The expert in anything was once a beginner
English at Beacon Academy:
English, whether spoken, written or listened to, under-pins all areas of our curriculum and at Beacon Academy our aim is to provide the children with the skills which are essential to participate fully as a member of modern British Society. We do this with a sense of enjoyment and purpose as the children go about their learning by providing a high quality education in English which will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that their ideas and emotions can be communicated to others.
At Beacon, we want to give the children a chance to build a ‘love’ for reading from an early age, which will make them life-long readers. Through this reading, our children are given the opportunities to develop culturally, emotionally, socially and spiritually. We follow the ‘Whole Class Reading’ model, whereby all children have the opportunity to study and discuss the same texts. These quality texts are carefully chosen in order to meet the academic needs of each year group. In order to support the children’s understanding of these quality texts, the children will read a variety of non-fiction texts and answer questions about these. Additional reading opportunities are given to those children who require extra support.
We wish to inspire and encourage the children’s creativity through their writing, whilst underpinning the “basics” of grammar, spelling and punctuation. We use Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’ approach. Talk for Writing is used to teach fiction, non-fiction and poetry through a multi-sensory approach. There are three main stages:
IMITATION – familiarisation
This involves retelling a story or text until it can be told fluently. It also involves analysing the text and understanding the structural and language features.
INNOVATION – adapting the text
This involves using the model from the ‘imitation’ phase and developing the text even further using teachers’ and children’s shared ideas.
INDEPENDENT APPLICATION – creating your own text.
This involves building up a new story or text and applying the features taught throughout the unit to independent writing.
We celebrate national events such as National Poetry Day and World Book Day, and we encourage the children to enter competitions. To enhance their enjoyment of English, we enjoy visits from authors and theatre companies.
The teaching of phonics at Beacon Academy is based on the AET phonics scheme. This is closely aligned with Letters and Sounds and follows the teaching order known as s, a, t, p, i, n. We use a teaching sequence that includes revisiting and reviewing previous teaching (to embed it). When introducing new knowledge and skills we provide opportunities for children to: practise phonics knowledge and skills, apply their phonics and to consolidate their learning.
Through daily teaching, children learn the letter/sound correspondences that make up the English language. They learn to blend sounds together in order to read words, and they learn to segment (separate) the sounds in words in order to spell. These skills are taught rigorously and systematically and children are encouraged to apply their developing, blending and segmenting skills to fiction and non-fiction reading and writing across the curriculum. Phonemes are taught in a specific developmental order with opportunities for links to be made between sounds and for anomalies to be identified. In Nursery, children take part in a range of activities both independent and adult led with embedded listening skills so that pupils move confidently through the next 5 stages (Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4a, Stage 4b).
Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 all receive daily phonics lessons and are assessed regularly to ensure progress. Key Stage 2 reinforce phonic knowledge through daily spellings and grammar sessions.