'O, learn to read what silent love hath writ, to hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit' - Willam Shakespeare'
It is our aim when teaching the English curriculum that our pupils acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to become lifelong learners and linguists. We strive to ensure that all our pupils receive a well-rounded learning experience when reading, writing, speaking and listening, which will equip them with the fundamental tools to achieve whilst at St Peter & St Paul Church of England Primary Academy & Nursery and beyond.
English is a core subject of the National Curriculum and a prerequisite for educational and social progress as it underpins the work undertaken in all areas of the curriculum. The acquisition of language skills is of the upmost importance to us here at St Peter & St Paul and therefore the teaching of all aspects of English is given a high priority within school. Confidence in basic language skills enables children to communicate creatively and imaginatively, preparing them for their future journey through education and beyond.
Our aim is to ensure that every child becomes a reader, a writer and confident speaker by the time they leave St Peter & St Paul Church of England Primary Academy and Nursery.
- To promote and instill a love for reading, writing and high-quality literature for pupils of all ages.
- To deliver an English curriculum which is carefully sequenced to develop the acquisition of knowledge and skills.
Our Intent of Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening is central to our curriculum and is developed from EYFS throughout our school, across the curriculum. We nurture children’s speaking and listening skills through a variety of approaches. These include: exploratory play, story time, hot-seating, collaborative learning, presenting reasoned arguments etc. We develop these skills so that our children are confident in expressing their own ideas clearly, in a safe and supportive environment, in all aspects and areas of their school life and into their future.
Our Implementation of Speaking and Listening
All staff in our school model the use of the 3 Tier vocabulary within their speech and expanding children’s vocabulary is a key focus from EYFS. Subject specific vocabulary is mapped out and is embedded across the curriculum, through teacher modelling, in context. Contextual learning helps children to understand new words and supports them in including them in their work, including the use of Knowledge Organisers. This model is reflected in shared reading sessions, where children are given the chance to explore unfamiliar vocabulary and expand their knowledge of words. We are keen to model the correct grammar in speech, for example using ‘we were’ instead of ‘we was’ and encourage children to reflect this in their use of spoken and written language. Children are regularly given the chance to orally rehearse ideas for writing (Talk for Writing).
Drama is used across all subjects to explore and engage children in their learning. This gives children the opportunity to embed vocabulary in shared activities, embedding the use of topic specific language repetitively as they rehearse.
Children are also encouraged to develop their oracy skills outside of the curriculum. This is promoted through:
- Collective Worship.
- School council and other pupil voice activities.
- Phase and year group productions.
- Participation in local events and school trips
The Impact of Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening gives us the skills we need to communicate with the world around us. Children are given a range of opportunities to develop these skills, in a safe and stimulating environment. The wide range of speaking and listening activities – which are woven throughout our curriculum – help to develop ideas, vocabulary and confidence, as the more we talk, the more we pick up on different words that other people use. This supports attainment in both Reading and Writing.
Our Reading Intent
At St Peter & St Paul Church of England Primary Academy and Nursery, reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Throughout school, children are presented with many opportunities during the school day to read or listen to stories being read aloud. Reading is a high priority in our book-led English curriculum. Through teacher’s choice of high-quality texts, we intend to develop a love of reading and allow children to recognise the pleasure they can get from reading. With this, we aim to provide children with the understanding that reading provides opportunities to discover new knowledge, revisit prior knowledge and understand more about what they learn.
Our Reading Implementation
At St Peter & St Paul Church of England Primary Academy and Nursery, we follow a clear, progressive scheme alongside the National Curriculum. The teaching of reading is progressive throughout school and reading is at the core of our curriculum. Children are provided with a variety of ways to acquire knowledge to know more, remember more and understand more. We endeavour to ensure we provide our pupils with a 'language rich' environment; we ensure we have a wide range of texts displayed around our school, to correlate with our wider curriculum. We work hard to raise the profile of reading, sharing the importance of reading with our parents, carers and wider community. Within our classrooms, we explore ambitious vocabulary across the wider curriculum to ensure we acquire an understanding of tricky language through the use of our knowledge organisers, vocabulary mats and working walls.
The core text will often drive the topic, supporting acquisition of knowledge and providing children with good quality examples of different text types. Sometimes the texts are chosen for their rich vocabulary, themes and opportunities to develop quality writing.
The systematic teaching of phonics through ‘Letters and Sounds' approach (DFE Approved), is a high priority through Early Years and Key Stage One. Phonics is taught daily to all Early Years, Year One and Year Two children. Children are given reading books to match their phase of phonics, which is determined through rigorous assessment. Interventions are planned promptly for children not on track to meet the expected standards.
In EYFS and KS1, we use a range of phonic schemes fully aligned to ‘Letters and Sounds’ so that they are fully decodable and matched to children’s learning in class and current ability (Letters and sounds book collection, Big cat phonics books, Bug Club etc.), to provide a wide variety of texts to keep children’s interest and maintain engagement. All books are banded in line with Letters and Sounds, in order to ensure progression and challenge for all children.
Guided/Shared Reading Sessions are planned by all teachers to teach a range of skills and techniques which enable children to comprehend the meaning of what they read and develop their understanding of the vocabulary used by authors.
Early Years and Key Stage One staff listen to individual children read on a weekly basis through English skills. Children are encouraged to reread texts to develop both fluency and comprehension. In Key Stage Two, children, who need additional support, are identified and these children are also read with frequently on a 1:1 basis. Home reading records are checked daily, allowing staff to ensure children are reading a correctly matched book to their ability.
Reading for Pleasure:
Teachers regularly read aloud to their classes and share their love of books. In addition, throughout the school year, the importance of reading is enhanced through National Poetry Day, World Book Day, author and poet visits, Book Fairs and sponsored reading events to further enrich our English curriculum.
Children not meeting the expected standard or who are at risk of not meeting their individual targets are offered additional support. This may include 1:1 reading or Reading comprehension intervention.
Our Reading Impact
Our Reading Impact We aim for children to have a love of reading and make at least good progress in reading from their last point of statutory assessment or from their starting point in EYFS. Children will use their reading skills as a key tool in helping them to learn and access the wider curriculum, and as a result, know more, remember more and understand more. Our ‘Race to Read’ initiative encourages all children to read at home regularly throughout the week .
Writing Curriculum Intentions
At St Peter & St Paul Primary Academy and Nursery, it is our aim to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English that will develop pupils' ability to speak, read and write with great fluency, master the mechanics of both reading and writing and develop a love and a true interest for English so that they can communicate their thoughts, ideas and emotions effectively.
Writing is an integral part of our curriculum. All children from Foundation Stage to Year 6 are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum. It is our intention that pupils develop a clear understanding of the writing process in order to establish themselves as an author in their own right. Through our book-led curriculum, we foster pupils' interest in writing and offer a reason and context for writing which enables the children to write for purpose and audience. Pupils are taken on a writing journey which builds their knowledge of writing for context and purpose, allows the opportunities for the children to explore a variety of text types, planning, drafting and re-drafting their writing. In order to establish this, pupils will develop their knowledge of the features of different text types, audience, language and effective composition. It is our intention to broaden our pupils' exposure to high level vocabulary to allow pupils to apply their understanding of vocabulary and grammatical features within and across the English curriculum. We intend that pupils learn how to understand the relationships between words, word meaning, implied meaning and figurative language within writing lessons, whilst ensuring that children are supported in their spelling strategies.
We intend that pupils will be taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use correct Standard English.
Writing Curriculum Implementation
Our English curriculum is derived around a sequence of high-quality age-appropriate texts. We use each book to create opportunities to develop reading fluency and comprehension with a focus on key reading strategies and skills; develop grammar and punctuation knowledge and understanding to use and apply across the wider curriculum; explore the writing structure and features of different text types, identify the purpose and audience; plan and write an initial piece of writing with a clear context and purpose before evaluating the effectiveness of writing by editing and redrafting.
At St Peter & St Paul Primary Academy and Nursery, we believe that writing is strengthened by instilling a love for reading within our pupils. We value the importance of reading to supplement writing, providing a purpose and a context to writing. We believe that pupils who are provided with a reason for writing demonstrate flair and effective writing composition, leading to high quality outcomes. The English curriculum is taught by studying high quality texts where writing opportunities are derived from this. The children are taught to develop an understanding of the texts through exploring the key themes, events, and plot of the texts being studied. Pupils are taught the grammar from the National Curriculum which corresponds to the text types being written as part of the writing process. Children are then supported in how to apply the grammatical content taught in identifying features of a high-quality modelled text, before progressing to plan, write and re-draft a written piece which is fit for purpose and audience.
At St Peter & St Paul, we aim to share our vision of high aspirations for all of our pupils through our high expectations across the wider curriculum. By setting these high expectations, our pupils are aware of the standards we expect in all lessons and learning opportunities.
Talk for Writing:
In EYFS, KS1 and KS2, Talk for Writing is our primary approach. This enables children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. A key feature is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’, as well as close reading. The approach moves from dependence towards independence, with the teacher using shared and guided writing to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully.
Writing Curriculum Impact
We strive to ensure that our children's attainment is in line or exceeds their potential when we consider the varied starting points of all our children. We measure this using a range of materials, whilst always considering the expectations for each year group. Children will make at least good progress in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening from their last point of statutory assessment or from their starting point in EYFS. We intend that the impact of our English curriculum will ensure our pupils are academically prepared for life beyond primary school and throughout their educational journey. We believe that through the book-led approach we have developed for the pupils of St Peter & St Paul, that pupils foster a love for reading and an interest in reading for pleasure. We also strive to ensure that pupils work hard to ensure that children will be able to produce written work in all areas of the curriculum of a similar standard which evidence good progress from their last point of statutory assessment point.
Race to Read
As a school, we are passionate about reading. During the school day, your child will be involved in a range of reading activities: independently, on a one-to-one basis with an adult, in small guided reading groups or in whole class reading lessons.
Reading at home for pleasure has a big impact on children’s development. Our reading reward system for children reading at home is called: ‘Race to Read’. Every time your child reads at home, sign and make a comment in their reading record book. Each day the class staff will record how many times your child has read. Every child who has read five times or more in a week (Thursday to Thursday) will get a raffle ticket and a book will be awarded to one lucky winner from each class in Celebration Worship on a Friday. In addition to this, the percentage of children reading five times or more in each year group will be calculated and the year group with the highest percentage will move furthest along the race track. The year group who are in the lead at the end of the half term will receive a reward for their commitment to reading and teamwork.
Carbrooke Book Club
Carbrooke Book Club takes place on a Tuesday evening. This is an engagement tool additional to Race to Read that excites children to read more at home. Parents/ carers need to record how long their child reads for on the bookmark found in their reading record. The class with the most minutes or biggest improvement wins the class trophy for the week.