English is at the heart of our curriculum, as it is through our use of English that we communicate and connect.
At Saint Joseph's, the Borough, we encourage children to become enthusiastic and critical readers of all forms of the printed word, both fiction and non-fiction, being encouraged to interact with the text analytically and thereby, hopefully, establishing a lifelong interest in reading, writing and debate. Through our English lessons, we enable our children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively.
Our planning ensures that we cover all the elements of the National Curriculum for English.
We aim to ensure that all pupils at Saint Joseph’s fall in love with reading! Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in school, but also develop a broader vocabulary, general knowledge and understanding of other cultures. We strive to enable children to read easily, fluently and with good understanding. We hope that children will appreciate a variety of rich texts and develop a habit of reading widely, often and for pleasure as well as information. We intend to support children in their acquisition of high level vocabulary and to use this effectively when they are speaking and writing. We value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers.
During their time at Saint Joseph’s, children are engaged in a reading curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities. We believe reading is key for academic success and have a holistic approach to the teaching of reading. Children are also provided with opportunities to listen to stories and role play. Following the Read, Write, Inc. phonics input in EYFS and KS1, children will participate in whole class reading lessons which will focus on the skills of inference, prediction, retrieval, vocabulary and explanation. Children will develop competence in both word reading and comprehension through high quality whole-class discussion which foster a love of reading. Children will encounter a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction, myths, traditional stories, contemporary novels and books from other cultures and backgrounds. Children are encouraged to read as writers, and think about how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning and the impact on the reader. Reading is celebrated through World Book Day, and children will visit the John Harvard Library once per half-term to borrow books and experience literature in the wider community. The reading areas in classrooms are attractive and engaging, with a wide selection of books for children to explore.
At Saint Joseph’s, we intend to develop children’s confidence in the art of writing, inspiring them to use the written word as a powerful form of communication to further their learning. We recognise the importance of developing the art of transcription (spelling and handwriting) as well as composition (articulating and structuring ideas). We nurture a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts and audiences. We intend to support children in their acquisition of high level vocabulary to be used at school and beyond. We believe that children need to develop secure knowledge which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the school. Alongside the acquisition of a wide vocabulary, our Writing curriculum develops an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for writing. We intend to produce children who write clearly coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We want to develop pupils who show high levels of achievement and exhibit very positive attitudes towards all forms of writing across the curriculum. We also want children to be competent, confident and independent in the use of language in their writing. We believe is it very important to develop an awareness of different purposes of writing, such as the ability to inform, persuade, empower and excite.
At Saint Joseph’s, the Borough, we follow a core text approach for our English teaching. Each year group has 5-6 well-selected texts to study across the year to engage, motivate and inspire our community of readers and writers. The texts are carefully selected in order to provide children with positive and memorable reading experiences, which can be accessed by all. Children will encounter many opportunities to write for a range of audiences and purposes. Many of the core texts used at Saint Joseph’s involve moral dilemmas, topical issues and character relationships. This encourages children to be emotionally engaged in learning, resulting in better outcomes for English, whilst also developing their social and emotional understanding. Many of the texts selected are from recommended reads (CLPE core texts) and/or complement the topic being covered. The texts cover a range of authors and different styles to expose children to high quality models of excellence, with different stylistic features, to help develop their own writing as authors. By using the core text approach, we offer a broad and balanced English curriculum, which incorporates: oracy, reading and writing. As the core texts are recommended, they come with a supportive structure for teachers, which identifies how to engage fully with the texts for the best outcomes. Our children love to write and that is as a direct result of using our core texts as the vehicle. Teachers use the CLPE Power of Reading scheme to plan carefully considered sequences of writing. Children are guided through planning, drafting and editing their writing. Children are routinely taught cursive handwriting of uniform size starting in Year 1, and the Read Write Inc. phonics scheme enables children to apply their knowledge to write increasingly complex sentences as they move through the school. As the children at Saint Joseph’s move through Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, they will write with increasing sophistication as they develop their craft by learning to manipulate grammar and punctuation. Encouraging children to read as a write and write a as reader, means that they become skilled in considering the impact of their writing on the reader and how to create the desired impact. Alongside integrated grammar teaching, we deliver discrete spelling, grammar and handwriting sessions to ensure that children have the necessary transcription skills to be fluent writers, who write with impact. When teaching children to write, we ensure that there is a focus on the writing process: plan, draft and edit. Before writing, children have the chance to read good examples of the text (WAGOLL) and then generate success criteria for their own writing. High-quality feedback is vital to improving writing and so we encourage children to ask for and give feedback to each other about their writing as well as teacher feedback- both verbal and written. Children have opportunities to edit and make changes to their pieces of writing in response to feedback.
At Saint Joseph’s Catholic Primary School we use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their Phonics and Early Reading.