English is when we learn to speak, read and write using the correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.
At Birchfield, we teach English through high-quality, engaging texts that are embedded into our topics. We aim to create a love of both reading and writing, to inspire learning and motivate all of our children. Specific skills from our curriculum are taught, rehearsed and then applied independently to build a community of enthusiastic readers and dedicated writers.
English Curriculum Resources
At Birchfield, we follow the Read Write Inc scheme to teach phonics from Reception through to Year 2. The children are assessed so that we can fully understand their sound knowledge in relation to the progressive scheme requirements and grouped accordingly. Year 1 & 2 children are mixed and work in small groups with an adult and the same system is followed across Reception. The scheme follows a synthetic phonic based approach with reading and writing based on a decoable book linked to the focus sound and the sounds the children have already acquired. The letters and sounds are introduced through a rhyme e.g. "ea – cup of tea."
Spellings are set for each group and link both to the focus sounds and already acquired sounds of each group and the 2014 National Curriculum. Children who have exceeded the scheme follow a similar approach using age appropriate books and looking at spelling patterns and spelling choices.
At Birchfield, we teach writing in a context, through high-quality, engaging texts that are embedded into our wider topics. Specific skills and knowledge from our curriculum are explicitly taught. They are modelled, rehearsed and then applied independently to build both knowledge and skill whilst developing a love of writing. We explore different purposes of writing and how we write for different audiences in a range of different genres. Through our disciplinary knowledge, we focus on the preparation stages of writing in the planning and skill rehearsal before drafting, editing and sharing our writing. Our substantive knowledge is split into key elements: handwriting, punctuation, grammar and spelling. Furthermore, we regularly assess our children's writing through independent application and thorough assessment procedures that allow us to clearly identify the children's strenghts in writing, alongside areas for development. This is an area of our curriculum that we have recently developed to ensure progression and a writing curriculum that reflects the needs and interests of our children at Birchfield.
At Birchfield, we believe that every child is a reader. We teach our children to read using a progressive, systematic phonic approach and learning key common exception words. Whilst the children work through our phonics system, they read decodable books that are directly linked to the sounds that they know. Once the children have become confident readers and are phonetically-secure, they join the Accelerated Reader scheme and are able to choose their own books from the library, within allocated colour bandings. Once they have finished a book, the children take an Accelerated Reader quiz and change their book.
The children are rewarded for the amount of times they read at home, or for how many quizzes they take or how many words they have read. This is monitored by our teachers. We encourage the children to read books of their own and to develop a love of reading. Our teachers are experts in their book knowledge too and are always on hand to direct children to their next, exciting text.
Recently, we have been working on developing our Reading Spine. This is a selection of carefully-selected texts that are guaranteed reads for our children whilst at Birchfield. We have chosen them based on what our children need whilst considering how we can ensure that all of our children hear and experience a range of high-quality texts. You can view our Reading Spine below.
Reading Curriculum Statement