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English Curriculum

ENGLISH

 

Shining Together, We Reach for the Stars.

 

Our School Intent

Children start their learning journey with us at Bromesberrow at age 3 in preschool and they are integrated and part of the school. Our expectation from the off is that children are living out our vision of 'Shining Together, We Reach for the Stars'. With a journey in mind (as we reach for the stars), we see learning as cumulative, in the sense that this is built on over the years of children’s lives.  Our intent for Speaking and Listening (the ability to be an effective communicator), Reading (including phonics, fluency, individual reading and guided reading) and Writing (including transcription and spelling) is shared clearly below and our implementation is explained through the linked progression documents.

 

Our Christian Values: Respect, Motivation, Cooperation, Kindness, Pride, Perseverance

These Values are seen as curriculum drivers and learning behaviours to succeed and 'Shine Together, whilst we 'Reach for the Stars'. They were chosen by our church school community, with our church school community and their needs in mind. Our values are rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and we use our learning from the Biblical texts to inspire us in our learning, providing us with Hope (with a mind to Jesus as the light of the world) and aspiration.  

 

 

READING

 

INTENT:

At Bromesberrow St. Mary’s school, our intent for Reading is (as for the whole curriculum) to build knowledge ‘cumulatively’, so that children build on their knowledge and skills in Reading, as they grow throughout the school, living out our vision: Shining Together, We Reach for the Stars. Our core drivers for Reading are:

  • To teach children to be fluent readers, in terms of word reading and decoding so that they read with increasing accuracy and speed, enabling them to comprehend and access the curriculum.
  • To inspire children to enjoy reading through a culture of 'joyful' and explicitly modelled reading, providing rich and diverse quality texts that they can connect with and  'become immersed in’.
  • For children to learn from what they read, acquiring knowledge of the world, building on their cultural capital e.g. nature, history, scientific phenomena, different cultures and beliefs.
  • For books to provide mirrors and windows to the world, so that children see themselves reflected and positively represented in books and that their perspectives can be broadened by experiences and places they may not get the opportunity to experience.  
  • To adapt our teaching of reading to support the most vulnerable of children to learn to read, providing timely support and intervention for those children not mastering in reading. 

 

IMPLEMENTATION:

In order to become a reader, you need to master word reading and language comprehension, which in turn develops reading comprehension (the mark of a proficient reader). 

 

Fig 6 Cain s Reading House 3840px

 

We teach Word Reading through:

 

Phonics

Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics should be emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (i.e. unskilled readers) when they start school. We use Pearson's Bug Club to teach phonics. This approach is continued throughout the school (using Bug Club Catch up resources alongside Precision teaching) when intervention is required at a phonic level with the aim for children to keep pace with the phonics curriculum. All reading books are matched to the phonics that the children are being taught (however this is fluid dependent upon the needs of the children). We use Bug Club reading books. We invest in online books as well as hard copies to ensure there are enough books to match the reader's level and to enable extra practice and access at home. All the adults who listen to children read are trained and understand how children learn to read and their role in this.

 

Spelling (as a reversible process-if you can spell it you can read it and vice versa)

We have developed our own spelling approach (using Twinkl spelling resources), built to work with our mixed age classes to ensure that all children are getting the correct spelling diet that they need (in terms of specific spelling patterns, graphemes and common exception word reading). The complexity of spelling and the rules that go alongside these increase as the children progress through school e.g. in Y1 you would be wanting children to learn the 'es' suffix as in 'bushes' and in Y5 you would be learning 'tion' as in 'extraction'. We aim for increased spelling fluency in writing, as children master and are taught more of the patterns, rules and conventions. We see this applied in children's writing as they learn.

 

We teach comprehension through:

Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. At Bromesberrow, we have a strong commitment to building children’s comprehension through our Quality Text Guided Reading Approach (DERIC, which is further explained below). This approach supports a deeper understanding of the whole curriculum, with texts carefully chosen and intentionally planned to enhance the learning at a cross curricular level e.g. when looking at Stone Age in history one of our texts for year 2 is ‘Glog’ (the story of a stone age boy and his family) and when looking at WW2 in Class 3, year 6 would be reading ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’. It is important to us that we have that interconnectedness as we know that this has a strong impact on children’s engagement and ability to retain knowledge learned.  

 

Both Word Reading and Comprehension are developed through:

Individual Reading

Children have regular opportunities to practise their reading in class. For Early Years through to year Two, we have Bug Club online books, as well as a good selection of decodable texts. Children are heard read on an individual level as much as we are able and we value to partnership with parents and reading helpers on this too. As soon as children are able they move onto chapter books, which are carefully selected by the class teacher (in agreement with the child as much as possible) to ensure that they match the child's level of reading and that the book provides interest. We work hard to match books to the child's reading level, so that they have just the right amount of challenge. This is explained further in our Reading Progression below.

Storytelling

Children are regularly read to in every class. This is a valuable and valued time, where children are able to listen and develop an appreciation for the pleasure of reading. They have chance to read aloud themselves, developing expression and intonation and value becoming the storyteller.

Guided Reading

Guided reading provides an opportunity for children to develop and extend their skills in reading, developing their understanding and learning new things. Guided reading provides an opportunity to enrich and deepen curriculum learning. Guided Reading is taught once a week and is consistent in its language across the school: Decode, Explain, Retrieve, Infer, Choice (or DERIC for short). This is based on Templar Wilson's work on 'Beyond Comprehension Sheets'. This is again cumulative and texts have been chosen to extend children's vocabulary and comprehension as they progress throughout the school. Further information on our approach can be accessed below.

Reading for Pleasure

It is essential that children WANT to read, as it is this that will drive them forward as readers. There are huge links between being a good reader and success in learning across the curriculum. It is our aim to encourage and nurture our developing readers by ensuring they have a great selection of exciting and stimulating texts to choose from. We have developed reading spaces around the school to provide a cosy space to curl up with a book and host reading experiences for children and families. It is important that children feel comfortable and ready to read too.

At the bottom of this page there is a reading progression document and a phonics overview (showing what children are taught when). 

 

 IMPACT

 In order for our Reading curriculum to have had an impact, we will see children who:

 

  • Enjoy reading! Are enthusiastic and excited about books (hard copy and online)
  • Have strong fluency; they are able to read with accuracy, speed, expression and with good understanding.
  • Have good comprehension through vocabulary, retrieval, inference, choice and connectivity (DERIC)
  • Children are able to articulate and share what they have learned from reading, demonstrating that they have gained knowledge and insight from a variety of texts.
COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE
 

Spoken Language

 The National Curriculum, recognises the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. We place a strong emphasis on Speaking and Listening across the curriculum, as well as in English.  Our Speaking, Listening, Communication and Language Overview shows what we do and when, sharing progression across the school. At Bromesberrow, we know that children need to be able to ‘speak it’ and from when they join us in EYFS we focus carefully on communication and interaction to extend children’s word repertoire, and provide them with the tools to converse effectively verbally e.g. through quality adult-child interactions. These knowledge and skills are then developed 'cumulatively' as children progress throughout the school e.g. through Zippy's Friends in Y1, where children explore feelings and behaviours to Passport and P4C approaches in Y4, 5 and 6, where children are able to debate and discuss. Our curriculum is based on enquiry, encouraging children to articulate, develop and extend their thinking and ability to communicate in this.

Vocabulary

The national curriculum emphasises the importance of pupils’ acquisition and command of vocabulary, explaining that these are key to learning and progress across the whole curriculum. As a school, we focus specifically on vocabulary building throughout our whole curriculum e.g. in science when focusing on light in year 3, we would be expecting the children to know the word ‘prism’ and ‘spectrum’.This vocabulary building is cumulative and progress throughout the school, expanding children's bank of words to apply and use in relation to different contexts.  Our Guided Reading Approach has a strand devoted to vocabulary building through quality texts, which are planned to enhance and deepen our curriculum at a cross curricular level. We understand the importance of vocabulary acquisition and the ability to express oneself and write with interest and creativity in all subjects. Understanding the meaning and context of new words is also essential in being able to access different learning and concepts. Adults in school use quality interactions and feedback to extend children's vocabulary in the moment.

WRITING

 

INTENT

At Bromesberrow St. Mary’s school our intent for Writing is (as for the whole curriculum) to build knowledge ‘cumulatively’, so that children build on their knowledge of and skills in Writing, as they grow throughout the school, living out our vision: Shining Together, We Reach for the Stars. Our core drivers for Writing are:

  • To teach children to be fluent writers, in terms of spelling, grammar, punctuation and handwriting, recognising that these skills are essential in order to be able to communicate clearly
  • To inspire and enable all children to write, giving them the skills to communicate for a variety of purposes and audiences
  • To support the most vulnerable learners to be able to communicate with purpose in writing, adapting resources and approaches in order to achieve this.
  • For children to love reading and be immersed in quality texts, so that they can learn from these, writing for pleasure, and communicating with clarity and accuracy.

To us Communication is at the heart of writing. In order to be a good writer and be able to communicate through this medium you need to:

  • Have good verbal (using expression, intonation and a strong vocabulary) and non-verbal (using gesture and facial expression) communication skills.
  • Be able to spell accurately, so that you can communicate clearly- you can be understood!
  • Be able to vary sentences to ensure your writing makes sense and is interesting, using different grammar and punctuation rules and conventions in order to achieve this.
  • Be able to write clearly and legibly, so that a reader can ‘read’ what you are trying to communicate.

 

To enable our children to connect with the purpose for writing as a means to communication we provide a ‘Front Cover’ for each unit of work, which provides a clear purpose for writing through learning outcomes, a published piece, as well as the grammar and punctuation rules and conventions being taught. This is all explicitly planned in our Writing Text Progression

To support the children in this further we have created an explicit check list to have at the front of their books:

Share:

  • I have a purpose to write and know who will be reading my writing.
  • I need to be able to share my ideas for writing and listen to the ideas of others. 

Write:

  • I need to be able to write my ideas down so that other people can read them. 

Organise:

  • I need to be able to organise my writing so that other people enjoy and understand it. 

 

 Teachers also create checklists to accompany daily teaching sessions in English Writing.

 

 

IMPLEMENTATION

 

  • Verbal and Non Verbal Communication: We prioritise this through our focus on quality adult-child interactions whereby we actively model how to communicate and explicitly teach vocabulary to use in different contexts. Our Communication and Language Curriculum explains this is more detail.
  • Spelling: We use Bug Club Phonics approach to teach spelling predominantly up until the Autumn term Y2, with Twinkl Spelling resources gradually taking over from this (this transition is clearly mapped out in our Phonics and Spelling Curriculum Progression). This progression document then maps out the explicit teaching of spelling for KS2, where a new spelling rule is taught each week. Children then have explicit opportunities to practise and apply these to their writing across the curriculum. All children are taught our spelling Curriculum, however we recognise that for some children spelling can be a significant barrier to writing. With this in mind we adapt the curriculum to enable them to access and improve spelling alongside quality first teaching e.g. through the use of Dyslexia Gold or other technologies or through focused scaffolding during lessons.
  • Grammar and Punctuation: Grammar rules are taught explicitly through our text based curriculum, whereby teachers use our writing progression to enable children to learn the correct conventions matched to the text they are immersed in e.g. if the quality text is ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ by Julia Donaldson in Y1, then you would be learning to add in appropriate adjectives to make your character description sentences more interesting to the reader. The grammar progression for each national curriculum year is shared below.
  • Handwriting: We teach children to form the letters accurately to write words in a non cursive script from Reception through to the end of year 1. This is taught daily as part of our phonics programme. We then introduce cursive script from Y2 upwards. This is taught as part of our spelling approach. All children are taught using the Handwriting Approach, however we recognise that some children have significant barriers in fine motor development. With this in mind we support the communication element of writing using technology and word processing software.

 Please see our 'What a Writing Lesson Looks like at Bromesberrow' below.

 

 

 IMPACT

In order for our Writing Curriculum to have had an impact, we will see children who are:

  • Able to write for a variety of different purposes and audiences
  • Part of an inspired, motivated and engage community of writers
  • Able to spell accurately and where there are specific barriers to spelling are able to use other mediums to support communication in writing, so that spelling is not a barrier to writing
  • Able to vary sentences with knowledge, skill and purpose in appropriate contexts to interest and engage the reader
  • Have a legible handwriting style which enables them to communicate on paper and where handwriting is a barrier to writing then good word processing skills to enable effective communication in writing to occur.