The School follows the English Curriculum as described in the National Curriculum 2014
The English curriculum covers three specific aspects:
Reading, Writing (including Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation) and Oracy
We have tailored the content to ensure that it is bespoke to our school and reflects the needs of our children. It is designed to be exciting, creative, enjoyable and purposeful: a curriculum which is underpinned by our Key Drivers:
21st Century Citizens
“Young people who leave school without good literacy skills are held back at every stage of life. Their outcomes are poorer on almost every measure, from health and wellbeing, to employment and finance” Sir Kevan Collins, CEO Education Endowment Foundation
Research findings such as this, highlight the fundamental relevance and importance of our selected Drivers and demonstrates that KMPS holds the highest aspirations for all our children. We aim to equip all our children with the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to help them achieve (their aspirations / academic success) whilst preparing them to be confident about their future roles in society: to help them make sense of their place in the world, to empathise with others and to experience new and unfamiliar cultures.
The English curriculum is structured, cumulative and progressive, designed to develop content knowledge, skills and understanding. Careful planning and delivery ensures there are continuous opportunities for teachers to reinforce and consolidate content to support and secure the learning of all children. Further opportunities are also provided by making connections to the range of subject areas in our broad and balanced curriculum.
Although we separate English into Reading and Writing, we recognise that the skills are intrinsically linked. This interdependence is clearly reflected in the way that we implement our English curriculum and the way we teach it – introducing ideas and developing skills as the children work towards a written outcome. The structure of the curriculum enables the children to have regular opportunities to write for a purpose; where possible the use of a wider topic can provide context. A range of text types are covered, using quality texts as a model to develop children’s understanding of the genre.
Our Intent for writing is:
For all children to write confidently and imaginatively across a range of genres
For all children to write for a variety of audiences and purposes
For all children to write independently and with confidence
“I do believe that something magical happens when you read a good book” (J.K. Rowling)
“Reading is an exercise in empathy. An exercise in walking in someone else’s shoes for a while” (Mallory Blackman)
Reading is given the highest priority within school. It is the crucial skill required to access and understand text, opening the door to the whole curriculum.
Our Reading Curriculum consists of four key strands:
- Early Reading and Phonics
- A comprehensive, progressive reading scheme
- An English curriculum steeped in a wide range of quality texts (modern, classic and multicultural)
- Instilling a life-long love of reading.
Our Intent is:
For all children to become fluent and confident readers
For all children to have the skills and ability to understand and interpret texts
For all children to have a love of reading and literature which will last a lifetime
For all children to access materials which will develop their creativity and imagination
“A greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write” Samuel Boswell
At Kirk Merrington Primary School, we recognise that the skills covered in the English Curriculum – Reading, Writing and Spelling are intrinsically linked. This interdependence is clearly reflected in the way that we implement the subject and the way we teach it: introducing content and ideas, developing, practising and applying skills as we work towards a written outcome.
We organise our English teaching into blocks of work, each based upon a quality text. Familiarisation with the text provides the children with access to key literacy skills:
- Understanding of the features of a text type
- Text analysis and Comprehension
- Language features and Vocabulary development
- Understanding of grammar and punctuation
- Text structure and layout.
Once children are familiar with the structure and language for the text type, they are then introduced to their writing task. The writing opportunities provided always have a clear link to the text and a clear purpose – whether to entertain, inform, persuade or discuss. The children are instructed on the grammatical skills required and provided with the opportunities to practise these. Where possible, links are made directly to the text to reinforce how skills are used in context. If this is not possible, then skills are taught discreetly: basic skills are also consolidated. Every opportunity is used to revise and deepen skills to ensure children develop their understanding.
Further opportunities to apply their writing skills are provided in other curriculum areas.
This reflects how the school delivers the Composition element of the National Curriculum.
The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed using skills from two dimensions:
- Transcription (spelling and handwriting)
- Composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)
To be able to compose successfully, children are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. Writing ideas fluently depends upon effective transcription: that is, spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. These skills are delivered in differing ways across the school, depending upon the age of the children, though mainly it is through the discrete teaching of skills, with regular weekly sessions for both spelling and handwriting.
At KS1 – regular short sessions throughout the week
At KS2 – a weekly discrete lesson
Effective composition also depends upon fluent and legible handwriting. At Kirk Merrington, the children are taught a cursive script using the Letterjoin scheme. This begins in Year 1.
Please see Long Terms plans for further detail on the implementation of English Writing.
Our English curriculum has been designed to develop our children’s ability to be creative, imaginative, resilient and independent thinkers. All children will be able to communicate their thoughts, ideas and understanding in a clear, coherent and articulate manner. We want our children to have a deep and secure understanding of the subject so that they are ready for their next stage of learning, whether continuing within primary or moving onto secondary. We intend to prepare our children for the 21st Century by equipping them with the skills they need to succeed.
We are constantly reviewing and measuring the impact of our English curriculum to ensure the delivery of the highest quality provision and to maintain our high aspirations for all pupils. To do this, we have clear assessment procedures, together with set criteria for each year group, taken from the National Curriculum, against which we can measure progress.