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 includes a reading comprehension session.
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.
Writing work come from a range of starting points. Work linked to Topics we cover as well as work linked to events or shared texts in class. 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.
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. Also coming home may be Key Words, this are a limited number of words to secure.
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 library we have a broad range of titles from a range of publishers. Children are expected to read a range of these from an appropriate book band before they are moved up a band by a member of staff. One of the key signals that children are confident at a given book band is fluency. Other skills are covered on the book marks provided. 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.
Guided Reading continues in Key Stage 1. Pupils work with an adult in ability groups to read or as a whole class and they discuss and respond to a range of texts. Children also work independently on skills linked to reading.
In KS2, 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 once a week. Even 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. 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 every fortnight in Key Stage 2. Teaching Assistants, Students, Parent Volunteers and Teachers will all listen to children read as and when time allows. 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. The key signal that children are confident at a given book band is fluency. Children who are struggling with reading will be given additional support and will need additional reading at home.
In Key Stage 2 Guided Reading is carried out four times a week for half an hour. This may be a whole class session or a group session as appropriate. This time will be focused at key reading assessment skills related to the text they have been given. One of the key purposes is for children to read books in completion and respond to these texts through directed discussions. The assessment points feed into the children’s understanding of how texts are structured, how and why authors write and a growing awareness of how this will allow them to develop as writers.
The books read in Guided Reading are at an instructional level and should be a band above their class reading book.
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.
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
Extreme Reading 2019
Entries for the Extreme Reading competition have also been superb with lots of interesting and thoughtful ideas. Thank you for taking part.
1 st Prize of a Kindle goes to Lewis Allen
2nd Prize of a knitted Snow White and 7 Dwarves –Phoebe Regulski –Lam
3rd Prize - £5 book voucher – Phoebe Evans
4th Prize - £3 book voucher – Jenny Xue
5th Prize - £3 book voucher – Evie Jones
Well done to Mrs Bailey who also took part!
A big well done to Charlie Wakelin who had a photo taken of him reading in the places he visited on a trip to London
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
Reading Champions 2019
Congratulations to these children – this year’s "Reading Champions". They have been nominated in recognition of their reading.
Reason for nomination Joseph shows real enthusiasm for reading, at any opportunity given at school and home. He reads every night at home and this is helping him make super progress. Well done Joseph!
Favourite book The Muppets Character Encyclopaedia
Reason for nomination For always asking and answering questions during guided reading sessions. He joins in discussions enthusiastically and loves to read aloud to the group.
Favourite book Matilda by Roald Dahl
Reason for nomination For always reading regularly at home and having a real passion for reading. Dora 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 Little Red Riding Hood
Reason for nomination For trying so hard with his reading and really taking on board new learning, using his new skills to help decipher words. Jared has made great progress and has a wonderful attitude to reading.
Favourite book Ten Little Dinosaurs by Mike Brownlow & Simon Rickerty
Reason for nomination Emily is very passionate about different series of books and they are a great passion of hers. She uses her own time to read and always reads at least 3 times a week.
Favourite book A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room
Reason for nomination Ryan has made huge improvements in the speed and the quality of his guided reading work. He always asks interesting questions and gives everything a go.
Favourite book Beast Quest
Reason for nomination Samantha always puts 100% effort in to her reading at school, she thinks really carefully about how she sounds and blends and is making fantastic progress.
Favourite book Fidgety Fish and Friends
Reason for nomination Seth always reads regularly at home and has a great attitude towards reading in school. He has a keen eye for writing in the environment and spots words he recognises.
Favourite book My Big Animal Book
Reason for nomination Finnley is a really passionate reader. He enjoys books and reads with super expression. He appreciates the humour in books and makes everyone laugh when he chuckles away at the hidden jokes in stories!
Favourite book Horrid Henry’s Haunted House, because it is funny and it is my favourite of all my Horrid Henry collection.
Reason for nomination Olivia’s understanding of reading has really developed. Olivia loves to talk about what is happening in the books she is reading and to ask questions about what may happen next. She is a pleasure to read with!
Favourite book The BFG, because the BFG is really funny when he talks and it makes me laugh.
Reason for nomination Amélie has a new found passion for reading!
She is now always eager to read at school and at home and uses some beautiful expression to bring stories to life.
Favourite book Sugarlump and the Unicorn
Reason for nomination Leah doesn’t always find reading very easy but she is always willing to give it a go. She is making great progress with her blending and is now reading more at home too.
Favourite book Fairy Fern
Reason for nomination Riley always makes wonderful contributions to our guided reading sessions, thinks carefully about what he is reading and often likes to bury his head in a book at school.
Favourite book Horrible Histories Woeful Second World War - Terry Dreary
Reason for nomination Imogen works so hard on her reading both at home and school. She loves to read and does so fluently and with fantastic intonation. She works particularly hard in guided reading where she has always gives a fantastic contribution.
Favourite book Matilda Roald Dahl
Reason for nomination Ava is an avid reader at home. She now reads with such confidence. Her contributions in guided reading are exemplary and she is a role model to others.
Favourite book Dork Diaries: Frenemies Forever by Rachel Renee Russell
Reason for nomination Neemah is such a passionate reader. She is often seen reading on the playground and she would probably read all day if I let her. She frequently reads to the whole class and does this with excellent expression and pace.
Favourite book Rainbow Magic: Jade the Disco Fairy - Daisy Meadows
Reason for nomination Stan shows his passion for reading on a daily basis.
He loves books and often gives up his playtimes to continue reading. He loves David Walliams as he thinks he is a funny writer who uses lots of clever ideas in his writing.
Favourite book The Ice Monster by David Walliams
Reason for nomination Mathilda absolutely loves reading and her writing is always amazing as a result of her passion. She loves books about animals, especially when you are sucked into the pages and feel like you are living the main role of the character.
Favourite book How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowel
Reason for nomination Freddie is always extremely enthusiastic during guided reading sessions. He thinks carefully about his answers and is always keen to offer his ideas and suggestions. Freddie reads a lot at home and at school, and is a brilliant reading role-model.
Favourite book Freddie loves Horrid Henry stories!
Reason for nomination Grace has a love of reading, and chooses books from a wide range of genres, finding lots of reasons to enjoy each new book she reads. She enjoys talking about the different things she reads, and always has a lot to contribute to discussions.
Favourite book Grace loves Roald Dahl and David Walliams. When pushed, she said she’s have to say that Gangsta Granny is her favourite.
Reason for nomination Nathan is a joy to listen to read! He always finds the humour in the stories and makes everyone giggle along with him.
Nathan enjoys reading a variety of books, finding out new facts and loves exciting stories!
Favourite book Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face- series by John Dougherty
Reason for nomination Sophie is an expressive reader and she has a fabulous story voice. She is able to read ahead so that she is able to change her tone. Sophie shows empathy with the characters in the story and is always able to talk about how they might be feeling.
Favourite book Gangsta Granny by David Walliams
Reason for nomination Lucy always listens beautifully at story time. She is an excellent role model to her Nursery friends. She enjoys predicting what might happen next in new stories and is always eager to join in with re-telling familiar stories using puppets and props. Lucy has really grown in confidence since starting Nursery in September, we are so proud of her!
Reason for nomination Oscar enjoys exploring books using all of senses. He likes books with sounds, textures and puppets. Oscar loves joining in with nursery rhymes, he sings beautifully and joins in with the actions too. Oscar is such a smiley character, he always has lots of friends wanting to join in with his rhymes.
Whole School Writing Day - School on Saturdays!
Extreme reading 2018
Wow! What an amazing response to our "Extreme reading" competition with over 80 fabulous entries. Mrs Wain, the chair of the Governing body, had a tough job judging!
So in 1st place it was Evie Jones, 2nd Paige Elliot, 3rd Liam Hill who each received a book voucher
Runners up included: Amelia Meakin-Troke, Lincoln Ashley, Poppii Argyle and Kacey Hartin who received an Easter egg.
All the entrants received a certificate and a creme egg. Thank you so much for your participation in this competition. We clearly do have lots of children who are passionate about reading! Here are the winning entries along with the fabulous display.