English Vision Statement
At New Mill Infant and Junior Schools, we believe that the skills of English and
communication are at the centre of learning. We strive for children to learn and develop
confident communication skills that enables access to and supports all learning across the curriculum.
At New Mill we place high value on the importance of speaking and listening skills and believe that kind, courteous, polite conversation underpin all learning. With this in mind, we aim to broaden the vocabulary that children are exposed to through reading and encourage children to rehearse the use of language through drama or other speaking and listening activities before finally demonstrating understanding of that vocabulary in their writing.
Without good reading skills it is hard to access other areas of the curriculum and reading is therefore an essential skill. We believe that children should be immersed in reading throughout the school day and time should be given over to whole class reading, group or individual reading opportunities and time to enjoy listening to adults reading. Books are carefully chosen after consideration of individual texts and authors to ensure breadth and quality of teaching. Through this children will see the enjoyment of reading and become lifelong book worms. A skill that will enable immersion into any and every other area of the
Without good writing skills children cannot communicate what they know and have understood. Therefore it is essential that we provide our pupils with the ability to write neatly and concisely to effectively communicate their ideas. To enable this we ensure that children are given exciting and inspiring materials and topics that they are keen to write about. Stimulus for writing can come from books, videos, pictures or real life issues. Handwriting is a focus from the very beginning of a child’s school career and this focus latterly delivers when the children’s written work is clear and legible enabling others to read their work. Good presentation skills are important as we want children to value their own work and for others to do the same. Building on the collection of vocabulary enables children to understand that their word choice and style are important to establish the meaning they want to convey. These skills are never more important than in exams where every child will need to demonstrate understanding in any subject in written form and so impacts on all areas of the curriculum.
Good phonics and spelling skills are crucial to being able to develop those reading and writing skills and therefore they are prioritised appropriately. Segmenting and blending are at the heart of reading and writing. See below for information regading the phonics scheme we use.
Knowing spelling patterns and rules are essential to being able to use the English language. Children need to know that inconsistencies in their spelling can lead to misunderstanding of what they wanted to write and convey to their reader.
Little Wandle Phonics
At Newmill, we use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP).
This is a fully comprehensive programme where children start learning single letter sounds in the autumn term of their Reception year and it builds in progression throughout EYFS and Year One, preparing children for the statutory phonics screening that takes place at the end of year 1.
Phonics is taught every day and children learn to apply their phonics skills in reading practise sessions 3 times a week, developing their fluency and comprehension skills along the way.
Here is the link to the 'For Parents' section of the Little Wandle website. https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/
Following the principals from the Jane Considine's Spelling approach from Year 2 onwards, teaching consists of a combination of investigations and short activities. These activities explore and revisit spelling rules and statutory spellings for each phase. Teachers teach spelling for fifty minutes per week on a 2 week cycle- see below for more information.
Although this approach moves away from a weekly spelling test, teachers will ask children to quick write the 'Go Grapheme Grafters' words from the previous week. This focuses on 15 spellings that the children focus on over each 2 week cycle. Teachers link these to Spelling Shed as part of an interactive way of the children practising spelling the words however they are discussed in class on an ongoing basis.
Spelling is taught in two weekly blocks, with the focus of each week below.
Children are given 5 x 10 minute daily activities that revisit a wide range of strategies/ patterns / rules that enable children to make connections between words. Children complete these activities at the back of the book.
The Write Stuff
To enable our children to write effectively and coherently we teach Writing using 'The Write Stuff' approach by Jane Considine. This approach is used from Reception to Year 6 and allows children to apply basic skills, vocabulary and grammar knowledge to write effective sentences, which are full of impact and keep the reader interested. 'The Write Stuff' brings clarity to the mechanics of teaching writing. It is introduced though the 'Writing Rainbow', using the three zones of writing:
From 'The Writing Rainbow', lenses are used to support children within their writing journey and to ensure that all children can use them in context as they move through school.
As part of the teaching sequence, teachers plan experience days; sentence stacking lessons and independent writing sequences. Experience days immerse children in experiences linked to their writing and drench them in vocabulary linked to the lenses.
Sentence stacking lessons include effective demonstration writing from the teacher and the writing of high-quality sentences using the rainbow. Children are also given the opportunity to 'Deepen The Moment' and add more to their writing using a lense of their choice.
Independent writing sequences give children the opportunity to showcase everything they've learnt in their experience days and sentence stacking lessons. They are given the opportunity to apply everything they have learnt through a process of planning, writing and editing their work.
English Unit Plans
New Mill School Writing Overview
New Mill School Reading Overview
New Mill Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar Overview
KS1 Reading/Phonics Parent Meeting 2022
KS1 Reading/Phonics/Spelling Parent Meeting 2022
WORLD BOOK DAY 2023
Staff and children celebrated World Book Day 2023 by dressing up as their favourite book characters and focusing on poetry and illustrators. We had a fantastic day!
At New Mill we are passionate about reading and recently purchased a huge amount of brand new books, new and classics, for the children to enjoy! Our Year 6 have the very important job of being librarians to keep our lovely book area organised and tidy.
Year 6 Poetry
A pupil in Year 6 wrote this wonderful poem as part of their WW2 topic. Very talented members of his family then put music to the lyrics and recorded a beautiful song. We are so lucky that they have kindly given us permission to share this with you all....