English is taught from Foundation through to year 2 here at Heronshaw School. Mrs Calder is responsible for English here at school. Mrs Ravilious is our leader for 'phonics' at school. You can find more information about our phonics under the separate phonics tab.
At Heronshaw school, reading is at the heart of our curriculum as we believe that once a child can decode independently, they will be able to access a range of other subjects and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves. Our reading curriculum strives to foster a love of reading that will inspire children for the rest of their lives. Our curriculum is rich with high quality texts which the children are exposed to daily. We celebrate our love of reading in our provision throughout the school, in displays, assemblies, classrooms, author visits, our school library, book day celebrations and our own passion for books. A reading spine is developed for each year group which is constantly updated to reflect the ever-changing climate and to fit the needs of our school. This consists of a broad range of literature which we feel provides a sustainable, imaginative, and thought-provoking text. We dedicate daily story time to our children to stimulate the children’s imagination and expand their understanding of the world. It builds many foundation skills, introduces vocabulary, and provides a model of fluent and expressive reading.
To help our children achieve the ability to read independently we use the Read Write Inc. (RWI) program to get children off to a flying start. Read Write Inc. Phonics is a systematic synthetic phonics program which enables all children to accurately and fluently read whilst developing a love of reading. The program is centered around children learning the letter-sound correspondence and then learning to blend the sounds together in order to read words. Children will continue to receive daily phonics lessons at Heronshaw until they can accurately decode and blend a range of words. Once they have completed the RWI program the children will move onto a range of age-appropriate texts which they can access to further their reading development, fluency, and comprehension. All our staff are highly skilled in the teaching of phonics and have consistent updated training by our phonics lead. Every child is assessed every half term to monitor progress which allows every child to shine and show off their new skills that they have learnt and to consistently stretch and challenge them. It also allows for staff to put in appropriate levels of support for any children who may need it. Children who are on the RWI program in KS1 will take home a book that is exactly matched to their phonics level every week to continue to embed their reading skills at home alongside a library book to develop their love of reading and interest in stories. The books are made up of a range of fiction and non-fiction texts which the children have the opportunity of reading. In Foundation before children are on our red phonics group, they will take home a Fab Phonics book which is filled with their weekly learnt sounds and decodable words for them to practice at home. We understand the significance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, so we endeavor to build a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to have the confidence to support their children with reading at home.
All children are also subject to daily ‘Book Talk’ session, whereby the skills of being a reader are developed through the six main reading skills. These skills fit into the acronym VIPERS. These are key areas which we feel children need to know and understand to improve their comprehension of texts.
VIPERS stands for
Sequence or Summarise
The children are taught these skills through talking about a variety of texts. After the teacher has ignited the children’s imagination by reading the opening extract of the text, children will have the opportunity to practice reading to their partner, as part of a group and to their teacher; developing fluency and understanding of the text. Through careful questioning using the VIPERS children will be able to gain a deep understanding of the different texts read in class. Opportunities to demonstrate understanding through independent tasks and carefully planned activities in provision are given to the children to enhance their comprehension skills.
A large focus of ‘Book Talk’ is the development of reading for pleasure and the sharing of different reading materials and genres to engage all children. Children can share stories, review and compare genres, and authors. We want our reading opportunities across the school to be ambitious to allow all our children to grow into confident, capable, and excited readers who take their passion for reading with them for the rest of their lives.
At Heronshaw, we want all children to be able to communicate their knowledge, ideas, and emotions confidently through their writing. We believe that all children should experience an abundance of quality, engaging texts that foster a love for reading and stimulate children to write. We want all children to be immersed in a rich, creative and carefully planned curriculum that provides real life contexts for writing. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing and can clearly and accurately adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We believe in setting high standards in the presentation of writing along with setting the important foundations in spelling and grammar.
At Heronshaw we use a program of ideas called The Write Stuff. This program brings clarity to the mechanics of writing and provides clear systems through which to focus the writer’s attention.
The combination of fiction and non-fiction units we have carefully selected to follow provides children throughout their journey with the experience of a wide range of high-quality texts and authors. In our lessons teachers follow a repeated pattern of ‘Initiate’, ‘Model’ and ‘Enable’ whereby they use the three zones of writing to provide a consistent whole school systematic approach to writing carefully constructed sentences.
The Fantastics offers 9 lenses with which to structure ideas and target children’s thinking. This supports children in developing variety in their writing by focusing on the vocabulary used, initiating ideas, provoking thoughts, and igniting imaginations.
The Grammaristics focus on the importance of accurate grammar where tools are taught and used immediately to help children develop fascination around language so that they can manipulate and carefully structure words into sentences
The Boomtastics focus on the art of writing, using a range of literary devices and techniques to make careful choices, playing with language to add flair to our writing and achieve various intentional impacts on our reader, painting vivid pictures through our word choices.
From EYFS to KS1 children complete a unit of work based on fiction, non-fiction, and poetry texts. Each unit starts with an inspirational lesson which sparks the curiosity and imagination of the children. Throughout the unit the children grow their knowledge and skills and apply them into their independent practice. We want all children to achieve and excel as independent and confident writers at Heronshaw.
Below you will find links to key documents.
The progression grid shows the key knowledge and skills that are taught from Foundation Stage to the end of Key Stage 1. Our progression grids also highlight the next steps in the educational journey, therefore include Year 3 expectations.
How do I know what my child is being taught at Heronshaw?
We deliver curriculum information meetings for parents. Presentation slideshows are saved under the Year Group drop down menus.
In addition to this, each year group produces an Overview of Learning that is also saved under Year Groups.
Every subject under the Curriculum tab has detailed Progression Grids which show the full curriculum that Heronshaw has designed for our pupils.
If parents have any questions and would like to know more then we welcome this. Please speak to a member of the team.