English is taught on a daily basis within the school, reflecting its’ standing as a core subject within the curriculum. The English curriculum is mapped out over the key stage with year each group planning units of work which denote the various genres, such as poetry, narrative writing, diary writing and play scripts etc. Over the course of the four years the children will experience a broad and balanced English curriculum exploring the various text types as they progress up through the school. Click on the document below or here to access the areas covered by each year group.
Text based planning
The school adopts a text based approach to the teaching of English where appropriate, using quality texts, chosen to engage and inspire the children. The school has compiled a literature spine which runs through the school, comprising of carefully selected books and stories which will act as catalyst to motivate and enthuse children’s study of literature.
Talk for Writing
In each year group, Talk for Writing features greatly in the teaching of narrative writing. This involves the children playing creative warm up games, taking well known tales and poems, imitating them and then innovating them, creating their own poems and stories by changing and embellishing the original. Using this approach, the children learn the focused text by heart, devising actions to help them remember the pattern of the story or structure of a poem. Once the children have internalised the text, they can then re-tell it, but then create their own version of the story using story maps or boxing up techniques, with the children ultimately writing or performing their own work. This process can be adapted for a variety of texts and has proven to be a highly effective tool in developing the children’s skills of narrative writing.
Focus on Vocabulary
As a school we are having a huge focus on promoting the development of children’s vocabulary. We have a word a week in class and all reading lessons introduce new words from the text. These new words are then built into the week’s planning. We also focus on subject-specific vocabulary in all other subjects.
Grammar and Punctuation
In line with the new curriculum, grammar and punctuation are taught during English lessons in all classes, within the teaching of reading, writing and speaking. Aspects of grammar and punctuation are revisited throughout Key Stage 2, to allow for consolidation of knowledge and to promote a deeper understanding. All classes display the terminology, which the children need to learn and use in the course of their English work, as explicit knowledge of grammar is important in giving children a more conscious control and choice in the use of their language.
Cross Curricular Links
Through the school’s creative curriculum approach to teaching and learning, English is embedded throughout the planning and underpins much of the children’s learning.
The children are encouraged to have a love of books and reading and initiatives such as The Reading Challenge help to encourage this. Guided and Whole Class Reading sessions are integral to the teaching of English with groups focusing on a selected book, anthology, article or short story. Aspects of English covered during the week’s teaching can be reinforced during the guided reading session, providing children with the opportunity to discuss the text, make predictions as to how the story may develop and summarise key points. The close scrutiny of a text, allows children to see how writers’ develop their craft and give them the opportunity to use these skills in their own writing.
We also encourage reading for pleasure in a dedicated timeslot with a huge increase in new reading material for the children. We work across school to ‘Buddy Read’ and share our love of books. Reading is celebrated throughout the school year with Parent Lunches, our annual Poetry Competition and the Book Fair which enables us to restock our library.
All children also have access to read online books as part of our subscription to Bug Club.
Reading is indelibly linked to all areas of the curriculum and as such is pivotal to learning, promoting challenge and creating a climate for success in all we do!
Spellings are given to children on a weekly basis. The spellings are based on the spelling patterns included in the curriculum for English, which is currently being followed by Years 3, 4 and 5. In addition to these spellings the children will be introduced to words taken from the Y3/4 and Y5/6 words list which children are expected to be able to spell by the end of their time in Key Stage 2.
Handwriting and Presentation of Work
The importance of maintaining a high standard of presentation in all children’s work in all subjects is stressed in all lessons throughout the curriculum, and all staff expect the children to ensure that they present their work to the best of their abilities and to be proud of the work they produce. This is celebrated in our annual Handwriting Competition.
Many of the English initiatives are shared with the schools within the town of Market Drayton. Staff share initiatives and new approaches to the teaching and learning of English with other English lead teachers, allowing for consistency and cohesion as part of the Town Schools Partnership, thus promoting best practice across classrooms and schools. Governor links are also well established with the link Governor regularly meeting with the co-ordinator to be briefed upon developments within the subject and new ideas being trialled and eventually rolled out across the whole school. It is a very well- resourced subject, with established links with the school library and local library being utilised fully to ensure that the children are exposed to quality texts and research materials to source a given text type or theme.
The Celebration of English
English has a very high profile within the school. The love of books and reading is celebrated annually during World Book Day, and this year the school held its inaugural poetry reciting competition, with the children demonstrating their ability to both learn and recite poems for an audience. This was a very impressive and eloquent performance from all the children and served to inspire other children to participate in future events.
Over recent years, the school has welcomed a number of prestigious authors to the school, including Liz Pichon, author of the Tom Gates books. The children regularly experience live theatre, with performances not only bringing well known stories to life, but also historical plays and performances linked to scientific themes, such as Bunsen Towers.
As well as the award winning author, Tom Palmer, who has visited us several times in the last few years. Once to share his Reading the Game project and secondly to inspire the children to write and discuss his books about the war.
English is at the heart of the teaching and learning throughout the curriculum. It is implicit in almost everything we do. A vibrant force within the school, English is subject which is constantly evolving, continually exploring new approaches to teaching and learning. Ultimately it is a crucial tool in our learning, a corner stone of our academic journey but also a source of enjoyment and pleasure for all.