AT GREENSTED JUNIOR SCHOOL,
ENGLISH IS AT THE HEART OF LEARNING
At Greensted, we follow a clear progression of skills in Reading, Writing and GPS (Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling). Click the photo under each heading to find out more!
Writing and GPS Progression
At Greensted Junior School, we believe that a rich English curriculum should encourage our pupils to become life-long readers: embracing reading for pleasure; experimenting with ambitious vocabulary; and writing for a variety of relevant purposes. We aim to inspire our pupils through engaging text-based lessons that spark interest, questions and further reading of authors’ work, both old and new. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, as well as write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident speakers as well as active listeners; pupils who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
We believe that children need to develop secure skills in English, which show clear progression as they advance from the beginning to end of Key Stage Two. We believe that a secure basis in reading, writing, spelling and grammar skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of the local community and wider society.
At Greensted Junior School, our aims are embedded in English lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well-organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. Teachers adapt and plan lessons using the ‘Power for Reading’ programme (CLPE) as well as plan original lessons based around inspiring and age-appropriate texts (fiction and non-fiction). Writing a variety of genres to suit many purposes, our pupils will have a strong desire to write as they become immersed in the text they are reading. Working on proof-reading and editing skills, our pupils also understand the drafting process of writing. Therefore, they see the benefit of re-drafting and re-working to make a ‘best version’ of their written work.
The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
● read easily, fluently and with good understanding
● develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
● acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
● write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
● use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
● are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
In addition to daily English lessons, children have their own unique access to Accelerated Reader, a superb resource that measures and improves their comprehension and vocabulary knowledge. After completing a ‘Star Test’, Accelerated Reader enables us to designate reading books of a suitable level for each and every pupil. As a result, pupils receive books that challenge them as well as further their learning of new vocabulary. A quiz is then taken once the child has finished reading a book to ‘test’ their understanding of the book. If pupils pass the quiz, they will add to their word count which will count towards rewards as the term progresses.
We use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. In addition to Accelerated Reader and daily English lessons, our pupils participate in whole class comprehension sessions every week with their class teacher. This not only reinforces how enjoyable and important reading is to our pupils, but allows us to tackle challenging texts in a collaborative way, providing our pupils the opportunity to practise, refine and discuss their reading skills. We also provide 1:1 reading sessions with an adult in order to practise reading fluency and verbal comprehension of a text.
Throughout the school year, we provide a wealth of enrichment opportunities, from the National Literacy Trust’s ‘Young Readers’ programme, which – last year – provided three books for every child in year three, four and five to keep and love forever. Creative writing competitions, book fairs and visiting authors are also fundamental at Greensted Junior School; our children benefit from access to positive role models from the local and wider community.
With a clear progression of skills that we actively follow and build upon in every lesson, there is a plethora of opportunities to read and write in all areas of the curriculum to fully embed these vital skills.
With our hard work and dedication to English, we have a junior school full of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing English knowledge and skills. They are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas. They take every opportunity to read their books or share their reading with a friend or adult, squeezing a page in between lessons or finishing that chapter in our sustained silent reading time.