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Eskdale Junior School

Think like a...Reader and Writer!


Our curriculum is underpinned by our five core values, supporting pupil's academic and personal development, making learning and knowledge gain meaningful, developing a pupil’s character and preparing them to be successful Eskdalers, now and in the future. The Eskdale Reading and Writing Journey (think like a reader…..think like a writer) begins with immersion in good quality texts, moves though to pupils planning, writing and editing their own writing and ends with them evaluating and celebrating their written achievements. By introducing pupils to the idea of our ‘Think like a….’ approach to their learning, it enables them to become a little more ‘expert’ in both written and oral language by:

*communicating clearly, learning through discussion, elaborating on, and explaining their understanding and ideas.

*being competent speakers and listeners, able to formally present their knowledge, demonstrate their understanding and debate key issues, showing an increasing awareness that speaking and listening are the building blocks to successful writing.

*developing a firm phonic knowledge to decode unfamiliar words (segment and blend) with automaticity, providing a firm foundation for increasing accuracy, fluency, reading speed and stamina.

*reading rich, varied and diverse texts using appropriate expression, intonation and understanding (considering audience and purpose), nurturing a life-long love and real appreciation for the wealth of literature on offer, past and present.

*reading widely and often, both fiction and non-fiction for enjoyment and deepening understanding, able to apply English skills and knowledge throughout all areas of our curriculum.

*writing competently and cohesively, in and for, a range of genres, contexts, purposes and audiences, adapting their style and use of language appropriately.

*using their increasing knowledge of punctuation, grammar and spelling rules (SPAG) alongside a deepening understanding of phonics and an expanding, rich and ambitious vocabulary (both 2 and 3 tier) to develop the skills of reading, writing and spoken language.

At Eskdale we teach Reading and Writing using Curriculum by Unity Schools Partnership (CUSP).CUSP is an evidence informed, carefully sequenced English curriculum that complies with both the National Curriculum 2014 and the more recent Reading Framework (July 2023), mapping substantive knowledge (for reading, texts and their contexts, for writing the rules of language, terminology and transcription) and disciplinary knowledge (for reading, how to read, interpret and analyse text and for writing how to compose text types), key concepts and core learning in Reading and Writing across our key stage 2 journey, ensuring that learning is taught and revisited over time so that pupils commit their understanding to their long-term memory.

‘Think like a reader, behave like a writer…’ Our reading curriculum is deliberately designed to be ambitious and aspirational, ensuring that every child leaves our school as a competent, confident reader. Drawing on the latest research around explicit vocabulary instruction, reading fluency and key comprehension strategies, this curriculum is a synthesis of what we know works in helping children make outstanding progress in reading and a distillation into consistent, well-structured practice. Our pupils receive a daily diet of excellent reading teaching, supplemented by regular opportunities to engage with shared reading experiences, promoting the joy of reading with the whole school community. The clear structure and principles ensure that teaching is progressive, challenging and engaging and the rich, diverse literature spine acts as both a mirror so that every child can see themselves in the core texts and an opportunity to engage pupils with experiences beyond their own field of reference.

As a school, we use the DfE validated Phonics International programme by Debbie Hepplewhite, to teach phonics. This rigorous and systematic approach develops children’s accuracy, fluency and confidence, building upon the No Nonsense Phonics programme (also by Debbie Hepplewhite) that our feeder infant school advocates. As part of this programme, our children read decodable reading texts in school as well as a familiar, decodable reading book to share at home to further develop fluency and confidence. These books are closely matched to the phonemes/graphemes (code) that children are being taught, provides the opportunity to apply their knowledge in practice to develop a sense of reading independence and is systematically reviewed. All pupils also choose a Reading for Pleasure book to share in school with an adult or Reading Buddy, or at home with parents/carers.

Think like a writer, behave like a reader…’ Eskdale’s writing curriculum draws on taught content from the in-depth study of core texts from the literature spine. Expert subject knowledge is carefully woven into each writing module which gives teachers the opportunity to teach, rehearse and revisit key concepts, knowledge and skills before applying this learning to meaningful extended outcomes. The careful architecture of this curriculum ensures that pupils build on prior learning and maximise purposeful cross- curricular connections to become writers for life. Punctuation and grammar is taught directly within the context of the CUSP curriculum and pupils receive separate spelling lessons linked to and building upon their phonic skills and knowledge.

The transcription element of writing is addressed throughout key stage 2 allowing pupils to build upon their letter formation skills to develop speed, fluency and increasingly high standards of presentation using accurately joined neat handwriting, when they are ready to do so

Interwoven through all of this is oracy. At Eskdale, we provide our children with a real reason for purposeful talk both during teaching sessions and within Book Talk and Library Time, where children talk, orally rehearse their ideas, discuss, explore, predict, explain and come to their own conclusions. Across the curriculum, adults model this, demonstrating the use of enriched vocabulary, enabling our pupils to develop and practice these skills with others.

Using the process model of Connect/APK, Explain, Example, Attempt, Apply/Challenge, English is delivered through our method of teaching (pedagogy) which incorporates meta-cognitive strategies to enable all pupils to retain the learning of knowledge. This is typically applied by:

· Activating Prior Knowledge

· Small step teaching delivery

· Independent practice

· Feedback

How we adapt the English Curriculum for SEND Pupils

As part of our quality first approach to teaching, we use a range of strategies to support SEND pupils to access the English curriculum. The document below details examples of the adaptations that are made to support pupils in class.

Year 6: Reading Standard Attainment Tests (SATs):

- Tests children's understanding and application of the skills taught in the primary curriculum

- Carried out in school, in May

- Performed on paper to a time limit

- Reported to parents and carers in the child's end of year 6 report

- School performance data published on a national level

- Results passed on to secondary schools

Year 6: Writing Teacher Assessment:

- Assesses children's application of the skills taught in the primary curriculum

- Carried out in school, in June

- Outcomes moderated by the local authority every 4 years

- Reported to parents and carers in the child's end of year 6 report

- School performance data published on a national level

- Results passed on to secondary schools