Curriculum – English

At Cassiobury Infant and Nursery School, English is taught using the The Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework (Nursery & Reception) and The National Curriculum for English in Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)

Teaching English in the EYFS (Nursery & Reception)

The EYFS Framework sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings (3 Prime and 4 Specific areas). All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected; the areas that link to the acquisition of English skills are as follows:

  • Communication and Language (Listening & Attention, Understanding and Speaking)
  • Physical Development (Moving & Handling)
  • Literacy (Reading and Writing)

Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage (PDF)

Teaching English in KS1 (Years 1 & 2)

The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. 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
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • 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

National curriculum in England: KS1Statutory guidance on the Gov.uk website

READING

At Cassiobury Infant and Nursery School we believe that reading holds the key to enabling all children to access the full curriculum on offer. It is so important that children learn to read fluently as quickly as possible as fluent readers will learn more, because they can read and gain knowledge for themselves. Staff are passionate about the teaching of phonics and reading and are determined that every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities.

To see some of the ways that we promote a love of reading at follow our Twitter hashtag #CassInfReading

END OF YEAR EXPECTATIONS

EYFS – Development Matters: Reading

Children develop at their own rates, and in their own ways. The development statements and their order should not be taken as necessary steps for individual children. The age/stage bands overlap because these are not fixed age boundaries but suggest a typical range of development.

In the EYFS, reading is covered in the ‘Specific Area’ of Literacy. By the end of their time in EYFS, Reception children aim to achieve The Early Learning Goal (ELG).

Reading ELG:

  • Children read and understand simple sentences.
  • They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately.
  • They also read some common irregular words.
  • They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.

YEAR 1 – programme of study

The programme of study for reading at key Stage 1 consists of two dimensions:

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading)

Reading – Word Reading

Pupils should be taught to:

  • apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words
  • respond speedily with the correct sound to graphemes (letters or groups of letters) for all 40+ phonemes, including, where applicable, alternative sounds for graphemes
  • read accurately by blending sounds in unfamiliar words containing GPCs that have been taught
  • read common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word
  • read words containing taught GPCs and –s, –es, –ing, –ed, –er and –est endings
  • read other words of more than one syllable that contain taught GPCs
  • read words with contractions [for example, I’m, I’ll, we’ll], and understand that the apostrophe represents the omitted letter(s)
  • read books aloud, accurately, that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and that do not require them to use other strategies to work out words
  • reread these books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading

Reading – comprehension

Pupils should be taught to:

  • develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by:
    • listening to and discussing a wide range of poems, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently
    • being encouraged to link what they read or hear to their own experiences
    • becoming very familiar with key stories, fairy stories and traditional tales, retelling them and considering their particular characteristics
    • recognising and joining in with predictable phrases
    • learning to appreciate rhymes and poems, and to recite some by heart
    • discussing word meanings, linking new meanings to those already known
  • understand both the books they can already read accurately and fluently and those they listen to by:
    • drawing on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary provided by the teacher
    • checking that the text makes sense to them as they read, and correcting inaccurate reading
    • discussing the significance of the title and events
    • making inferences on the basis of what is being said and done
    • predicting what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far
  • participate in discussion about what is read to them, taking turns and listening to what others say
  • explain clearly their understanding of what is read to them

YEAR 2 – programme of study

The programme of study for reading at key Stage 1 consists of two dimensions:

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading)

Reading – word reading

Pupils should be taught to:

  • continue to apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words until automatic decoding has become embedded and reading is fluent
  • read accurately by blending the sounds in words that contain the graphemes taught so far, especially recognising alternative sounds for graphemes
  • read accurately words of two or more syllables that contain the same graphemes as above
  • read words containing common suffixes
  • read further common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word
  • read most words quickly and accurately, without overt sounding and blending, when they have been frequently encountered
  • read aloud books closely matched to their improving phonic knowledge, sounding out unfamiliar words accurately, automatically and without undue hesitation
  • reread these books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading

Reading – Comprehension

Pupils should be taught to:

  • develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by:
    • listening to, discussing and expressing views about a wide range of contemporary and classic poetry, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently
    • discussing the sequence of events in books and how items of information are related
    • becoming increasingly familiar with and retelling a wider range of stories, fairy stories and traditional tales
    • being introduced to non-fiction books that are structured in different ways
    • recognising simple recurring literary language in stories and poetry
    • discussing and clarifying the meanings of words, linking new meanings to known vocabulary
    • discussing their favourite words and phrases
    • continuing to build up a repertoire of poems learnt by heart, appreciating these and reciting some, with appropriate intonation to make the meaning clear
  • understand both the books that they can already read accurately and fluently and those that they listen to by:
    • drawing on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary provided by the teacher
    • checking that the text makes sense to them as they read, and correcting inaccurate reading
    • making inferences on the basis of what is being said and done
    • answering and asking questions
    • predicting what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far
  • participate in discussion about books, poems and other works that are read to them and those that they can read for themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say
  • explain and discuss their understanding of books, poems and other material, both those that they listen to and those that they read for themselves

Teacher assessment frameworks at the end of key stage 1 (PDF)

WRITING

The Curriculum – writing in EYFS

In the EYFS, children are provided with opportunities to write throughout the different areas of the curriculum and in their Child Initiated Learning (CIL).

Early Learning Goal (ELG) – writing

By the end of Reception, children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible

Early Learning Goal (ELG) – physical development 

By the end of Reception, children handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.

The Curriculum – writing in KS1

The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:

  • transcription (spelling and handwriting)
  • composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)

It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these two dimensions. In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition. Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.

Handwriting Letter Formation (PDF)

Examples of our writing achievements coming soon!

PHONICS

At Cassiobury Infant School we follow the Read Write Inc. (RWI) phonics programme. RWI provides a daily structured and systematic approach to teaching phonics. It is used by more than a quarter of the UK’s primary schools and is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers.

The children are grouped homogenously according to their phonic ability thus allowing them to work at their own pace, developing their phonic skills and consolidate their knowledge and understanding.

Useful Links

Read Write Inc. (RWI) website

Phonics screening check: sample materials and training video on the Gov.uk website

Speed Sounds on the Oxford Owl website

Learn to Read with Phonics on the Oxford Owl website

 

Twitter Links

Follow our Twitter hashtags #CassInfEnglish , #CassInfReading , #CassInfWriting

  • find out what the children have been learning in their lessons
  • get news about useful resources and competitions
  • share any work that you have been doing
Book at Bedtime - January 2020

As part of our focus on promoting and developing a love of reading at our school, we held our first ever ‘Book at Bedtime’ session on Tuesday 21st January. 

Children were invited to return to school at 5:30pm with an accompanying adult, to listen to two story sessions. Pyjamas and teddy bears were optional!  We served hot-chocolate with a  biscuit in the break, raising £111.20 towards new reading books for school. 

We received so many positive comments from parents and children about the evening.

Author Olaf Falafel - September 2019

Author, illustrator and comedian Olaf Falafel visited us on Thursday 12th September to share his book ‘One Giant Leek for Mankind’ with KS1 children.  As well as making us cry with laughter, Olaf taught the children about synonyms, how to illustrate a story, draw a ‘moon baboon’ and moreover, showed the children what fun it is to be an author. I hope his visit has inspired some of our pupils to want to read and write more.

 

Matt Goodfellow visit - February 2019

We entered a competition with the Premier League Primary Stars and won… a visit from internationally published poet and primary school teacher Matt Goodfellow!  Matt’s poems have been published in magazines and anthologies worldwide and he was recently on the long-list for the inaugural Manchester Writing for Children Prize. Since embarking on his poetry career, Matt’s high-energy performances and workshops have delighted, excited and enthused thousands of children in schools, libraries and bookshops across the UK. Matt still works part-time as a teacher in primary schools; his workshops are fun, creative and interactive – leaving children (and adults!) engaged, energised and eager to write and perform their own work.

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 watched Matt perform some of his poems during an assembly – they even got to help him by joining in with some of the words and actions…it was VERY funny!

Pupil Voice:

“I liked doing all the funny voices – the best one was when he did the little girl’s voice!” (Francesca)

“The poems were good, the chicken one at the end was the best.” (Leo)

“That was really fun! I loved it when we did it (the poem) really fast!” (Zak)

“Poems are good fun and amazing!” (Hridaya)

“I liked the poem when he said ‘chicken in the roof’ – I liked the actions!” (Miles)

After the poetry performance assembly, Matt then visited each Year 2 class to deliver a poetry writing workshop during which he worked with the children to teach them how to write their own poem. Miss Dilks said “Matt’s workshop was exciting, inspiring and filled with fun! He made poetry easy and accessible for all. The children and adults alike loved it!” When we asked the Year 2 children what they thought of the workshop they said it was…

“Funny” (Leonie)

“Amazing” (Stanley)

“Out of this world” (Anya)

The Kingfisher children thought that Matt was: “Hilarious, funny and crazy. He also had a good imagination as he was making up the stories in the poem.”

Kingfishers were so inspired by Matt’s poetry performance assembly that they made their own class poem about Watford linked to the learning they are doing as part of ‘our local area’ in Geography.

Watford

Our local area has Cassiobury Park,
Where we find dogs that bark.

Cassiobury school is nice and cool,
When we were in the pool.

I went to the bowling in the town,
Where is was loud and brown.

Don’t you know that your house is a home?
Which is shaped like a dome.

Kingfisher Class

English Focus Week

Pupils from EYFS and KS1 took part in an English and Outdoor Learning focus week. Each key stage had a theme: EYFS based their week on the story of ‘The Gruffalo’ (Julia Donaldson) and children in KS1 took part in a variety of activities linked to the text ‘Duncan’s Tree House’ (Amanda Vesey). A great time was had by all, with very positive feedback from pupils: “It was fun and we got to visit other classrooms.” (Zahra) and “…we could go outside and make dens!” (Jacob). 

We had several fundraising activities during the week and thanks to the amazing generosity and support of our parents, we managed to raise an impressive £1104.86! The money will be used to support pupils’ learning and will be split between English and Outdoor Learning. Ms Applegarth would like to purchase additional RWI resources for children in EYFS and KS1 to develop writing skills, and Miss Dilks would like to use her funds to enhance outdoor learning in the forest school. Thank you to everybody that took part and contributed to a very successful focus week – as you can see from the photographs and comments below, the children had a fantastic time!

We wrote a story ending for Duncan’s Tree House and illustrated our book…

  

Year 2 visited Watford Library. There were so many books to read and we found books written in different languages…

 

We wrote a list of items to take in a tree house. We built our dens and made a sign, just like in the story…

 

KS1 had a bush craft session in the forest. They learned how to light a fire, enjoyed mugs of hot chocolate and pop corn cooked on the open fire…

Reception based their learning around the story of the Gruffalo. They acted out the Gruffalo story, made models of the Gruffulo and had several ‘mystery readers’ visit us…

Reading

100 Million Minute Reading Challenge – March 2018

In March, Cassiobury Infant & Nursery School took part in the 100 Million Minute Reading Challenge – a national reading initiative from education charity Achievement for All. Beginning on World Book Day (Thursday 1st March 2018) we joined early years settings, schools, colleges and community groups across the UK to collectively read for…

…100,000,000 minutes in a week!

Pupils read…picture books, paperbacks, magazines, comics, plays, newspapers, and e-books! Every child in school recorded their daily reading minutes on their bookmark, which were then collated and submitted to the competition website.

The grand total for the school was 20,529 minutes

Scholastic Book Fair

We would like to say a big “THANK YOU” to all of you that supported our Scholastic Book Fair in March 2018. From the commission that we raised, the teachers have been able to chose over £300 worth of books to support learning and inspire reading and writing activities in the curriculum. KS1 have spent their money on a selection of Primary Thesauruses, Atlases and Dictionaries, whilst Reception have chosen 19 picture story books including ‘Supertato’ and Whatever Next!

Reception

KS1

Mystery Reader – Autumn Term 2017

This term we have been very lucky to have the author Stephen Hughes visit our school as a ‘mystery reader’. The children were really excited to meet a published author and hear him read his story about the ‘Dinosaur in the Shed’ which is the not so every day story of a little girl, Hannah, who hatches out an egg she finds in the local park. Hannah and her parents get quite the shock when they discover that the new family member is a dinosaur!

After he had shared his story, Year 2 interviewed Stephen about his writing.

 

Bookstart Trust

Established in 1992, Bookstart is the world’s first national bookgifting programme, delivering books and resources to every baby and toddler in England and Wales.

The programme is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport via Arts Council England and the devolved government in Wales, with generous support from publishers. Bookstart gifts free books to all children at two key ages before school to help families read together every day and inspire children to develop a love of books and reading.