We want to deliver a high quality English curriculum that will teach children to speak and write fluently so they can communicate confidently with others. Competence in English is vital if children are to access the curriculum, learn independently and communicate across the world.
We place a great emphasis on speaking and listening at Broseley. We have moved away from the idea that English needs to be solely about writing just because this is the easiest way to show progress to others. James Britton states: “writing floats on a sea of talk.” High quality written work depends on quality speaking and listening and huge amounts of reading.
We provide speaking and listening opportunities through a huge variety of activities such as drama, debate, discussion and performance. We provide informal opportunities through times such show and tell, story-sharing and book talk to further development in this area. Our Reciprocal reading sessions involve quality dialogue and we model discussions, counter arguments and explanations from Early Years to Year 6. We begin inferencing from Reception age by skilful questioning from adults and the use of picture books. This practice breeds confidence and our children understand that their ideas matter and they can be challenged respectfully by their peers. Disagreements are a good thing as they can clarify thinking and ensure arguments are more reasoned and refined.
We have skilled practitioners and expert external support who provide speech and language interventions starting in Early Years for those children that require additional support. We build in opportunities to learn about word etymology and how our language has developed. In all subjects we strive to create confident speakers and we place a huge emphasis on vocabulary in all areas of the curriculum. We explicitly teach vocabulary as this has historically been a weakness in our school. We have recognised that this needs to be addressed if children are to be competent and confident communicators across society.
We have read a great deal of research and have concluded that phonics is the best way for the majority of children to learn to read fluently. Once the children recognise sounds they are then taught to de-code. Children make excellent progress as the scheme is structured, consistent and the sounds are revisited constantly. Children will be encouraged to apply their phonic knowledge whenever reading and writing and in Reception and Key Stage 1 all children will have access to phoneme mats. With a solid knowledge of phonics, children are then able to read fluently and can then read for meaning and enjoyment which are the ultimate goals.
Reading is the absolute core of the education we provide at Broseley. If children cannot read fluently then they are severely hindered in their development in all areas of life and society. Fluent, confident readers can take in information quickly and build on existing knowledge. We believe children should have opportunities to read wherever possible, both within reading lessons and across the curriculum.
We differentiate learning to read and reading for pleasure. We understand that it is difficult to read for pleasure if you are unable to read fluently or if you lack confidence. After our children have followed the phonics scheme from the ages of 4-7 we teach and promote reading skills through Reciprocal reading with a challenging text, whole class reading with the class text and independent reading. We aim to develop fluent, expressive readers that explore challenging texts with confidence. As a school we have invested in a Library for school and a Librarian. We have bought a range of quality texts so every child has a book at an age & phonically appropriate level as well as a book they can read for pleasure either by themselves or with their parents. Even as a free reader, our librarian and teachers will still look to encourage children to read a book that is appropriate to their level whilst still encouraging choice to follow their interests.
We have Home –school link books to ensure children are underpinning their work within school at home. We also provide Phonics talks to parents and look to give as much information as possible to parents as well as organising Reading events for the community. Our teachers read high quality texts aloud to children daily. This is because it exposes children to language and vocabulary that they may not encounter in their everyday lives. This regular diet of quality texts is providing a range of knowledge for our children.