Our English curriculum is designed to inspire and ignite children’s curiosity with literacy and expand their skills and knowledge in a wide range of subjects through their reading and writing skills. English is a journey which incorporates the application of reading, spelling, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and speaking and listening through contextualised learning. Engaging texts and stimuli are used across the curriculum to enhance this and help to widen children’s exposure to rich vocabulary and expand their understanding of the world around them.
At each stage of learning, children should be able to demonstrate a deep, conceptual understanding of the text they are using and be able to develop their skills during each phase.
There are three phases of learning:
Phase 1: developing reading skills through the application of reading domains. Children investigate text to deepen their understanding of vocabulary, content, genre features and language.
Phase 2: developing understanding of text and gathering ideas through speaking and listening. This is achieved through role play and drama; argument and debate; word and language games and writer talk. Here pupils take on the role of the writer. This is a key time for outdoor learning to take place, giving opportunity for real life experiences to be drawn upon.
Phase 3: plans for independent writes through planning scaffolds; shared writing through teacher modelling, scribing and supported composition; guided writing to support groups to learn how to apply skills and independent writing once children are equipped with the skills and knowledge to be successful in their learning and outcomes.
In each phase, appropriate SPaG skills are weaved throughout to ensure they are embedded in context. Our curriculum allows children to apply and practice these skills in a range of contexts to deepen knowledge and understanding.
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all 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; they should 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 debate
- The teaching and implementation of the English Curriculum at our school is based on the National Curriculum, and supported by, ‘Progression in writing and reading’ ladders developed by the subject leader, to ensure a well-structured approach to progression in English.
- Using the National Curriculum objectives as a guide, the curriculum has been broken down across year groups to ensure that a good coverage of writing skills and the reading content domain skills are is being built upon each year.
- The children are taught reading and writing skills through the 3 phase planning process and reading domain skills are focused on in daily guided reading sessions.
- Termly and long-term plans ensure that KS1 and 2 units are taught as a text focused unit and use the 3 phase process to ensure reading and writing skill coverage is taking place in line with the year group expectations.
- English planning is used to underpin wider curriculum areas to ensure reading and writing skills are being developed in a wide range of subjects and this is planned in as part of the curriculum LTP.
- Each text unit in English lesson draws upon prior knowledge and makes links / comparisons / contrasts to other texts where possible.
Teachers are provided with 6 curriculum planning insets each year on top of their PPA to plan their curriculum units. This time is an opportunity for staff to incorporate opportunities for English skills to be utilised and applied the wider curriculum. Focusing on texts to use and support the unit as well as writing and research opportunities. As part of this planning process, teachers:
- Create vocabulary and skill organisers to focus their development of topical words and spelling
- A cycle of lessons that carefully plans for progression and depth through the cross referencing English progression documents.
- Knowledge retrieval activities to support learners ability to develop from previous learning and increase space in their working memory
- Challenge questions for pupils to apply their learning in an open manner
- Trips and visiting experts who will enhance their learning experience- to help contextualise their experiences when writing in role for example.
- To ensure all pupils have the best possible start to their education and equal opportunities to achieve, cultural capital is taken into account when planning units. Teachers understand their pupils and have an awareness of their experiences. Through this they can plan to build on past experiences and provide opportunities to develop experiences that they have not yet had. Learning experiences are enhanced through school trips, workshops, opportunities to handle artefacts, opportunities to talk, play and experience a range of texts. Children’s cultures and values are known and valued with opportunities planned for to explore these within learning.
Our English Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Half termly assessments- PIRA, Testbase and Rising stars used to measure reading progression
- Accelerated reader- star reading tests to obtain diagnostic reports to monitor children’s progression with reading and assess areas of need based on the reading domain areas.
- Writing moderations at least once a term to whole school/cross school moderate children’s development.
- Pupil discussions about their learning;