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English at Oliver Goldsmith Primary School

This page gives a snapshot of the school’s approach towards English and outlines how English is taught in our school.

At OGPS we aim to:

Provide an exciting, inspiring and engaging English curriculum. We want our children to communicate their thoughts, ideas and opinions clearly and succinctly, as well as listening to and reflecting on others ideas. We want our children to become life-long readers and have a passion for writing for a range of purposes.

  • To make every child fluent in reading and writing
  • Inspire a love of reading
  • To use English as a medium for children to share their knowledge, skills and understanding
  • Have a suitable technical vocabulary to articulate their responses; debate and discuss different ideas and to form opinions
  • Develop children’s experiences of reading and writing across a range of genres
  • Develop powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness

In order to achieve our vision, we put a great emphasis on reading for pleasure, grammar and the development of good handwriting and spelling. There is also an emphasis on developing life-long skills such as discussing and debating; formal presentations; dictation and reciting poetry.

The English Curriculum

All pupils in Key Stage 1 and 2 are taught according to the National Curriculum English Programmes of Study

The main aims of the National English Curriculum are to:

"… promote high standards of literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the written and spoken word, and develop a love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment."

Speaking and Listening

The National Curriculum reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing.

Therefore, we ensure children have opportunities to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write. During the children’s journey at Oliver Goldsmith, they have opportunities to improvise, devise and script drama for one another and a range of audiences, as well as to rehearse, refine, share and respond thoughtfully to drama and theatre performances. This is carried out through English lessons (role-play, hot seating, performing and reciting poems, talk partner activities, whole class discussions across the curriculum, storytelling), assembly performances and whole school productions.

Reading

We strongly feel that strong writers are developed from strong readers. We aim to foster a love of reading as well as teach the skills of reading. Therefore, one of our main priorities for our faculty is to continue to drive standards in reading and comprehension skills. We do this in many different ways:

Lesson structure

1. Daily phonics lessons in EYFS and KS1.

2. Guided Reading lessons. This is where groups of children share a text and are listened to reading and have an opportunity to show their understanding through oral questions. Guided reading sessions take place at least 3 times a week in Reception to Year 6 depending of the needs of the children. Books are selected according to the children’s reading ability.

During guided reading lessons, teachers carefully select the guided reading book depending on the reading ability of the children. We primarily use Project X across the whole school, from Reception to Year 6. Reception use a range of Project X and Oxford Reading Tree to ensure all children can access the books. The books are sent home so the children can embed the learning that has taken place in school at home with their families.

3. Comprehension lessons. These take place at least once a week from Years 2-6. Children have an opportunity to share a text and answer a range of literal, deductive, inferential and evaluative questions by writing down their answers.

4. Reading a book aloud for pleasure. A class book is read aloud at the end of each day to promote a love of reading. The children will hear a range of fiction, non-fiction and comics being read aloud.

5. Class libraries. Each class has an inviting class library with a range of books where children are given the opportunity to select books and read for pleasure. Visit the Library page for more information about Reading for pleasure.

6. Celebrating reading. National events are celebrated such as National Poetry Day, World Book Day and promoting the Summer Reading Challenge.

    • Weekly library visits. Children have the opportunity to select books from the school library and their class library to read for pleasure. Children are encouraged to read these books in their free time. The library is currently closed due to building works and will due to open in April 2022.
    • Home-School Reading Record. This enables teachers and parents to work in partnership to encourage an enjoyment of reading, discussing and sharing books and to further consolidate important inference and deduction skills. We encourage all families to read together at least 3 x week and for parents to communicate this in their child's reading record.
    • English Visitors and Visits. We have strong links with Wizard Theatre and take part in Book Weeks where authors/poets are invited to do performances/workshops. Year groups also invite authors in if they are studying a specific genre of text.

Assessment of Reading

We assess pupils using a range of formative and summative strategies. These include assessing children against the National Curriculum criteria and using summative tests such as Cornerstones to see how well the children can apply the skills they have learned. This enables us to identify where the children are making progress and in which areas the children need extra support and input. We have many intervention strategies to support the children who are not making the expected progress, including small group-reading groups. Furthermore, careful monitoring and pupil progress meetings help us to be aware of which children need extra support.

Home Learning

Reading Planet Online. Children can access a variety of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays as eBooks to embed reading skills that have been learnt in school. Ebooks are assigned each week and children can continue to embed their reading skills through literal, deductive, inferential and evaluative questions through answering questions in the form of quizzes. The children are motivated to read as they are awarded gold, silver and bronze stars after reading eBooks and answering questions. Click on My Rising Stars to access eBooks.

Modern Foreign Language - French

We have invested in a specialist French teacher who works with all children across the school. As a result, the standard of French understood, spoken and written by children is high. Children build upon their skills each year so they leave in Year 6 with a great deal of confidence, ready to excel at High School. Find out more about French at OGPS on our French Page!

See our Learning Journey information to parents for further information.