Curriculum Intent for English
At St Simon's we believe that our Literacy (English) curriculum should develop pupils passion for reading, writing, speaking and listening. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often, from a selection of high quality texts. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing. Our aspirations are for children to 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 use discussion to communicate, reason, justify and therefore further their learning.
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 as educated citizens and contribute to a better world.
The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Staff systematically teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. Phonics is delivered in a whole class format, on daily basis because it enables staff to ensure application across subjects embedding the process in a rich literacy environment for early readers. As a school we use the Active Inspire programme to teach Phonics using the Phonics Bug system. In the early stages of reading and teaching of phonics, Jolly Phonics resources are used.
We use a range of multisensory strategies to enthuse and engage the children, including the use of interactive whiteboards, magnetic letters, speaking and listening, songs, rhymes and practical games and activities. Children work with pace and are encouraged to apply their knowledge across the curriculum with any reading or writing activities. The children also learn a variety of other key words by sight. Pupils will be given Reading books which closely match the phase of phonics that they are currently working within.
All children read and are read to so that they develop a love of reading. Books are selected by teachers with the knowledge of how they link to other areas of the curriculum and provide opportunities for engagement in high quality texts.
The schemes incorporated into our KS1 reading provision include: Oxford Reading Tree, Project X, Graphic Novels and some of The Power of Reading recommended texts for use within class. All books are Book Banded in order to ensure progression and challenge for all children. This falls in line with the Reading Bug programme linked to the teaching and learning of Phonics and Reading. Reading Bugs is a web-based ability appropriate reading scheme which they can access at home and school.
At KS2, pupils access the Accelerated Reader Programme to ensure individual progression for reading. In addition to this, teachers plan time for children to be tested using the Accelerated Reader program. Once children have completed reading an AR book, they must take an online quiz. When children have completed 3 quizzes and scored 80% or higher, they then move onto the next level.
The programme has diagnostic tools built in so that we can identify strengths and weaknesses in the children's reading and target appropriate support and challenge.
Guided Reading sessions are planned by all teachers to teach a range of skills and techniques which enable children to comprehend the meaning of what they read and develop their understanding of the vocabulary used by authors.
Throughout the school week, children are provided with the opportunity to enjoy school book corners and libraries. Throughout our curriculum, children encounter a diverse range of literature such as sharing high quality non-fiction texts and fiction texts.
At St Simon's we foster a love of writing from the earliest stages of learning. Children are taught to write in shared, guided and independent contexts across their daily English lessons and many other areas of the curriculum. We prioritise the need for daily writing opportunities through engaging and inspiring lessons. Opportunities for children to apply their writing are planned and links to the wider curriculum are made when doing this.
Our aim is for children to become 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, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
Writing is assessed at appropriate times when key skills can be applied in a meaningful way and next steps identified by the teacher and also through self and peer assessment. We prioritise the importance of enriching experiences to inspire children through the teaching of English, including Author Visits, book swaps, storytelling sessions, all of which amalgamates in a yearly Book Week.
We teach a continuous cursive style of handwriting from the earliest opportunity in school. Our handwriting progression document states clearly how the teaching and learning of handwriting will progress.
Spelling is an integral part of the curriculum and is taught daily at St Simon's. We use the English Appendix 1, as a resource to teach spelling. This includes the statutory word lists and common expectation words for each Key Stage or Year group.
These aims are embedded across our literacy lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014.
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.
Children will use their English knowledge and skills, in all curriculum areas, to enable them to become life long leaners. Pupils will use their Reading skills as a key tool in helping them to learn, and as a result, know more, remember more and understand more. Children will be able to produce written work in all areas of the curriculum of a similar standard which evidence good progress.
As a result, our school will have learners who are enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. They are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas.