At St Patricks, our English curriculum is intent on providing every pupil with a rich learning experience of language, writing and grammatical knowledge and skills which can continue to develop through their education. We aim to develop our children’s vocabulary to match children from more advantaged backgrounds so that there is no limitation on their life chances. The teaching of English will give every child, regardless of their background, needs or current attainment, the fundamental skills they need to read fluently, write coherently, and communicate effectively.
The school follows the National Curriculum for English and ensures a clear sequenced progression which is taught systematically for all pupils to acquire the intended knowledge and skills. Each class’s English work is driven by a narrative or non-fiction text to engage pupils’ interest and one which generates plenty of class discussion to enhance vocabulary skills. Where possible, school trips and visits are planned such as Lancashire Library workshops and Book Bus visits.
We systematically teach the skills of reading and writing using the synthetic phonic programme ‘Read, Write, Inc’ which is intent on teaching the decoding skills children need to work out unfamiliar words rapidly- including new vocabulary and names, read familiar words speedily and read a range of texts fluently.
Our curriculum supports both knowledge and skills development whilst also developing strategies to transfer this knowledge and skills across all areas of the curriculum such as a wide range of vocabulary and spelling.
We have a clear system for the planning and delivery of our English curriculum, we use Literacy and Language from year 3 up to year 6. Literacy and Language is taught through a range of strategies including class discussions, hot seating, drama, questioning, reasoning, retrieving, understanding of powerful vocabulary, and promotes greater accuracy and development of inference and deduction skills.
Our systematic phonics teaching is taught from the Ruth Miskin Read Write Inc. scheme, which is streamed according to rigorous and frequent assessment. It starts in EYFS up to Year Two, or beyond if this is appropriate to the child. Should children need additional support with phonics acquisition and transferring knowledge to long term memory the school will provide additional intervention through Fast Track tutoring on a one-to-one basis. This tuition targets sound and skill gaps enabling children to make good progress rapidly. Alongside daily reading and the ‘virtual classroom’ children have a multi layered approach to deepening their learning and the application of phonics.
We believe every child should ‘keep up not catch up’ and as we have children coming to our school with various starting points, experiences, and transience we also provide further phonic and reading support through Fresh Start. This synthetic and systematic scheme builds upon the routines and skills taught through Read Write Inc aimed at year 5 and year 6 teaching to their individual challenge points supporting rapid and good progress.
A rigorous and consistent spelling approach is used, the RWI spelling programme is used from Year 2 onwards (once the RWI phonics programme is completed) Spelling is also tracked throughout school using Read Write Inc spelling end of unit assessments, these provide clear insights into children acquisition of spelling rules and their next steps. A variety of teaching strategies are in place, including partner work, group work and interactive files to develop children’s knowledge of the High Frequency words and year group words from the National Curriculum.
At St Patrick’s we want every child to be able to read fluently when they leave, pupils develop a love of reading through high quality texts ,adult modelling, class novels, use of our library areas through which, with librarian support ,children broaden their author knowledge and book choice, visits from the Lancashire Library Service who promote poetry writing and story workshops, promotion of reading for pleasure through stimulating book corners in classrooms and communal areas, reading raffles, and the book of the term.
We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and in their style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in speaking and listening, and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning. As part of the RWI phonics programme, correct letter formation is taught from EYFS and practiced each day. Children in KS2 follow the Nelson’s Handwriting scheme.
From the start of a pupil’s learning journey at St Patrick’s, children are encouraged to be independent learners and develop their curiosity and thirst for new knowledge. Children are taught reading and writing progressively and at a pace appropriate to each individual child. Teachers subject knowledge ensure that skills taught are matched to National Curriculum objectives. Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. Half termly assessments ensure that pupils are placed within the correct teaching group and that progress is being made based upon their challenge points. The link below sets out the ‘check points’ and progress expectations for each half term.
Attainment in reading is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two. These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally. Our children have become more confident, fluent readers and make links between the importance of the skill of reading for both reading for pleasure reading for information and knowledge.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar For those year groups, using RWI spellings is assessed each half term. In KS2, children are taught to self-correct, edit and improve their writing and that of others. Evidence of this can be found in books, in purple pen.
Children need to develop a secure knowledgebase in English our curriculum follows a clear pathway of progression as they move through the primary phase. This secure basis in English skills is crucial and gives our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
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