At St Clare’s we firmly believe in developing the whole child and ensuring that all children leave ready to take on the world. English and the teaching of English is the foundation of our curriculum. Speaking, listening, reading and writing are huge parts of the modern world and we make it our mission to ensure that children are ready, capable, confident and independent. Through using high-quality texts, immersing children in vocabulary rich learning environments and ensuring new curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met, the children at St Clare’s will be exposed to a language heavy, creative and continuous English curriculum. This will not only enable them to become primary literate but will also develop a love of reading, creative writing and purposeful speaking and listening. Through engaging lessons and focussed opportunities, children become confident in their abilities and are able to access all areas of the curriculum. Children begin their journey in EYFS, whereby children are taught the fundamentals of early reading and writing and the essential skills of speaking and listening. Children learn to read with single letter sounds initially and how to form these letters in their writing thus giving our youngest children the skills in which to communicate. As children move through the school, this knowledge continues to build, where children require extra support in this journey, timely interventions are given. All staff understand and ensure that the objectives we set at St Clare’s are firmly embedded and that all areas of English are taught with equal importance.
Within our broader English curriculum planning, our intent for reading is clear:
- Carefully chosen, imaginative, rich texts are at the heart of our English curriculum. These promote a love of reading, a buzz within the classroom, deeper thinking, cultural discussions and personal development. Through these texts children are exposed to excellent models of language and their understanding of the world around them deepened through reading
- Children become fluent readers across Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. They develop prosody and a growing understanding of what they have read. This then enables them to access and fully immerse themselves in all that Key Stage 2 has to offer. As our children move through the different stages, we ensure that they develop a vast vocabulary.
- With few exceptions, all children meet the expected standard in the Year One phonics screening check. Reading fluency is the main driving force in our reading curriculum – so they are ready to gain greater reading comprehension skills as their decoding secures.
- Develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
Our approach ensures that our children meet the national curriculum expectations for Reading:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
Writing is an essential skill, and the ability to write with confidence and accuracy is a tool which will support a child through their education and life in general. Within our broader English curriculum planning. our intent for writing is clear:
- Children understand the necessity of being able to write well and have a clear understanding of the purpose of the genre they are writing. Our children understand the social functions of writing in order to use the different genres of writing appropriately by considering its purpose and matching it to its audience.
- Develop a love for writing, being able write interesting and engaging non-fiction and dramatic and exhilarating fiction pieces using exciting and impressive vocabulary.
- Children’s handwriting is formed accurately, fluently, and neatly. Handwriting begins in the early years with mark making, progressing quickly to letter formation, precursive and then cursive handwriting. It is also our intent that all children have a joined, legible and increasingly efficient handwriting style.
- Every child develops a progressive understanding of grammatical conventions and terms, helps the way in which punctuation aids understanding and how to apply spelling rules. Through our teaching of writing, we intend to impart pupils with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need in order to reach their potential as individuals
The English curriculum across school ensures coverage of all areas of English as outlined in the yearly objectives of the National Curriculum (Speaking & Listening, Reading, Grammar, Vocabulary Development, Spelling, Word Games, and Writing) are covered.
Reading begins in EYFS with phonics being taught using the Little Wandle scheme of work. Phonics is taught daily in reception and Year 1 with catch -up sessions also given to ensure children make the required progress. Whole class reading, vocabulary development and comprehension skills are delivered using the CUSP scheme of work. Children are assessed each half term to ensure the books they read at home are matched to their current reading ability. Children write for a purpose. Children’s skills are embedded and added to year on year as we aim to produce capable, confident and well equipped readers and writers. No ceiling for learning is placed on any child. At St Clare’s we firmly believe in teaching the individual and looking closely at their needs and what engages them to ensure that every child makes progress. All staff are offered CPD at different opportunities dependent on what will better their teaching as all staff strive to be the best teacher they can possibly be for the children in our care. English is well resourced and imaginatively taught. In addition, throughout the school year the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author and poet visits, parent reading workshops and a range of trips and visits which enrich and complement children’s learning.
As we believe consistency and well-taught English is the bedrock of a valuable education, at St Clare’s we ensure that the teaching of writing is purposeful, robust and shows clear progression for all children. In line with the new national curriculum, we ensure that each year group is teaching the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for that age groups. As well as teaching the objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in cross-curricular writing opportunities and ensure that most children are achieving the objectives at the expected level and that some children can achieve at a greater depth standard. In this sense, assessment of writing is also more fluid as teachers can assess against a set framework. All year groups use the same format for assessing writing which have been produced in line with the end of Key Stage assessment frameworks as published by the Department for Education.
In order to expose children to a variety of genres which helps to utilise and embed the writing skills, teachers use a writing cycle to plan, structure and teach their English lessons. This cycle is designed to show progress, teach the pertinent year group objectives, apply and consolidate these skills and develop vocabulary. Writing is taught through the use of a quality text, which exposes the children to inference, high-level vocabulary, a range of punctuation and characterisation. Each text is purposefully selected in order to promote a love of reading, engagement and high quality writing from each child.
We use the following documents to help us have a consistent and progressive approach across the school.
English Scheme of work:
SPAG Scheme of work:
Examples of our grammar assessments through grammar hammer. This is an example from year 5. All classes complete one grammar hammer a week:Y5_-_Monday_-_Grammar_Hammer_-_Stage_5_Check_10
Writing Genres Scheme of work: