At All Saints’ we aim for excellence in English throughout the school. We aim to develop pupils’ abilities within an integrated programme of Speaking & Listening, Reading & Writing.
Our aims for pupils leaving All Saints’ at the end of Year 6 are:
reading and writing with confidence, fluency and understanding, using a range of independent strategies to take responsibility for their own learning including self-monitoring and correcting their own errors;
with a love of reading and a desire to read for enjoyment;
with an interest in words and their meanings; developing a growing vocabulary in relation to grammatical terminology;
understanding a range of text types, media types and genres;
able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation;
using their developing creativity, imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness;
having a suitable technical vocabulary to articulate their responses in any discussion.
At All Saints’ we have several established approaches to help us achieve these aims. Here are some of them.
We are fortunate to have the support of a large group of parent readers who read with pupils across Reception and KS1 on a regular basis. This means that pupils are continuously heard reading.
Reciprocal reading is started in Year 1 towards the summer term and develops up the school. This approach to guided reading helps pupils prepare text and have an understanding of it before they read to an adult. It gives pupils responsibility for the text and leads to discussion about the text without adult direction.
We use Beanstalk volunteers who are trained in supporting reading on a one-to-one basis. This support is aimed at pupils who might be older and has been identified as possibly benefitting from benefit continued one-to-one reading in a fun environment. Beanstalk readers will also play short games with pupils and discuss news from home or around school.
We are very pleased with a growing tradition of running a Shakespeare Week at All Saints’. We follow the lead set by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and every year focus on a different Shakespeare play. Each year group accesses the play at an appropriate level. We have had monologues (most notably the Seven Stages of Man) and extended writing through to matching characters from plays to suitable football positions. We all of course look forward to the dressing up.
No self-respecting primary school will skip World Book Day. We tie this in to Book Week. The focus for this week is strongly class based and hopes to enrich writing with a short sharp focus on books which teachers love and where they can share their passion for a particular book or author with their class.
Roald Dahl Day
Roald Dahl Day gives children the chance to immerse themselves in the rich writing of this well-loved author. The most recent book we focused on, the BFG, allowed for many writing opportunities and for imaginations to run wild but also to link to our school values of kindness and friendship.
Paired Reading with Ark Putney
Pupils from The Ark Putney Academy are paired with children from Year 2 upwards to support reading. These pupils have a working understanding of phonics. Our pupils are always excited to welcome their reading buddies back every week.
Whole School Writing Progression Display
Every year staff agree on a whole school writing task to showcase an area of writing, whether it is grammar in writing, a particular genre or even the writing process. This highlights the progression through the school to staff and visitors, but also to children and stimulates a growth mind set.
The school enters a team for the annual Model United Nations General Assembly debating competition, to develop debating skills in pupils where the school feels this might benefit certain individuals. All Saints’ has been very successful in the past, reaching the final round often and in 2016 being joint winners of the Best Debating Skills award. The team, working with Earlsfield Primary School, subsequently represented the Borough of Wandsworth in the English Speaking Union London finals and came second!
Word of Mouth Performance Poetry Competition
To promote confidence in speaking there is a regular programme for sharing in class. Most children come prepared for their slot and is then also ready to answer questions from their friends. This also allows for questioning skills to develop.
The school will enter for writing competitions on an ad hoc basis. We are very aware that writing presently requires strict evidence of age related expectations and that this often leaves creativity unrewarded. Writing competitions, like the Wicked Young Writers Award, often promote just this.