The English curriculum
English at Rolls Crescent
Our intent for each of our children is based upon the need for them to enter the world of work as articulate and literate individuals with a strong love of reading and writing. We recognise the responsibility to send children to secondary school having mastered the key skills of speaking and listening, reading and writing. We want our children to be resilient readers and writers with an ambitious curiosity about language and vocabulary.
For our children, competence in reading is the key to independent learning and has a direct effect on progress in all other areas of the curriculum. We want our children to read for pleasure and be ‘readers for meaning’, not just children who can read and in accordance with EEF guidance reports we teach comprehension skills as well as developing language and vocabulary. We will ensure that all children have equal access to the curriculum, regardless of gender, race, religion or ability. Children with specific reading, speech and language or hearing difficulties will be identified and supported through support programmes in school and external help will be sought when necessary. Reading is inclusive for all pupils regardless of starting point and barriers.
In nursery, our children begin a phonetic journey in Letters and Sounds phase 1, which starts with aspects 1 (environmental sounds) 2 (instrumental sounds) 3 (body percussion) and finally phase 4 (voice sounds).
In reception, children continue their phonics journey with Little Wandle Letters and Sounds which is a DFE accredited systematic approach. To support this, there are groups of phonics activities to ensure no gaps in learning. All English work is based around high quality picture books encompassing guided reading and writing. Reading is further supplemented with specific interventions such as NELI (speaking and listening) and The Reception Literacy programme.
In KS1, children continue to take part in Little Wandle Letters and Sounds with daily systematic and synthetic phonics lessons streamed across their year group. Once they have securely met the expected phonics reading standard, they are taught comprehension strategies with increasing independence. English work is centered around exciting picture books.
In LKS2, children in year 3 part in guided reading carousels daily and are challenged to apply taught VIPERS comprehension strategies. English learning is focused around high-quality picture books through which children explore and expand their vocabulary on the Pathways to Write programme. Children also read a variety of texts across the curriculum.
In Years 4, 5 and 6 Children take part in 'Whole Class Guided Reading". Teachers work with the whole class explicitly teaching, modelling, and applying VIPERS comprehension strategies. Targeted questioning by the teacher encourages children to 'read between the lines' at their level. Children are heard read frequently by adults in school and also read a variety of texts across the curriculum. They also access Read Theory (an online, diagnostic reading programme) to facilitate reading at home and to develop skills.
In accordance with the EEF Guidance reports, our writing curriculum is built around ambitious texts and units of work which develop vocabulary, speaking and listening, and writing skills through a mastery approach. From EYFs through to Year 6, we engage the children in effective writing through consideration of purpose and audience. We teach our children to select and use different strategies with increasing levels of independence. In EYFS children are given opportunities to orally rehearse and write formally and in play. As writing skills develop, we plan and teach it as a process of planning, drafting, revising and editing - after evaluation of their own or a peer’s work. Children learn the features and conventions of different genres and this is supported by the selected texts, wider reading and the application of writing skills in other curriculum areas. . All teachers are trained in effective vocabulary teaching using the Word Aware approach across all subject areas.
Children are given opportunities to develop their confidence with spoken language directed to a variety of audiences through a range of activities across the curriculum including guided play, drama, assemblies, P4C, performance poetry and different types of class discussion.