Our English Curriculum
English is planned in accordance with the National Curriculum. Lessons include the discrete teaching of skills to enhance understanding of spelling and the structure of writing, as well as the study of a range of fiction and non-fiction genres. Drama, role play and the development of the spoken word are also an integral part of our English sessions.
Children are encouraged to ‘make their mark’ from the earliest stages in school. This early writing is of great significance to the child and teacher and should be encouraged at home. From the beginning, children are taught correct letter shapes in readiness for joining letters in Year 2. Formal aspects of writing will be taught at each stage, appropriate to the child's development. English lessons are based on a wide range of texts which provide examples of quality writing and maintain cross-curricular links to History, Geography and Science Topics. Children will be encouraged to write for a variety of purposes and audiences. Children also have access to a range of devices including laptops and iPads for word processing writing. Handwriting pens are used in Key Stage 2 during handwriting practice and for those children who have developed a fluent handwriting style. Writing themed weeks and sessions take place regularly, when we celebrate authors and significant days, as a whole school, or may have a visiting author to develop literary experiences.
From September 2018 all year groups will be implementing a new writing programme called ‘The Write stuff.’ The aim is to bring clarity to the mechanics of writing through effective and skilled teacher modelling. The aim is to develop confident and expert writers who can produce independent pieces with fluency and a style of their own.
Phonics and Spelling
In Foundation Stage (Reception), Year 1 and Year 2, children learn to read through our Read, Write Inc. Phonics programme. These sessions take place four times a week and each session will focus on reading phonemes, blending these to read words, reading these words in stories and developing writing structures. These focussed sessions will enable the children to become fluent readers who read with confidence and understanding.
Once the children have completed this phonics programme, they will work on further developing their understanding of texts through guided comprehension sessions.
Children are involved in a range of situations involving differing audiences and activities, which are designed to develop their competence, precision and confidence in oracy skills. Such activities include, working with learning partners and adults in discussions and responding to questions. This will involve evaluating learning, collaborative play, listening and responding to stories, poetry, film clips and non-fictional texts. Performing poetry forms part of the curriculum and planned activities provide children will opportunities to develop their achievements each year. Children also participate in and present whole school assemblies and productions, further developing their speaking, listening and presentation skills.
A wide range of fiction and non-fiction books are available throughout school, so that children have early access to as many books as possible. These consist of various school readers, home readers, fiction books and reference books. Children read together as a class during English lessons when texts are studied for a range of different genres.
Whole class guided reading takes place four times a week in KS2. A range of texts are studied, many linked to the texts used when delivering Write Stuff writing lessons. Children will discuss texts in detail, focussing on a range of skills laid out in the Reading Content Domains of the National Curriculum. We aim to develop children’s knowledge and use of a wide range of vocabulary, improve their inference skills, make predictions, improve their explanations and be able to summarise their reading.
Individual reading takes place with teachers and support staff, particularly in EYFS and KS1. Individual quiet reading takes place in all classes from Year 1 upwards. A very successful home reading partnership is in place, which encourages regular reading at home, in a relaxed and supportive environment.
The school reading scheme, once the children come to the end of the Read, Write Inc. programme, consists of a wide variety of materials, and each class has access to its own reading area. The school has a school library which contains a wealth of different reading materials which children can visit on a weekly basis to borrow and renew reading books. Our school library is managed by the English Leader and Year 5 children.
Treasury of Texts
As a school, we want to promote reading for pleasure and enthuse your child about reading. The following recommendations represent a range of genres which we hope will encourage your child’s desire to read. We have chosen a range of texts, from a variety of authors, with an excellent record of accomplishment in writing high quality children’s books.
The book lists are on display in the classroom, and their guided reading journals will also contain a list. As your child reads a book from the list, they will be given a sticker to show that they have read it. We also encourage you to listen to your children read and also read to them. The discussion that you can have related to the books will be invaluable to their reading development.
Some of the books can be found in the classroom, and your child is welcome to borrow these. You may need to resource others from the library or borrow from one another.
There is an expectation that a minimum of six books, from the list, are read over the course of the academic year. This equates to at least one per half term. It would be fantastic if your child could read more than this.
Your child may read from the book list of a younger year group if they are less confident with reading.
When your child reads a book that they really enjoy, and it is one that they would recommend to others, they will be asked to complete a book review. This will then be displayed in the classroom, to encourage others to pick up and read the book. Your child will be expected to write a minimum of three book reviews, during the course of the year.
Book Report Templates
Class teachers will choose a template that they believe suits their class. These will be put in the Google Classroom, with a message, at the start of the academic year. Please find the selection below.
Reception Autumn 1 Texts
1. A Little Bit Brave by Nicola Kinnear
2. Hairy Maclary fro Donaldson's Dairy by Lynley Dodd
3. The Koala Who Could by Rachel Bright
4. Only One You by Linda Kranz
5. Ruby's Worry: A Big Bright Feelings Book by Tom Percival
Reception Spring 1 Texts
1. The Gruffalo's Child by Julia Donaldson
2. Gorilla by Anthony Browne
3. Six Dinner Sid by Inga Moore
4. Where the Wild Things are by Maurice Sendak
5. The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith
Reception Summer 1 Texts
1. The Dinky Donkey by Craig Smith
2. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
3. The Scarecrows' Wedding by Julia Donaldson
4. Tiddler the Story Telling Fish by Julia Donaldson
5. How to be a Viking by Cressida Cowell