our ‘Reading for Progress’ approach is our discrete reading comprehension lessons. Within these sessions children are challenged to build their vocabulary and the reciprocal reading skills or predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarising.
Reading for Pleasure is promoted within our school through regular ‘Get Caught Reading’ competitions, class readers and our ‘Reading for Pleasure Corridor’ – an inviting space for enjoying books that the children choose at break time and lunchtime. Part of our reading for pleasure philosophy, is that no child should be prevented from accessing a book that they show an interest in.
Phonics at Knighton is delivered through the Read, Write, Inc. programme. All children in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 will receive daily discrete Phonics lessons. Read, Write Inc. Phonics is an inclusive literacy programme for all children learning to read. All children will learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and how to blend them to read and spell. This programme includes both a reading and a writing focus.
During daily Phonics lessons, teachers will teach children to:
- Apply the skills of blending phonemes to read words
- Learn that blending and segmenting words is a reversible process
- Read high frequency words that do not conform to regular phonics patterns
- Read texts and words that are within their phonics capabilities as early as possible
- Decode texts effortlessly so all their resources can then be used to comprehend what they are reading
- Spell effortlessly so that all their resources can then be directed towards composing in their writing.
Teachers will ensure that every Phonics lessons is pitched at the correct level for each child, ensuring that every child is sufficiently challenged while able to make clear progress. At Knighton, teachers will also ensure that daily Phonics lessons are stimulating through active learning and encourage consistency of teaching and learning across the school. We will also ensure that Phonics lessons accelerates children’s literacy learning leading to improvements in attainment, both in relation to the Phonics Screening Check in Year 1 and throughout the school.
The Read, Write, Inc. Programme advocates the lessons that should be delivered using the 5 Ps:
- Pace– good paces is essential to the lesson
- Praise/Positive Teaching- children learn more effectively in a positive climate
- Purpose- every part of the lesson has a specific purpose
- Participation- a strong feature of RWI lessons is partner work (based on research which states that we learn 70% of what we talk about with our partner.)
- Passion- this is a very prescriptive programme. It is the energy, enthusiasm and passion that teachers put into the lesson that bring the teaching and learning to life!
Here is a useful link for parents, explaining why we teach phonics:
To help with saying the ‘pure sounds’ in our phonics scheme please follow this link:
By the end of Key Stage 1, the vast majority of our pupils can read aloud age-appropriate texts accurately and with sufficient speed. This means that we can then focus on developing their comprehension, preparing them well for transition to Key Stage 2. Their good decoding skills mean that they have a sound strategy for decoding unfamiliar words when they come across them at any stage or in any subject across the curriculum.
The start of every English lesson for years 1-6 is dedicated to grammar and punctuation. Here teachers will:
–Revisit and Review recently and previously learned grammar
–Teach new word level, sentence level, or text level grammar
–Practise e.g. identifying/find, odd one out, which one is correct games, edit and improve
–Apply Create using newly learnt grammar
Handwriting at Knighton is taught in discrete session. We use a cursive (joined) style which starts each letter on the line. Developing a cursive script helps children with spelling as it teaches combinations of letters which link together. See our script chart below to see an example of the cursive style we use:
Spelling at Knighton follows the Twinkl Planit spelling scheme. Here all spellings are from the statutory spelling list and additional sets either: revise previously visited spelling rules from lower year groups; practise a spelling rule linked to statutory spellings or relate to a word, sentence or punctuation objective from the English Appendix 2 of the NC 2014.
Subject Policies/PlansEnglish Policy 2020-21