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St Peter's

CE Primary Academy

Strive Beyond; Defy Limits

English

 

English Curriculum Statement

 

 “What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic." Carl Sagan

 

Curriculum Intent:

 

At St Peter’s CE Academy we strongly believe that English has a vital role to play in education and in society as a whole. A high-quality education in English will enable pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Our English Curriculum is driven by a deep rooted passion for high quality texts. These texts are used as a stimulus to drama, to discussion, to debate, to explore ideas, to expand vocabulary, to improve reading comprehension and writing skills. Driven by high quality texts and opportunities for talk, writing skills develop. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. English, especially, plays a key role in such development and engenders our children with a global consciousness. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society therefore we place high value of the quality first teaching we deliver as part of our English curriculum.

 

The overarching aim for English in our school is to promote extremely high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. We aim to ensure that all pupils:

 

  • sharing collective wisdom is the cornerstone of their learning. Children use peer and group discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and articulate clearly their understanding and ideas.
  • see themselves as authors. Children write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
  • read with ease, fluently and with clear understanding and expression so as to engage and excite the reader.
  • immerse themselves in language. Children develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information so as to acquire a varied and ambitious vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
  • have a varied and diverse literary diet. Children are exposed to a wide variety of high quality literature from all cultures so as to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage and that of other countries.
  • are eloquent and confident speakers. Children are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

 

The school places huge importance on developing discussion skills, speaking and listening and drama as we firmly believe that children need to develop a wide and exciting vocabulary. A variety of media is used as a stimulus to learning, including e-books, drama and computers.

 

Curriculum Design (Implementation):

 

Writing:

 

We want all of our children to become successful and confident writers. From the beginnings of EYFS through to the end of Year 6 the children develop their writing skills through immersion in high quality key texts, visual units. For each unit of work (key text) the children are expected to produce at least two pieces of high quality writing. This includes a nonfiction piece.

 

There are three essential components in the way we teach writing at St Peter’s. These are the deconstruction, e-plan and success criteria.

 

  • Deconstruction: The children analyse a high-quality piece of text of the same genre as the piece they themselves will write. This will be a teacher written piece of extremely high quality; by writing it oneself we believe we truly gain a deeper understanding of the task which the children then have to undertake. Children are taught to identify applicable key features and narrative techniques. These sessions focus on deep discussion of authorial intent and its impact on the reader.
  • E-plan: Having gained a clear understanding of the genre, the children now plan their writing using the e-plan format. Explicit instruction is given as to how to note take and draft.
  • Success criteria: Children use a success triangle to self-select their areas for development- take ownership over their learning. This is scaffolded by the class teacher so as to ensure the level of challenge remains high.

 

Handwriting:

 

Handwriting is taught weekly from Reception to Year 2, beginning with mark making and patterns in Early Years all the way up to legible, joined handwriting in Year 6. Children begin to learn the cursive style in Yr 1. When this is introduced will depend upon the cohort although all children (with the exception of children with additional needs) will be using the cursive style by the end of the year. When a child is deemed to have legible, joined writing they are awarded a pen.

Reading:

 

Reading is the bedrock of our English curriculum. At St Peter’s, the children are encouraged to read for enjoyment and understanding, as well as for information with the aim that all pupils will develop an appreciation and love of reading. Children leave St Peters as confident, competent readers with a tangible love of reading. We encourage children to read widely in fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Reading focuses on two areas; decoding (word reading) and comprehension. Decoding skills are seen with both the segmenting and blending of unfamiliar words and the speedy recognition of familiar words. Effective comprehension is the result of secure linguistic knowledge (in particular vocabulary and grammar) and a knowledge of the wider world. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-trove of wonder and joy for inquisitive young minds thirsty for inspiration.

 

The schools main reading scheme is ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ however this is supplemented with other schemes including: Project X and Graphic Novels. The reading scheme across school is constantly evolving and as a result children are provided with books that not only challenge but also interest them and encourage a love of reading. St Peter’s has high expectations of home reading as set out in the expectations of home learning document.

 

Reading books within EYFS, Yr 1 and Yr 2 are changed once a week. Daily readers receive two reading books- one for pleasure and one purely phonetically decodable.

 

From Year 1 to Year 6 all children across the schools participate in thrice weekly whole class reading sessions where key skills are taught alongside in depth book discussion. As well as this, we have parents and support staff who also help practise key reading skills throughout each week.

 

The school has a well-stocked library. The children go out, a class at a time, each week to change their library books. We use a computerised system to log the books that the children have selected to take home. (All data stored on this system is held securely and is deleted when children leave the school).

 

Phonics (the knowledge of sounds) and Spelling:

 

Alongside the development of reading, the school takes a systematic and structured approach to the learning of phonics. At our school the teaching and learning of phonics is based around the Letters and Sounds Program. During their time at the school, each child gains experience of each of the phases described below:

 

Phase 1 - Experimenting with sounds.

Children identify sounds through play and experimentation. They are encouraged to listen to and discern the difference between sounds and create a wide range of sounds for themselves.

 

Phase 2.

The children will be learning individual sounds and developing their skills at blending and segmenting these sounds for spelling and reading. At this stage parents should be encouraging their children to play sound games and practice sounds at home i.e. I-Spy. At this stage children begin to make CVC (Consonant, Vowel, Consonant) words i.e. cat.

 

Phase 3.

Once the children know all their letters, common sounds such as sh, th, st, pr, and ch are introduced.

At this stage parents should be encouraging their child to blend and segment words when they are playing games with words and /or reading. At this stage children practise making CVC (Consonant, Vowel, Consonant) words i.e. cat and begin to make CCVC (i.e. ship) and CVCC (i.e. much) words.

 

 

Phase 4.

Common end sounds i.e. ng, ll, ff, ld,.lp are introduced.

At this stage parents should be encouraging their child to blend and segment words when they are playing games with words and /or reading.

At this stage children practise making CCVC (i.e. ship) and develop their range of CVCC (i.e. mend) words.

 

Phase 5.

The sounds represented by more than one letter are taught i.e. ai, ea, ir etc.

At this stage parents should be encouraging their child to blend and segment words when they are playing games with words and /or reading. The children are now developing their knowledge and skills with vowel diagraphs( two vowels that when put together make a new sound) such as ai as in maid, ea as in bear and ir as in bird. They also work with split vowel diagraphs such as a-e as in fare.

 

Phase 6.

Children will learn word families and review their knowledge. The children at this stage and beyond develop their spelling further and meet the full range of spelling rules, develop knowledge of word roots and meanings and use common suffixes and prefixes to build their vocabulary.

 

The children work through each phase over a 6 week period and at the end of the phase their knowledge and skills are reviewed and next steps identified.

 

Beyond Phase 6.

The children continue to be taught spelling and each year group is taught the statutory spellings alongside vocabulary to build their knowledge and experience further. This continues into Year 6 where the children are deepening their skills and knowledge ready for the transition to secondary. During the Summer term of Year 1 the children have a phonics test to ascertain if they have reached the Nationally expected standards for children at the end of Year 1. The results of these tests are communicated with parents along with each child’s annual report. Children that do not meet the National requirement will be retested in Year 2.

 

 

 

Knowledge Acquisition and Lesson Design:

 

English is timetabled daily during the morning session. English lessons involve the teaching of reading, writing, speaking and listening. The school regularly monitors the standards of English within the school, with the aim of raising standards. English is used across the curriculum and we ensure that we provide purposeful, extended writing opportunities to apply English skills and enable pupils to see themselves as writers in a range of contexts particularly throughout our extended curriculum.

 

Home learning

 

Each week, each child is to receive spellings as homework, focusing on words from the statutory spelling lists. At the beginning of the following week, children should be tested on these words; this should be evidenced in their Learning Journals or Skills Books.

 

Reading at home

 

Children must be reading at least five times during the week. Daily reading is incentivised using a whole school reward system. Those children who haven’t read the requisite amount,  stay inside and are read a high quality, engaging key text by Mrs Morris.

Deconstructing an exemplar text.
Dramatic performance.
Using the E-plan format
Utilising ICT
Organising the library into genre.
Aspirational comprehension questioning
Collaborative learning
Creative precursor to writing
Collating ideas
Roald Dahl assembly
Conscience alley
Planning writing
Acting out a narrative
Excellent stimulus for writing.

iMovie inspired by 'Journey'

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Coraline film trailer

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