The national curriculum sets out the following aims:
- Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- Are competent in the art of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
At Acorns, these aims are met by daily reading sessions with pupils reading texts which are relevant to their current reading age and give a degree of challenge in order for them to progress in their reading ability. The system used across the whole of the Woodlands Centre is called Accelerated reading and has been proven to engage pupils in the reading process and therefore encourage steady progress in pupils’ ability, not only to mechanically read but also to comprehend texts and use the vocabulary they have learnt in their own writing. Fiction and non-fiction texts are discussed as a class and investigated individually using comprehension.
Class discussions also enable a greater level of understanding to be reached and the opportunity is taken to pool ideas and use structures to complete writing tasks such as extended story writing, writing poetry – individually and as a group, finding information within extracts, group reading books and whole class activities.
Pupils are encouraged to research independently using extracts, reference books and the internet. This information is used by them to inform presentations to show their understanding of a topic, or a viewpoint for debating.
Pupils in year 6 take the KS2 SATs in English, including comprehension, extended writing, grammar, punctuation and spelling.