Our Curriculum Intent: Each child to be empowered to embrace life’s opportunities
- To seek out new challenges
- To respect and collaborate with others
- To show resilience and perseverance
- Assess themselves and others
- To be independent
- To speak clearly and convey ideas confidently
- To read and communicate ideas in writing efficiently and effectively
- To calculate efficiently and apply skills to solve problems
- To use new technologies confidently and purposefully
- To use practical equipment effectively
- To ask questions to challenge and extend thinking
- To generate ideas and explore possibilities
- To be flexible and seek out alternatives
- To connect ideas and experiences in inventive ways
- To believe I can
- To empathise and show compassion
- To have respect
- To recognise, appreciate and question other points of view
- To express my feelings appropriately
ENGLISH CURRICULUM INTENT
WHAT ARE THE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS WE WANT OUR CHILDREN TO LEARN IN ENGLISH?
At SS Peter and Paul, we have a passion for immersing all children in a rich and varied English curriculum; to provide opportunities for them to develop a love for reading and writing in order to become literate members of society.
Communication and language, reading and writing are the foundations for children’s development and future learning in all subjects. Through cross-curricular/topic based learning, in addition to discrete English skills lessons, we believe that we inspire children to be active and engaged learners who are able to use their literacy skills across the whole curriculum.
In accordance with the 2014 National Curriculum, we aim to ensure that all our pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; and be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debates
HOW DO WE ACHIEVE THIS?
The whole school community consider reading to be an essential skill required to access learning across the whole curriculum. We want to ensure that all children are able to read easily, fluently and with good understanding. Through being actively encouraged to develop a habit of regularly reading a wide range of genres and being immersed in a language rich environment, our children will not only read to acquire knowledge but also read for pleasure.
We develop a reading culture within our school by:
- having an extensive selection of fiction and non-fiction books for the children to take home from our wonderful school library, which provides a stimulating environment, a respect and a love of books
- challenging the children to read all ‘100 Books To Read Before Leaving Primary’
- creating book areas in classrooms which include stories, poetry and non-fiction books linked to topic work so the children can find out more about the world around them
- celebrating authors, illustrators, books and of reading itself through events such as: Roald Dahl Day, World Book Day and Book Fairs
- providing a reading meeting for parents and carers to give them help and information about how they can support their child with their reading at home
- having reading schemes, such as Songbirds and Oxford Reading Tree, for EYFS and KS1 children to read both fiction and non-fiction texts with parents, teachers, support staff, volunteer adult reading partners and Year 6 reading buddies
- providing KS2 children who are not yet ‘free readers’ to read a range of genres that are of high interest but lower ability using a range of schemes such as: Oxford Reading Tree, Connections, Project X Origins and National Geographic Readers
- using whole class readers and the Power of Reading scheme of work, where children have access to the same book, regardless of ability, (one copy between two) where the teacher/children model reading aloud using expression and intonation. The children also review about the ways in which authors use style, vocabulary choices, structure and punctuation to make their writing engaging to the reader
- use Chromebooks and iPADS in accordance with our Online Safety policy to research and read texts to gain knowledge needed for a subject/topic
- being taught specific reading comprehension skills such as retrieval and inference through specific lessons using the Power of Reading scheme and targeted questions from Years 1 – 6
WRITING – TRANSCRIPTION AND COMPOSITION
Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.
In our school, through daily, discrete and explicit phonics teaching using the Letters and Sounds Scheme (supplemented by additional materials), children develop their understanding that letters on a page represent different sounds. We believe that it is essential that all teaching and support staff share the same phonics training to be consistent in understanding and practice of phonics in order to help the children secure these skills to apply to their further development of reading and writing.
We believe that the skill of discussion is vital in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
Children are given opportunities to show and develop confidence and competence in the art of speaking and listening by being directly taught, modelled and sensitively encouraged to participate in whole class and small group settings in the following ways:
- having opportunities for discussions with talking partners
- talk for writing
- drama (e.g. hot-seating, role-play, conscience alleys – linked with our Power of Reading scheme)
- being encouraged to participate in class discussions and develop skills of both speaking and listening by being a good audience and giving positive comments to others’ contributions
- individual and collaborative work, including presentations
- performances/public speaking: class assemblies and plays, saying readings and prayers at school masses
- reciting poetry and singing songs
SPELLING AND VOCABULARY
As part of our school following the ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ scheme (in addition to other materials), we feel that spellings should be ‘taught not caught’. We follow a ‘Little-but-often’ approach which allows children to revisit and review, learn new strategies, high frequency and common exception words and apply them in their writing.
To improve spelling and widen their vocabulary, children:
- are encouraged to ‘have a go’ and use spelling journals to try out spellings for themselves using their knowledge of phonics, decoding and spelling rules and try different ways to spell a word before asking an adult
- use their knowledge of the first few letters of a word to find its spelling and meaning in a dictionary or find synonyms in a thesaurus
- use skills such as speed writing and pyramid writing to develop muscle memory of spelling patterns
- write new words that the children have come across on a word wall to discuss its meaning and spelling as a class. In KS2, these words will be added to their personal vocabulary books to refer to later to use in the correct context, spelt correctly
- have topic specific vocabulary on class displays and/or in children’s books
Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting with increased stamina.
At SS. Peter and Paul Primary School, we are committed to enabling pupils to achieve a high standard of handwriting and presentation of written work by:
- developing fine and gross motor skills
- learning how to hold a pencil correctly to make the writing process comfortable
- learning how to mark-make
- understanding the importance of forming letters of the alphabet accurately with distinguished ascenders and descenders
- understanding the importance of spacing between letters and words
- teachers’ modelling good handwriting
- developing a cursive style using the Letter Join scheme where their writing starts on the line and cursive prints being used in displays
- knowing when to change the style of handwriting for deliberate effect (e.g. when to join and when not to; and the use of bold/italics and underlining (upper KS2)
WRITING - COMPOSITION
We believe that writing should be a creative/developmental process, both at a functional and an imaginative level. We want our children to be able to write clearly, accurately and coherently and adapt their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
All children in our school are given the potential to be successful writers by:
- being given the opportunities to learn the styles, structures and levels of formality for different text types in English lessons
- using the class reader and our Power of Reading scheme as a stimulus for writing
- English being embedded across the whole curriculum to enable children to apply their literacy skills in meaningful contexts so their writing always has a purpose link to the topic with a clear audience for whom it is written
- using dictionaries, thesauruses, personal vocabulary books and spelling journals as a point of reference for spellings and vocabulary
- making corrections, in response to teachers’ marking, to errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar
- use personal jotters (in upper KS2) to take notes to help them to form ideas for writing
- having the opportunity to write a rough draft; to then proof-read and edit with the final aim of publishing a final written piece
- being taught how to self and peer mark in order to improve their own and others’ work
- be given positive comments to show that their work has been valued which will raise their confidence and motivation in order to write in with increasing detail and stamina
- understanding the standard of work that is expected of them and know the importance of working to their full potential
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF THIS TO OUR CHILDREN’S LEARNING?
The impact of our English curriculum is reflected in the confident and articulate way our pupils can communicate verbally and in writing throughout the school. They take the skills and styles from authors they are exposed to and adopt the style in their own work. By encouraging children to read a range of authors, they develop the art of writing which is then demonstrated across the curriculum.
The strong foundations built in EYFS and developed with clear progression through KS1 and KS2 has resulted in children leaving our school
Children leave our school being able to effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught. ARE Working above expected reading
By following a clear programme for teaching English which is age appropriate with challenge we ensure that children have the opportunity to develop a good foundation for reading including secure knowledge of phonics and sight words