At More Park Catholic Primary school, we believe that a high-quality English curriculum should foster and develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion.
We want pupils to develop a love of reading, possess a good knowledge of a range of authors and be able to understand more about the world in which they live. By the end of their time at primary school all children should be able to read fluently, and with confidence. We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in reading and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupil’s ability to make progress. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school through good quality texts.
We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately, and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We aim to inspire children to be confident and see themselves as real writers, and to view writing as an interesting and enjoyable process. Our young writers at More Park will be equipped with the skills to re-read, edit and improve their own writing, and enable them to be able to confidently use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling. Expectations for all are high and children will take pride in their work and possess a fluent cursive handwriting style.
We want to inspire our children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and to enable discussion to communicate and facilitate further learning. The ability to speak eloquently, articulate ideas and thoughts to collaborate with peers are all vital life skills that support success in learning and life in general. Therefore, our classrooms are rich in talk with effective questioning to develop understanding.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will ultimately equip our children with the tools they need to participate fully in our society.
At More Park we have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for discussion, reading and writing. We use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children.
Reading begins through the teaching of synthetic phonics, using Letters and Sounds. Jolly phonics is used as the main teaching tool for phases one to four. Phase five and six are taught using a range of phonic resources to encourage reading.
All children across the school are expected to read at least five times per week at home. This is acknowledged through parents signing the children’s reading record. Reading books are collated using Book Bands and are available from Grey Band to Dark Red therefore covering Early Years to Year Six. Children also have access to the school library books and can borrow books of their choice. Ebooks are also available to children on online learning platforms such as PurpleMash and Oxford Owl.
Children who do not read regularly at home, become the focus for intervention and therefore read more often to an adult in class. In Early Years and Year One, Reading Skills lessons are taught enabling the class teacher to ensure that every child reads and discusses texts at least twice per week in a small group.
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 teaching the explicit grammar punctuation objectives required for that age group. As well as explicit teaching of these objectives teachers are able to embed these skills throughout the year in cross-curricular writing.
In order to expose children to a variety of genres which help utilise and embed the writing skills, teachers use a writing model to plan structure and teach their English lessons. This journey is designed to show progress, teach skills and objectives pertinent to the particular year group. Writing is taught through the use of a quality text which exposes the children to inference, high-level vocabulary a range of punctuation and characterisation. Each text is purposefully selected in order to promote a love of reading, engagement and high quality writing from each child.
Talk for Writing is firmly embedded into the writing structure in Early Years, Key Stage One and Lower Key Stage Two, using writing maps, writing boards, actions and structured writing frames . The vocabulary and structures taught in these year groups enable the children to become more confident and independent writers in Upper Key Stage Two.
All staff in our school aim to model the use of higher level vocabulary within their speech and expanding vocabulary of the children is paramount. This is achieved through a number of ways including knowledge organisers, vocabulary rich classrooms and through introducing sentence stems. Children are also provided with the opportunity to participate in debates in class and school council.
Drama is a powerful tool used across all subject to explore and engage and to develop language.
Pupils will make good progress from their own personal starting points. The impact of our curriculum is evaluated through assessments (formative/summative) and careful data analysis. Rigorous monitoring of teaching and learning in conjunction with pupil voice allows senior leaders to be confident that;
All children achieve well by developing knowledge and skills on their journey through school. Demonstrated through outcomes at EYFS, phonic check in year 1, and end of key stage assessments.
By the end of their primary education pupils will be able to read and write clearly, accurately and adapt their language and style in a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Our pupils will acquire a wide vocabulary and have a strong command of the written word. Most importantly they will develop a love of reading and writing and be well equipped for the rest of their education and beyond.