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. 

 

 

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.

 

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 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.

 

 Reading

The National Curriculum, splits reading into two core skills of word reading and comprehension. They define each clearly:

 

Word Reading

 

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 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.

 

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. All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds

As a school we believe that it is important that a love of reading is engendered alongside the skills to decode and comprehend text.

 

Individual Reading

Children have regular opportunity 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, where by teachers and children can see a clear purpose and progression in writing. This starts with a text or other carefully chosen stimulus or multi media text  and then objectives and published piece 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 for 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. 

 

What does a good writer need to do? 

 

Be able to communicate:

Children need to be able to share, listen to and discuss ideas for writing across the curriculum. They need to have a purpose and a need to communicate. 

 

Be able to transcribe:

Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words.

 

Be able to compose:

Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.

 

Handwriting and legibility:

Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting, as well as good use of spelling, grammar and punctuation, and a well developed vocabulary.

 

 

 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.