The English Curriculum is delivered using the National Curriculum 2014 and the Early Learning Goals are followed to ensure continuity and progression from the Foundation Stage through to the National Curriculum. KS1 and 2 classes discretely teach English four times a week.
To teach English, we structure reading through a variety of approaches from 1:1 reading, guided reading sessions, whole class reading sessions as well as incorporating it into literacy sessions. Children use the Sounds Write and Oxford Reading Tree Scheme to support the teaching of reading. We actively promote reading for pleasure and undertake many activities to encourage it, including teachers reading to the whole class. Children are also encouraged to read daily at home. The PTFA fund classes reading corners which have been designed by each year group. Phonics is taught daily for 20 minutes in EYFS and KS1 using the Sounds Write Scheme, with any appropriate intervention strategies continuing into KS2.
Emergent writing occurs in Early Years Foundation Stage where children are given regular opportunities to write freely within a particular genre and across the curriculum.Writing lessons across KS1 and 2 incorporate Bob Cox and Talk for Writing strategies including ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ writing opportunities. Shared and guided writing incorporates the opportunity for short burst writing to help children develop an understanding of the genre being studied. There are also frequent opportunities for independent writing throughout the other curriculum areas. Big Writes are used as a form of extended writing opportunities as well as assessment at the end of English topics. Handwriting is taught at KS1 using a cursive handwriting script and interventions are put in place when and where necessary. We teach children key spelling, punctuation and grammar skills linked to the topics being taught, these are taught discretely and then applied accordingly.
Speaking and listening permeates the whole curriculum. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise communication, reading and writing standards. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life. Speaking and Listening has been encompassed into our learning behaviours as a key life skill.
Long-term assessments are undertaken through a combination of teacher assessment and end of year tests. The tests used are the national tests at the end of Year 2 and 6 and the optional tests for Years 1, 3, 4 and 5.
At Our Lady's we develop early reading skills using Sounds Write books. Pupils then progress to the Oxford Reading Tree scheme and then on to free reading. We have developed comprehension sheets for most of the books in the scheme to help develop understanding of texts.
In addition, we have staff trained in Better Reading Partnerships and Inference to assist pupils who are not performing at age expected levels.