English

Intent: 

It is our intention when teaching the English Curriculum that our pupils acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to become lifelong learners and linguists. We strive to ensure that all our pupils receive a well-rounded learning experience when reading, writing, speaking and listening which will equip them with the fundamental tools to achieve in school and beyond. It is our intention to immerse pupils in the wonders of quality texts to instill a love for reading, a passion for discovery and a confidence to explore their imagination.

English is a core subject of the National Curriculum and a prerequisite for educational and social progress as it underpins the work undertaken in all other areas of the curriculum. The acquisition of language skills is of the utmost importance and therefore the teaching of all aspects English is given a high priority within school. Confidence in basic language skills enables children to communicate creatively and imaginatively, preparing them for their future journey through education and beyond.

Our intentions:

  • to ensure that every child becomes a reader, a writer and confident speaker by the time they leave Primary School.
  • To promote and instill a love for reading, writing and high-quality literature into pupils at all ages.
  • To derive an English curriculum which is sequences to develop the acquisition of knowledge and skills. 

 

Implementation:

Our English curriculum is derived around a sequence of high quality age-appropriate texts. We use each book to create opportunities to develop reading fluency and comprehension with a focus on key reading strategies and skills; develop grammar and punctuation knowledge and understanding to use and apply across the wider curriculum; explore the writing structure and features of different genres, identify the purpose and audience; plan and write an initial piece of writing with a clear context and purpose before evaluating the effectiveness of writing by editing and redrafting. There is a focus on building up writing skills with purpose and intent with grammar and punctuation skills being taught specifically towards a writing focus.

We endeavour to ensure we provide our pupils with a 'language rich' environment; we do this with carefully chosen class texts, carefully planned reading corners where authors are shared and celebrated, with weekly reading assemblies where the whole school come together to “read for pleasure” . In our library we ensure we have a wide range of texts displayed, to correlate with our wider curriculum. Currently our library is being developed with books being catalogued to ensure that school leaders can evaluate its use and ensure that new stock meets the demands and pupils needs. We work closely with a range of book fairs in raising the profile of reading to ensure we share the importance of reading with our parents, carers and wider community. Within our classrooms, we explore ambitious vocabulary across the wider curriculum to ensure we acquire an understanding of tricky language across the wider curriculum through the use of our knowledge organisers and working walls. 

We strive to ensure that our children's attainment is in line with national. This is an aspirational goal as the overwhelming majority of pupils enter EYFS working below ARE with significant proportions working well below. We measure this using a range of materials, whilst always considering the age-related expectations for each year group. We work to ensure that children  make at least good progress in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening from their last point of statutory assessment or from their starting point in reception (or from when they arrive at the school. ) We intend the impact of our English curriculum will ensure our pupils are academically prepared for life beyond primary school and throughout their educational journey.

Our values are at the heart of all we do: within our English teaching in school, we strive to provide opportunities for pupils to develop their own core values whilst instilling the Fundamental British Values in many opportunities within units of work. Here are some examples of how we consolidate our pupils' understanding of British Values hand in hand with our own English curriculum:

  • Democracy
    Pupils will learn about democracy through the choice of English literature used.
  • Individual Liberty:
    Pupils will develop their individual liberty through freedom and choice of the content, audience and purpose of their writing (including developing and justifying own opinions). 
  • Tolerance and Mutual Respect:
    Pupils will learn about mutual respect through exploring character's relationships, friendships and behaviours. Children will be provided with the opportunity to discuss, debate and justify their own views and opinions, which in turn will develop empathy for others. Children will read and write about others' personal experiences through autobiography work, non-fiction texts and narrative work.
  • Rule of Law
    Texts are chosen to provide our pupils with a chance to explore the rule of the law in an age-appropriate manner. 

 

Key features of our English Curriculum:

Reading is a high priority area of our English curriculum. Reading is a fundamental skill, used to stimulate children's imaginations and learn to acquire a love for books. A centralised aspect of our Book-Led Curriculum across the school, reading influences the thoughts, feelings and emotions of all of our learners. We carefully monitor the children’s reading at home and encourage parents to be fully active and engaged with us in this in order to support their child’s ongoing development. Our children’s independent reading abilities are monitored using PM benchmarking so that children are reading texts closely matched to their own abilities and comprehension skills, but Reading Enrichment sessions are planned to provide mastery opportunities for all children – regardless of their own independent decoding abilities – to read texts at and above age related expectations and to share and explore in depth quality extracts, books, and texts.

We aim to develop children’s ability to produce well-structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the audience / reader. Particular attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English: grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling. When teaching writing we cover the transcription and composition requirements of the National Curriculum.

Throughout Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, our writing follows the Book-Led curriculum in place across the school which runs hand in hand with Read Write Inc in Early Years and KS1 - If children are working below their chronological reading age, targeted intervention and support is put in place. Children in all classes still have access to story time and have a class book for a sustained period: this ensures that reading is correctly modelled to children as well as giving them the opportunity to enjoy being read to in class and in reading assemblies.

 

We use a range of different schemes for the children to read including Read Write Inc, and the Oxford Reading tree scheme to support our children in developing their reading skills. The books are banded according to their level of difficulty, providing children with a challenging reading experience which also allows them to use their developing phonic and whole word knowledge to read independently. The Oxford Reading tree scheme comprises of a mixture of Fiction, Non-fiction and Traditional tales, which allows children to experience a variety of texts and these are supplemented by various other reading schemes to give the children a broad diet of books to read.

Writing opportunities are sourced and developed based on the class text within each year group. Our curriculum allows Key Stage Two children to have the opportunity to explore high-quality texts in depth, enhancing reading comprehension and providing meaningful contexts and purposes for writing in both English and Reading Enrichment sessions. The teaching of this programme is flexible and class teachers are then, in turn, able to apply their own creativity to cover the objectives across Key Stage 2. Teachers are given a progressive list of spellings, genres and SPAG objectives to cover within each year group.

Teachers clearly model writing skills and document the learning journey through consistent working walls; and writing sessions which are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals. Children have opportunities to write at length, in extended, independent writing sessions– applying their taught skills to an unsupported piece of writing.

As stipulated in the National Curriculum, the grammar of our first language is learnt naturally and implicitly through interactions with other speakers and from reading. Explicit knowledge of grammar is, however, very important, as it gives us more conscious control and choice in our language.

Grammar lessons are taught as part of our book-led curriculum and sequence of lessons. Pupils are taught discrete grammar skills through starter activities, allowing daily opportunities to identify, practice and consolidate grammatical understanding. Opportunities are then provided for our pupils to apply their grammar understanding across 'reasoning' style grammar tasks and in writing sessions. It is class teachers' expectations that, following the sequence of lessons to form building blocks to a piece of writing, pupils will begin to independently apply the grammar skills and content taught and embed these within their writing. 

 

Our teaching of spelling aims to provide children with an understanding of spelling rules through rigorous clear teaching of the rule and spelling detection activities so that children understand the rules and can apply them in their writing confidently at an age appropriate level.

Book Led Curriculum Overview