English is recognised as a key curriculum area and is accordingly given a high profile at Harwood Meadows. The English curriculum has been developed with full regard being given to the newly revised National Curriculum requirements, offering all children opportunities to embed their basic skills of the English language.
Pupils are introduced systematically to the basic skills of reading, writing and spoken language and are given opportunities to study a wide range of narrative texts, non-fiction and poetry, as well as write creatively.
Grammatical understanding and the use of grammatical terminology is of a high importance, and therefore embedded across the curriculum. Similarly, word-level work (phonics and taught spelling lessons) is also a priority across the school. We aim to promote fluency in reading as well as reading for pleasure.
Teachers across the school endeavour to support pupils in developing their mastery over the skills necessary in order to communicate ideas effectively in both written and spoken form. The school also employs a specialist drama teacher to enhance its English provision and to develop each child’s confidence and oracy.
Synthetic phonics is taught daily and systematically through the 'Read, Write Inc.' teaching programme with the expectation that decoding and word recognition skills will be secured by the end of KS1. Children progress from simple to more complex phonic knowledge and skills and learn the major grapheme/phoneme correspondences. They have access to a range of decodable reading books.
In addition to decodable texts, our range of reading material includes a variety of fiction and non-fiction from a number of different publishers, written with natural language structures. They are graded in a progression of difficulty based on 'Bookbands for Guided Reading.'
The teaching of reading and the provision for reading is embedded within the Every Child a Reader approach, of which Reading Recovery is central. This includes the daily synthetic phonics and guided reading. Children are encouraged to respond to different layers of meaning in the texts they read and are given opportunities to practise and apply their reading skills across the curriculum.
It is our aim for all children to learn to read independently with confidence, fluency and enthusiasm both for learning and for pleasure.