English Curriculum

English

 

Our Vision:  Reaching for the Stars with Aspiration and Hope

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

These Values are seen as curriculum drivers and learning behaviours to succeed and '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 Aspiration and Hope. 

 

In English:

Respect: 'In the Gospel of John, it is shared how Jesus got down and washed the feet of his disciples. He exclaimed that 'slaves are never greater than their masters and messengers are never greater than the ones who sent them' (13:16). The message is given that we should respect all people regardless of station. 

In English, we learn to respect the written word, through the process of reading and writing. We develop our communication and language, respecting each others views, opinions and experiences. Through listening to each other, reading a range of quality texts we develop a deeper understanding and respect of humanity and the world around us. 

 

Motivation: When Jesus talks to the Rich, Young Man and then addresses his disciples (Matthew 19: 26-27), he shares the importance of motivation and living by the 12 Commandments. He encourages all people to give all that they have stating that 'with God all things are possible'

We are motivated to communicate in English, whether this is through speaking and listening, reading or writing. They have enthusiasm for reading across the curriculum and this is the 'hook' to engage them in the writing process. We have worked hard as a school to develop our use of quality texts in the curriculum. These impact upon the children's motivation to learn.

 

Cooperation: 'So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.' Nehemiah 4:6. Everyone combined forces to rebuild the wall, showing great cooperation and teamwork, working against the odds

In English, we cooperate and work together in our learning. The children support each other if they are stuck in their English learning. Our curriculum encourages lots of collaboration and opportunity to broaden learning through discussion and group work. By cooperating, we learn more, at a deeper and broader level.  

 

Kindness: Seen in the 'Book of Jonah', where God shows great love and kindness to the people of Nineveh, by forgiving them for their sins and showing mercy. 

We are kind to ourselves and to others. We know that children need to be 'ready' for their learning in English. To enable this we invest in good mental health subject and a strong PSHE curriculum. This gives children the tools to manage frustrations and failures, and support others in this too. 

 

Pride: God shows immense Pride in his Creation in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis (1:31), where he 'he looked at all he had made, and he was very pleased.'

We are proud of ourselves and our work in English! The teachers and children have high expectations and take pride in what they do and this shows in their progress. We all come from different starting points in English, but make good progress and achieve. 

 

PerseveranceNoah showed immense perseverance and faith in building an ark and filling it to God's instruction. God was so pleased with his perseverance and recognised that he was the 'only one in all the world, who does what is right' ( Genesis 7:1)

Children work hard and persevere in their English learning. They have resilience and know that you sometimes need to fail to succeed. They listen to feedback from teachers and peers, so that they take the next steps in learning. Children persevere on the journey of reading and this is carefully planned for in our progression overview. 

 

National Curriculum

The National Curriculum, shares in regards to language and literacy that:

Teachers should develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.

At Bromesberrow, we focus carefully on each of these to enable our children to become confident learners, who can apply their language and literacy skills in a range of contexts, gaining greater depth in learning through their mastery of English.

 

The Components to being able to read ‘In a nutshell’.

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 and Listening Overview below shares 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.

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’. 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.

Reading

The National Curriculum splits reading into two core skills of word reading and comprehension.

Word Reading, which involves:

 

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 Letters and Sounds to create our own planning to teach systematic phonics daily, from preschool till Year One. This approach is continued throughout the school when intervention is required at a phonic level. All reading books are matched to the phonics that the children are being taught. We use Bug Club reading books and Songbirds, which are based on Letters and Sounds. We invest in online books as well as hard copies to ensure there are enough books to match the reader's level.

 

Spelling

We then use Read, Write,  Ink resources to continue the specific teaching of reading and spelling (in terms of specific spelling patterns, graphemes and common exception word reading). Children in Year 2 and through to Ks2 have access to specific phonics teaching if this is still needed through targeted intervention e.g. precision phonics teaching.  Our Phonics and Spelling Overview and Reading Progression below explains this in more depth.

 

 ….and Comprehension:

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 (mixture of Bug Club and Songbirds). Children are heard reading 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. 

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 also have the opportunity to be storytellers, composing and sharing their own stories e.g. helicopter stories in Class One. 

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'. 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). 

 

Writing

Our approach to writing is linked to reading and speaking and listening. We recognise the interconnectedness of these and know that to be a good writer you need to be a good communicator and reader. Writing is planned for and taught using a text rich approach, whereby teachers and children can see a clear purpose and progression in writing. This starts with a text or other carefully chosen stimulus or multimedia text and then objectives and published pieces are identified and put into a front cover to show clear learning intention. Children have opportunities to draft and innovate writing, improving on composition, spelling, grammar and punctuation. We invest in quality texts across the curriculum so that teachers and children have texts that are diverse and provide a cross-curricular experience. 

As a school, we want our children to leave us with good writing skills, in terms of their ability to communicate and convey ideas to an audience. We work by the following principles in teaching children the writing process:

  • Teach pupils to write for a variety of purposes and audiences;
  • Have high expectations and provide an appropriate level of challenge in sentence formation, punctuation and vocabulary. 
  • Teach pupils to become fluent with handwriting, spelling, sentence construction, typing and word processing;
  • Provide daily cross-curricular time to write;
  • Create an engaged community of writers.

Our whole school Writing Overview (below) shows a clear, progression in writing across the school. 

 

In the front of our books we have adopted this message of support for children:

 

What does a good writer need to do? 

 

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. 

 

Connectivity

As a part of our whole school cohesion in the curriculum, we adopt an enquiry focus each term, e.g. being sportsmen, gymnasts, athletes, historians, geographers, artists, musicians, linguists... We believe that this creates better connectivity between the subjects, making learning more relevant to the children so that they are inspired to 'reach for the stars' as a school team and personally.