Burford Primary School
Burford Primary School
Burford Primary School
The Curriculum
English at Burford Primary School

Quality text overviews Intent
Why do we teach this? Why do we teach it in the way we do?

At Burford Primary School we strive for excellence in English achievement throughout the school as we know that a ‘high quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others’, not only in our school but into secondary school and the wider world. From their first day at Burford we are committed to developing a child’s spoken language as we understand that ‘the quality and variety of language that pupils hear’ plays a pivotal role in developing their communication skills and their understanding of writing.

At Burford Primary School, we intend for all our children to become enthusiastic and motivated readers, developing their confidence reading a wide variety of genres and text types. They will have the necessary skills to decode words in order to be able to read fluently with a good understanding of what they have read. We will encourage a love of literature and an enjoyment of reading for pleasure, as well as using reading as a tool to provoke thought within children.

We want children to see that writing is meaningful and purposeful, engaging and enthusing them about their writing. We will develop children’s skills in composing, organising, drafting and editing their writing, ensuring they record ideas fluently and are proud of their work. At Burford we believe that it is essential to develop all children’s English skills as they are the foundation stone of all learning. We want to make the teaching and learning of English is inspiring, vivid and real, and show children that it is the key to a world of new experiences.

At Burford we understand and value the link between the child as a reader and the child as a writer and in our Writing curriculum, we provide opportunities where the children can be immersed into texts which provide rich language models and structures. We also know that, in order for children to become confident and successful writers, they need to be given time to develop and understand the mechanical skills and craft of writing as well as being given meaningful purposes for writing. They need to be given time to develop and rehearse ideas for their writing and, through high quality teaching and modelling, be taught how to draft, edit and publish their work to a high standard.

We want children to:
  • Enjoy writing, be confident and not hesitate in putting their ideas on paper;
  • Recognise the need to adapt their writing to suit a range of audiences and purposes;
  • Use the most appropriate form of writing for a given task;
  • Use spelling and grammar accurately and with confidence;
  • Use a fluent and legible handwriting style in which to write;
  • Have the skills and confidence to revise and edit work in progress.
What do we teach? What does this look like?

Nursery to Year 2 children follow the Read Write Inc programme and on completion, transition into a guided and / or whole class reading session in preparation for teaching approaches in Upper School.

Children identified as not reaching end of Year 2 phonics expectations continue to take part in Read Write Inc. lessons.

Coloured reading bands are used when children complete RWI, supporting reading choices and ensuring texts are matched to ability. This is in support of a successful transition to being a “free reader”.

In Upper School, reading skills are taught through a carefully planned mixture of guided and whole class reading, using high quality texts that engage the listener, develop a breadth of Tier 2 vocabulary and inspire ideas for writing. Reading materials include a wide variety of quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry. We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. To support our skills based approach to reading, we use VIPERS within our regular Reading lessons. (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explain, Retrieve and Sequence/Summarise).

All teachers read to their class every day, and include a range of authors and genres. Class book corners promote reading for pleasure and contain high quality texts that include a diverse range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry that match reading abilities. They are arranged to ensure all children are supported with their reading choice.

Children are continually encouraged to read for pleasure through events such as visiting the local library fortnightly and celebrating World Book Day.

Rigorous assessment and review helps us to ensure that we are able to provide targeted support so that all children experience success in reading; we believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools so they are able to reach their full potential.

Writing (including spelling, grammar, punctuation and handwriting)
Throughout the Early Years, Lower School and Upper School, we teach writing through a text-based approach, which allows us to meet the needs of the children that we are teaching – through choosing a text that engages, inspires and motivates. As well as reading a wide variety of genres, children are given frequent opportunities to develop their skills in writing in different genres. During the term children should help to develop a set of success criteria/writing toolkit during each taught unit which enables them to assess their own writing. Teachers will regularly model the drafting and editing process to and with the children as well as providing good examples of published writing of a similar genre. Children are required to write at length, regularly and at an age appropriate length, producing at least one piece of extended writing every two weeks. To provide children with opportunities to write at length, in a range of styles and across the curriculum, extended writing opportunities are timetabled. Teachers use the Four Purposes for Writing (Michael Tidd) to ensure that pupils are clear about why they are writing and who they are writing for.

Tier 2 vocabulary from the text/unit is displayed to encourage children to use new words in their writing. Children are taught discrete punctuation and grammar skills, appropriate to their year group, within our text based approach to planning, allowing opportunities to identify, practice and consolidate grammatical understanding, whilst also being immersed in a text. Children then apply the grammar and punctuation skills that they have learnt in their extended pieces of writing. We also recognise that writing fluently depends on effective transcription. To help embed these skills, pupils take part in daily dictation sessions. These also allow the children to revise grammar, punctuation and spelling that have been previously taught.

Spelling in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are taught as an integral part of Read Write Inc Phonics programme. On completion of this, children in Years 2 and 3 are taught spelling through the RWI spelling programme. In Years 4 – 6, children are currently taught spelling using the Spelling Shed programme. However, the RWI spelling programme will be rolled out to older year groups as children familiar with the RWI scheme move through school.

In Reception and Year 1, children learn to sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly. They begin to form lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place. They also understand which letters belong to which handwriting ‘families’ and how to practise these. All children are introduced to cursive handwriting from the end of Year 2, where they learn how to form letters using a lead in and exit line. In KS2 they continue to refine their handwriting. We believe this raises standards in handwriting throughout the whole school, developing confidence, accuracy, fluency and improved presentation.

What will this look like?

By the time children leave our school they will:
  • have the necessary skills to decode words in order to be able to read fluently, with a secure understanding of what they have read
  • be enthusiastic and motivated readers who are confident and will enjoy reading a wide variety of genres and text types
  • enjoy and write confidently for different purposes and audiences
  • be able to effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught
  • have a wide vocabulary that they use within their writing.
We hope that through nurturing and challenging our children, they will move on from us to further their education and learning with a passion for English and high aspirations that will travel with them and so be able to reach their full potential in life.

Pupil Voice

Y6 - I enjoy reading because you are portalled into a magical world. You get to imagine the world which plays like a video in your head.

Y5 - Reading is a great way to entertain your brain.

Y6 - I like to write stories because you can use your imagination and express your thoughts and ideas.

Y5 - I enjoy writing mystery and adventure stories.

Y4 - I enjoy reading because it is a good way to take your mind off things.

Y3 - I like to read because I can.

Y4 - I find writing fascinating because you can use your imagination. Anything you want to happen, can happen.

Y3 - I like writing because you can write about anything that you like. I like cheese sandwiches so I put that in my story.

Y2 - I like reading stories about space because you get to learn and find out fascinating information. Did you know Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space?

Y2 - It is fun to write because you get to use the words that you want to.

Y1 - I love writing. I find it easy. I like to do my writing with Ms Ford.

R - I like writing with chalk.

Y1 - I like information books because you get to learn new words.

R - My favourite book is the Hungry Caterpillar.

Burford Primary School
Priory Lane
OX18 4SG
CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre)