Maytree Nursery and Infant School
English Curriculum Vision Statement
An understanding of the English language is at the heart of all learning. Lacking basic reading and writing skills puts an individual at a tremendous disadvantage. Literacy not only enriches an individual's life, but it creates opportunities for people to develop skills that will help them provide for themselves and their family. It even affects your life expectancy.
A research report by The National Literacy Trust (Literacy and Life Expectancy 2018) concluded that, ‘A boy growing up in a ward with one of the highest vulnerabilities to literacy problems in the country has a life expectancy 26.1 years shorter than a boy growing up in a ward with one of the lowest vulnerabilities to literacy problems.’
Therefore, at Maytree our vision is to instill a lifelong love of literature and provide children with the basic literacy skills to be able to access and excel across the curriculum throughout their future.
Maytree Nursery and Infant School
Reading Vision Statement
Creating a love of reading in pupils is one of our main goals at Maytree Nursery and Infant School. At our school you must always remember that reading is a joy not a chore. How you talk about reading and your reaction to reading in front of the children should reflect this.
Reading involves two main elements – word recognition and language comprehension. Beginner readers are taught to use their phonic knowledge to recognise phonemes and blend them together to read words. As this becomes automatic, readers are then able to focus more upon comprehension. Beginner readers are taught how to decode by blending phonemes together to ‘sound out’ words. A systematic and structured phonics programme is key to this skill.
When reading becomes automatic, the emphasis shifts to understanding, interpreting and responding. Children have to be taught how to decode, retrieve information and ideas and make inferences from clues in the text. Along with this they need to be taught how to read as a writer. They need to be able to identify and comment upon the ways in which authors organise their writing and the language that they use. Reading analysis (reading as writer), in order to inform writing, is important, however what is more important is reading for pleasure and reading for understanding.
What children at Maytree need to be able to do before they leave us:
Maytree Nursery and Infant School's Phonics and Reading Scheme
The Maytree phonics scheme is a systematic and rigorous approach to the teaching of early reading based on Letters and Sounds. It is a systematically planned and resourced scheme. Integral to the scheme, are regular assessments which are carried out to ensure that children not making progress are identified early.
Our phonic scheme was designed with the support of the English hub.
The school is determined to not only meet, but exceed National expectations. Children come into Maytree with low levels or very little English and many leave at or above National expectations.
Despite the pandemic, comprehensive phonics teaching has rigorously and consistently taken place both in school and via remote teaching.
We believe parental support is vital at all stages of a child’s education and will help parents to support their children by providing parent workshops and meetings. Children take ‘Home Share’ books matched to their reading level and we ask that parents read with their children for a short time every day. We also ask parents to make sure their children see them read on a regular basis to motivate and encourage children to be natural and spontaneous readers.
Maytree School uses Dandelion Readers as our 'Home Share' books. These are Decodable books that each child can read independently once they have been taught the phonics at that level. Decodable books consolidate the phonics taught in the classroom. With step-by-step progression, the pupil succeeds at each level while learning the phonics needed to become a fluent reader. This approach develops confident readers with reliable reading strategies. This helps children and parents see how well their child’s reading is progressing. Each book in the Dandelion series also includes a game. This helps to practise and consolidate the learning in a fun way.
We encourage children to read ‘real’ books alongside their phonetically decodable text and by the time children are confident readers in Year Two, real books by popular authors are used predominantly. Our school library is also open daily and each classroom also has a book corner which is stocked with a variety of books to enthuse and inspire the children and instill a love of reading into all our pupils which we hope will last a lifetime.
In addition to this, each class has a set of books we call our ‘reading spine’ following the 'Talk for Reading' principles. These are made up of popular high quality texts which are read on a regular basis at designated reading times during the day. These carefully chosen books support children’s knowledge and understanding of how texts work, extends their vocabulary and exposes them to stories which they may be unable to access independently.
Ultimately, our phonic scheme is designed to enable children to become fluent readers. Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately, quickly and with expression. Reading fluency is important because it provides a bridge between word reading and comprehension. The children re-read their decodable books five times to ensure that fluency is achieved. In group reading sessions with a teacher, the children are taught the four different components of fluency. (see Reading fluency rubric below)
For further information, please see the Phonics and Reading Policy below
Maytree Nursery and Infant School
Writing Vision Statement
At Maytree Nursery and Infant School we are committed to meeting the requirements of the Primary National Curriculum in English Writing. Our philosophy for teach English is underpinned by the knowledge that English and communication are key life skills.
We focus on the overall writer. We are dedicated to ensuring that children master both transctiption and composition. At Maytree children are taught to explore, explain and evaluate both their own writing and a wide range of literature. We ensure that the children master these life skills to be able to have a voice, communicate and engage confidently within the wider world.
At Maytree we believe that a reciprocity between reading and writing teaching is vital to support pupils in their journey to become authors who can write for a variety of purposes.
Our pedagogical model is based on the principle of modelled instruction - using:
Our curriculum is set through our progression of skills document. These set out a spiral curriculum ensuring that children revisit and retrieve previous learning at planned intervals.
Intent (the knowledge and skills that pupils will gain at each stage)
Our intent for writing at Maytree Nursery and Infant School is that all children will view themselves as authors. We want our pupils to see the value and find pleasure in the writing process. We strive to ensure that every child is a confident and fluent writer by the time they leave us. As writing is a key life skill, we promote daily writing opportunities. This makes sure that children can successfully write for a range of audiences and purposes.
At Maytree we focus on the early development of oracy, reading and physical development. These all play an integral role in a child’s journey to writing at our school. We then focus on using the children’s phonemic knowledge to support the children with segmenting to spell. Then we engage our learners with the creative writing process, whilst securing deep learning in the core writing skills of transcription, grammar, vocabulary, punctuation and composition. By the time children leave Maytree Nursery and Infant school they will have experienced writing across a wide range of real life and creative purposes and genres. All of these genres will have a purpose within the child’s life experiences.
Implementation (the way writing is taught and assessed in order to support pupils to build their knowledge as skills)
Our curriculum is organised in a progressive way, ensuring coverage of the statutory outcomes outlined in the KS1 English Programme of Study – National Curriculum 2014.
From Reception we develop children’s gross and fine motor skills. We teach and encourage children to adopt the correct pencil grip. We teach the children print letter formation following the Pen Pals programme. They are then taught to combine GPCs to write and spell words. Once this has been mastered they move on to writing labels and captions. As their phonemic awareness and ability to segment for spelling develops they are taught to write sentences which start with a capital letter, finish with a full stop and have finger spaces between words.
In Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) we embed these skills and develop them furtherWe extend the children’s knowledge of punctuation and grammar by teaching question marks, exclamation marks and commas to separate words in a list. By the end of Year 2 our children should be able to write in legible handwriting (with some joins), write a cohesive narrative and use accurate punctuation and grammar.
Our writing lessons provide lots of opportunities for teacher modelling through challenging model texts, discussions with peers and self-reflection.
Writing milestones for each half term are used throughout the school
Impact (the outcomes that pupils achieve)
The impact of our approach to writing allows pupils to see themselves as authors who can express their thought and ideas in a coherent way. They are able to write with good fluency, engaging vocabulary and use grammar correctly. They can do this across the curriculum.