At Cherry Tree Hill Primary school we aim to develop in the children we teach an enthusiasm for English in all its forms and the confidence to express themselves both orally and through the written word.
English is taught through our currently topic and based around a quality text or film, wherever possible, cross-curricular links are made with English through thematic plans. All lessons follow the National Curriculum for English. Children are taught in mixed ability groups for Reading, Writing and SPaG and ability groups for phonics. In studying English, our children develop skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening enabling them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively.
In line with the National Curriculum English Programme of Study, we teach children to understand a range of genres, building on children’s understanding year after year, ensuring continuity and progression in the teaching of English. Children are taught how to effectively plan and monitor their own writing through various strategies depending on the current skills of the writer, children will learn how, when, and why to use each strategy. We teach children to write following a three phase approach: Familiarise, Innovate and Create. Familiarising allows the children to engage with their genre and discover facts about the topic or structure. Innovating is where the children begin to rehearse ideas through short, focussed activities: experiment, choose, practise and play with the language features and begin to plan. Finally, children begin to draft, edit review and create their genre outcome. Purpose and audience are central to our writing and an integral part of the writing planning process.
We use four main types of writing purposes across KS1 and KS2: writing to entertain; to inform; to persuade; and to discuss.
We want to provide our children with a clear purpose and audience for writing. Every unit of writing throughout school is matched to a quality-text or film to provide a relevant stimulus for reading and writing. We encourage, where possible for a thematic approach, linking to the topic. This means that the children are equipped with the skills and tools needed to write fluently for a range of meaningful purposes throughout the years. The approach throughout a unit allows the children to become familiar with a text type, capturing ideas for their own writing followed by scaffolding writing experiences, resulting in independent writing outcomes.
Creating a love of reading in our children is at the centre of our reading approach at Cherry Tree Hill. Each classroom has an inviting reading corner with a wide variety of reading materials from story books, information texts to newspapers. We encourage reading at home and for families to read books with their children and pupils to change their reading books as often as possible.
Across the school, we value reading as a core subject and have regular, thematic, reading sessions outside of writing lessons. We use the reading VIPERS to explore texts and teach the six core skills needed for reading comprehension:
We teach reading through a mastery whole class shared reading approach. We take the two main strands of reading, word recognition and language comprehension and aim to intertwine them as our children learn to co-ordinate the different components of reading. Within our reading lessons, all children are involved in book talk, modelled reading, echo reading and shared reading as well as stimulating and meaningful activities linked to each of the VIPERS skills.
We ensure that our early readers have access to phonetically decodable texts from schemes such as Rigby Star and Phonics Bug which are in line with their reading age and phonics strand, as well as recommended, language-rich texts, picture books, information texts and novels to help nurture and develop vocabulary and spark an interest in reading.
From Year 2, we use the Accelerated Reader scheme where the children will read a wide variety of books within their reading range, take an online quiz within 24 hours of completion and get immediate feedback. Teachers then receive the information that helps to monitor and personalise the children’s reading practice and to develop reading for pleasure. To access information about your child's reading using Accelerated Reader please see further information on our Accelerated Reader page:
We want all of our children to take pride in their presentation and we advocate a cursive/ joined-up handwriting style throughout school. We follow a Handwriting Scheme, which is taught and reinforced throughout the curriculum. We teach pre-cursive handwriting in the Foundation Stage and then begin to teach cursive/ joined-up handwriting from Year 1 onwards.
GPaS (Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling)
Year group specific grammar, as identified in the National Curriculum, is taught within our writing and topic lessons and referenced as and when needed throughout our wider curriculum. Sentence level and grammar activities take place within our writing lessons and are regularly revisited.
Spellings are given out as homework weekly, the spelling pattern for the week is also taught discretely in each year group. In years 2-6, children receive 5 words as spelling homework which follow the chosen rule from their year group expectations (see National Curriculum guidance on spelling patterns for each year group) and the following week children are tested on an additional 5 words, which are unknown to them but follow the same pattern. Children will also be tested on two common exception words from their year group word list, these can be found in the back of your child’s reading diary.
Letters and Sounds is used to deliver phonics in Key Stage 1.
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In Reception and Year 1, Phonics is taught daily in small, streamed groups. In the Summer term, children complete a statutory Phonics Screening Assessment. Children who do not meet the expected standard at the end of Year 1, continue to join in Phonics lessons in Year 2.
During Phonics lessons children have the opportunity to apply taught sounds through group games, reading and writing activities. Children are encouraged to use sound buttons to show their understanding of phoneme-grapheme correspondence.
We follow several reading schemes, such as, Oxford Reading Tree, Pearson and Rigby Star. Our Reception and Year 1 children have online access at home to Bug Club where they are able to read books which are in keeping with the sounds that they are learning.
Year 1 and Year 2 children needing to continue with discrete phonics teaching receive 5 words as spelling homework which are directly linked to the sound/s they are learning in that week. In the following week, they are tested on these words alongside a further 5 words related to the sound.