Our English Curriculum Intent
English is a core subject in the National Curriculum. It is the medium through which learning takes place both inside and outside the classroom. It has a pre-eminent place in education and all the skill of language is essential to participating fully as a member of society. Children will learn how to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. This enables children to develop culturally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. The acquisition of language skills is essential and our school gives the teaching of all aspects of English a high priority.
English is taught according to the statutory framework for EYFS. Emphasis is placed upon the prime area of communication and Language, which includes; listening and attention, and understanding and speaking.
Key Stage 1 and 2
In Our Lady and St Edward’s school, we follow the National Curriculum. The focus for these sessions is reading (fluency and comprehension), writing, grammar, vocabulary, spoken language and drama. Key Stage 1 children take part in synthetic phonics four times a week. Key Stage 2 children are also taught phonics (when appropriate) and spelling strategies, outlined in each year group’s National Curriculum documentation.
The development of oracy begins in EYFS. Quality teaching and learning activities promote children to express their thoughts and feelings in a range of contexts.
Throughout EYFS, KS1 and KS2, oracy is also developed throughout a range of English based activities- including; guided reading sessions, shared reading sessions, weekly speaking and listening sessions with the support of a drama expert, phonics sessions, quality book-talk session both within the English lessons and within reading for pleasure time.
Our school is a ‘talk-rich’ environment where quality book talk occurs in classrooms, the library, book club and during reading buddy sessions. We have also participated in a range of author workshops this academic year including Jacqueline Wilson, Nick Sharratt, Jeff Kinney and Maddie Moate.
Oracy is also developed through group work, paired and practical activities, student led activities across the curriculum; particularly PSHE, RSE and RE.
Students are also provided with opportunities to voice their thoughts and feelings during student council meetings, assemblies, performances, World Poetry Day and World Book Day.
Where and when appropriate, topics across the curriculum are linked to things the children can make personal connections with. This allows the children to share their own thoughts and feelings about such topics.
Reading is a fundamental part of all aspects of our curriculum. Our whole school reading spine emerses children within a topic and provides cross curricular links through English, History and Geography.
Children are exposed to high quality texts across the curriculum and also during reading for pleasure time where children can select a range of books from either their class library or school library.
Within our school library, the children can find a wide range of books which they have asked for, many of which promote diversity and inclusion. The high profile of reading in school is supported by parents at home and children take a reading book matched to their reading ability and a share book of their choice home each week.
Throughout our school, we develop fluency so that all children can ‘read with and for meaning’.
As a school, our approach to reading aims to improve accuracy, automaticity and prosody (appropriate stress and intonation).
To develop and improve fluency in early reading, children are taught to decode during phonics and guided reading sessions. We understand that accuracy, automaticity and prosody go hand in hand. In order for children to become fluent readers, the modelling of this is essential. Children experience this modelling in a range of contexts across the curriculum; through phonics, guided reading sessions, shared reading sessions, class reads and reading 1:1 with an adult.
Children in EYFS and KS1 are also encouraged to read the same text several times so that they become familiar with new vocabulary. In KS2 children will revisit new vocabulary several times to ensure they embed this vocabulary within their repertoire.
With less able readers, the use of flashcards are used for high frequency words so that the reading of these within texts become automatic.
Comprehension is taught in a range of contexts across the curriculum.
In early reading in EYFS, comprehension is taught through images and word-less books. It is then taught alongside phonics and throughout KS1 and KS2, the National Curriculum and reading content domains are used as a focus for comprehension development.
Writing is taught across the school with the statutory framework for EYFS and National Curriculum at the core of all learning.
Quality texts are used as the vehicle for modelling and inspiring quality writing. Film clips, artefacts, visitors, author visits and real-life experiences provide exciting stimuli for all children and we aim to equip children with a rich and broad range of vocabulary.
High quality writing is modelled by teachers and children are encouraged to use their imagination and draw upon previous knowledge when writing through a range of genres.
In Our Lady and St Edward's Catholic Primary School we use Bug Club Phonics is a comprehensive phonics teaching programme centred around an accessible and inclusive teaching approach. Evidence shows that working together fosters a sense of social inclusion for pupils and boosts the performance of those that may be progressing more slowly. It is one of the DfE’s approved systematic synthetic phonics programmes.
Bug Club Phonics is designed to build children’s confidence and enjoyment of reading at the very start of their reading journey. It’s designed to get your children reading real books as soon as possible and feel empowered that reading is for them.
In Our Lady and St Edward's Catholic Primary School we use The Oxford Reading Tree reading scheme which has over 800 books across different fiction and non-fiction strands including Songbirds, Traditional Tales, and in Fact.
The books in the Oxford Reading Tree are graded across 20 levels to support your child from first starting to read in Reception to being a fluent reader in Year 6.
When your child is learning to read, they need to read books at the right level of challenge. If your child’s book is too hard, they will find it frustrating and might be put off reading. If their book is too easy, their reading won’t get any better. Your child will read a number of books at one level, band or colour before your child’s teacher will decide that they are ready to move on.