“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”
Harry Potter – J.K Rowling
At St. Michael’s C of E Primary School, we believe that being able to read and write are the vital skills that enable us to understand and express ourselves more effectively.
These skills open the door to learning. We passionately believe in helping children to develop not only the technical skills of reading and writing, but also in engendering a love for literature and the different genres of writing.
The study of English develops children’s ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, including the communication of their ideas, views and feelings. Children are enabled to express themselves creatively and imaginatively as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories and poetry as well as of non-fiction and media texts. Children gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. Children develop procedural and semantic knowledge, providing a deeper, more sustainable understanding of the English curriculum content where children are able to make connections to other subjects and developing their cultural capital.
At St. Michael’s, we believe that learning is a change in long term memory. We believe children learn best by having opportunities to revisit previous learning. We teach English, including phonics, grammar, reading and grammar every day so that the children can fully immerse themselves and have opportunities to reflect and build on prior learning.
It is our intention when teaching the English curriculum that our pupils acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to become lifelong learners and linguists. We strive to ensure that all our pupils receive a well-rounded learning experience when reading, writing, speaking and listening, which will equip them with the fundamental tools to achieve, throughout their learning journey at St. Michael’s Primary School. It is our intention to immerse pupils in the wonders of high-quality texts to instil a love for reading, a passion for discovery and a confidence to explore their imagination.
- Our aim is to ensure that every child becomes a reader, a writer and confident speaker by the time they leave St. Michael’s Primary School.
- To promote and instil a love for reading, writing and high-quality literature into pupils at all ages.
- To derive an English curriculum, which develops the acquisition of knowledge and skills in line with the National Curriculum expectations and provides opportunities for children to develop their cultural capital of the world.
Children will develop a n understanding about other cultures around the world; they will learn about different time periods and further develop cultural capital by learning about significant others through the varied and progressive texts that are used within the classroom.
Our English curriculum design is based on principles derived from evidence through cognitive science:
Learning is most effective with spaced repetition. Retrieval of previously learnt content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.
In addition to the principles, we also understand that learning is invisible in the short term and that sustained mastery takes high-quality teaching, sufficient coverage, time and effective practice . At our school, we have timetabled slots for phonics, grammar, handwriting, reading, story time and writing.
Our English curriculum is derived around high quality content that aims to develop children’s’ cultural capital and curiosity of the world. We use books, texts and videos to create opportunities to develop reading fluency and comprehension with a focus on key reading strategies and skills; develop grammar and punctuation knowledge, and understanding to use and apply across the wider curriculum; explore the writing structure and features of different genres, identify the purpose and audience; plan and write an extended piece of writing with a clear context and purpose before evaluating the effectiveness of writing by editing and redrafting.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS)
At St. Michael’s, we work explicitly on grammar, punctuation and spelling to ensure that these technical elements of writing develop as the children progress through the school whilst always focusing on the quality and content of the children’s writing. From year two upwards, the children take part in specific grammar sessions which usually take place at the start of the day. In our two weekly writing cycle, we know the importance of teaching specific grammar content which is appropriate to the writing purpose. Because of this, we have two sessions which focus primarily on developing the grammar and punctuation element of the writing focus.
We aim to develop children’s ability to produce well-structured, detailed writing. The purpose and audience of the writing is shared with the children and they are provided with sufficient time to familiarise themselves with the structure of the text. Teachers use books, video clips and prepared short stories to provide focus to the two weekly cycle. The children learn the features and the grammar content of the writing before they plan, write and improve their work. Particular attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English: grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling. Every two weeks, the children will produce at least one extended piece of writing.
As part of our Reading for Pleasure agenda, we have created Padlets allowing children, parents and teachers to share quality texts. We love sharing book reviews with the class so please click the link below and write a short review of a book you love!
Long Term Plans:
The intended impact of our curriculum is that children build semantic and procedural knowledge; Children will have a sound understanding of phonics and will apply it to texts that they read. The children will be competent writers and will ensure that all the children are academically prepared for life beyond primary school and throughout their educational journey.
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