Subject leader: Mrs Parker
‘Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of all garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.’
Matthew 13 vs.31-32
Our entire curriculum, including English, is underpinned by the ‘Parable of the Mustard Seed’ and summarised by our motto:
Together may we give our children: roots to grow and wings to fly.
Literacy skills open the door to learning and being able to read and write are the vital skills that enable us to understand and express ourselves more effectively.
Our English curriculum is driven through our vision of ‘roots to grow, wings to fly’. By the time children leave our school, we want them to have high standards of literacy; to be equipped with a strong command of the written and spoken word and have a love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
We passionately believe in helping children to develop not only the technical skills of reading and writing, but also in encouraging an enjoyment of literature and different genres of writing.
In our schools, we help children to develop their skills in many ways:
- to be able to communicate verbally both effectively and considerately, being able to impart knowledge as well as describe, discuss, evaluate and ask questions
- to understand the importance of quality, respectful listening, making sense of what they have heard and responding appropriately
- to learn to read words using a systematic and synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics to develop their reading skills in order to comprehend at a deeper level
- to encourage a love for reading, choosing a wide genre of books with enthusiasm
- we want children to become skilful and successful authors who can revise and edit their work accurately
- to enjoy and be motivated to write and be proud to share their writing with others
It is our intention to ensure our staff are highly effective practitioners who share their love of reading with their pupils and who engage and inspire children through their teaching of literacy. They are able to assess pupils’ attainment and progress accurately, understanding how to move the learning forwards for individual pupils and where pupils have fallen behind, they ensure timely interventions are delivered.
In Early Years, teachers introduce the English curriculum through the prime area of Communication and Language and the specific area of Literacy, following the EYFS statutory educational programmes. This helps develop important skills such as listening, attention, understanding and speaking. Children learn phonics following the Sounds Write programme, learning code knowledge alongside the skills of blending and segmenting. This supports children with their independent word reading and writing. A love of reading, writing and storytelling is encouraged through regular story times, reading together, books linked to curriculum themes and child-led storytelling and performing. Read to write activities support language composition and language comprehension by articulating ideas and then structuring them in speech before writing.
Throughout our school our writing curriculum is structured around ‘Read to Write’. This programme of learning empowers teachers to provide high-quality teaching of writing through high-quality literature.
The ongoing assessment of children’s reading progress is sufficiently frequent and detailed to identify any pupil who is falling behind. Teachers regularly hear children read to assess their decoding skills, fluency and accuracy in reading and also to monitor their confidence and motivation to read. Our Reading Progression documents outline a clear progression of skills from Year 1 to Year 6 linked to the NC Reading Comprehension Domains. These are used by teachers in ongoing formative assessments of children’s reading comprehension. At the end of each term, a summative assessment of reading comprehension (using NTS) is completed for Years 1 to 5. Year 6 pupils are assessed using previous SAT papers. They will complete National SAT assessments for their Summer assessment. The assessments identify individuals, or groups of children who may need support in specific areas of Reading Comprehension (e.g. retrieval, vocabulary, inference). Wherever possible, children’s writing is assessed ‘in the moment’ within lessons. Children are given a weekly spelling test and teachers assess all aspects of writing when the children complete a piece of extended writing that reflects the genre studied. This will include a piece of narrative, poetry and non-fiction each half term. Teacher assessment of writing identifies gaps in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Ring-fenced time at the start of each day is used to support those who need it.
Ring-fenced time at the start of each day is used to support those who need it.
Our assessment in English is used to improve, not just prove, pupils’ learning. Alongside ‘in the moment assessment’ within lessons, children are given a weekly spelling test and teachers assess all aspects of writing when the children complete a piece of extended writing following the ‘Read to Write’ programme. This will include a piece of narrative and non-fiction each half term. Children will also complete an NTS Reading assessment at the end of each term, with results being uploaded to Insight. The NTS summative assessment identifies individuals, or groups of children who may need support in specific areas of Reading Comprehension (e.g. retrieval, vocabulary, inference). Likewise, teacher assessment of writing identifies gaps in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Ring-fenced time at the start of each day is used to support those who need it.
We, at Eppleby Forcett and Middleton Tyas, view equal opportunities in the widest possible sense as embracing the well-being, contribution and development of all members of the school community irrespective of gender, race, religion, ability, disability, age or socio-economic group. The structure of our English curriculum enables all children to develop confidence and competency in the subject.
Gifted and Talented Children
Gifted and Talented Children Children are taught with their own class and their learning deepened through extra literacy challenges and opportunities for independent learning. Where appropriate, special arrangements are made for an exceptionally gifted child e.g. they may be taught with resources from a higher age range.
Learners with Special Educational Needs
All children benefit from teacher modelling of reading and writing and participating in shared writing. Children with SEN are taught within the daily English lesson and are encouraged to take part. Where applicable, children’s IEP targets incorporate appropriate objectives from the National Curriculum or EYFS Curriculum. Where additional support staff are available, they work collaboratively with the class teacher. However, a pupil whose difficulties are severe or complex may need to be supported with an individualised programme in the main part of the lesson
The intended impact of our curriculum is that children build semantic and procedural knowledge. Children will have a sound understanding of phonics and will apply it to texts that they read. Children will have a love of literature and read books from a wide range of genres. They will be able to talk enthusiastically about texts and recommend good reads.
Children will be competent writers who take pride in their work and are academically prepared for life beyond primary school and throughout their educational journey.
For more information regarding our English curriculum (including our curriculum maps and key procedures), please click on the ‘Useful Documents’ links below.
Similarly, under ‘Useful Links’, you can find more information regarding supplementary resources and other useful websites.
Please see our Phonics and Early Reading Page for further information