English curriculum Intent: English programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2
We believe that English is one of the essential ingredients in providing our children with the best possible education. It is an important subject in its own right, the platform for accessing the whole curriculum and the world in which they live. At a fundamental level, English allows children to communicate, to form friendships, to empathise, and make their needs known. It connects us in the global world that we are a part of as it is the most widely spoken language in the world and is generally regarded as the language of the internet as the majority of websites are written in English. Recent research by the National Literacy Trust has shown that vocabulary development from as young as the age of five is linked to success in exams taken at sixteen; this is why it is imperative that we model high standards of Literacy and have high expectations of all of our children.
English across the curriculum:
We promote the transference of accurate English across the curriculum and give children opportunities to read, write, perform, debate, question and listen in a range of contexts from Early Years through to Year 6.
Reading and writing is further promoted through focus days such as National Poetry Day, World Book Day, National Storytelling Week, Vocabulary Day and numerous whole school projects.
Speaking & Listening
The children at St Luke’s are clear communicators; they are given the power of having authentic pupil voice, something that we are extremely proud of. Our children are outward looking leaders of the future and are empowered to speak in an articulate and confident manner. They have the ability to communicate effectively, confidently and with clarity, which is crucial in school, and in becoming an effective participant in our wider society with skills of communication being key to accessing the world of work and in navigating future life.
Oracy has a central place in our curriculum, reflecting the vital importance of spoken language in our pupils’ development. We aim to broaden children’s vocabulary through modelling high standards of literacy. Pupils are supported to speak in Standard English at all times whilst at school. There are many opportunities to talk and communicate across the curriculum as this is recognised as being a key way in which pupils develop their learning.
Through listening intently our pupils are able to think critically, appreciate the ‘other perspective’ and find solutions to problems.
In addition to making formal presentations and participating in debates, children are provided with a plethora of opportunities to apply speaking and listening skills during their St Luke’s learning journey such as:
- Learning forums
- Leadership opportunities
- Decision making
- Charity work
- Community projects
We genuinely believe that reading is the gateway to our children’s future. In the words of Dr Seuss
We aim to provide children with a literacy-rich environment, high quality texts and inspiring learning opportunities, which will help them to:
- Gain a life-long enjoyment of reading and books.
- Read accurately, with automaticity, fluency and understanding;
- Apply a knowledge of structured synthetic phonics in order to decode unfamiliar words with increasing accuracy and speed;
- Be able to read with expression, clarity and confidence;
- Develop a good linguistic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar;
- Read and respond to a wide range of different types of texts;
- Develop a deeper level of emotional intelligence and empathy;
- Read fluently, and with confidence across the primary curriculum and in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.
Reading for pleasure is a must at St Luke’s. We have an amazing new library which is used by all children on a weekly basis with active pupil librarians at the centre of its function. We have reading areas in all classrooms and are constantly looking for ways to keep our love of reading alive including our book vending machine, extreme reading challenges, competitions, workshops, author/illustrator visits, mystery reader sessions, book bingo, sponsored reads and much more.
Through the delivery of our reading curriculum we ensure a consistent and robust teaching and learning of early reading and phonics in FS and KS1, so that pupils are able to read with increased speed and fluency and access the wider curriculum. We follow the ELS Phonics scheme. Children are provided with books that match and support their phonics development and ability. All pupils have opportunities to develop their reading skills daily, and are encouraged to regularly read at home with an adult. We provide a text rich environment, in order to encourage a positive culture of reading throughout all classes and promote reading for pleasure. Through high quality teaching and learning experiences we develop children’s skills and competence so that they are fluent readers who can read to learn. From Year 2 to Year 6, our Shared Reading cycle has been developed to allow pupils to develop their fluency, vocabulary and comprehension skills each week. During whole class daily sessions, the children hear effective teacher modelling strategies and will have opportunities to rehearse and improve their own word reading. Our pupils develop higher level vocabulary through exposure to high quality texts and through exploration of meaning in context. During the comprehension stages of our reading cycle, our children develop an understanding of how to answer of range of questions to aid their comprehension of poetry, fiction and non-fiction texts. The texts chosen for our shared reading lessons are high quality and connect to St Luke’s wider curriculum learning, to help weave threads in the children’s understanding and embed knowledge.
All pupils will be able to read with accuracy, automaticity, fluency and understanding, ready to access the secondary school curriculum. All pupils will make at least good progress from their starting points. Pupils will develop a life-long enjoyment of reading and books.
To read more about are Phonics intent, implementation and impact read here; Phonics – St Luke’s CE Academy (st-lukes-endon.staffs.sch.uk)
Linking with our love of books, our English sequences are based on an ambitious range of high-quality texts, which help us to make connections across the curriculum. At St Luke’s, we follow the stages of immerse, explore, build and plan, compose, revise and edit, and publish or perform, within our writing journey. We believe that each of these stages are crucial for the development of good quality writing and the children receive adult or peer feedback at various stages of this cycle with our marking policy Marking Policy 2021 (st-lukes-endon.staffs.sch.uk). At the core of our English teaching is the understanding of spelling and grammar. Grammar is taught mainly through high-quality texts with discreet input when required. Children are given lots of opportunity to see the grammar aspects that they are learning in a variety of contexts within the texts that they are reading, and are able to apply this within their writing. Spellings are taught through phonics and learning particular spelling rules and strategies. We learn the correct formation of letters in Foundation and Year one so the children are ready to begin joining their writing by the end of Key Stage one. Within Key Stage two, these joins are continuously reinforced and practised.