English at Place Farm Primary Academy

At Place Farm Primary Academy, we firmly believe that the English curriculum is fundamental to the overall development of the child, their ability to access the wider curriculum, and to achieving future success.

We uphold that every child should:

  • Have the opportunity and support to become fluent, confident and skilled communicators, irrespective of their starting point or personal context;
  • Enjoy a curriculum that is rich, diverse, and deepens their understanding of the world and their role within it through exploring and discussing moral, ethical and social questions;
  • Be challenged to deepen and apply their learning and knowledge throughout the curriculum, making important links between other curriculum areas;
  • Experience an English curriculum that acts as both a mirror and window; challenging them to step beyond their own context and experience;
  • Enjoy a curriculum that is unapologetically ambitious, cohesive and rich in knowledge and high-quality vocabulary;
  • Develop conceptual fluency in Reading and Writing through a carefully designed curriculum, firmly rooted in the principles of cognitive neuroscience and best practice;
  • Leave Primary being well-prepared for success at secondary level and beyond;
  • Experience a curriculum that places emphasis on evidence-led research; cognitive load theory, principles of instruction, explicit vocabulary teaching, ensuring that generative learning tasks fit together securely in a curriculum structure to develop excellence

EYFS

      

In EYFS we strive to improve the life chances of every child, whatever their background, skills or capabilities.  We aim to ignite a love of learning and recognise that developing firm foundations in early literacy skills are key to a child’s future success.

Reading is at the heart of our curriculum in EYFS, and we strive to develop a love of reading from the very start.  Throughout our curriculum, we aim to expose our pupils to a wide range of books that not only spark a love of reading, but are also carefully chosen to develop oracy, vocabulary and comprehension.

Our provision includes:

  • Themed topic books - carefully chosen texts through which we explore other curriculum areas to enhance learning;
  • A book of the week – carefully selected and a basis through which we explore vocabulary, role-play, reading and writing opportunities;
  • A curiosity cube approach to develop enquiry skills in our pupils and encourage children to apply their oracy, reading and writing skills;
  • A high-quality, fully enabling environment where pupils are able to practise and apply their skills throughout the day;
  • Helicopter stories to develop our pupils’ ability to tell stories orally, and develop their creativity;
  • Brave Writing, where pupils are encouraged to apply new vocabulary;
  • Dedicated phonics sessions incorporating tricky and high-frequency words;
  • A strong emphasis on the modelling, practising and applying correct letter formation;
  • Open-ended tasks and resources, accompanied by quality questioning that ensures learning is inclusive to all and challenges deeper thinking.

Please also see our Early Years page for further information.

Phonics

At Place Farm Primary Academy, we believe that teaching children to read is of upmost importance and that Phonics is fundamental to this journey. We encourage and support our pupils to adopt a DRIVEN attitude as we recognise that learning to read requires a great deal of practice and a ‘Growth Mindset’. We understand that pupils need to be taught the key skills of segmenting and blending in order to be equipped with the knowledge they need to be able to read and write. We also value and encourage our pupils to read for enjoyment and understand that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills. We are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers and are passionate about ensuring that every child who leaves us at the end of Year 6 will see themselves as a reader.

Please see our Phonics Policy for detailed information about the teaching of Phonics.  If you would like any guidance on how to support your child at home with phonics, please contact Mrs Stewart (Interim Phonics Lead).

English at Key Stage 1 and 2

At Place Farm Primary Academy our Literacy curriculum follows the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum in England.

In Key Stage 1 and 2, we teach Reading and Writing using the Unity Schools Partnership Curriculum for Literacy (CUSP).  Please see https://www.unitysp.co.uk/cusp/ for further information.

CUSP is a highly ambitious, carefully considered English curriculum that is firmly rooted in evidence-informed principles.  It carefully maps out core content in Reading and Writing across the Primary years, ensuring that key learning is taught progressively, revisited, consolidated and embedded over time.  Where appropriate, the Literacy curriculum links closely with the wider CUSP curriculum, ensuring that vital links are made between subjects; enhancing and deepening pupils’ learning experiences and improving conceptual fluency.

Reading

CUSP Reading is cohesive and well sequenced, rich in vocabulary and knowledge and encourages pupils to explore and respond to moral, ethical and social questions.  It is designed to be highly aspirational and ambitious, supporting pupils to become confident and skilled readers, equipping them with the knowledge and skills required for future success.

>Built upon the latest research around reading fluency, explicit vocabulary instruction, modelling and key comprehension strategies, it is a synthesis of excellence evidence-informed practice distilled into consistent and carefully planned practice.

Pupils enjoy an in-depth study of carefully selected texts from our literature spine, designed to expose pupils to a breadth of authors, texts, genres and themes.  This is combined with the study of bespoke written extracts, aimed at creating breadth of experiences and building conceptual fluency.

lessons are built around content domains, which are revisited frequently and progressively across a two-week structure to further build conceptual fluency.

Please see our Reading Overview for further information.

Accelerated Reader (Years 2-6)

Alongside the teaching of Reading, we use Accelerated Reader (AR), a computer-based programme, to support and manage children’s independent reading practice.   Children complete a short, low-stakes assessment online (STAR Reading test), which determines what level (ZPD range) they are currently working at.  This then helps the teacher and your child to select books that they can read independently.  These books will be at an appropriate reading level, providing challenge but without being frustrating, therefore allowing pupils to experience enjoyment and success in their quizzes.

Once your child has completed the reading of their book, and they feel that they have understood it well enough to answer questions about it (which may take more than one reading), they will take an online quiz on that book.  Passing the quiz with 85% or more accuracy demonstrates that a child has understood what they have read and they can then choose another book within their ZPD range.

Where appropriate, teachers may choose to direct pupils to explore books outside of their ZPD range, to either further challenge or consolidate a child’s reading comprehension.

Please see the Parents’ Guide to Renaissance for further information on how to support your child with AR.

Reading for Pleasure

At Place Farm Primary Academy, we recognise that the teaching of reading goes well-beyond what is taught in our whole class reading lessons.  We aim for a love of reading and literature to be at the very heart of our ethos and culture and are working hard to achieve this.

Some examples of how we are developing a reading culture at our school include:

  • Engaging with the National Literacy Trust’s Rewarding Futures programme, including becoming a Flagship Library;
  • Enhancing our communal reading spaces to make high-quality literature and comfortable reading environments accessible to all;
  • Dedicated Developing a Love of Reading (DALOR) time to enjoy diverse literature being read aloud;
  • Whole School Reading Assemblies;
  • Free access to our library for all pupils during recreational time in school;
  • Shared stories recorded for use at home
  • Weekly newsletter includes a story for parents to read to their child at home
  • All pupils in school have been provided with a local library card, to enjoy books at home>
  • Every child in school has access to a library book of their choice
  • Well-chosen, high quality texts provided in classrooms for pupils to access
  • Strong links within our community through the role of our Reading for Pleasure Lead and Get Suffolk Reading