At Hallam Primary School we have designed our English curriculum with the intent that all children, regardless of background, will become fluent, insightful readers and technically skilled, creative writers. Our children will engage with a range of genres and develop their understanding of fiction and non-fiction styles. Furthermore, we have developed a curriculum that will instil in all children a love of reading and writing that we hope will stay with them for life. We understand that a good grasp of English is the bedrock of the entire curriculum and that children who are confident and adept readers and writers will be empowered to succeed in all other areas. We understand, too, the vital role played by parents and carers in the development of reading and writing and in the nurturing of positive habits, particularly in attitudes towards reading. We welcome this and value their contribution.
We will deliver an English Curriculum that:
- Develops in all children a love of reading, writing and the dramatic arts.
- Nurtures in all children the ability to express themselves clearly – verbally and in writing; to develop their word choice when speaking and to encourage accurate grammar when speaking in order to aid self-expression.
- Allows children to comprehend and critique what they read, and to write creatively and accurately regardless of genre or topic.
- Encourages children to be reflective, motivated and resilient learners.
- Offers a rich variety of experiences, inside and outside of the classroom.
- We will, from Foundation to Y6, develop children’s vocabulary, allowing them to comprehend others and to express themselves clearly and poetically.
- We will provide a curriculum that values the dramatic arts as a means of developing confidence and the ability to express oneself with confidence.
- We will develop children’s grammar so that they have a good understanding of the mechanics of spoken and written English. Our aim is that this will allow them to write clearly and accurately regardless of genre.
- Phonics will be taught progressively from Foundation to Y2 as an effective way of developing children’s reading and spelling skills. Sight-recognition of words will complement the teaching of phonics.
- The teaching of spelling will be taught across the school in a progressive way allowing children to learn spelling rules, exceptions and irregular spellings.
- The teaching of handwriting will be taught to develop legibility and to encourage all children to take pride in the presentation of their work, regardless of discipline.
- Children will be given the opportunity to read and write a variety of genres: different fictional styles, poetry, non-fiction. They will learn to adopt the appropriate tone and ‘voice’ for each genre.
- Children will be encouraged to reflect upon their writing, edit and improve.
- When reading, children will be taught to read with fluency and feeling. The curriculum will develop their ability to comprehend and critique different texts.
The English Curriculum is led and overseen by the English Curriculum Lead, in conjunction with the Early Reading Lead. They will regularly monitor, evaluate, and review English teaching and learning, celebrating and sharing good practice. Formative assessments will be integrated into every day English teaching to ensure teachers have an in depth knowledge of the children’s learning and to inform their next steps. Low stakes testing of English will take place from Y2 upwards (phonics testing will take place in Y1). The National Curriculum 2014 and the Early Years Foundation Stage statuary framework 2017 will provide the basis of the English curriculum which is then tailored to meet the learning and developmental needs of the children in school.
All planning will be informed by two fundamental, complimentary tenets: 1) to develop technical proficiency and 2) to develop enjoyment of reading and creativity of writing. Teachers will plan English using the newly developed progression of skills document which will allow children to build upon prior knowledge and understanding, as well as the teaching sequence for writing. Teachers will develop their knowledge of children’s literature and ensure that children are exposed to a wide variety of different, high quality texts. Children will be exposed to classics as well as to lesser known works of literature from around the world, representing a diverse range of authors and writers. Drama and role play will encourage children to develop their oracy skills.
All children’s efforts will be celebrated. Work that reflects the efforts of all children will be displayed and named. Children will be presented with opportunities to share their work with the wider school community and with parents.
Our English Curriculum should ensure that:
- Children leave Hallam with a love of reading. They are able to reference a wide range of different authors, from different literary traditions and genres.
- Children leave Hallam with a love of writing. They should be able to express their opinions and their creativity in writing that is well structured, clear, technically accurate and interesting to read.
- Children leave Hallam able to express their opinions verbally; to understand how to engage – and disagree – with others clearly and articulately.
- Children leave Hallam having made the best possible progress as a result of consistent, Quality First Teaching and (where appropriate) additional interventions.
- Children leave Hallam confident to try new things, experiment with their writing, take risks, and continue to expand their experience of reading.
- Children leave Hallam feeling that their efforts were valued and their opinions heard. That they have had a chance to find their ‘voice’ and were encouraged to use it.