My name is Miss Heath and I am the leader of English at Laycock Primary School.
I love English because I am a bookworm and always have been! In fact, some of my best memories of primary school are of the books that were read to me by my teachers: ESIO TROT and Stig of the Dump were my favourites. I want every pupil in our school to discover books and stories that they love. English is a subject that gives you the chance to use your imagination, to find your voice and to tell your own stories. Who knows, maybe the next J K Rowling, or David Walliams is a pupil here at Laycock.
Seeing your amazing work always makes my day so if you are feeling proud of your English, ask your teacher if you can show it to me.
The English curriculum at Laycock Primary will transform children’s lives through the power of the spoken and the written word. We will ensure that pupils leave our school with the language, the skills and the passion to communicate with confidence and to achieve their goals. Whatever their individual starting points, learners will be guided to make excellent progress in English and to maximise their potential. Children who are deaf will follow Laycock’s creative curriculum for English and will be taught using strategies and learning materials that match their particular needs.
Teachers at Laycock plan exciting reading and writing units that challenge and enthuse our learners. The technical aspects of the subject are delivered with creativity and energy so that children always know what they are learning in English and why it is important. We work with partners in the local community and beyond to provide access to a wide variety of texts and experiences; these are used to stimulate the imagination and inspire writing outcomes. Reading material in our school is carefully chosen to reflect realities in terms of gender, ethnic representation and diversity.
Children at Laycock will develop a love for reading that will broaden their horizons and equip them with the tools to access all other curriculum areas. Pupils will learn to write for real audiences and purposes through engaging, cross-curricular writing opportunities. Our children will visit the theatre; they will meet authors and storytellers; they will take part in national events and competitions. During their time at the school, pupils will have many opportunities to perform and publish in their own right. As they mature, Laycock learners will discuss, debate and write on topics and themes that are relevant to their lives. This will give them the knowledge and the voice to build bright futures.
Children at Laycock are taught to write though exciting cross-curricular English lessons that are linked to their driver subject. Over their time in the school, pupils learn to recognise and use the features of key writing genres, for example: story, letter, diary, explanation, balanced argument and many more. Wherever possible, children at Laycock write for a real audience and purpose so that they are motivated to do their best work for a real reader.
For each unit of work, children will being with a Cold Write and then end with a Hot Write so that they can see how much they have learnt along the way.
Here at Laycock we follow the Letter-Join scheme of work to teach our pupils a fluent and legible, cursive handwriting style. This approach is designed to ensure that students reach the standard expected at the end of each key stage. Letter-Join is a fun and interactive programme that combines traditional handwriting tasks with an exciting digital platform. Children across the school will have 2-3 short handwriting lessons a week, plus regular opportunities to practise their skills across the curriculum.
From the Early Years, children are taught to ‘lead in’ and ‘lead out’ of each letter so that they are able to join quickly and efficiently as soon as they are ready to do so. Here are the individual letters and the joins so that you can practise with your child at home:
Effort and achievement in handwriting is rewarded through ‘Improved Presentation’ and ‘Perfect Presentation’ stickers:
From Year 2, children can also earn a pen licence. This shows that they have met the handwriting standard for their year group and are allowed to use a handwriting pen in their English and Curriculum work.
In the Early Years and Key Stage One, children at Laycock are taught strategies for spelling through their daily Read Write Inc Phonics lesson. Please see our separate phonics page for more information: https://laycock.islington.sch.uk/learning/curriculum/phonics-2/
In Key Stage One, children are also taught to spell the Common Exception Words as specified in the National Curriculum. Children will have weekly spellings to practise at home.
As children move into Key Stage Two, they begin a structured programme of spelling lessons in order to learn the spelling patters and rules as specified in the National Curriculum. Children in Key Stage Two have weekly spelling to practise at home which will cover the spelling patterns and rules as well as the statutory word lists for Y3/Y4 and Y5/Y6:
As they progress through the school, Laycock learners are taught the vocabulary, grammar and punctuation objectives, as set out in the National Curriculum. Wherever possible, these concepts are taught within the context of a writing lesson, so that children learn to use these skills with purpose and for effect.