We believe that children’s competency in English impacts their development in all curriculum subjects. Through Quality First Teaching experiences in every classroom, we aim for our children to develop their spoken language, reading and writing. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for communicating the whole curriculum; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to their learning and the potential to maximise progress and attainment. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects. Our overall aim is for children to be articulate in speaking, reading and writing.
We aim to teach our pupils to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using Standard English. This includes the ability to justify their ideas, ask questions, develop vocabulary, build knowledge, negotiate, and communicate effectively. They are taught to give well-structured descriptions and explanations and develop their understanding through speculating, hypothesising and exploring ideas. This will enable them to clarify their thinking as well as organise their ideas for writing.
At our school we develop pupils’ reading and writing in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge. We aim to teach pupils to read fluently, understand extended prose (both fiction and non-fiction) and be encouraged to read for pleasure. We strive to promote wider reading opportunities for all children, including using class-based libraries and the whole school library facilities, as well as a large selection of topic-based books loaned by RBWM Library Service, and setting high expectations for all children. We work towards developing the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation through progressive grammar teaching within English lessons. We endeavour to cover a wide range of genres, such as narratives, explanations, descriptions, comparisons, summaries and evaluations.
In order to achieve our intended outcomes for our learners, teachers plan an engaging, fully inclusive and motivating English education. Teachers plan the opportunity for children to immerse themselves in a genre of writing, through explicit examples, reading and discussing, focused skill-work, planning, drafting, evaluating and editing, and often writing up their final version. Through this, children experience a wide range of genres of texts, linked to their topics or other events (whether local, national or international), and are taught grammar within meaningful contexts. Classwork is robustly differentiated to include all levels of ability within a class, so that all children are working at their own level. In reading sessions, children are taught a range of reading skills using the The Literacy Shed VIPERS approach, focusing on vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval, and summarising, which they then apply to their own reading book, whether within the reading scheme or as free readers. Teachers also plan weekly spelling lessons, teaching children spelling rules, misconception words and appropriate formation and joins for their abilities. Handwriting and general presentation is addressed in English lessons and the wider curriculum.
Quality-First English lessons are delivered with enthusiasm, a high level of subject knowledge and are designed to foster enjoyment. Speaking and listening is built into every subject area, through subject-specific vocabulary and the encouragement for children to discuss and ask questions. Reading is at the heart of our school, encouraging children to challenge themselves, read for a range of subjects and topics and also to read for pleasure. Each unit of work in our English curriculum has a real book at its core and the teaching and learning builds around this text. The teaching of writing is built into the whole curriculum, connecting to topics and all subjects. Six fiction and non-fiction units are covered across a whole year with poetry units being taught once every whole term. The writing genres are revisited at regular intervals across the lower and upper phases, so that learning can be deepened. Teachers maintain the same English expectations across all areas of learning.
Pupils will develop an over-arching ability to articulate themselves, read a range of texts and record their learning and ideas in a range of genres. They will learn a high level of Standard English, a fluency in reading, stamina in writing and a wide range of vocabulary. Children will be encouraged to challenge themselves; take risks; go back and try again; improve their own work, and to be proud in their achievements.
Children will be assessed continually through formative assessment by teaching staff. Incorrect handwriting, spellings and grammar will be identified across all lessons and children will be encouraged to self/peer identify mistakes and make corrections. Weekly, children are tested on their spellings and teachers will progressively develop the level of spelling rules and misconception words learnt and used. Marking is not exclusively undertaken by the teacher at the end of the day, separate and away from pupils. Instead, much of it is a dynamic, on-the-spot procedure, more akin to verbal feedback, that is an integral part of the lesson. This approach is responsive to common misconceptions as they occur, rather than retrospectively. It enables pupils to understand in the moment where they can adjust their work immediately. Writing, as a longer task, is self/peer-assessed in class with adult input, and then is teacher reviewed - the teacher reading the material produced by the whole class - before the next session, allowing for the opportunity to share successes and learning points before moving on. All children are heard read at least fortnightly by members of staff, helping them to develop until they become free readers with staff monitoring each child’s comprehension of a range of texts. However, those who are struggling with fluency and comprehension will have regular reading practice throughout a week.
We believe that our English education will equip our children with skills that will carry them through life. We will develop confident individuals who can talk effectively in order to express themselves and their opinions, read to obtain information and for pleasure and with a level of writing ability that allows them to be successful in further education and their adult lives. Due to a teacher’s level of differentiation and personalised learning, all groups of abilities will make good progress. Children will explore the creativity of writing techniques, take risks with their choices, and solve problems in both reading and writing. Through applying a consistent expectation of English across the whole curriculum and the whole school, children are encouraged for all of their work to be the best that it can be. As all aspects of English are an essential part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing is experienced and skills taught in English lessons are transferred into other subjects; this shows a consolidation of skills and an in-depth understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives. We hope that as children move on in their educational journey their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations continue so that they can continue to grow to be the very best that they can.
The English Co-leaders, the Headteacher and other Middle and Senior Leaders take responsibility for the monitoring of the English curriculum and the standards achieved by the children.
The English Co-leaders will monitor for appropriate pitch and progression according to our agreed monitoring schedule. This monitoring takes the form of:
lesson observations and feedback;
learning walks and pupil voice conversations;
planning scrutiny followed by support where necessary;
book-looks on a frequent basis;
termly data analysis which is collated and reported to school leaders as well as Governors;
moderation alongside Local Authority representatives and other local schools to ensure All Saints maintains its high standards;
collaborative and transitional opportunities for our KS2 pupils, as well as staff, to engage with local secondary schools in enrichment projects.
The Heads of the Lower and Upper Schools, with all teachers, contribute to termly Pupil Progress Meetings where the data is analysed by Year Group and Class and targets are agreed by identifying trends, highlighting ‘stuck’ pupils and focusing on next steps. Where whole-school improvements become evident, the associated actions for recovery will be included on the school's Improvement Plan.
Please use this form to address English curriculum to Mrs Toohey (reading) and Mrs Napper (writing), the English Subject Co-Leaders.