We aim to deliver a curriculum which is accessible to all and that will maximise the outcomes for every child so that they develop lifelong skills and knowledge.
We believe that English underpins almost every area of the wider curriculum; enabling our pupils to access the knowledge they need and give the ability to communicate this effectively. Because of this, we have designed a text-led curriculum, where high-quality engaging texts open the door to other times, cultures and experiences, and where writing provides the means through which to express what they find there.
Aims and Intent
Speaking and Listening
We want our pupils to be confident speakers, able to express their thoughts, ideas and opinions effectively, taking account of their audience. They should learn to listen effectively, able to take in information from what they hear and respond appropriately. They should be able to use Standard English when it is required and recognise when it is appropriate to use less formal vocabulary. We want our pupils to be expressive in their speech, able to use their tone and body language or facial expression to add meaning – whether taking on a role in a performance, reciting a poem or delivering a speech.
At Carnagill, effective speaking is also seen as the gateway to writing. Through oral rehearsal, high-quality vocabulary and sentence structure is developed and refined, impacting on their other English skills.
Reading (including Early Reading)
We want our pupils to develop a love of books from an early age. By sharing stories, poems and rhymes, pupils learn to join in, to recall and to retell in their own words or actions. They talk about books they enjoy, authors they know and make links between books, stories and their own lives.
Children develop into readers themselves, accessing words through synthetic phonics and reading books appropriate to their phonic development, while enjoying more challenging texts through shared reading. As fluency develops, they read with pace and expression, sustaining their reading and their interest in longer, more complex texts, becoming curious about words, their meanings and how they are used.
They become familiar with characters, settings and the language of story-telling and poetry, taking on the role of characters and making inferences about emotions and behaviour. Through analysis of language, children learn to appreciate the beauty of the written word and recognise the impact and effect a phrase or image creates in them as a reader.
They access non-fiction confidently, retrieving relevant information, summarising and assessing its reliability as a source, to support their learning in other curriculum areas.
The teaching of phonics is rigorous following the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme. Children learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes. They experience success from the very beginning. Lively phonic books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases. Those texts from the Read Write Inc range are taken home to share and reinforce their phonic knowledge.
Children are also encouraged to read for pleasure, engaging with a range of books both challenging and familiar. They are not expected to read these books themselves but to enjoy the experience with a family member.
Children should learn to write so that they can be easily understood – forming letters effectively and efficiently in a neat, joined writing style; as well as having accurate spelling knowledge backed up by secure synthetic phonics.
They should write with purpose, giving meaning to even early writing; learning to manipulate the form to suit their audience and have the vocabulary to convey their meaning. They should develop the grammar and punctuation knowledge to facilitate this.
Finally, and most importantly, they should become authors – able to make choices about vocabulary, sentences, ways of presenting – consciously making those choices that will affect how their reader responds to their writing.
In the words of one pupil, “we should write to inspire others to read it.”
The Subject Leader for English is Fiona Shaw.