At Manor Oak Primary School we believe that the development of language and English skills is of the highest priority. Manor Oak has a diverse intake of pupils who enter the school at various stages of language development. Our aim is for all children to develop the necessary skills to become effective and confident users of the English language.
Manor Oak’s English Curriculum recognises the current thinking on the New National Curriculum as well as harnessing aspects of other creative and innovative approaches including the CLPE’s Power of Reading (PoR) and Success For All (SFA) in order to provide a broad and balanced scheme of work which provides for all children at their own level.
We aim to:
Offer an exciting and accessible curriculum.
To provide a language rich environment that promotes a culture of reading and writing.
To promote ways of working within the classroom based on cooperative learning, which encourages full participation of pupils.
Develop the skills of each child to the highest level.
Produce confident children able to understand and use appropriately the varieties of language available to them.
To develop in pupils an enthusiasm for and a love of books, literature and writing that will not only support their learning across the curriculum but also enrich their lives.
To teach children the craft of writing in order to develop in children the confidence and skills to write well for a range of purposes and audience.
To ensure a solid grounding in spelling, handwriting and punctuation so that children can focus on liberating their creativity with language.
To use drama and role-play where appropriate to immerse the children in the text and give them contextual experiences in which to learn.
To promote an interest in words, their meanings and developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms.
To create opportunities for developing the powers of imagination, creativity and critical thinking.
English National Curriculum
The National Curriculum clearly outlines what must be taught within each Key Stage. Manor Oak teaches children to understand a range of genres, building on children’s understanding year after year, ensuring continuity and progression in the teaching of English. Please see ‘Manor Oak whole school genre map’ below for more detail.
Manor Oak adopts a topic-based approach to English where possible. Genres are matched to topics studied in the afternoon to provide a relevant stimulus for work. Reading and writing objectives from the national curriculum are mapped out to ensure coverage. Please see ‘Reading progression’ and ‘Writing progression’ below for more detail. This means that the children are equipped with the skills and tools needed to write fluently for a range of meaningful purposes throughout the years. It also provides a range of meaningful cross curricular writing opportunities
Organisation of English at Manor Oak
In every year group, a minimum of 90 minutes is dedicated to teaching reading, writing, speaking and listening and SPAG every morning. An extra hour a week is then dedicated to teaching discrete grammar lessons in the afternoon.
Nursery, Reception and Key Stage One
All 90 minutes are used to follow the SFA programme of study in Key Stage One, through which reading, writing and SPAG are taught. Reception and Nursery incorporate the different elements of SFA throughout their day. Narrative therapy and small group speech and language support is a focus in Nursery and Reception in line with the EYFS prime area of learning communication and language.
Key Stage Two
In Key Stage Two, 45 minutes is used to teach the Power of Reading, where high quality books are used as inspiration for teaching the skills of writing. The other 45 minutes (or 60 minutes twice a week) is used to teach SFA where there is a focus on Guided Reading, Spelling, Vocabulary and Grammar.
All children are set for SFA/ Guided Reading, allowing for smaller groups and more focused teaching to the narrower ability range in the group. These groups are assessed and changes to the groups are made every 8/ 9 weeks. Power of Reading groups are taught in year groups providing the child has reached year 3 ability.
What is Power of Reading?
The school has adopted a ‘Power of Reading’ approach to writing in KS2, which engages teachers and children in the English curriculum through the use of high quality books and proven teaching approaches (e.g. book talk, discussion, drama and role-play). Every class chooses a book(s) as a focus for their writing. Depending on the length of the text, the class will focus on one book for between 3 and 6 weeks and produce a range of writing for different purposes and in different genres. Writing outcomes are mapped out to ensure coverage and repeated exposure. This book is in line with the relevant text type each half term and fits in with the creative topic driver, allowing greater cross-curricular links. Wherever possible we encourage children to use and apply their learning in other areas of the curriculum. The Power of Reading approach to writing allows children to engage with a specific text creatively in order to learn the writing skills through reading and engaging with a key story.
What is SFA?
KS1 are taught SFA for at least 90 minutes a day and KS2 at least 45 minutes a day. Pupils from Year 1 are grouped according to reading ability. Underpinning the reading scheme is a co-operative way of working which teaches children how to work together and to take responsibility for their own learning and that of others.
The Roots programme builds on the synthetic teaching of phonics in the Nursery and Reception programme, ‘KinderRoots’, whilst also developing a sight vocabulary. The Fast Tracks phonics programme enables us to teach phonics in a fun, enjoyable way. Storybooks help the children to practise their decoding, fluency and comprehension skills. New vocabulary is introduced as pupils decode with their partners. Words that can be sounded out are called ‘green words’; words that cannot be sounded out are called ‘red words’.
Once children are Year 2 ability readers, they join a Wings group. They use a wide range of carefully selected literature including fiction, non-fiction and poetry and plays. Children read whole books, giving them ‘reading stamina’. They learn to develop their ‘inner voice’ helping the children to; question text to grapple with deeper levels of meaning; use on-going predictions to draw and alter conclusions about the text as they read.
We encourage the use of cursive (joined up) writing across the school in daily SFA lessons from Year 1.
Spelling and Grammar
Roots children follow the SFA synthetic phonics programme linked to their spellings. Wings and KS2 children follow the Spellzoo scheme of work to ensure coverage of the new National Curriculum spellings. All year groups follow the new National Curriculum grammar specifications.