The English Curriculum
At Round Diamond Primary School, we believe that it is every child’s entitlement to become a fluent reader, articulate speaker and competent writer.
We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately, and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. Our skills based English curriculum supports this by providing purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion; this is closely monitored by the English Faculty to ensure a full and balanced coverage.
In the EYFS and Year 1, we ensure that our children receive high quality phonics teaching every day through our chosen phonics scheme ELS (Essential Letters and Sounds). Following this, children continue to make good or better progress and are ready to leave Round Diamond as ambitious readers that can read and spell words with fluency and confidence. Within this, we have embedded a love of reading into our whole school vision. Children are read to often and are encouraged to read daily for pleasure at home. Individual reading is recorded electronically for each child via Boom Reader from Reception-Year 6, this showcases children’s individual reading learning journey.
Children are equipped to leave us in Year 6 at the expected level, or above with an enthusiasm for English and high aspirations for themselves.
Phonics - Essential Letter and Sounds
At Round Diamond, we are determined that every child will learn to read well quickly. Therefore, we have implemented Essential Letters and Sounds as our chosen systematic, synthetic, phonics programme.
The aim of ELS is to get all children to read well, quickly, teaching children to read by identifying the phonemes (the smallest unit of sound) and graphemes (the written version of the sound) within words and using these to read words.
All members of staff are trained to teach ELS to ensure that we have an expert team of reading teachers led by our English faculty lead. As an English team, we regularly meet to review our practice and to practise teaching together. This ensures that all children receive high-quality first teaching every day.
Reading - VIPERS
Reading skills will be taught daily through a mixture of discrete teaching, teaching that is linked to English units and cross-curricular learning. Specific reading skills are taught once a week as part of English learning. These skills are taught using ‘VIPERS’, (Vocabulary, Infer, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Summarise). These skills support the children to develop their comprehension skills in Years 1-6. Whole class reading sessions focus on reading higher level texts where the children have support in decoding.
Writing skills will be taught through shared, guided and independent sessions. Learning intention, success criteria and personal targets will be used so that all children are appropriately challenged and have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.
Discrete spelling sessions are taught from Year 2 – 6. We use the Jane Considine spelling scheme ‘The Spelling Book’. The scheme offers a structured approach on a fortnightly rotation. Within this rotation children have the opportunity to investigate spelling rules, recall previously taught spelling patterns and delve deeper into selected spellings as part of ‘Go grapheme grafters’.
Punctuation and Grammar
Punctuation and grammar will be taught daily through discrete teaching which will be planned for with a medium-term plan. In addition to this, teachers will ensure SPAG is taught across all areas of the Curriculum whenever appropriate.