Curriculum Design at St. Wilfrid’s Church of England Primary Academy
Curriculum Area: English
Curriculum Leaders: Mrs Prentki, Mrs Broome, Miss Cowburn, Mrs Crawford and Mrs Mullen
Curriculum Link Governor: Mrs. Ashton
Our English curriculum aims to motivate and inspire children, through a series of lessons that engage and challenge all learners and provides them with a high standard of language and literacy skills, vital for achieving success at school and later in life.
Our curriculum is designed to equip pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature, through widespread reading for enjoyment. It aims for all children to acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
Children will learn to read fluently and demonstrate a good understanding. We aim to develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
Children will learn to write clearly, accurately and coherently for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
Our Christian Values and Distinctiveness, alongside our School Mission Statement of ‘Achieve, Believe and Care’, are at the heart of our curriculum and all that we do at St. Wilfrid’s.
In English, we implement an inclusive curriculum that meets the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. Our curriculum is well-planned and provides literacy-rich, cross-curricular opportunities.
Through daily lessons, children learn the essentials of the English language such as phonics, spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence construction, together with the skills to help shape and organise texts.
Our curriculum is delivered through highly effective ‘quality first teaching’. Enrichment opportunities, including outdoor learning, inspirational visitors and exciting educational visits, provide our children with rich experiences and enhance teaching, learning and knowledge.
Teachers read with pupils a range of texts focusing on comprehension and specific features and model the strategies for reading which the children are working on. This is an opportunity for teachers to demonstrate the act of being a fluent reader. In shared reading, the text chosen is at a level slightly higher than the majority of the class and teachers plan differentiated questions around the text that encourage the children to enjoy, understand, discuss and analyse the written word in a supported environment.
In Reception and KS1, guided reading takes place weekly. Each child has a session supported by their teacher, as well as stimulating and meaningful activities linked to reading, where they are not working directly with the class teacher. Children are given the opportunity to explore books in small groups.
In KS2, guided reading is taught as a whole class, using focus reading texts which link to focus themes or supplementary high-quality texts or extracts.
Specific reading skills for each year group are taught during guided reading sessions, using reading content domains.
Teachers use a range of schemes to support the planning and teaching of reading, for example, Literacy Shed (VIPERS), Maddy Barnes (CLIMB) and Headstart.
Teachers assess reading against age-related descriptors and children undertake half-termly summative assessments.
Children also engage in independent, sustained reading. It provides an opportunity for pupils to read and enjoy a range of texts and to apply reading strategies. In KS2, children are encouraged to keep their own record of the books they read in their reading diaries. Each class has a collection of materials for the teaching of reading. Across the school, there are:
· books grouped by colour-coded reading levels (where appropriate)
· books reflecting the current topics
· fiction and non-fiction books from which children can select their home reading material
A range of Reading schemes are used in school. The main schemes are Oxford Reading Tree, Songbirds and Floppy’s phonics. Phonics is delivered through the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme.
Before writing, children are given the opportunity to see a high-quality example of the genre of writing being taught. As a class, grammar and language features are identified, discussed and annotated before children plan their own writing. They are then given the opportunity to revise and edit their writing. They learn to write for a purpose, incorporating a range of genres. Finally, children present their edited work in their writing book with a focus on handwriting and presentation skills.
From Nursery, children participate in daily phonics lessons, following the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme in a systematic way. From Reception, children learn to read and write ‘High Frequency’ words, specific for their year group. These are taught in class and sent home to practise. Once children can read words from Phases 2-5, they begin to spell these words.
From Year 1, weekly spellings are taught and an activity recorded in English books. Children are given a list of words each week to take home and learn, and then tested on.
Spelling resources include; Spelling Shed, Spelling for Literacy, No Nonsense Spelling and Headstart.
Our English curriculum promotes children’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development, ensuring that they are reflective and responsible citizens. Fundamental British Values are actively promoted in English lessons in order to prepare the children for life in Modern Britain.
Our well-planned English curriculum ensures that children develop the skills, knowledge and vocabulary that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language.
Through the breadth and depth that our curriculum offers, children are equipped with the skills to become lifelong learners and to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety.