The English National Curriculum (2014) states:
‘The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of Literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.’
The National Curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:
• Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
• Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
• Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
• Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
• Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
• Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
• Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
At Crowle Primary Academy we believe the development of Literacy skills is central to improving a child's life chances. We deliver a high quality English curriculum that gives children the best possible opportunities to become confident, literate, successful members of society. Teachers have high expectations for all children to achieve and enjoy English and to be able to use the skills and rich vocabulary they have acquired in a range of contexts. We strive to ensure all children can communicate clearly in spoken and written form. Rich texts are at the heart of our teaching and a love for reading is promoted throughout the school.
Curriculum and Academy Organisation
At Crowle Primary Academy we place rich texts at the core of English planning allowing teachers to use the text as the context for the requirements of the National Curriculum. The English curriculum is organised into reading and writing and these are taught as whole class sessions based on a core text. English is taught on a daily basis, for at least an hour, although teachers have the flexibility to ‘block’ lessons if they feel this is more appropriate. We have a fully-comprehensive approach to the teaching of English which covers a range of genres and links to topics where appropriate ensuring progression in a range of contexts. Vocabulary, punctuation, spelling and grammar have high status within English sessions. In Foundation Stage and KS1 there is also a daily phonics input and phonics support continues in Key Stage 2 when necessary. Children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage one have guided reading sessions until they have the necessary decoding skills in order for them to access whole class reading sessions.
The Foundation Stage
Foundation stage pupils will experience Communication and Language, and English as part of the seven areas of learning as stipulated in the EYFS. The children have experience of aspects of the literacy programme of study every day, e.g. phonics, shared text work etc. Through careful planning and observations of children, teachers will ensure that foundation stage pupil needs are provided for. Speaking and listening skills are vitally important as they underpin all learning at this early stage. The communication, language and literacy programme of the Foundation Stage children builds on their language starting points. Development of these skills is encouraged through activities such as listening to stories and poems, joining in with rhymes and songs, participating in drama and imaginative play, responding to simple instructions, talking to accompany play, etc. Knowledge about books is developed through activities such as guided reading, one-to-one reading, shared reading, retelling stories and continuous access to a book area. Emergent writing is encouraged through role play and continuous provision areas. As the reception class is part of the Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum, we relate the literacy aspects of the children's work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals, which underpin the curriculum planning for the children.
Speaking and listening
The spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing and supports progress across the curriculum. We ensure that children’s competence and confidence in speaking and listening is continually developed. Children are exposed to a wide range of rich, challenging and varied vocabulary and language across the curriculum. Opportunities to develop speaking and listening skills are embedded throughout the curriculum and pupils are also taught to understand and use the conventions of discussion and debate, taking on a role and drama.
The approaches to the other areas of the English curriculum are detailed in the specific areas below.