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) and Year 1, children learn through Read, Write Inc. Phonics and have a daily phonics and spelling session. Spelling is closely linked to writing and forms the basis for the school's Handwriting and Spelling Policy. Children are formally encouraged to join their letters from Year 2 onwards. Phonics sessions continue in Year 2, still following the Read, Write Inc systems.
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. Reading also takes place in groups during guided reading where a small group reads and discusses texts, with a teacher, before completing independent follow up tasks. 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 consists of a wide variety of materials as 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.