Vision: To develop articulate and imaginative pupils who develop a lifelong passion for language, literature and communication in all its forms. Our goal, at Castle Bromwich Junior School, is to ignite a flame within our children, a burning desire to communicate, to teach others, to learn more about language and literature. Children who attend Castle Bromwich Junior School should leave us with a strong appreciation of both the spoken and the written word.
At CBJS, we have a one text approach to our English units. At CBJS, the children experience a rich and diverse range of English lessons per week, some for writing, some for reading and some for spelling and grammar.
To teach reading, we use Shared Reading where a shared text is read with the whole class. The text chosen is a quality text with rich content but also chosen for enjoyment.
Over the course of a week, children will have the experience: a decoding session, a “Book Talk” session and will be taught a minimum of one reading skill, followed by an opportunity to independently apply this skill to a comprehension activity. In a “Book Talk” session, the class teacher demonstrates and teaches the children to read fluently and promotes a love of reading through discussing likes and dislikes and modelling being a reader. Through this session, the children are also questioned about the text carefully to check understanding and develop their comprehension skills. In the decoding session, staff focus on teaching strategies to support children to decode unfamiliar words. Over two, short sharp session, the children learn, practice and apply reading skills. In the first session, the children are taught a reading skill and are aurally questioned to develop understanding. In the second session, the children independently apply their new learning to a comprehension to develop comprehension skills. Decoding and questioning are extremely important skills for the pupils to develop.
The reading that the children do in their lessons supports the writing which they produce. All the writing lessons are carefully matched to the reading done in class and the genres chosen link with what they have read. For example, if a child had read about the character of Matilda, they may write a diary entry in role as Matilda.
Each week, the children have four sessions of Spelling. We follow our own scheme for spelling, ensuring that the children learn the rules and patterns for their year group, as well as a number of exception words. A spelling unit is completed over a week and spelling words are recorded in a spelling zapper to be practised at home. The CBJS scheme follows this structure:
Session 1: Revisit, Explain, Use
Session 2: Teach, Model, Define
Session 3: Practice, Explore, Investigate
Session 4: Apply, Assess, Reflect
Each rule is also revisited across a two year period as the scheme is designed in a cyclic pattern, enabling children to develop retention of rules and patterns.
Grammar is also taught through writing lessons to ensure that it is purposeful and the children contextualise this learning.
Also, staff are required to carry out a weekly handwriting session addressing a specific skill or pattern.
Children also experience cold comprehensions to enable them to independently apply skills they have learnt from comprehension sessions. This is carried out weekly in year 6 and, as a minimum expectation, fortnightly in years 3 to 5.
To recap and to add to how to support your child with English at home:
Together, in partnership, staff, parents and children alike, we strive towards our common vision.