Intent: A high quality education in English will teach children to speak, read and write fluently and enable them to participate fully as a member of society. At Barnack School, we strive to promote high standards of literacy, by equipping children with a strong command of the spoken and written word and to develop their love of literature, through widespread reading for enjoyment.
Curriculum Objectives: We aim to ensure children:
- read fluently, with good understanding;
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information (including reading poetry);
- acquire a wide vocabulary, understanding and knowledge of grammar;
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage;
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences;
- use discussion in order to learn and be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas;
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening and drama;
- are able to make formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
- can apply their skills and knowledge across other subject areas.
To support our approach to teaching and learning and the curriculum, we are continuing to use a wide range of resources including engaging and inclusive cross curricular texts, links and resources, including the Prospectus topic planning resources.
Reading and Phonics: Reading in school starts with the children in Reception and KS1 learning to read using the Read Write Inc. Phonics Scheme. By the end of KS1 they should know their phonemes (sounds) and their corresponding grapheme (how sounds are written) to become confident readers.
Reading books are carefully graded at an appropriate level for the child’s decoding skills. Reading comprehension also starts from the very beginning and guided reading sessions to explore understanding, from year 1.
Once children have learned to reliably decode print, guided group reading continues throughout Key stage 2 to explore skills of: skimming and scanning texts to find information; a deeper level of understanding using inference and deduction; and an appreciation of themes and genres. Teachers use Reading for Inference to support their teaching of this. We encourage a passion for reading through the reading of stories regularly in class as well as quiet, individual or shared reading time and giving children the chance to listen to texts that may be above their reading level to support their vocabulary. Children are able to select a wide variety of books and we develop links between home and school to support this positive learning culture.
Those children who are still struggling with reading and phonics in KS2 will have the opportunity to read with an adult more regularly and may have access to a Reading Buddy in school. Those children who need to practise their phonics may do so in small groups or 1:1 sessions with the SEN team. They also have access to phonetically decodable books and games to support their learning.
Writing: The teaching of writing is closely linked to that of writing and is committed to encouraging and developing both core skills and understanding across a wide range of genres. The children write for a range of audiences and purposes. Extended writing is frequently related to other subjects and topics. We provide staff with framework planning and resource a range of class texts. English units in Key Stage 2 begin with a Bronze write to assess children’s current understanding and then through a range of activities children work towards a Gold Write which they can they edit and share with others. We emphasise the use of quality real texts and tasks related to our work in other topic areas.
To support handwriting we use the PenPals handwriting interactive resource and children practise their handwriting across the week from focused units. Every year we hold a whole school handwriting competition linked to The Queen Mother’s Handwriting Competition. As a school we have high standards of presentation and the guidelines are displayed in every classroom.
Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation: We ensure that children are taught the relevant spellings, exceptions and spelling rules/patterns, along with age appropriate grammar and punctuation content. We teach, support and consolidate SPAG work across the Literacy lessons and wider curriculum and where we undertake specific targeted SPAG activities we utilise the same quality high quality texts as examples/sources.
Impact: As the lynchpin to effective communication the intended impact of our curriculum is that children are effective readers, writers and communicators across a range of genre, purpose and audience- effectively equipped for the next stage in their education. Through effective teaching children at Barnack are able to apply the skills they have learnt in English to other subjects in school and when they are outside of school.
Intent: We believe that quality drama enables pupils to apply their own imaginations and draw on their own personal experiences and allows pupils to explore the world of people from other places, times and cultures, and to examine differences and similarities with their own environment. Both improvised and scripted drama provides a strong stimulus for writing, and can result in work that features more effective vocabulary, striking imagery, pace and style. Drama is a social activity requiring pupils to communicate, co-operate, and collaborate. In this respect it makes a particular contribution to PSHE.
• to develop pupils’ enjoyment and interest in drama
• to build on pupils’ natural and learned ability to speak in front of other people
• to develop pupils’ ability to create, perform and evaluate drama
• to introduce children to the language and vocabulary of the theatre
• to contribute towards children’s learning in non-arts subjects
Implementation: We utilise a range of drama both within English and other lessons but also in dedicated sessions with an external drama teacher. All children have the opportunity every year to participate in a school production. In English lessons, techniques such as role-play, teacher in role, freeze-frames and other activities are used to support children’s understanding of texts and to further support their writing.
Impact: The children will have developed both their knowledge and experience of drama but will be able to communicate with more confidence across the curriculum and to a range of audiences.