We believe that English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to write and speak fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
Our curriculum is based upon the National Curriculum 2014. It 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.
Speaking and Listening
Children’s ability to speak and listen is fundamental to their learning and thinking in school and to their language and social development. Richness and variety of talk is also of key importance for all children if they are to develop confidence and a repertoire of talk for different purposes and audiences. Links between oral and written language need to be encouraged and consistently built on and children for who English is an additional language need to have opportunities to work with good role models.
The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:
- word reading
- comprehension (both listening and reading)
Therefore, it is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions.
The programmes of study for writing at Key Stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading; teaching develops pupils’ competence in both transcription and composition. In addition, pupils are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing.
Spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
Pupils are taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English. They are also taught to use the elements of spelling, grammar and punctuation and learn the correct grammatical terms in English that are integrated within teaching.
English is linked to other subjects in an integral way, as it is the medium through which pupils learn. We recognise that the principles of teaching English can be applied to the teaching of other subjects across the curriculum e.g. through presentations, group discussions, using writing frames, reading for information, communicating and computing.
Opportunities are regularly available across the key stages for pupils to utilise, demonstrate and further develop their skills by: completing cross-curricular projects; taking part in presentations, class assemblies, school productions and year group rich learning outcomes; and contributing to the school newsletter. Additional events such as visits from theatre companies and authors, book fairs and book weeks also help to inspire and enthuse pupils.