[lg policy] Language Policy: The Waterloo School

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jul 20 15:10:59 UTC 2012

Language Policy

The Waterloo School

(abbreviations used include

NLS = National Literacy Strategy

IEP = Individual Education Plan

EBD = Emotional & Behavioural Difficulties

OHP = Overhead Projector

KS1/KS2 = Key Stages

ICT = Information & Communication Technology)


Teaching and Learning the English Language is given high priority at
the Waterloo School.  The school is well resourced and has been
successful in implementing the National Literacy Strategy.  The
children are enthusiastic about books and reading.  Currently the
school wishes to continue this work as well as seeking to develop
children’s writing.  The development of good speaking and listening
skills is also vital for children with emotional and behavoiural
difficulties, giving the children the tools to express themselves, to
communicate effectively, participate in group work and extend and
sometimes replace existing vocabulary with richer scripts.  Access to
literature (as with the arts in general) can supplement children’s
experience, resonate on an emotional level and at times help them to
make sense of the world.

In line with the National Curriculum (1999 QCA) the Waterloo School
underlines the importance of all pupils’ education in English in the
areas defined as follows;

En 1 Speaking


Group Discussion and Interaction


Standard English

Language Variation

En 2 Reading

Which includes;

Reading Strategies (phonemic awareness and phonic knowledge, word
recognition and graphic knowledge, grammatical awareness and
contextual understanding).

+KS2 Understanding texts

Reading for Information


+KS2 Non fiction & non-literary texts

Language Structure and Variation

En3 Writing

Which includes;


Planning & Drafting



Handwriting & Presentation

Standard English

Language Structure

Aims and Objectives

The specific aims for teaching language are clearly set out in the
National Curriculum (1999) and the national Literacy Strategy.  We
feel it would be inappropriate to try to summarise or paraphrase them

Current priorities for children identified by staff include the following;

-	developing listening skills

-	improving handwriting and presentation of work

-	enriching and increasing vocabulary

-	planning and completing structured writing

-	improving spelling

-	accessing strategies to aid literacy

-	expressing opinions

-	distinguishing opinions, facts, inference

-	tailoring work for an audience

-	research skills

-	writing grammatically correct sentences

-	valuing work (use of display etc.)

-	reading for understanding

-	developing drama

-	reading; editing; improving work.

We seek to achieve these aims as follows:

•	We aim to use the Literacy House model at least four times a week
with the possibility of on day being devoted to ensuring the full
requirements of the National Curriculum are met in the following

Speaking and Listening


Creative & Extended Writing


ICT Work etc.

•	We aim to use carefully designed, individualised targets on IEP’s to
plan for each child’s programme and progress.  IEP targets for
attainment in English will relate to target-setting (in assessment
folders) and should provide a structure for Governors to monitor

•	We aim to link the teaching of English to other Curriculum Areas so
that the children may develop skills and grow in knowledge in
meaningful contexts.  We strive to help children who may feel
disorientated and disconnected to make connections in their learning.

•	We aim to emphasis the teaching of reading with a richness of
methods including shared and guided reading as outlined in the
National Literacy Strategy but also silent reading, development of
reading buddies and paired reading with other classes.  We aim to hear
each child read at least once a week.  We then change their books and
send books and and reading records home with an appropriate written
comment on the child’s progress in this area.  We will encourage
parents/guardians to hear their children read at home and in turn give
written feedback to school (while acknowledging that this is not
always possible, given the domestic circumstances of some of the

•	We aim to develop a love of literature (including poetry and plays)
by exploring the range of texts suggested in the NLS, encouraging
participation in drama and the children’s own creative writing, and
attempting to evoke a response by sharing great literature.

•	We are working towards ensuring each class has an attractive book
area and writing area (KS1) which may encourage the children’s
independent reading and writing skills.

•	We endeavour to discuss and map individual progress with colleagues
in this and other schools to ensure good communication of vital
information, smooth transfer for a child between provision/classes,
and above all to attempt to provide a coherent experience of learning
language for each child.

•	We aim to ensure that child’s programme takes into account the whole
picture i.e. all relevant documentation (SEN Statement, IEP’s,
information from home and from various services for example).  This is
especially important for children at The Waterloo School, as EBD have
a significant impact on the children’s learning.  While the NLS
encourages all schools to try to teach to the appropriate year and
term for each child, this is not always possible and staff strives to
establish where children are in their learning before planning an
appropriate programme.  Here the importance of careful target setting
and review (with at least one detailed literacy target on each child’s
IEP) cannot be overstated.

•	While targets set will challenge individual children, they also need
to be practical, measurable, attainable and realistic.  For example,
if a child in Red Class does not recognise a single letter, a more
appropriate starting point might be the Early Learning Goals and
Baseline Assessment.  In this as in other areas, it is important that
the children experience success as this boosts their self esteem and
may serve to develop a deep and lifelong love of language.
Teaching Styles and Strategies

There are helpful suggestions in the NLS…

We aim to use teaching styles which are:






And Strategies such as











Listening & Responding

Related Areas


Please see separate guidance

Library Skills

Please refer to the documents published by HCC SLS “Library Skills and
the National Literacy Strategy” for KS1 & KS2.



Big Books and other Texts to fulfil NLS range = Now class based

Literacy Links

School Library

Literacy Bay (books by various authors as well as a selection of
scheme readers; fuzzbuzz, Wellington Square, Storychest…)

Internet access and access to programmes in ICT Suite.

In-Class Resources

Reading Area for each class, stocked with a suitable range of books.

Writing materials for each class.

Access to a computer(s), TV, video, tape recorder, OHP for each class.

Various resources needed for individual children (e.g. for children
with a Specific Learning Difficulty….magnetic letters, jigsaws,
flashcards, sound lotto, etc. etc.)

Props for Drama.

Word Books, bookbags, Word Banks, Reading Records, Discs to store/port
personal work.

Bookmaking Materials.

Spelling Scheme/spelling test

N.B.  The quality of books should be monitored by all staff of the
school.  The school strives to stock books which do not portray
stereotyping of race/gender/class.  Displays around the school often
reflect the children’s interest in books.

Equal Opportunities

Our ethos of equal opportunities underpins all guidelines.  We aim to
give all pupils an equal opportunity to learn, regardless of race,
religion, language or gender.  We endeavour to offer a broad and rich
curriculum, ensuring that it is of relevance to all the children,
whatever their cultural background.


Assessment records (including results of reading tests) are kept in
each child’s assessment folder.  (Please see Assessment Co-ordinator
for details).

At the end of each Key Stage, children sit Standardised Assessment
Tests or Tasks (where appropriate) and results are reported to

Many classes have a weekly spelling test.  Each child has a Spelling
Assessment (new test) once a year.

Reading Tests include BPVS (beginning readers), Salford, Macmillan,
Neale Analysis.  Liaison with the Assessment Co-ordinator is essential
to ensure the correct tests are administered as appropriate intervals.

Each child has a Speaking & Listening Assessment in the summer term.

Copies of assessments should be placed in the Assessment section for each child.

The Reading Record can prove very valuable as an indicator of a
child’s progress in reading (at home and in school).

Where possible, colleagues will discuss ways of marking work to ensure
consistency.  (please see marking policy).


This policy will be monitored by the Governors of the Waterloo School.
 On a practical level, the co-ordinator will monitor the following

-	Reading Records

-	Examples of Writing

-	Use of Resources

-	Reading/Writing Environments in Class

-	IEP Targets Relating to Literacy

-	Display Work and Assembly Work relating to this area

-	Current Priorities

Agreed by Governors:

Review Date:


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