At our school we believe that a high quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and to ensure that they can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
We aim to enable every child to gain in confidence and develop transferable skills in English so that they successfully:
- Read a variety of texts with fluency, accuracy and expression, showing a good understanding
- Develop the habit of reading regularly and widely, both for pleasure and to discover new information
- Appreciate our rich and varied literacy heritage
- Develop a legible, joined style of handwriting
- Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style across a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- Use discussion in order to learn. Be fluent and articulate in the use of the spoken work to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate At Oak Cottage we use a cross curricular approach to ensure that English is placed at the heart of the curriculum.
Phonics is taught following the Letters and Sounds scheme supplemented with online resources from Phonics Play. We use phonically decodable reading books through Foundation Stage and KS1 as children develop their phonic knowledge. Our books are from Dandelion Readers, Collins Big Cat, Comic for Phonics,Bug Club, Rigby Star, ORT phonics. As children become able to easily decode books using phonics they move onto colour banded books and self selected library books.
Some children will struggle to develop their phonological awareness and we aim to identify these children quickly and put in place individual and small group support.
Our English scheme of work for KS1 and 2 is based on high quality childrens' books for half termly English units of work. These include classic childrens' literature such as Wind in the Willows and Alice in Wonderland, hard hitting modern books such as Trash, poetry and non fiction books.. Each half term a book is studied in depth and used as the driver for Reading, Writing, Grammar and Spelling as well as Speaking and Listening.
Spelling is taught using No Nonsense Spelling. Please look at the spelling document below for information about what is covered in specific year groups.
Reading for pleasure is always high on our agenda and we have a lovely spacious library and well stocked book corners in each classroom as well as a special library outside Mrs McGowan's office. Both children and staff are keen readers and are often seen swopping recommendations and discussing what they are currently reading.
We have a very close relationship with Gorton library and we regularly visit for author and creative events. This year one of our aims is to get every one of our children signed up as members of the library and using it.
We love to welcome authors to school and also take advantage of the many free activities offered by the library services in Manchester
Please look at the tabs below for more information on each aspect of English and the detail of our English curriculum.
At St Francis RC Primary school aim to develop the children’s ability to produce well structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. Attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English, grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling. To support our teaching of writing we use Focus English which is a scheme based on high quality texts.
Teachers model writing strategies and the use of phonics and spelling strategies in shared writing sessions. Guided writing sessions are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals, whilst children have opportunities to write at length in extended independent writing sessions at the end of each unit. The children are given frequent opportunities in school to write in different contexts using quality texts as a model and for a variety of purposes and audiences. There are many opportunities for children to improve their writing inspired by drama techniques and film clips. They may be asked to produce their writing on their own or as part of group. Children will also be given the opportunity to use ICT for their writing.
We use the Penpals Handwriting Scheme (linked to spelling) in school to help children develop fluent, clear and legible joined up writing. Children work hard to achieve a pen licence in Year 2 and 3, this encourages them to take care in their presentation and pride in their work.
- We teach grammar through the texts used in English lessons. We believe that this gives a real context to the learning . Children will sometimes be asked to complete an out of context grammar exercise in order to give extra practice. We correct grammatical error orally/ written work (where appropriate)
- We have a systematic approach, we revisit key learning and build upon it in all areas from phonics, through to grammar and spelling
- We use high quality texts, modelling and shared/ collaborative writing to demonstrate good practice
- We encourage and promote oracy for writing
- We provide writing frames to support the least confident
- We provide time for planning, editing and revising
- We mark extended pieces of work in-depth and set targets with the pupil
- We use checklists for pupils to self-assess or peer assess, when appropriate so they can evaluate effectively
- We encourage joined handwriting from Year 2 to support spelling and speed
- We use drama and hot-seating to help pupils to think about another point of view
The National Curriculum makes clear that learning vocabulary is key to ‘learning and progress across the whole curriculum’ since it allows pupils to access a wider range of words when writing and for them to understand and comprehend texts efficiently.
Our vocabulary teaching aims to be:
- Progressive/ systematic
- Making links from known words
- Develop understanding of shades of meaning
- Include ‘instruction verbs’ used in examinations
- Subject specific- accurate mathematical and scientific words
We encourage our pupils to have a curiosity and love for words and to develop a wide and growing vocabulary in a number of ways, these include:
- Spelling lists/ key words to take home and learn
- Display of key words linked to topics and subjects
- Using the correct vocabulary orally
- In-depth word based lessons looking at patterns
- Using dictionaries, thesaurus and similar programmes
- Using high quality texts to explore vocabulary choices and the effect they have
Cross Curricular Literacy Opportunities
Teachers will seek to take advantage of opportunities to make cross-curricular links. They will plan for pupils to practice and apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through literacy lessons to other areas of the curriculum, with a particular focus in our school of writing through all subject areas where the same standard of writing is expected as seen in Literacy books
English in Action
English in Action
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