The English Curriculum at High Street is delivered using the National Curriculum 2014 and the Early learning Goals are followed to ensure continuity and progression from the Foundation Stage through to the National Curriculum.
In the Nursery, Foundation and Key Stage 1 the school uses the Read Write Inc synthetic phonics programme as its principle approach to the teaching of reading. Children in the nursery begin to learn about the sounds of words using rhymes and songs; this prepares them for the introduction of phoneme/grapheme correspondence (how different sounds are written) in Foundation. Throughout Year 1 and 2, children continue to broaden their knowledge of phonics through daily focused teaching sessions which are based on the secure acquisition of phonic knowledge.
We plan for children to complete Read Write Inc before the end of Year 2. However we recognise that some children experience difficulties and make slower progress than expected and that some children will still be working in the lower phases by the end of Years 1 and 2. These children are helped through support groups in Key Stage 2.
Children take home reading books which are made up of sounds and words which children are familiar with. They choose these books themselves and are able to change them several times per week.
In Key Stage 2 the teaching of reading forms a central part of all English teaching. Different texts are studied in detail and children use them to find out about how writers create specific effects or organise the presentation of information.
Resources – A book banded reading scheme operates across Key Stage 2 which comprises a range of different schemes.
Links to parents – Each child in the school has a reading record book which logs books they have read and comments about their reading.
In Reception and Key Stage 1, children are given regular opportunities to write as part of the Read Write Inc lessons. In this writing children use their emerging phonic knowledge to practice their spelling and to consolidate their knowledge. Children also have opportunities to write as part of topic and cross curricular work.
In Year 2, children begin to use Talk for Writing techniques to develop their ability and confidence in writing longer pieces in specific styles. Children learn texts by heart and through a process of imitation and finally invention produce pieces based on an original script. Through this process children are able to appreciate structure, vocabulary and style and add this to their personal writing toolkit.
In Key Stage 2, children study a range of genres and learn to write for a variety of purposes. They immerse themselves in the features of the text, unpicking examples of what a 'good one' looks like, before writing a similar text in the same style. Alongside this learning, children receive regular spelling, grammar and punctuation teaching. This enables children to become more confident and accurate in the technical aspects of their writing.
Once every term the whole school takes part in a Progress Writing session during which children are given the opportunity to produce extended independent writing based on a type of writing which they have learned about previously. The books that children use for this writing stay with them throughout their time at High Street and provide an interesting enjoyable record of the improvements they have made.
Thanks to the Plymouth Oracy Project, Oracy is now at the heart of our curriculum. Children develop effective communication skills through exploratory talk and verbal reasoning activities. They are supported in improving their vocabulary through an age-appropriate progression of sentence stems, taken from the Tower Hamlets guidance on Progression in Language Structures. This enables children to express themselves more clearly across a range of contexts, both verbally and in writing.
Assessment and Marking
All work is marked and assessed in line with the marking and assessment policies. The school uses standardised assessments (PIRA) to assess reading and trust-wide assessment grids to asses writing. Teacher judgements are moderated half-termly with colleagues from across Reach South.