Our approach to the teaching of English can be thought of as having six strands:
The pathways model is one which we have developed in line with a mastery approach. Its aim is to ensure that all children have a pathway through the lesson that starts at the right level and is well designed to allow each child to make progress no matter what their staring point.
Extended writing exists outside of the pathways structure and is an opportunity for children to practise all skills learnt up to this point. Extended writing is found in 4 formats: drafted, non-drafted, cold task and topic writing.
We currently follow the Letters and Sound approach to the teaching of phonics.
Phonics is taught though the early years into Year 2. Phonics also form part of our interventions, for those children who need further support.
In Years 1 and 2, we are able to timetable phonics teaching at a consistent time, to enable best use of resources and to benefit from flexible groupings
From year 2 onward, we make use of a resource called 'Spelling frame', which is an on-line program that allows all children to be working on individualised sets of words. It allows teachers to monitor progress.
As of September 2018, we use 'Book Talk' as our primary way to teach reading for meaning. This is a system developed by Jane Considine, and is run at least 4 days a week, for half an hour at a time. During this time, reading is 'guided' by the teacher, as children read books at an appropriate level for them. For ten minutes at a time, children's reading is given a focus (three per half hour session). These are known as 'lenses'. They fall into three groups:
We are passionate about reading at Huntingtree. We invest heavily in making sure that the children have the best possible books available to them. We believe that providing greater access to a wide range of brilliantly written, content-appropriate, engaging REAL books is the single most effective way of improving standards of receptive and expressive language in children - in terms of expanding vocabulary, deepening comprehension, sharpening authorial technique and nurturing a love of stories and knowledge.
The medium term planning for English lessons is based on quality whole class texts - real books. This drives the learning throughout the term, in comprehension work, grammar focuses and opportunities for writing.
The children have a regular weekly slot to change their home reading book, plus extra slots are available at lunchtimes for those enthusiastic readers and devourers of books.
We have a team of committed volunteers who are helping children to develop a love of reading.
Individuals who are good readers at school are more likely to earn better wages when they are older and are more likely to be happy. Evidence shows us that those children who engage in reading - either reading to an adult or listening to an adult read - for 20 minutes a day are massively more likely to do well. This 'Magic 20' is the basis for our collaboration with parents. We promise to read with your children for 10 minutes every day and we expect parents to do the same.
Each class teacher reads for at least 10 minutes every day, sharing of a class novel. This is at a time that best suits the rhythm of each particular class.