Aims and Purpose
English – Statement of Intent
At Sacred Heart RC Primary and Nursery School we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation, and a habit of, reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where all children take pride in their writing and can write clearly and accurately for a range of contexts. We want to inspire all children to be confident in speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning. We have listened to our children’s voices and we have created a curriculum that encourages them to become enthusiastic and engaged with English. We have worked hard to provide our children with rich and varied learning opportunities. We want our children to have a positive attitude towards communication and to be able to independently express their emotions and their ideas. Through our English Curriculum, we strive to teach the children how important their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills will be in the real world. By giving this context to their learning, the children understand the value of English to them now, and in their aspirations for the future.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in English (Reading, writing, speaking & listening), which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum.
We want all of our pupils to be capable readers, writers, spellers and speakers, who can transfer their English skills to other curriculum subjects and who are prepared for the next steps in their education. Our English lessons develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing, grammar, punctuation, spelling and vocabulary. English is often taught in a cross-curricular way, linking up with other areas of the curriculum. We teach our pupils to speak clearly, to convey their ideas fluently and confidently and to ask questions; the use of ‘Talk for writing’ activities across the school supports this. We know the value of excellent vocabulary and this is developed and practised across our curriculum constantly. We use ‘Talk for writing’ to encourage pupils to express their ideas, discuss and plan their writing and to develop more sophisticated vocabulary. Our pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure and to read widely through our reading scheme and school library. We use Letters and Sounds to teach systematic phonics. Phonic awareness helps the development of reading by segmenting and blending sounds and the children will be heard reading regularly, both individually and in groups. Our guided reading sessions cover a wide variety of both fiction and non-fiction books and help to advance the children’s comprehension skills. Parents are given reading guidance and clear expectations about reading at home. We develop writing skills so that our children have the stamina and ability to write at the age expected standard. To support children in moving towards independent writing we provide a wide range of activities including the use of film and imagery, music, ICT, modelled, shared and guided writing, peer work and discussion. We provide varied and exciting opportunities for writing for purpose and we encourage pupils to see themselves as authors and poets. We promote the importance of written work by providing a writing purpose and opportunities for children’s writing to be read aloud and listened to by an audience. Handwriting sessions are regularly incorporated into the English lessons. We have developed a range of extra activities which are used to promote English within the school including extended writing, World Book Day, The Fantastic Book Awards and author visits.