English Curriculum Information
The intention of the English curriculum at Our Lady’s aims to reflect our Mission Statement by encouraging staff and pupils to work with each other and in partnership with home. Our curriculum develops children’s abilities to speak, read and write a wide range of purposes, using language to learn and communicate ideas, views and feelings. As our approach to teaching of English is multi-faceted, incorporating oracy, drama, real contexts and high-quality literature. Children are able to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poems and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts. Our priority is to create fluent readers and writers with all the skills and knowledge they need to be confidently literate in life. We want all children to leave Our Lady’s with a life-long reading habit and a love of books because reading will improve their vocabulary, inspire them creatively and improve their ability to write well.
At Our Lady’s RC Primary School, we encourage all children to become independent learners and be confident in all strands of learning. Our English curriculum progresses through the knowledge and vocabulary in a coherent manner building on knowledge year on year ensuring our pupils read easily, fluently and with good understanding using a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct, write confidently, fluently and with good understanding using a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct, appreciate our rich and varied literacy heritage, understanding a range of text types, media types and genres. Statutory requirements for the teaching and learning of English are laid out in the National Curriculum and in Communication and Language and Literacy sections of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.
In Reception through to Year 6, children are taught English within their classes. Through differentiation and the support of Teaching Assistants, all children will receive high quality teaching and appropriate support in order for every child to reach their full potential.
What pupils say about English at Our Lady’s
“My teacher makes sure all our lessons are really interesting.”
“I feel like a real writer because I get to plan, draft, edit and publish my writing.”
“I love it when my teacher reads to us every day!”
“We have lots of exciting book in our library.”
World Book Day
Every year, here at Our Lady’s, we celebrate our love for reading and dress up for World Book Day. Children take part in fun activities across the day and look at their class authors. We always have so much fun thinking of costumes and sharing stories across the day. This year, we even took part in “Drop everything and read!” Even staff get involved in the dressing up!
In Autumn term, children have the chance of public speaking in the Junior Speaks competition. They are able to write, edit and deliver a speech on a topical subject of their choice and stand up infront of Wigan Rotary Club and present. We do this with other local schools, it is always so much fun and it is a time to meet children from schools close to us.
As part of our drive to maintain, promote and engage pupil interest in reading, we arranged for the author, MT Sanders, to visit the school. The author writes stories that feature his dogs and we were lucky enough to have one accompany him on his visit. During his visit, the children had the opportunity to meet him and one of his dogs, either Monty or Cookie, listen to him read some of his stories and asked him any question that they had. It was an amazing opportunity for children to meet a real author and helped them to develop their passion for reading.
Homework and Involvement of Parents:
Parents are such important partners in the process of developing children’s literacy skills and this is something we really encourage and want to support parents in helping their children’s learning. They have an important influence on children’s language before they come to school. They provide valuable support at home in helping children to become readers and writers and offer a useful audience for children in their development as speakers and listeners, readers and writers as the children move through the school (e.g. phonics, reading, SAT’s revision).
We therefore encourage parents to play their full part in their children’s education by involving parents in the school’s reading programme from the moment their child starts school, updating the guidance for parents as their children move through school so that they can continue to offer appropriate support, give parents termly outlines of the curriculum areas in English that each year group will be studying and send homework home in accordance with the needs of the child and encouraging parental support.
Each year we hold a Parental Workshop, where parents are invited into school to enable them to see the expectations for the new year group their child is entering and giving them the opportunity to see the new methods of learning which will take place this academic year.
The children access a range of different home learning tasks. These follow on from the children’s learning in the classroom with support of an adult or older sibling. Children are expected to read every night and complete an activity or fill in reading journals depending on year group. Each week, children will also receive spelling which they are required to practise reading for a spelling test. As well as this, children will sometimes be given a writing or grammar and punctuation task; this work can come in a range of different formats from worksheets to online learning platforms that link closely to our curriculum and progression of knowledge and skills. These Learning platforms are Spelling Shed and SPAG.com. All platforms are a fun and engaging way for children to access maths at home with chances to gain points, certificates and move up on leader boards, encouraging children to regularly access learning whilst developing their existing knowledge and skills.
At Our Lady’s Primary School, in line with our curriculum intent, we have developed a school tracking grid to allow us to track children’s progression. Each child had a list of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) in the front of their books for both Reading and Writing to allow them to be active in their assessment process.
These are used most lessons for children to see which objectives they know and what they need to learn next. Children regularly self and peer assess work in class to allow for the spotting of mistakes and for them to set themselves targets for the next lesson. Teachers follow the marking policy and enable children to respond to feedback in subsequent lessons if necessary. As summative assessment, the children complete assessments at the end of each term. Y2 and 6 are assessed using the end of key stage assessments (KS1 and KS2 SATS). EYFS and Year 1 are assessed using the Rising Stars Puma assessments. Year 3 – 5 access the NFER summative assessments. These will capture our ongoing assessments of each child showing us how well our curriculum is being implemented as well as how our children are progressing through the curriculum and the impact it has on their learning. It will enable teachers to plan subsequent learning opportunities so that individual needs are met and children can make progress towards the end of year expectations.
Judgements relating to end of year expectations will be made at the end of the academic year.
SMSC in English
English is a perfect vehicle for SMSC development within the Primary classroom. We encourage children to take part in class and group discussions on topical issues. Additionally, we encourage children to be open about their feelings and voice their worries; to solve their conflicts with friends. The teaching of English develops skills through which our children can give critical responses to the moral questions they meet in their work. Our carefully crafted curriculum enables children to appreciate a range of texts which brings them into contact with their own literary heritage and texts from other cultures.