English Curriculum Intent
The Purpose of English
English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach 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. Through reading in particular, pupils have the chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially plays a key role in such development. Reading also enable pupils both to acquire knowledge and build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
At Grove Primary School and Nursery, we are dedicated to developing each child’s abilities within an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing. Children will be given opportunities to interrelate the requirements of the English curriculum within a broad and balanced approach to the teaching of English across the curriculum, with opportunities to consolidate and practice taught literacy skills.
We strive for all children to become competent readers and writers. By the end of Key Stage Two, we aim for a child to be able to:
Approaches to Writing
To encourage the emergence of competent writers, a range of opportunities and provisions for phonics, spelling and writing are made.
At the Grove, we use an approach to write based on Babcock’s Sequences of Learning. This helps to build upon the developmental building blocks of writing: vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure and paragraphing. Grammar is taught within lessons to help children build up knowledge and apply within lessons. This is then strengthened through the process of pupils revisiting and reapplying their skills. Applying a ‘mastery approach’ to writing also allows for the greater development of vocabulary, with all the above carried out in line with the writing objectives laid out in the national curriculum.
The sequences of learning approach has many other advantages including breaking the writing process down into manageable, explicitly taught chunks and provides pupils with opportunities to practise skills repeatedly – but in different contexts. There are also opportunities presented for extended writing pieces. The approach places emphasis on pupils’ understanding of the writing process, with planning and revision being key aspects that are explicitly taught, in order for pupils to use them independently. This helps to develop the children’s metacognition and will place pupils in a strong position in regard to their future schooling. It is expected that children make simple edits to their work throughout their schooling, from making simple letter corrections in EYFS to editing longer pieces of work to improve in KS2.
Approaches to Phonics and Spelling
We believe that good reading and spelling is an essential skills that allows children to communicate their understanding in all curriculum subjects. In order for pupils to develop into effective and confident spellers, they need to develop and use a range of spelling strategies. For this to be achieved, spelling is taught actively and explicitly with the understanding that the greatest impact on spelling is achieved when children are encouraged to use new spellings, and their associated rules in their writing. Regular analysis of pupils’ spelling ensure that support is provided, tailored to the specific needs of the child or year group.
Approaches to Reading
For pupils to succeed in education, reading has got to be a priority. Pupils’ reading ability and knowledge acquisition are of great importance, with the associated costs to the lives of individuals and wider society being enormous (World Literacy Foundation, 2015). A recent review of research (Castles, Rastle and Nation, 2018) synthesised over 300 studies to highlight best practice: a phonics-based approach to help young children crack the ‘alphabetic code’: Immersion in test to develop word-recognition and the influence of knowledge, processing and cognition on wider comprehension.
In taking these aspects into consideration, our aim is for all pupils – irrespective of their needs, abilities or background – to learn to read fluently and with understanding. We aim to meet, and where possible exceed, the expectations laid out in the Early Learning Goals and National Curriculum, with pupils’ progression appropriately across school. Once children can decode text effectively, we aim to build word recognition and develop comprehension skills in order to produce secure, confident, independent readers who enjoy and understand the benefits of reading.