“The value of English in the curriculum? What can I say? Without English, nothing. And without good English, nothing very well.“ Anne Fine, author.
English is a core subject and is at the heart of our curriculum. We aim to develop every child’s ability to communicate effectively in speech and writing and to listen with understanding. We encourage our pupils to be enthusiastic, fluent and responsive readers who can learn and gain pleasure from the written word.
We use ILPs (Imaginative Learning Projects) from the Cornerstones Curriculum. Each project covers a range of reading and writing genres and, where appropriate, links to other areas of the curriculum.
The main reading schemes that we use are Big Cats, Phonics Bug, Oxford Reading Tree and Ginn 360. We teach reading using a variety of strategies, but in the early stages the phonic approach is the method of choice. We also place emphasis on the importance of understanding and responding to reading and therefore comprehension skills are taught throughout the school.
We feel that the correct use of English grammar, spelling and punctuation, as well as a wide vocabulary, are very important – and we aim to equip our pupils with the tools needed.
We also give pupils many opportunities to use drama as a means of expression, and we take groups to the theatre to view professionally produced performances when appropriate. Year 6 pupils deliver an annual production in a professional theatre to hundreds of parents.
We encourage parents to take an active role in their child’s development through listening to their reading, talking to them about home learning tasks and helping them to learn their spellings.
Intent - What do we want children to learn?
At Framlingham Sir Robert Hitcham’s we believe that a high-quality Literacy curriculum should develop our 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 reading and writing, can write clearly and accurately, edit and self-mark their writing as well as 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 who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
We strongly 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 recognise that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to succeed both in school and later in life.
Implementation - How are we going to achieve our intent?
The aims above are embedded across our literacy lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a rich and varied English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and speaking and listening. Teachers use and adapt ILP’s ( Imaginative Learning Projects) from the Cornerstones curriculum as appropriate to their classes needs, ensuring, where appropriate, that cross curricular links are woven into our literacy as much as possible to provide a stimulating and engaging curriculum for our pupils. Our English curriculum is closely linked to the schools 4-year topic-based curriculum and each year group has specific texts linked (where ever possible) to the topic. The texts are chosen to ensure the children of Sir Robert Hitcham’s are exposed to as many genres, subjects and authors as possible as well as ensuring the promotion of diversity and inclusion through the books they read.
Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014.
The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- - read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- - develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- - acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- - appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- - write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- - use discussion in order to learn; they should be able 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.
In addition to daily literacy lessons, children are encouraged to enjoy and excel in their reading through a range of reading schemes which include, Big Cats, Phonics Bug, Oxford Reading Tree and Ginn 360. At Sir Robert Hitcham’s we aim to develop our pupils' love of reading through a range of teaching strategies, guided reading sessions as well as providing opportunities at least 3 times a week for children to read independently. Phonics and spellings are taught and practised daily and form part of the children’s daily diet of vocabulary acquisition, which is vitally important in supporting the children to become competent and imaginative writers and speakers. We use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. We also provide a wealth of enrichment opportunities, from inviting well known authors in to talk to pupils, the Year 6 production, taking part in National initiatives such as the Share a Million stories’ World Book day and poetry competitions. Pupils are also given opportunities to take part in our end of term church services which develops all aspects of their English learning. Each half term we have Key Stage poetry reading competitions where classes each read / perform a poem of their choice and a winner is chosen by an invited guest. This ensures that the pupil’s key skills are being developed throughout their time at our school.
We also aim to develop close home school relationships to support our children’s literacy development and love of reading and writing. Children are encouraged, and expected, to read regularly at home, practise their spellings, using Spelling Shed and speak about their learning too. Each half term every child in Key Stage 2 has a set of home learning tasks sent home which includes strong links to reading and writing as well as supporting the wider curriculum in school.
Impact - What will it look like when we have achieved our intent?
As a result, we have a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy skills at every opportunity. They are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their work. The pupils are confidently able to discuss their learning using the correct terminology. Teachers immerse the pupils in the language of our English curriculum through their in depth understanding of the subject and age related expectations. At Sir Robert Hitcham’s we aim for our attainment at the end of EYFS, KS1 and KS2 to be at or above that of the national average.
See our English Posts on the Blog.
We initiate phonic learning through the Supersonic Phonic Friends scheme starting with Phase 1 in Nursery and progressing through the phases in Reception and then Key Stage 1.
Oxford Owl website shows how to pronounce each phoneme (YouTube)
How can I improve my writing?
In school, we use something called VCOP as an aid:
Other useful resources:
Other useful links:
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