At St. Andrew’s, English and the teaching of English is the foundation of our curriculum. We want to ensure every single child becomes primary literate and makes progression in the areas of reading, writing and spoken language. We plan and teach personalised English lessons, which focus on the
particular needs of our children. We recognise that each child has their own starting point upon entry to each year group and ensure every child can celebrate their own successes.
In English lessons, high-quality texts are used as learning models, to immerse children in vocabulary-rich learning environments and ensuring curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met.
English is not only a daily discrete lesson, it is the cornerstone of the entire curriculum. It is embedded within all our lessons and we strive for a high level of English throughout our curriculum.
Our vision is for creativity to be at the heart of our English curriculum so that children learn new skills in an engaging way.
At St. Andrew’s we ensure that the teaching of writing is purposeful, robust and shows clear progression for all children. In line with the National Curriculum, we ensure that each year group is taught the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for that age group. We expose our children to a variety of genres, which helps to utilise and embed their writing skills. Teachers use the structure outlined in our ‘Primary Writing Project’ to plan and teach English lessons. We have developed a curriculum map so all teachers are familiar with what they are teaching from year to year. This approach is designed to ensure progress, teach each year group objectives, provide opportunity to apply and consolidate skills and to further develop vocabulary.
Writing is taught through the use of high-quality texts, which expose the children to inference, high-level vocabulary, a range of punctuation and characterisation. Each text is purposefully selected in order to engage our children and promote a love of literature. To further embed the objectives, throughout the year teachers teach the skills by providing cross-curricular writing opportunities.
We assess children’s writing against a set framework. All year groups use the same format for assessing writing, which is in line with the end of Key Stage Assessment Frameworks. We moderate children’s work in year groups, across phases and with our cluster schools to ensure consistency and to share best practice.
At St. Andrew’s from Years 2 – 6, we use a reading program called ‘Accelerated Reader’. All staff are trained to use the program to support the children as their reading skills develop. There are also discrete guided reading lessons in both Key Stage 1 and 2. This ensures that reading is explicitly taught every day. Teachers and Teaching Assistants provide further support to identified groups or individual children to ensure that children progress.
Reading is celebrated in classrooms and around the school there are displays which celebrate authors, children’s favourite books and Accelerated Reading awards. Each classroom has a reading area. Throughout the school year, the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author and poet visits, parent reading workshops, visits to the local library and a range of visits, which hopefully enrich children’s experiences. We have developed a whole school Reading Spine and these books are shared with the children throughout the year. We review these regularly and try to capture children’s current interests.
The area of the English curriculum that refers to spoken language is also embedded throughout our curriculum planning. Poetry and class reading, class assemblies, school performances and drama activities enhance the children’s confidence in speaking. In Upper Key Stage 2, class discussions
are planned across the curriculum and children are encouraged to take part in debates.
With a consistent approach to the teaching of English across all phases our children become confident speakers, readers and writers. By the time our children reach Upper Key Stage 2 they are familiar with most genres of writing. Consequently, the teaching then focuses on creativity, the writer’s voice, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
English is an integral part of our school curriculum; cross curricular writing standards are strong. Skills taught in English lessons are transferred into other subjects. Our aim is to produce confident, creative and enthusiastic English readers, writers and speakers.