‘To expose all children to high quality texts that foster a love of Reading and Writing.’
We believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. One of our priorities is helping children read and develop their all-important comprehension skills. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately, and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
These aims are embedded across our English lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum and framework, that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. We use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. Teachers also ensure that cross curricular links with concurrent topic work are woven into the programme of study.
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.
All children have a book aligned with their reading level to read at home and school and a book of choice for their pleasure. These are changed at least weekly. Our paired class reading scheme encourages reading across year groups with their peers with children looking forward to reading to a buddy, or hearing fiction and non-fiction texts read to them by older children.
We identify children who need support and provide intervention in the most effective and efficient way that we can. We run intervention reading groups, have extra reading sessions available for those that need it and work alongside the Little Wandles scheme in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2. Teachers plan and teach English and Guided Reading lessons which are differentiated to the particular needs of each child. We help each child maximise their potential by providing help and support where necessary whilst striving to make children independent workers once we have helped to equip them with the confidence, tools and strategies that they need.
We run parent information sessions on phonics for Year 1 parents, reading and SATs for Year 2 parents and a SATs meeting for Year 6 parents so that they understand age-related expectations. There is also a KS1 and KS2 writing expectations workshop.
Marking is rigorous in English and across the curriculum with regular English book scrutinies which are carried out to check all teachers are following our marking policy.
We love to celebrate success of all learners and strive to help all children achieve their goals. Reading and Writing is celebrated in classrooms and around school, where our bright and colourful displays celebrate children’s writing, their favourite books. In addition, throughout the school year our English curriculum is enhanced through World Book Day, Spelling competitions, and a range of trips and visits which enrich and complement children’s learning.
In Years 4-6, Bedrock is used to develop children’s vocabulary, use of words in context and comprehension skills. This has shown to be incredibly successful where in the last academic year we were the top ten usage schools out of 750+. This progress was evident in children’s word understanding, use of displays promoting new vocabulary in class and in writing.
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. With the implementation of the cross curricular writing becoming established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
Termly assessment is showing that most children at St George’s are achieving in Literacy at age-related expectations. Each year we have children achieving at a greater depth in reading and writing at the end of KS1 and are working hard to emulate that at the end of KS2.
As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have also improved, and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives.
We hope that as children move on that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.