English

Writing

At Giles Junior School, writing is a crucial part of our curriculum. All children are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum. With regular practise, we intend for children to be able to plan, revise and evaluate their writing effectively. They will also develop an awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. English is a fundamental part of the learning experience at Giles Junior School and children are given a variety of opportunities to strengthen their understanding, including:

  • Whole class structured daily lessons

  • Spelling lessons

  • Opportunities for cross-curricular writing

 Grammar

Grammar is a priority at Giles. When planning and teaching a unit of writing, grammar can be taught as a discrete lesson and also threaded through daily activities. See the grammar progression document below for more information.

Spelling

All children receive weekly spellings which are practised both at school and at home throughout the week. Children work extremely hard to achieve consistently high scores. Children are encouraged to correct spelling mistakes within their writing.

The national curriculum statutory spellings can be found below. These words are based on the spelling patterns that are covered within each year.

Targets

Each child has a writing target in their English book. This is personalised and links directly to an aspect of grammar that needs to be developed. Once evidence of the target is seen in the child’s independent writing, it will be changed.

Handwriting and presentation

We follow the ‘Penpals’ handwriting scheme throughout the school and have regular handwriting sessions.  We have very high expectations for handwriting and presentation and this is showcased in our weekly leadership assembly where the ‘Presentation of the week’ award is given out.

Please see the Penpals parent information document below for more information.

Reading

At Giles, we believe reading is the key to unlocking learning across the whole curriculum. Reading is a fundamental part of the learning experience at Giles Junior School and children are given a variety of reading opportunities, including:

  • Whole class structured guided reading lessons

  • Independent reading

  • Home/school reading

  • Hearing texts read aloud on a regular basis

  • Cross curricular reading

Home/school reading

When children join Giles Junior, they will be given a banded reading book that accurately matches their reading ability. This will be their reading book that they take home with them and read to an adult at home. Each child has a home/school reading record; it is the school’s expectation that this will be signed by an adult from home each time the child is listened to. We expect children to read at home at least 4 times a week. If a child is not reading outside of school regularly, they will be supported to complete extra reading in school.

When a child finishes their reading book, they will have the opportunity to change it for another book from the same colour band from their class library. Ongoing teacher assessment will determine when a child is ready to move up to the next book band and this will be communicated to parents/carers in the child’s reading record.

In order to encourage reading at home, children may receive a reward in class based on the number of times their reading record has been signed by an adult.  

Guided Reading

Each class takes part in daily guided reading sessions.  During the week, they are given the opportunity to have a session with the teacher and teaching assistant as well as working independently to secure their understanding.  We use Reading Vipers which outlines the different strands of reading - Vocabulary, Infer, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Summarise. Please see the document below for more information on each strand. During the week there is also a time when children can ‘Read for pleasure.’

Promoting a love of reading

Developing positive attitudes towards reading is a priority at Giles Junior. We aim to foster a love of reading within every child. As well as explicitly teaching children the skills to become successful readers, we also recognise the importance of reading purely for pleasure through:

  • Class readers – books/stories/poems read aloud to the whole class regularly

  • Celebrating world book day

  • Roald Dahl day

Speaking and Listening

We believe that speaking and listening is an essential part of children’s development.  We offer children many opportunities to speak in and around the school and hold discussions.  Part of our 7 habits leadership programme works to develop children’s ability to speak and be heard.