Curriculum statement for English
At St Mary’s we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s enjoyment of reading, writing and discussion. English is not only taught through discrete lessons, but is at the heart of our whole curriculum. We aim to inspire a reading culture in school where we promote a real love of reading for all our children, through using high quality texts, immersing children in vocabulary-rich learning environments along with ensuring the curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met. 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 who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning. 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 have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion.
We have a short daily discrete Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar lesson where learning is linked to the writing objectives currently being covered, or recaps prior learning.
We use Talk for Writing across the school to implement the teaching of writing. The texts chosen are linked to our curriculum topics and taken from our St Mary’s progressive reading spine. Children follow a three week overview, with the first week focusing on imitation of a text where they orally rehearse a section to internalise vocabulary and language structures as well as being immersed in the genre. The second week is the innovation phase, where teaching staff guide children with shared writing and children ‘have a go’ using the scaffolds provided. The final week is the independent application where children plan, write and edit their independent writing (which we call our ‘hot task’). The process then starts again with a different focus and genre.
The impact on our children is clear: reading and writing outcomes are strong, and progress, especially at the end of KS2, is excellent, demonstrating sustained learning and transferrable skills. With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children on the whole are confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills. This is also evident across the curriculum. Our children leave St Mary’s as fluent, competent readers able to access the world around them.