Our English curriculum is designed to engage, inspire and foster creativity in writing, reading and discussion. We believe a passion and love of reading develops their all-important comprehension skills. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, write clearly and accurately, whilst adapting their language and style for a range of contexts. It is important to us that we inspire our children to express themselves in the art of speaking and listening through debate and discussions. We believe that our children need to develop a secure knowledge base in all aspects of English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as the advance through our school. It is our intent that children have a secure basis in English skills and we will give them the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
Early reading is taught through the validated Twinkl phonics scheme, which supports the teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics. Working in line with the program, the children are provided with a 'Rhino Reader' as a home reading book, which is carefully matched to the sound and phonic phase the children are familiar with. This works as a consolidation tool to further embed their existing phonic knowledge. Alongside this, the children are also given an Oxford Reading Tree book, which gives them a chance to read a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, whilst deepening their knowledge and access to key words. Through the use of the Rigby Star reading scheme, Reception and KS1 take part in daily guided reading activities, which provide opportunities for children to practice and develop their reading skills. This scheme gives the children to chance to interact with book independently and answer a variety of questions at various intervals in the book. Assessment of the children’s understanding of the book is immediate and the class teacher can access the data and assess progress. Across all key stages the children take home Reading Challenge books which are carefully selected to both engage and challenge the children’s interest and introduce them to a wide variety of subject matters and genres. The children are required to complete a book review when returning their text which the teacher will use to assess their knowledge and understanding of the text. In addition to this, KS2 children complete twice weekly session in school and thrice weekly sessions at home of the Reading Plus internet based reading program. All children are encouraged to read for pleasure and independently chose a books from class libraries to read when they have completed work throughout the day.
When planning English lessons, teachers make links to other subjects, through our question based curriculum, to ensure that cross curricular links provide further context for learning. All our English teaching is taught through high quality challenging text that link with the terms cross curricular question. Teaching blocks focus on fiction, non-fiction or poetry, in line with the 2014 National Curriculum and comprehension, grammar and writing are embedded in lessons. Writing takes place every lesson and all children complete extended pieces of writing to develop their writing skills and to provide regular opportunities for sustained independent writing. Extended writing focuses on developing the writing voice through a variety of genres which develop vocabulary, connectives, sentence openers and punctuation. Handwriting is taught through the Letter-join scheme to promote a high level of pride and presentation across all written outcomes, which is in line with our presentation code. Speaking and listening activities are a key feature of Literacy lessons and promote language development and individual confidence. In Year 2 and Key Stage 2 the children are encouraged to develop their public speaking and presentational skills.
The quality of all children's learning depends on how well they master the skills of our language - speaking, listening, reading, writing. Developing these skills is at the heart of our work in school. Children are given the opportunity and encouragement to take part in a variety of activities as part of the new English curriculum, which enables them to develop these skills with confidence and a sense of achievement.
The organisation of the English curriculum, is realising a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. Children are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas. Outcomes of work in both English and topic books evidence the high quality of work and the impact of varied and cross curricular writing opportunities. These enable children to write across a range of forms and adapt their writing successfully, considering the purpose.
We have an extensive library of fiction, non fiction, encyclopedias and poetry books. The main library is located in the junior department, with a smaller lending library in the infant department, where children are able to borrow story books. In addition to this all classes have their own library which has year group appropriate texts.