English

The aims of the English Curriculum at Whittle Academy are:

  • To build spoken language skills, developing speakers who communicate with clarity and confidence in a range of meaningful contexts
  • To broaden vocabulary and instigate a curiosity about words
  • To inspire a love of reading
  • To develop fluent readers who read for enjoyment and for information
  • To celebrate a diverse range of authors, poets and texts from Britain and across the globe
  • To develop excellent writers who write with clarity, accuracy and coherence for a range of purposes and audiences
  • To build transcriptional knowledge and skills including grammar, punctuation, spelling and handwriting.

Delivering the English Curriculum at Whittle Academy:

Early Reading and Writing skills start in Early Years, where children are taught communication, language and literacy through engaging learning opportunities based on stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems.  Children listen to stories linked to topics and complete engaging learning tasks based on texts. 

In Years 1-6, English is planned and delivered following the Inspire Education Trust’s own English long-term plan.  Children’s skills as writers are developed through cohesive units of work based around high quality texts or writing genres, building to purposeful writing opportunities.   Children learn to write for a range of purposes, including:

  • Writing to narrate
  • Writing to describe
  • Writing to inform
  • Writing to persuade
  • Writing to recount events
  • Writing to explain
  • Writing to perform.

Knowledge and application of core grammar and punctuation skills are built into English units and progress within and across year groups.  Cross-curricular application of writing genres and skills is embedded within Theme, Science and RE units.

From Nursery to Year 6, chosen texts ensure coverage of classic stories, contemporary fiction and a range of traditional tales, including myths and legends, within each year group, and texts have been mapped to ensure progression across the school.   Core texts are written by a diverse range of high-quality modern and classic authors, including Malorie Blackman, Julia Donaldson, Philip Pullman and Marcus Sedgwick.

Reading at Whittle Academy:

Our approach to the teaching of reading ensures focus on both of the key dimensions needed to become effective readers – Word Reading and Language Comprehension. 

Word Reading:

Phonics is the predominant way we teach Word Reading, and we use Read Write Inc. as our DfE-validated systematic synthetic phonics programme.  In Reception and Year 1, children take part in daily group-based phonics sessions led by highly trained adults.

Comprehension:

We employ various approaches employed to develop children’s comprehension of texts and overall love of reading.  These include:

  • Modelled/shared reading
  • Whole class reading
  • Daily Supported Reading
  • English lessons
  • Story time

Children develop skills in visualising texts to support depth of understanding and are taught how to demonstrate their comprehension in a variety of ways.  Reading teaching focuses on developing children’s abilities to explain word meanings, retrieve, infer, summarise, predict and make comparisons between texts they read. We also place an emphasis on children reading with fluency across the whole school.

Reading for pleasure:

It is also important to us that children enjoy reading. We promote reading for pleasure.

We have introduced:

Bedtime books

The Treehouse Library – open to children and their families

Assemblies linked to texts

Reading Eggs for children to access at home

Etc – come and ask us about reading at Whittle! Our reading ambassadors will tell you all about it.