English at St. Mary’s
At St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School, we believe that a high quality English curriculum prepares all pupils to lead a fulfilled life by teaching them to speak and write fluently so they can communicate their ideas and emotions effectively to others and through their reading and listening others can communicate with them. We want children to develop a life-long love of books and reading, in order to develop their cultural, emotional and intellectual understanding so they are comfortable and confident in the world around them.
All children are given access to a broad and balanced English curriculum regardless of gender, ability, race or religion. Provision will be made for individual needs where a child has SEND.
In the early years foundation stage the skills of listening, attention, understanding and speaking are encompassed in the prime area of Communication and Language and are fundamental to allow children to be successful in all other learning.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, reading and writing skills are delivered through the specific English lessons and enhanced in cross-curricular activities. Each year group’s English curriculum, guided by the National Curriculum programmes of study, is progressive and mapped in a sequential manner. We make clear to children the learning outcomes (WALT) and success criteria (WILF) we are looking for in their work. Classroom libraries are expected to have a range of genre, authors, characters and settings.
To help our pupils to communicate confidently and effectively in speech, and listen with understanding, we:
• Give them opportunities to express their ideas to a range of audiences with confidence.
• Give them opportunities to take part in group discussion and drama activities.
• Encourage them to listen and respond appropriately to others.
• Help them to understand the need to adapt their speech to different situations.
• Teach them the vocabulary and grammar of standard English and encourage them to use this whenever appropriate.
• Develop personal resilience and the ability to use their voices to express themselves clearly.
• Ensure teachers tailor their questioning to the level of their class/group
• Will ask age appropriate questions for the children to answer during class discussions
• Will ensure that suitable classroom strategies are in place to ensure all children are encouraged to, and able to take part in discussions.
• Will share speaking opportunities in class, at Mass and in assemblies
To help all pupils to become readers who love books and can read and understand them we:
• Ensure staff talk openly and positively about books and reading.
• Ensure daily reading takes place and teachers are supported to make engaging, age-appropriate book choices to share with their class .
• Teach children to read accurately and fluently using a range of strategies.
• Help children to understand and respond to what they read using inference and deduction where appropriate.
• Guide them to the next steps in their learning in both group and individual reading sessions.
• Allow the opportunity for children to reflect on and discuss what they have read, including the language and punctuation choices made by the author.
• Enhance their understanding of a variety of text types including non-fiction, fiction and poetry.
• Support children to make appropriate book choices to help them to develop a love of reading.
• Support children to become confident, fluent and independent readers.
• Use drama and role-play, where appropriate, to engage children in the text.
• Communicate with parents regarding any library events which enables children access to books.
To help our pupils to communicate confidently and effectively in writing we:
• Teach them a fluent and legible style of handwriting, promoting an understanding of how to present work appropriately.
• Give them the phonetical knowledge and the spelling patterns/strategies to become confident and accurate spellers.
• Teach them how to use punctuation to make meaning clear to their reader
• Teach them how to use punctuation to make meaning clear to their reader.
• Teach them how to write in a variety of forms such as stories, poems, reports and letters.
• Engage and motivate them to write effectively for a range of purposes and a range of reasons, adapting their vocabulary and style as appropriate.
• Show them how to evaluate and edit in order to improve their own writing.
• Encourage them to write with interest, commitment and enjoyment.
On entry, assessments are made for children joining our Nursery and Reception classes. This enables progress to be tracked and monitored through EYFS. Assessments will be made against the ELGs for Reading and Writing and outcomes will be used to support transition.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, assessment is an ongoing part of lessons. Children complete a cold write at the beginning of each unit and then a hot write at the end which shows the application of learning to produce an improved piece of work. Pieces of work for reading and writing over the term are used to support a teacher in making an assessment judgement which is logged in our school tracking system.
In addition to this we complete SATs in May and optional SATS in June of each year to give us an age related standardised score for Reading and SPAG. These tests, alongside work in books, enables teachers to make accurate end of year assessment judgements which are recorded in our tracker and enable us to monitor progress over time. Writing is assessed by teachers and evidence in children’s books is used to inform the teacher’s judgements, Teachers in both Year 2 and Year 6 take part in both in-school and external moderation sessions, which helps to confirm teacher judgements are accurate.
All children will develop the correct technique to produce legible, joined handwriting and will have developed many strategies for accurate spelling. All children will have had access to high quality discussions about books and will have enjoyed independent reading opportunities along with being read to. They will understand how adapt the use of their body and voice whilst performing, and the
importance of listening and reflecting during discussions. All children will have developed their use of the grammatical terms taught in primary school and be able to use these to enhance the experience for those reading their writing. The children will feel confident to take risks and will know that the impact on the reader should be at the forefront of any decision they make whilst writing. All children will be proud of their writing. All children move to the next phase of their education with a love for expressing themselves through writing, socialising, communicating and reading. They will leave our school with the necessary foundations in English to be a success in their secondary school, and in their future.