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English

At Torriano, we believe that a rich, immersive and aspirational English curriculum is integral to fostering, within all of our children, the intrinsic motivation to not only achieve, but to thrive, as readers, writers and orators.

Our bespoke English pedagogy has been designed with the twofold intent of:

  • Empowering our students to utilise the English language as a tool to communicate and access our crucial right to be heard and
  • Developing a critical sense of authorship and appreciation for the art of literacy as a subject, a passion and a career path.

Knowledgeable Learner   

  • Prioritising our systematic synthetic phonics programme as the most important strategy in teaching our early readers the knowledge and skills needed to succeed.
  • Developing fluent readers with the ambition of every child achieving age-related expectations by seven.
  • Equipping all children with a robust vocabulary that enables access to, and deeper understanding of, a broad and rich curriculum. 
  • Modelling and providing opportunities for pupils to engage in rich discussions about texts across the curriculum, teaching the specific strategies that form the components of comprehension.    
  • Providing a rich, varied selection of books, at the level of all readers, to ensure all pupils can access the breadth of the curriculum. 
  • Rooting the teaching of English in rich and challenging texts from a broad range of text types so as to utilise the interconnected relationship between reading, writing, speaking and listening to improve skill acquisition in each. 
  • Developing a reading for pleasure culture by discovering and exploring authors and texts, related to pupils’ interests, that engage, challenge and excite them. 
  • Teaching children to accurately write for a range of purposes and audiences, making conscious and effective choices about the compositional and transcriptional elements of writing and spoken word. 

Confident Communicator  

  • Equipping our children with the discrete presentational oracy skills needed to articulate, express and communicate.
  • Exposing learners to an oracy-rich pedagogy, which harnesses pupils’ ability to process new language and knowledge through talk, forming deeper and more meaningful understandings.
  • Prioritising opportunities for children to learn and apply new vocabulary so that pupils can speak knowledgeably with authority and expertise on a broad range of subjects.
  • Facilitating a culture of authorship and book talk that empowers pupils with the motivation, skills and understanding to engage in critical, analytical and meaningful dialogue.
  • Supporting children to communicate by writing accurately and effectively for a range of audiences and purposes.

Active Citizens  

  • Contextualising the English curriculum in our overarching well-being, rights and sustainability initiatives to highlight the role of English learning and communication in change-making.
  • Making socially conscious choices about texts, ensuring that authentically told stories, featuring a diverse range of characters by a diverse range of authors, help our children to develop empathy and see themselves as well as their communities in the books that they open.
  • Deepening children’s understanding of themselves and the wider world by accessing a broad range of literature.  
  • Creating independent thinkers through developing reading automaticity and comprehension, enabling children to unlock knowledge within texts. 
  • Enabling children to become orators with the vocabulary, knowledge and skills required to understand others, challenge views and express their own in a range of contexts.

Implementing a broad and inspiring enrichment provision that equips pupils with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to pursue both a study of and appreciation of authorship in their futures.

Implementation

We will achieve this by:

  • Following the Little Wandle phonics programme to ensure that children learn the necessary grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) to read new and familiar words and then apply this knowledge to sentence level reading and word spelling.
  • Embedding rigorous reading programmes that facilitate children’s application of phonics and support reading practice to develop reading fluency.
  • Rigorously teaching Tier 2 vocabulary to broaden children’s language acquisition through our Word of the Day programme, explicit vocabulary teaching in guided reading and Oracy pedagogy.
  • Designing and facilitating reading structures that sequence skills, strategies and behaviours, through the meta-language of our bespoke Torriano Detective Agency, that our children need to reflect, analyse and interpret text. 
  • Supporting children’s reading for pleasure habits through investing in inspiring, rich texts and nurturing a whole school dialogue about the joys of reading.
  • Developing an excitement and motivation around reading for pleasure through enrichment provision, such as the Reading Road Map, reading assemblies and the Reading Raffle initiative. 
  • Implementing English units of work that follow our bespoke oracy-rich pedagogy so that comprehension, vocabulary, compositional writing, SPAG and transcriptional skills and knowledge are sequenced and interwoven, culminating in written and oral outcomes.
  • Revising previously learnt SPAG objectives in short daily sessions (Wanda’s Whizzy 5) in KS1 and KS2 to embed previously taught grammar and spelling concepts and support application to writing.
  • Publishing writing outcomes termly and celebrating achievements through displays, assemblies, awards and presentations to motivate our children as writers.
  • Creating meaningful writing opportunities in the wider curriculum that empower children to compose pieces using subject specific learning whilst also developing fluency in applying the key writing skills and knowledge acquired from English lessons.
  • Empowering our pupils with literacy enrichment opportunities that open doors to a future in authorship and equip them with cultural capital to access future learning, including author visits, themed reading events and ongoing relationships with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the Children’s Bookshow, Biblio Book Awards, The Track Record Poetry Project and Spoken Word Power.

Impact

Impact in English is assessed through a triangulated approach of formative and summative assessments; outcomes produced in lessons; and the development of children’s intrinsic motivation explored in pupil voice. 

Early Reading Assessment
  • Phonics is assessed summatively using the Little Wandle assessments each half term, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed.
  • The Little Wandle Tracker identifies pupils’ place within the phonics and reading programme. 
  • Assessment for learning is used daily within class and in weekly review sessions to identify children needing keep-up support
  • Children who do not pass the Year 1 phonics screening check continue with the Little Wandle programme in Year 2 and retake the phonics screening check. 
  • An alternative phonics and reading programme: The Talisman is used to support reading fluency for KS2 early readers.
  • In early reading, developments are assessed daily through children’s ability to decode, comprehend and read with prosody. Children share their developing understanding of text language, structure and organisation orally, through teacher questioning and expressing opinions during teacher read-aloud sessions.  
Assessment 
  • More fluent readers’ abilities are assessed through their daily independent responses – both orally and in written form. Children are expected to discuss texts in depth with adults and peers – exploring themes, genre, personal experiences and prior knowledge of the wider-curriculum. 
  • Beyond early reading, assessment of fluency and comprehension skills are supported by termly summative testing; PM benchmarking resources and PIRA reading assessments are used to moderate teacher judgements and track children’s progress, informing future provision.
  • Judgements of children’s progress in writing and outcomes are made by teachers using the broad and rich evidence samples in writing books and across the curriculum.
  • Internal and external moderation of writing takes place within year groups, across the federation and externally in the local authority. 
  • Progress in grammar, punctuation and spelling is assessed using ongoing teacher assessment from lessons and GAPS testing is used summatively.
Monitoring and Pupil Voice
  • Termly planning and book looks are used to monitor English planning, pedagogy and pupil outcomes to ensure quality first teaching. 
  • Pupil voice is gathered formally through surveys and focus groups and informally through daily conversations with children about books they are reading for pleasure. These discussions help develop our reading for pleasure culture across the school. 
  • Pupil conferencing with subject leaders is used to provide children with a platform to articulate their experiences as learners, comment on their progress and express how they learn best in English lessons and units of work.
  • One-to-one pupil conferencing is prioritised in editing and response sessions as a means of promoting self-regulation and encouraging children to take responsibility for their learning: discussing what they were successful with, what they need further help with and what their next step is.

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