Curriculum - English
What is English
The learning of English is divided into two areas, reading and writing.
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In reading we focus on two key areas, reading for pleasure and reading for meaning. We read for pleasure independently, time is allocated each day for children to enjoy books of their own choosing. They may select them from the book corner, have them suggested by an adult or sometimes they bring books from home. Children also enjoy having stories read or told to them either by the teacher or via the interactive white board. Pupils are encouraged to read a range of texts, fiction and information based books, stories and newspapers, picture books and stories in chapters. Learning to read for meaning is a skill developed from an early age in school. Initially this may start with discussing pictures from a text or answering questions posed by an adult. Using phonic skills children then begin to decode texts, blending and segmenting sounds to read themselves, in addition a growing sight vocabulary is developed as children are encouraged to read with increasing fluency. This may be 1:1 with an adult, in a small guided group or as a whole class. As the children mature, reading for meaning develops into written comprehension where children learn to answer a range of questions based on a broad selection of styles of writing that they have read.
Reading at home with parents and family is a crucial part of the development of children’s literacy skills. We encourage all pupils to read outside school, in the early years this is particularly critical as a strong parent/child/school reading partnership enhances future reading proficiency significantly. To support this, children will bring home a reading book from school, plus a journal to record feedback in, we ask that children read with an adult for at least 5-10 quality minutes a day as well as having time to read independently, listen to bedtime stories etc.
These skills progress as children are supported to become independent readers with a love of books. It is our desire that everyone is an enthusiastic reader and thus we foster positive attitudes to reading from the earliest age to the point at which our children leave us.
It is our aspiration that our children write with fluency, flair and fortitude.
To achieve this we adopt a multi-faceted approach. The children learn the building blocks of writing, initially through discrete phonics, pencil control, word and sentence formation and early work on simple punctuation. Alongside this we develop a love of language, sharing cool “Wow!” words that will make our writing exciting. From an early stage we encourage the children to imagine the effect their work will have on the reader. As the children progress we introduce skills linked to the structure of sentence and the understanding of English grammar. At all times we aim to embed writing in a meaningful context for children which enthuses and stretches their imagination thus promoting a passion for description and sharing their experiences on the page or screen. We cover a range of genres from traditional tales, myths and legends to journalistic reports, police interviews and biographies. Wherever possible we try to take account of the interests of the children creating a flexible curriculum that taps into their fascination. Whether we’re on the Chestnut Express or the sinking Titanic our mission is that our children are carried away with enthusiasm and by sharing that writing is never a chore.
Once again the support from home with basic skills, spelling and handwriting, plus research and topic work feeds into children’s achievement at school and the best progress is made when all parties work together.