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St Mary’s Primary School – English Curriculum Statement

 

At St Mary’s Primary School we want every child to be happy and enthusiastic learners of English, and to be eager to achieve their very best in order to fulfil their God-given talents. We firmly believe that the recipe for success is high quality first-wave teaching in English, which is central to the life of our happy, caring school.

 

Intent – What we are trying to achieve?

 

  • Our principal aim is that children leave St Mary’s Primary School with a wide range of happy and rich memories in English formed through interesting and exciting experiences which may be linked where possible to the vehicles that enhance a child’s awareness of their own abilities and strengths as a learner; thus ensuring that children see learning in English as an ongoing process not a one-off event.
  • Children will meet the National Curriculum expectations in English, which will be taught by highly-qualified enthusiastic staff who will support children to develop mastery of concepts and inspire enthusiasm and interest in the subject.
  • All children will study English for 5 hours per week in Key Stage One and 6 hours per week in Key Stage Two in addition to the English Guided Reading Sessions of 1 hour 40 minutes in Key Stage One and 2 hours 30 minutes will take place in Key Stage Two.  Additionally Key Stage 1 will have 1 hour 40 minutes per week dedicated to the teaching of phonics.
  • Opportunities will exist for children of all ages to experience learning beyond the classroom.  This will allow them to enrich their knowledge in English for example, visiting a local library, welcoming in an author to work with the children, visiting a theatre to see a live production of a studied book or by visiting a museum or specific location relevant to an author being studied.
  • Children will develop a deep understanding of the subjects they are studying. They will increasingly use their prior knowledge to solve problems and develop the sophistication of English.
  • Children will understand how Catholic virtues and British Values relate to English.
  • In English, children will develop the skills to read, write, speak and listen.
  • Children will develop a real understanding and appreciation of the world learning from the best that has been developed and said.  For example, children will be immersed in real texts and will read literature from a wide range of well-known authors including those who have been awarded the UK Children’s laureate to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field such as Quentin Blake, Anne Fine, Sir Michael Morpurgo, Anthony Browne, Julia Donaldson, Lauren Child, Michael Rosen and Malorie Blackman. By reading a wide range of genres such as historical fiction, classic fiction, traditional tales, poetry, myths and legends they will be presented with high quality texts as a model their writing.
     
    Implementation – How do we translate our vision into practice?
     
  • The curriculum hours in English are non-negotiable and will be followed by all staff in the school.  Fixed timetables will be set before the academic year and monitored by the Senior Leadership Team of the school.
  • Subject specialists from our partner secondary school, Painsley Catholic College and Blessed William Howard Catholic High School, are and will continue to be integral to the planning process. This will aid transition to Key Stage 3.
  • Where necessary, staff will receive training in English.
  • Carefully designed schemes of learning in English ensure consistency and progress of all learners.
  • Vehicles drive learning throughout the term.  Therefore where possible, there are links between English and the vehicle. 
  • English is taught individually but plays a key role in the achievement of the learning aims of the vehicle.
  • Success criteria in every English lesson are set in order to guide children to achieve their potential. This ensures work is demanding and matches the aims of the curriculum.
  • High quality teaching responds to the needs of children.   Spiral learning is a key focus of all formative and summative assessment with teachers actively marking work in lessons in order to identify misconceptions early.
  • High quality input from experts and educational resources complement the delivery of specialist learning admirably.  Children understand how English is used in the wider world including careers.
     

Impact – What is the impact of our curriculum on the students?

 

  • Children are happy learners within English. They experience a wide-ranging number of learning challenges in English and know appropriate responses to them.
  • Through English, children deepen their appreciation of their faith and fulfil their God-given talents.
  • Visits within English have enriched the lives of the children and they are able to discuss how the experience impacted their knowledge and understanding.
  • Children of all abilities and backgrounds achieve well in English, reflected in outstanding progress that reveals a clear learning journey.  Children talk enthusiastically about their learning in English and are eager to further their learning in the next stages of their education.
  • There is a proven track record of test success that reflects the impact of deep learning.
  • Clear outcomes focus and guide all English development plans and drive improvement.
  • Children are confident, resilient and actively engaged in the wider society.
  • Fundamental British Values are evident in English and children understand how English can celebrate difference.
  • Through wider reading in English, children will develop a love for reading, expanding their minds and curiosity of the world in which we live. Through this exposure, children will produce work that is influenced by the best. 
  • Children will develop excellent phonic knowledge and skills.
  • Children will develop Fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum.
  • Children will develop an extensive and rich vocabulary. 
  • Children will learn the skills to gain an excellent comprehension of texts.
  • Children will develop a love of reading and the motivation to read for both study and for pleasure.
  • Children will develop an extensive knowledge through having read a rich and varied range of texts.
  • Children will gain the ability to write fluently and with interesting detail on a number of topics throughout the curriculum.
  • Children will develop a vivid imagination which makes readers engage with and enjoy their writing.
  • Children will grow a highly developed vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or description.
  • Children will present well-organised and structured writing, which includes a variety of sentence structures.
  • Children will engage excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented in a neat, cursive joined form that is well punctuated with accurate spelling.
  • We aim to grow a love of writing within our children and an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values.
  • We wish the children to acquire an exceptional talent for listening attentively so as to understand what is being said.
  •  Children will use a rich and varied vocabulary that gives clarity and interest to conversations.
  • Children will speak clearly so that can be easily understood by a range of audiences.
  • Children will develop an excellent grasp of the rules used in English conversation, such as tenses and the grammatical structure of sentences.
  • Children will gain a highly developed ability to tell stories that capture the interest and imagination of the audience.
  • Children will delight in initiating and joining in conversations.
  • Children will show respect for others when communicating, even when views differ.
     

 

 

 

 

At St. Mary’s we love reading!

 

We begin teaching reading with a focus on phonics and we use the Letters and Sounds programme. The foundations are laid in Nursery where the focus is, first of all, on developing a love for looking at books, careful and accurate listening and having fun with sounds, words and sentences. The children learn good reading behaviour by imitating our teachers’ excellent models. Our children are encouraged to ‘read’ words and captions around our text rich learning environment. The Letters and Sounds phonics programme continues in Reception and into Key Stage 1.

Parents are invited to phonics meetings so that they are better able to help their children at home. The children are assessed every half term in order to effectively track progress and are grouped accordingly. Our phonics screening check results have increased each year and continue to stay above the national average.

Once children have completed the Letters and sounds phonics programme in Year 2, they continue to develop their love of reading through studying a range of different class books.

During the Early Years and Key Stage 1, children take a reading book home every week to practise their reading skills and to continue their reading development at home with their families. Most of these books are Oxford Reading Tree books, and children are assessed half-termly to ensure they are on the correct reading band.

In Key Stage 2, children are given the opportunity to change their own books within their reading band and once they get to a certain reading age they become a ‘free reader’ meaning they can choose any book from the school library. In addition to this we take years 2 to 6 to visit the local library in Brewood every term. Children can also visit the school library, where our school librarians are only too happy to help and they can return or change them when they have finished reading.

Each classroom has a reading corner where children can choose their own books to read in the classroom. All year groups from years 1 to 6 participate in guided reading sessions where they share the book together.

Every year we celebrate World Book day and all the children and staff dress up as their favourite book character. All the children love sharing their favourite stories together.

How to help your child when you are reading with them

Recommended Reading Texts 

 

 

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