Here at MBA we try to encourage children to fully embrace their creative minds when it comes to the written word. Every year group teaches an area of narrative, poetry and non fiction in order for every child to experience a variety of genres. Focusing on the language and layout of texts allows a consistent approach and the use of marking ladders shows progression with writing throughout the academy. Some examples of the genres and text types can be seen below:
Some examples of these are:
- The Last Bus (Narrative)
- The Hungry Caterpillar (Narrative)
- The Watertower(Narrative)
- A place called Perfect (Narrative)
- A Monster Calls (Narrative)
- Information texts (Non-fiction)
- A Non-Chronological report or recount (Non-fiction)
- Instructions (Non-fiction)
- Persuasion (Non-fiction)
- Discussion or Debate (Non-fiction)
The English curriculum at Merritts Brook E-ACT Primary Academy aims to equip pupils with the knowledge and skills required to enable them to confidently express their opinions and ideas through both verbal and written communication. Our aim is to give all of our children a solid foundation and provide them with a love of literature that ensures they leave Merritts Brook as literate individuals who are skilled and competent readers and writers. Each year group provides each child a wide ranges of genres, for instance non-chronological reports, formal letters, sequels and prequels and newspaper reports, so that they can use the skills and knowledge learnt within basic skills, reading, spelling and writing lessons to become skilled writers.
Speaking and listening is central to our English curriculum and is developed from EYFS throughout the academy and across the whole curriculum. In EYFS, the English curriculum (Communication and language area of learning) reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. Children are taught to express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They are taught to use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about their own experiences and events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events. Children’s speaking and listening skills are nurtured through a variety of approaches: exploratory play, sustained shared thinking, story time, hot-seating, role-play and shared writing. These skills are developed so that our children are capable of expressing their own ideas clearly and confidently, in a safe and supportive environment, in all aspects and areas of their school life and into their future.
Phonics is an important daily lesson in each class from Nursery through to Year 2. It provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. Phonics is the process that is used to help children break down words into sounds, as well as building letter and word recognition. This can then enable children to use unknown words in the future. Children learn to segment words to support their spelling ability and blend sounds to read the words. Phonic work is combined with the academy’s structured reading scheme to develop reading skills. The academy follows the government ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme which develops the children’s ability to hear, discriminate, recognise and write the sounds. This allows the phonics teaching and learning to be progressive from Nursery up to Year 2 as well as allowing children’s listening and speaking skills to develop. In Nursery and reception, phonics is taught through whole class teaching input and small group activities. As children progress into Year 1 and 2, the teaching of phonics is organised into groups depending on children’s prior phonics knowledge, and looking at where individual’s need challenge or support. Where extra intervention is necessary, this is provided for children throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
At Merritts Brook reading is an important part of all children’s learning and progress. Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. Right from their first day, children are provided with lots of opportunities to engage with books that fire their imagination and interest, motivating and exciting them to learn and become competent readers. All children have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts.
With the support of the vigorous and carefully considered phonics approach as well as within English lessons, children are continually exposed to a wide-range of texts across both fiction and non-fiction genres to develop their reading knowledge, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, to gain knowledge across the curriculum and develop their comprehension skills. The academy’s main reading scheme is Bugclub from Active Learning. This is supplemented with other schemes including Oxford Reading Tree and Oak Academy. Each class is encouraged to use the library as much as possible and can take books home every week. There is also a weekly parent library session where parents can share books with their child and take them home as well.
Handwriting follows the continuous cursive style of formation of lessons. Each year group has a weekly handwriting session but it is also focused within every lesson taught so that again a consistent approach is embedded within the culture of the academy.
Grammar lessons are taught within the main English session along with basic skills daily lessons. Here the focus is on word classes, punctuation, tenses, vocabulary etc… Spelling is also linked into the lessons with a taught session part of basic skills work and follows Spelling Shed which breaks down each spelling pattern and builds up skills from the first few words up to the complex letter strings in Year 6. Each child has a log in to Spelling Shed where they can practise their weekly spellings and play games to embed the skills taught within their weekly spelling lessons
More information on each Year groups detailed English plans can be found in the class pages section of our website within the curriculum map area. You will also find our Yearly overview of writing genres and our long term plans for each class. Click below for more information.