Our English curriculum is based on high quality, age appropriate texts. We believe that the texts we choose model our expectations for exceptional reading and writing and also inspire and foster a love of reading in our children. Where possible we link our texts to our creative curriculum topics. By choosing texts which link to other areas of the curriculum we broaden and deepen the children’s knowledge and understanding of these topics.
Our children enter Reception with below age expected language, as identified in our Early Years base line where only 22% of children at the start of Reception have age appropriate communication and language. High quality texts are used to model a rich vocabulary and appropriate sentence structures for our children. All areas of the teaching sequence for writing (reading, grammar and writing) are taught through the text. Outcomes are linked to the text so the children have a model of the expectations. Publishing work at the end of a unit, gives children a purpose for their writing and a pride in their work.
To support whole class teaching of reading through quality texts we use 'Accelerated Reader,' a programme that supports children's understanding of their reading. Independent and whole class reading is complimented by group reading sessions and support for children who find it tricky to pick-up reading first time round. A number of our children (up to 50%) enter the school with English as a new language and they are provided with additional support to allow them to catch-up with their peers quickly.
Phonics is taught through the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme. To ensure that the phonics provision meets the needs of our children we supplement this with additional resources and interventions such as Fischer Family Trust, ECAR and Five Minute Box. Targeted interventions ensure that phonics is in place for children to achieve and progress in their reading and writing.
To support a love of literature, each term we dedicate a day for the whole school to focus on writing, using different genre and stimulus. This day often corresponds to a year groups’ themed writing day as part of the Comparative Judgement moderation initiative.
Leaders are very aware of the need for pupils to have experience of different types of speaking and listening. Pupils are encouraged to learn poetry by heart and also recite this to their peers and an audience. We also hold an annual public speaking competition. All pupils in key stage 2 have to write and deliver a speech lasting 2 minutes, on a subject of their choice. Most recent judging panels have compared the finalists to GCSE quality speeches.