English is one of the core subjects and is broken down into components, these will familiar to you. They are: Writing, Reading, Grammar & Punctuation, Spelling and Handwriting.
All these areas are covered in a week. There is currently a strong emphasis on a child's understanding of Grammar and Punctuation in writing. Reading is a skill that children practise daily at Dalestorth we aim to instil a love of reading and books. As parents and carers your help in acting as 'reading role-models' is crucial. More detail is provided below, of all the areas of English.
Key Stage 1
Key Stage 1 children have an English session every day and an additional 20-30 minutes of work on Letters and Sounds. Both sessions follow the objectives set down in the National Curriculum for English. We follow the LCP Phonics Planning which is based on Letters and Sounds. It is broken down into a series of phases. Children practise handwriting and work on their fine-motor skills through a range of activities. Guided reading sessions, whole class or group work, take place daily and opportunities are provided for regular 1:1 reading.
Key Stage 2
Children from Years 3 to 6 have 4 writing sessions and a Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling/ Handwriting session. Guided Reading takes place daily, and is detailed below.
Letters and Sounds
These sessions start in Foundation Stage and in Key Stage 1 children continue to work through the phases. These sessions take place with children, grouped by their current phonic ability. This sessions are run by both teachers and experienced Teaching Assistants. Details of the sounds and spelling patterns are provided in a link below. Many ‘Tricky’ words are looked at in these session, these are also known as common exception words and cannot be decoded using a knowledge of sounds and corresponding graphemes.
In Lower school, children have a diary to track and support reading at home. The expectation is that children will read with an adult at home at least three times a week. In addition to this reading diary, all children have a school reading record to record progress when heard at school. We aim to hear all children at least once a week in Key Stage 1. We will also send home key words, for them to practise reading.
Books that are read in class and taken home are banded following the nationally recognised progression through coloured bands (Pink through to Lime). Beyond Lime the bands continue as stories become longer and the language, punctuation and themes become more complex.
In the Key Stage 1, children have a phonic reading book which is closely matched to their phonic stage. They are expected to read these and a range of other books from their book band before moving to the next colour band. You will be given information about the reading skills children need to have before they move to the next band. Children who are struggling with reading will be given additional support- this may be simple more 1:1 reading or a programme such as Switch-On Reading.
In KS2, children have a diary to track and support reading at home. Though we encourage independence as children progress through school, it is vital that an adult at home takes an interest and supports reading at home. The expectation is that children will read with an adult at home at least once a week, and will read either with an adult or independently at least three times a week. Teaching assistants, students, parent volunteers and teachers will listen to children read as and when time allows, though we aim to hear all children read fortnightly in Key Stage 2 on a 1:1 basis. Children should change their books as and when they finish a title. We encourage to read a broad range of titles, author and text type. Again, the children progress through the book bands. Moving on from Lime there are six more bands to progress through; these are White through to Black. The texts become longer and the language, punctuation and themes become more complex. It is important to understand that comprehension is the key in Key Stage 2 - though children may seem to be fluent at reading, we will focus on how well they understand what they are reading and can discuss it, before moving them to the next book band.
In Foundation Stage 2 and Key Stage 1, guided reading takes place each day. In these sessions, children complete a carousel of activities each week. These include reading a book within a small group which is selected to match their reading ability. The focus at this age is on phonic decoding, and beginning to discuss what they read. As well as book reading, they also complete a comprehension activity and phonic games.
In Key Stage 2 we are in the process of moving away from group guided reading sessions, where each group has a text inline with their book band, and towards whole class guided reading, where we all work on the same text.
In our daily reading sessions, we focus on teaching the children to:
The children will then be able to apply these skills in their own independent reading.
At Dalestorth, writing is based on the use of high-quality texts as a starting point; it is also linked to termly topics and special events when possible. Objectives come from the National Curriculum and are specific to year groups. Talk for Writing is a feature and is the skill of drafting, editing and proof-reading work based on a model text. We aim to provide a broad range of text types across school. Grammar and punctuation are included within the teaching of writing as they are intrinsic components to effective writing. The three areas of composition and effect, text structure and organisation and sentence structure and punctuation are developed across years and text types.
The Curriculum Maps on the Dalestorth Curriculum page explain the key texts used in all year groups. https://www.dalestorth.notts.sch.uk/our-dalestorth-curriculum/
Grammar and Spelling
At Key Stage 1, much work is done through the Letters and Sounds scheme to develop children’s spelling choices. The teaching of grammar is integrated within English sessions and then consolidated during writing sessions.
The terminology of Grammar is an important aspect to the teaching of this subject. Our aim is to develop the following skills: knowledge and understanding, and ability to recognise different grammatical features and then the confidence to use these skills in their own writing. We use a range of resources to deliver these skills.
From years 2 to 6, we follow the "No Nonsense" spelling scheme.
All KS2 children have a spelling lesson and a test once a week. The spelling patterns are set down in the appendices below. Spelling patterns and rules are looked at and learnt to help pupils make informed spelling choices when wishing to write an unfamiliar word.
Please see the Grammar glossary below.
At Dalestorth we follow the Pen Pals programme of handwriting, this scheme is used across school. Work starts in the Foundation Stage on letter formation and Key Stage 1 continues to secure correct letter formation and improve fine-motor control skills through a variety of activities. Joining starts in Year 1 and continues through KS1 covering a range of joins and refining previous joins. Some children benefit from additional support and intervention groups target these children. Good posture and pencil grip are continuously reinforced. Through Years 3 and 4 handwriting joins are concluded, refined and consolidated. All children should be joining and developing their own style. They work in pencil during these sessions. They may earn a "pen license" graduating on to writing in pen . Pen is used all the time in Years 5 and 6. Support is given for those who still struggle with the control needed; this may be as simple as a different pen or pen gripper.
Book review Competition
Thank you so much to all the families who joined with the book review competition. Mr Taylor had the tough job of choosing the winners. Lucy and Neve won £5 book vouchers, Erin a £3 book voucher and Ava and Isla a knitted book character. All the entrants received a book of their choices and a book mark. Well done everyone!
World Book Day - "vocabulary" dress up day!
What a fabulous turn out! Each year, you astound us with your creativity! There was a super range of words including swashbuckler, reflective, significant to mention just a few with matching costumes. Thank you so much for all your efforts. In assembly, we had our annual fancy dress competition with staff choosing the winners from each class - a tough job! Congratulations to the winners!
We are delighted to announce this years reading champions. These children stand out above the rest with their passion and enthusiasm for reading. As a school we celebrated their commitment to reading in a special assembly. Congratulations to all our champions. Below is the list of those children who received a reward.
Corey Marsh-Saunders (Lions): For trying so hard with reading and really taking on board new learning, using his new skills to help decipher words. Corey has made great progress and has a wonderful attitude to reading, showing real enjoyment.
Favourite book: Zog by Julia Donaldson
Leah Goddard (Lions): For always reading regularly at home (a real family affair!) and having a passion for reading. Leah is always enthusiastic about new books she has read and loves to share these stories with the class. A great ambassador for reading.
Favourite book: The Smartest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson
Noah Cudworth (Tigers): Noah reads so often at home that he has had to have a new record book! Noah tries really hard with his reading and as a result he is improving his skills everyday.
Favourite book: Jack and the Beanstalk.
Mia Hitchcock (Tigers): Mia has amazing enthusiasm for books, she spends a lot of time in our reading area and loves to ask for a special book from the library service. Mia will read stories to others and enjoys reading at home as well.
Favourite book: Cinderella
Penny Campbell (Bobcats): Penny has made fantastic progress in her reading since September. She is confident to talk about different types of books during guided reading and practises a lot at home too. Favourite book: Ultimate Pocket Fun - Knock, Knock Jokes
Quinn Cook (Bobcats): Quinn doesn't always find reading very easy but he is always willing to give it a try. His confidence in blending is growing every day and he is always eager to practise his skills at home too.
Favourite book: Mega Wheels - The most exciting cars in the world!
Harry Marriott (Pumas): Harry works so hard at home reading nearly every night and he continues to work hard during the school holidays too! This is helping him make great progress. Well done!
Favourite book: Harry and the Robots by Ian Whybrow
Tyler Kirby (Pumas): Tyler is so enthusiastic about reading at school. When a staff member or volunteer asks Puma class who would like to read, his hand shoots like lightning! He would miss break times and privilege time to read - he just loves reading!
Favourite book: Norman the Slug who saved Christmas by Sue Hendra
Ola Foster (Panthers): What a super reader Ola is! Her reading diary is bursting full from all the reading that she does at home. She loves to read and her Grandma loves to celebrate her reading by rewarding her with lots of stickers!
Favourite book: The Rainbow Fairies Series by Daisy Meadows
Lincoln Ashley (Panthers): Lincoln earns a raffle ticket each week. He not only reads his reading book but he does lots of other kinds of reading at home. He loves to read magazines, word searches and the football results!
Favourite book: I need a new bum! by Dawn McMillan
Benjamin Fryatt (Wildcats): Hearing Benjamin read is like hearing an adult! He has such an amazing understanding of reading! He always knows what do with his voice because he reads ahead to check for punctuation and uses great expression for character voices. He understands what he reads and often chuckles while reading if something is funny. He is a very mature reader and definite champion! Favourite book: Stinkbomb and Ketchup Face by John Dougherty
Grace Tagg (Wildcats): Grace has a clear love of reading and she shows her enjoyment by reading every night at home. Grace is so dedicated to reading that she has already filled up the reading section of her diary and has had to be given an extra book to write this down! Inspirational!
Favourite book: The Midnight Gang by David Walliams
Lily Kirby (Lynx): Lily can always be relied upon to enthusiastically throw herself into whatever we are doing, and that includes reading. She makes superb, thoughtful contributions to guided reading and whole class discussions and is always ready with ideas. She seems to enjoy reading in a wide range of contexts and approaches all texts with a great attitude and enjoyment.
Favourite book: Rainbow Magic Books by Daisy Meadows
Max Wilson (Lynx): Max is an enthusiastic reader and works hard both at home and at school. He thinks carefully about what he reads and enjoys reading both on his own and in a group. He contributes lots of great ideas to our discussions, thinking carefully about what he has read.
Favourite book: Fing! by David Walliams
Declan-Lee Toye (Cougars): Declan always reads every week and he is so enthusiastic about reading. He often takes more than one book home and will read a range of books. He is getting more confident in guided reading too.
Favourite book: Horrible Histories - Rotten Romans by Terry Deary
Lacie Spencer (Cougars): Lacie is an avid reader both at home and at school. She is really enthusiastic about different authors and she enjoys learning about new ones as well. Lacie also encourages her little brother to enjoy stories by reading to him.
Favourite book: Compton Valance - The Most Powerful Boy in the Universe by Matt Brown
Lewis Moore (Cheetahs): Lewis simply loves to read, he is often found engrossed in books whenever he gets the chance! He has shown others a passion for reading and inspired us all to grab a book and enjoy it!
Favourite book: How to train your Dragon - How to fight a dragon's fury by Cressida Cowell
Lyla Hill (Cheetahs): Lyla is an inspiration and ambassador for reading. She is awestruck by books and shares her passion for reading by being a class librarian where she often helps others gain a passion and love of books.
Favourite book: Journeys - Children of the Holocaust tell their stories by Wendy Whitworth
Frederick Ferguson (Jaguars): Freddie is so enthusiastic with everything to do with reading. He loves coming to tell me about his books. He really enjoys non-fiction books and telling me all about the facts he has learnt.
Favourite book: Dr Who - Sick Building.
Imogen Owen (Jaguars): Imogen is one of the most avid readers in school. She has a genuine love of reading. Her writing reflects her reading style and she has a fabulous grasp of language. Keep up your love of reading.
Favourite book: Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
Mikell Manger (Leopards): Mikell is a very passionate year 6 reader and reads a wide variety of books including fiction and adult non-fiction such as sporting biographies. His favourite reading genre is adventure stories as he loves travelling back in time. He also enjoys reading non-fiction about sports, space and dinosaurs!
Favourite book: A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison
Leyla Whetton (Leopards): Leyla simply loves reading! She always has a book ready on her table and once she starts reading a book, she cannot put it down! Leyla much prefers reading to playing on computers and other electronic gadgets. Leyla loves both fiction and non-fiction. Her favourite authors are David Walliams and Roald Dahl; she thinks David Walliams is extremely funny and Roald Dahl is amazing at creating pictures in her mind.
Favourite book: The Pony with No Name by Tracey Corderoy
Well done to all our well deserved Reading Champions of 2020.
Paul Cookson Visits Dalestorth!
We had a wonderful day on 3rd March, when the poet Paul Cookson came to spend the day with us. He kicked the day off with an awe-inspiring assembly which had us all laughing and joining in with lots of silly poetry. He then spent the rest of the day working with all of the children, talking to them and helping them to create new poems of their own. We all had a brilliant time!
Exciting news! Mr Price dug up a suitcase from our school field! It was buried under the field. The suitcase belonged to a story teller that had travelled the world. He had left a letter for us, along with his treasures and asked us to write some of his stories down. We wrote some fabulous stories using the treasures from the case.
Reading makes us feel good!
Match the book to the teacher competition. The children enjoyed trying to match the teachers with their favourite children's books. The children with the most correct answers received a prize, a book of their choice.
Gareth Baker, author comes to visit
Gareth Baker came to work with us as we celebrated World Book Day.
He talked about his work as a writer and that he thought he was one of the luckiest people alive to be paid for writing his stories. Everyone in school had chance to work with Gareth and we able to buy signed books too!
Please see his website for more information
World Book Day - "share a story"
The teachers spent the afternoon sharing their favourite story with a different class. This was enjoyed by all!
World Book Day theme "Historical Book characters" dress up competition
The costumes on our book dress up day today have been tremendous – the best ever!
Thank you all for your very creative efforts.
Below are the children with the winning costumes.
Lions: Franca Guerriero –Blunt – a mummy
Tigers: Priya Reders – a cave girl
Bobcats: Nancy Boulton- a Victorian maid
Panthers: Arthur Meakin-Troke – Albert Einstein
Pumas: Leon Harvey – Napo-leon
Wildcats: Isla Cudworth – Florence Nightingale
Lynx: Tegan Redfearn – Miss Marple
Cougars: George Dudley- Winston Churchill
Cheetahs: Charlotte Heathcote – An evacuee
Jaguars: Callum Watson – A viking
Leopards: Harvey Onyeani – Beets Burger & Liam Hill as Abraham Lincoln
Whole School Writing Day - School on Saturdays!