English in the Curriculum
At St Paul’s we strive to help our children develop into articulate and imaginative communicators, who are well-equipped with the basic skills they need to become life-long learners; English learning is key in this. We aim to ensure all of our children develop a genuine love of language and literature. Our text-based approach carefully links our reading and writing curriculum together through a diverse range of high-quality books.
Our curriculum ensures that children’s English learning is relevant and meaningful. Where possible we make strong links between our reading, writing and the topic that we are covering in History and Geography. We ensure that children develop an understanding of how widely writing is used in everyday life and, therefore, how important and useful the skills are that they are learning.
At St Paul’s, we intend:
- for children to become enthusiastic and motivated readers
- to develop children’s confidence in reading a wide variety of genres and text types
- for children to have the skills to decode words in order to be able to read fluently with understanding of what they have read.
- for children to become confident spellers
- to encourage a love of literature and an enjoyment of reading for pleasure - to use reading to provoke thought within children.
- to write for a purpose
- see themselves as real writers
- take ownership of their writing
- see writing as an interesting and enjoyable process
- acquire the ability to organise and plan their written work
Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability, additional needs, and to flourish to become the very best version of themselves they can possibly be.
We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children.
We aim to develop children’s ability to produce well-structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the audience/reader. Particular attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English: grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling. Teachers clearly model writing skills and document the learning journey through high-quality first teaching; guided writing sessions are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals. Children have opportunities to write at length, in extended, independent writing sessions throughout units of work – applying their taught skills to an unsupported piece of writing.
Throughout the Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, we teach writing through a topic-based approach, which allows us to meet the needs of the children that we are teaching – through choosing a topic that will engage, inspire and motivate. As well as reading a wide variety of genres, children are given frequent opportunities to develop their skills in writing in different genres. Through covering one topic per half term in depth, children are given the opportunity to put their writing skills into practice through a range of different extended writing tasks, both fiction and non-fiction.
Pupils are taught discrete punctuation and grammar skills, appropriate to their year group, allowing opportunities to identify, practice and consolidate grammatical understanding. Our comprehensive punctuation and grammar curriculum clearly maps the skills children need to be taught in order to unlock their full potential. We ensure that punctuation and grammar become an integral part of everyday school life and not just a part of an English lesson. Children are consistently given the opportunity to apply the grammar and punctuation skills that they have learnt in their extended pieces of writing.
Alongside punctuation and grammar, children are taught the rules of spelling. Using a range of techniques, children are encouraged to learn words in context and understand their meaning. The words children learn are linked to the National Curriculum and the topics they are studying.
Throughout the Early Years and Key Stage 1, children engage in daily phonics sessions. Our phonics curriculum map gives a clear step-by-step guide of progress for our children, ensuring they can practice and consolidate their skills. Our curriculum encourages the children to learn to read effortlessly. This allows them to put all their energy into comprehending what they read. High quality books and storytelling are used to support learning and develop a love of reading.
Our curriculum enables the children to enjoy learning to write, they are encouraged to verbalise sentences at the planning stage, and then use their knowledge of graphemes and tricky words to support them as they write.
Pupils are given the opportunity to read a range of fiction and non-fiction books throughout their time at St Paul’s. They are encouraged to challenge themselves with their choice of material and discuss books. In Key Stage 1, weekly one-to-one reading sessions are used to develop word recognition, fluency and understanding. As children progress into Key Stage 2, weekly guided sessions form an integral part of the every-day curriculum. Small group sessions allow children to build confidence when reading, develop fluency and foster a love of book talk.
By the time children leave St Paul’s they will:
- Make good progress from their KS1 results
- Have a love for writing and write for enjoyment
- Be able to produce written work in all areas of the curriculum to a high standard
- Be confident to write for a range of different purposes
- Be confident spellers
- Be enthusiastic and motivated readers who are confident and will enjoy reading a wide variety of genres and text types
- Have the skills to decode words in order to be able to read fluently with a secure understanding of what they have read
- Be inspired by literature and will read for pleasure.