At St John’s we aim to inspire our pupils to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to become lifelong learners and linguists. Our vision is for all pupils to be fluent, confident readers who have a firm grasp of an extensive vocabulary which is used in all lessons across the curriculum. We strive to ensure that all our pupils receive a well-rounded learning experience when reading, writing, speaking and listening which will equip them with the fundamental tools to achieve. It is our intention to immerse pupils in the wonders of quality texts to instil a love for reading, a passion for discovery and a confidence to explore their imagination through our curriculum. We want all pupils to develop a love of reading and explore a variety of texts and authors in lessons and independently.
Through our English curriculum, we strive to teach the children how important their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills will be in the real world. By giving this context to their learning, the children understand the value of English to them now, and in their futures.
We use the phonics scheme Read Write Inc for Key Stage One and Big Cat for Key Stage Two Reading.
By the age of 11 we aim for a child to be able to:
- speak, read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding, orchestrating a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct.
- be competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas;
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information;
- have an interest in words, their meanings; developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms.
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language;
- develop an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage;
- articulate and communicate ideas, write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences;
- be developing the powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness.
- spell quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words.
- be skilled at word reading quickly working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words
- have good comprehension of what they read, drawn from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world.
St John’s English curriculum is planned from the National Curriculum (2014). English units, planned around the NC programmes of study have been developed to support cross-curricular themes. St John’s has a long-term plan of themes and key learning for each class to ensure there is a clear sequence of progression from EYFS through to the NC.
English is taught in ‘phases’ in English lessons in KS1 and KS2.
Phase 1 – this is the reading phase. The teacher studies a book or novel with the children and learning is based around this reading. Vocabulary, fluency and understanding all focus within the sessions.
Phase 2 – this is the gathering content phase. Here information (such as vocabulary and sentence structure) is gathered during learning which will aid and support the writing which will follow.
Phase 3 – this is the writing phase. In this phase, the teacher scaffolds the writing which supports the children in their progress and development of writing.
In order to develop independent writing alongside the phases, each teacher implements outcome 1, 2 and 3 into their teaching.
Outcome 1 – The teacher scaffolds the writing for the children during English lessons.
Outcome 2 – The children are given an opportunity sometime later (perhaps a week) to write in the same genre but without scaffolding. This is classed as independent writing.
Outcome 3 – The children are given an opportunity to use their learning across the curriculum.
Children in EYFS, Year 1 (and if needed, Year 2) learn to read through Read, Write Inc. phonics scheme. Please see the RWI policy.
Children in Years 2-6 take part in daily guided reading lessons.
In Key Stage One and Key Stage Two classes, grammar is taught discretely through phases one and two and its application is taught during phase 3. Spelling is taught discretely and application is encouraged throughout.
Across the school handwriting is taught in a pre-cursive and then continuous cursive script discretely using some resources from letter-join scheme of work. In Foundation Stage, handwriting is linked to phonics and planned for during continuous provision. This includes both child initiated and adult directed activities. In Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, handwriting is taught discretely and applied across the curriculum.
The phases approach to English have been introduced and we expect to see progress throughout the next academic year.
RWI phonics will be introduced in September and data will be quickly gathered. It is expected that children in EYFS, Year 1 and some Year 2 will make rapid progress in their reading, writing, fluency and comprehension.
Children have attained well in reading and writing at the end of KS2. Further progress is expected throughout the next academic year.