English at Al-Furqan
At Al-Furqan Primary School, we are passionate about delivering high quality teaching and learning of English. We are committed to helping children develop the necessary skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively with the world at large, through spoken and written language. A love of Reading for Pleasure is at the heart of our curriculum, and we promote and emphasise this by exposing our children to a rich variety of carefully chosen literature in daily whole class reading sessions, our English units and our class reading corners.
Each English unit always begins with a high quality text to encourage and enthuse children to write for different purposes. Every year group follows the National Curriculum expectations for grammar, punctuation and spelling. These strands are woven into each unit of work, to ensure that children produce excellent writing outcomes.
Teaching and Learning
At Al-Furqan, we employ a variety of teaching and learning approaches in our daily English lessons in order to meet the varied needs of all our pupils. Our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding through engaging lessons as well as fostering a love of English and language and an enjoyment of learning. Key Stages 1 and 2 we do this through lessons in which children experience a range of speaking and listening, reading or writing activities though focused word or sentence activities, guided group work and independent activities. We seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for children of all abilities by matching the challenge of the task to the child. Staff have high expectations that all children can achieve their full potential. Teaching Assistants work alongside teachers supporting targeted ability groups, specific individuals or groups of children.
Children are assigned termly individual targets in reading and writing to personalise their learning and help them identify their next steps for learning.
Curriculum Organisation and Planning
In EYFS and Key Stages 1 and 2, the English curriculum is planned around Power of Reading (CLPE) programmes of study. This programme focuses on ensuring best practice in the whole class teaching of English and is based on the foundation of a whole school culture that values and fosters the importance of reading for pleasure
The programmes’ core principals are:
Throughout the school we also attempt to make connections (where possible) between English and the wider curriculum through choice of text studied or writing tasks selected. These cross-curricular writing opportunities develop the children’s awareness of audience, purpose and effect, whilst also continuing to develop their writing skills in wider contexts.
At Al-Furqan, English in Early Years is based upon the Early Years Statutory Framework strands of Communication and Language and Literacy. Developing communication, language and literacy depends on learning and being competent in a number of key skills together with having the confidence, opportunity and support to use them. This area of learning includes communication, trying out new vocabulary, speaking and listening in different situations and for different purposes, being read to from a wide range of books, reading simple texts independently and writing for a variety of purposes.
Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling and Handwriting
Speaking and Listening
At Al-Furqan, we believe that spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing, therefore we endeavour to provide many creative opportunities for spoken language through oral and verbal opportunities, drama, modelling of prosody in Reading Practice sessions and visual literacy. Staff converse with children in Standard English and provide a vocabulary rich environment and culture within classrooms in order to equip children with appropriate language skills which can be applied to and help them succeed in all areas of the curriculum.
Year 2 and KS2
Once children have moved beyond phonics and into Key Stage 2, the teaching of reading builds on the foundations laid in Reception and Key Stage 1. Guided Reading sessions take place regularly and focus on the key reading skills laid down in the content domains including: inference, retrieval, vocabulary and prediction. Children may also read aloud around the class to strengthen their fluency.
Each week, children at Al-Furqan take home:
• a fully decodable Big Cat Phonics reading practice book matched to your child’s phonic stage that they can read independently (EYFS and Y1). This book has been matched to the phonemes that children know and contains only words which the child can sound out and blend (phonetically decodable). You might therefore think that it is too easy but remember that It is your role to build confidence and fluency. You need to listen with interest and, most importantly, to encourage and praise, enthusiastically acknowledging the child’s achievement (even if, at the early stages, this is only small). If your child becomes stuck on a word, read it to them. Do not ask them to look at the pictures for clues or use the words around it to guess what it might be. After the child has read the book, it would be helpful to talk about the book. This should be a celebration of their success as a reader.
• a book of their choice from the class library which parents can share with them or which they will read independently. If children are to become lifelong readers, it is essential that they are encouraged to read for pleasure. The desire of wanting to read will help with the skill of reading. Your child will bring a book home that they can share and enjoy with you. Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, discuss the words to extend their vocabulary, explore the facts in a non-fiction book. The main thing is that you have fun! We encourage parents and carers to talk to children about their reading.
Children also take home a Reading Diary which parents and carers are asked to sign (with comments where possible) when they have read with children.
Reading for Pleasure
Research shows that children who enjoy reading achieve more highly right across the curriculum. Developing a love of reading is one of the most effective ways a school can raise attainment. Success in reading can improve national test results in all areas but, more importantly, it also sets children up as readers for life, with all the accompanying benefits that follow. Here at Al-Furqan, we are passionate about our Reading for Pleasure ethos and our aim is for all pupils to become life-long reader. We have a commitment to enabling pupils to access high quality texts by classic and contemporary children’s authors and refresh our class book corners regularly to facilitate this.
Reading for Pleasure/ Storytime
In addition to daily English lessons, we have timetabled Reading for Pleasure sessions where children can read independently, share books, make recommendations and engage in book talk.
Reading aloud to children is an effective way of encouraging them to read independently and reinforces the pleasure in sharing a story. In Storytime sessions, teachers share a book with pupils – it might be by the Author of the Half Term, a book connected to the curriculum or a title that children have voted to hear themselves.
CLPE Power of Reading
At Al-Furqan, we base our reading curriculum and planning around high quality texts from contemporary children’s authors who have been selected by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education – please see English section of website for more information.
Class Libraries/Book Corners
Each classroom has a dedicated class library in where fiction, non-fiction, magazines, comics and graphic novels are displayed in a relaxing space where children can take time to choose their own reader. Titles from the Author of the Half Term are also available. Children are encouraged to lend their voice to their book corners by providing reviews and recommendations. There are numerous book-themed displays both inside classrooms and in corridors featuring contemporary titles to attract pupils and every class and office door advertises the book which its occupants are currently enjoying.
Classes vote annually for a book that they would like to receive as a gift from school to add to their home libraries.
Secondary School Reading Buddies
Pupils from a local secondary school visit Al-Furqan weekly to read and share books with children in Year 4.
Competitions, Book fairs and World Book Day
Throughout the year at Al-Furqan, we run competitions and events to promote a love of reading. On World Book Day in March, we encourage children to dress up as a character from one of the Power of Reading titles which they have read in English lessons.
We are very excited to have a brand new library here at Al-Furqan. School Council were involved in the design and it has been stocked with a wide range of quality titles by contemporary children's authors. Our library is a welcoming place which pupils visit regularly to select and borrow books, share a recommendation with a friend but most of all, to enjoy some dedicated time to get stuck into a good book.
U. Patricia and U. Farzana are currently compiling a list of recommended quality texts appropriate for each year group to help parents and children select books successfully from the wide range currently available.
The information provided by this website on book recommendations is for guidance only. Please browse and select books which are appropriate for your child(ren). Click here to view the website.