What does English look like at Heath Hayes Academy?
English learning is delivered through the Hero’s Curriculum. Within each adventure, English activities include handwriting, spelling, punctuation and grammar activities, reading, spoken language, writing in a variety of genres, phonics, storytime and DEAR (drop everything and read). The context of learning is explicitly linked to foundation subjects within adventures to ensure an embedded approach. English is split into Phonics, Reading and Writing.
Phonics: Phonics is taught daily for 45 minutes. Currently the school follows Read, Write Inc. Phonics, within Early Years and KS1. Children in KS1, received phonics teaching specifically targeted to their knowledge base. Small phonics groups ensure specific phoneme and grapheme coverage and support children in accelerated progress. Children receiving phonics follow a scheme of learning through RWI texts within school as well as ‘read at home’ books provided weekly.
Writing from EYFS to KS2
The Hero’s Curriculum is specifically planned and designed in order to produce quality writing from its learners. Adventures allow staff to define and build purposeful writing opportunities for knowledge and application of previously learnt and new grammar, punctuation and spelling skills.
Linked closely with the whole school reading process, writing sessions deepen language understanding, grammar knowledge and authorial choice which provides pupils with the skills to write within a range of genres. Connected, contextual adventures allow for 1 – 2 pieces of extended writing to be completed to a high standard per adventure. Professional development of staff is continually audited to ensure accuracy in grammar, punctuation, spelling and the teaching of writing.
Success within writing at Heath Hayes evidences purposeful pieces of writing with engaged learners reading these aloud. The impact of combining text exposure and accuracy in grammar knowledge ensures children are provided with a writing toolkit to draw upon. Learners can apply their understanding of writing to write for a range of audiences and purposes.
The intention behind our whole class reading process is to provide learners with excellent reading skills. The structure of the sessions provides a focus on spoken language in addition to reading comprehension skills. Learners will acquire strategies to support independent reading and reading aloud.
Our whole class reading sessions are implemented through carefully selected texts that are analysed to fit within an adventure to secure fluency and understanding. High quality texts link to adventures in order to develop learners comprehension within a range of contexts. As a school we place a high value of reading for meaning and specifically tailor learning opportunities to ensure a breadth of vocabulary.
As a result of whole class reading children’s successes will be evident in a variety of ways. Children will be able to discuss a wide range of text based on their knowledge gained including language, structure, audience and purpose. Whole class reading highlights the partnership between reading and writing, allows learners to draw on all experiences of written texts.
Reading skills are also delivered through the adventure, through the use of age appropriate texts. To support phonetic readers, we have developed the use of several published schemes, which have been arranged in coloured ‘book bands’. Children are encouraged to read at home every night to develop their skills and parents record comments for the teacher in the diary. When the children have reached a required level, they are deemed confident and fluent readers and can become a ‘free reader’, choosing any book they wish from the school library.
The 100 Book challenge:
Across the school all children are provided with a quality age-appropriate text to enjoy at their leisure. Children do not have to read the book themselves, although can if they wish, therefore removing any barriers to books they may have. Families are able to explore the texts together, for bedtime reading, storytime, reading to an adult or pet etc.
Within EYFS children complete the 50 book challenge, this provides children in reception with the opportunity to take home 50 different books throughout the school year, with the opportunity to win books of their choice.
Within each phase: KS1, LKS2 & UKS2 children complete the 100 book challenge, this provides them with the opportunity to take home 100 different books throughout the school 2 year phase, with the opportunity to win books of their choice.