English at St. Mary’s
Through the study of English, St Mary's children will develop a joy of reading; this starts with learning phonics and early reading from Reception, where the children learn to read fluently and take pleasure in the books they read. We believe that a love of reading is an essential life-skill and the best indicator of future success. The children will learn to express themselves clearly and with confidence - both orally and in writing - using standard English. They will develop the skill to listen to others and reflect upon their own ideas to become effective communicators.
Rationale and our learning sequence
The National Curriculum for England states the following:
“English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.”
At St. Mary’s we have developed our English curriculum to ensure that it celebrates our diverse community and the heritage of our pupils. We strive to ensure that our pupils become confident, literate and independent learners who write fluently have a love of reading; we are proud that our curriculum is constantly evolving to meet the needs of our children. We do this by giving the children the opportunity to study a variety of quality literature, exposing them to new authors and supporting the development of their own writing style. Our approach to English underpins all our learning, allowing access to a range of genres and supporting writing for varied audiences, purposes and across wider curriculum disciplines.
Enrichment opportunities for all our children are designed to further instil a love of language, reading and performance these activities include in-school visits from authors, performance artists, The Young Shakespeare Company, World Book Day Activities and trips to the theatre and cinema to experience visual literacy and performance.
From their first days of school, children at St. Mary’s begin their English learning journey through phonics, sharing books, oral storytelling and developing early writing skills. Reading comprehension, spelling and grammar activities are threaded through learning across the curriculum and are explicitly taught, for example in phonics lessons following the Little Wandle – Letters and Sounds Revised programme for our younger learners, and through specifically planned grammar to support writing for our older children. At all ages, sequences of written work include planning, drafting and editing; all three of these skills are included in specific lessons.
Our detailed Curriculum Overview for Progression in Writing illustrates when and how the building blocks needed to become independent and creative writers are taught. Our detailed year-by-year Curriculum Overviews illustrate the learning sequence and texts used to support this development. These overviews con be accessed below and we welcome any comments or questions.