At Christ the Sower, CARE is at the heart of our aspirational, engaging and ambitious curriculum. We believe that promoting high standards of literacy, both spoken and written, are fundamental to ensuring that all of our students are able to achieve their future goals and aspirations. From an early age, we want all children to develop a love of language and literature through both reading and writing. Furthermore, We believe that the development of vocabulary is key to unlocking children’s understanding of the English language and this is a cornerstone of our approach to teaching in English and other areas of the curriculum.
At Christ the Sower Ecumenical Primary School, our curriculum is fully aligned with the National Curriculum. We have designed our curriculum carefully to ensure that it is built on an in-depth knowledge and understanding of our pupils. Our curriculum is both challenging and coherently sequence to ensure that new knowledge and skills build on prior knowledge thus ensuring that children know more, and remember more over time.
Our CARE curriculum and its values underpins all aspects of our English curriculum and ensures that children are provided with the fundamental skills and tools for their learning. Through our CARE curriculum we want all children at CtS to:
- develop the habit of reading widely and often and make confident choices about the range of authors and genres that they choose to read both for pleasure and information
- read fluently and with good understanding with the ability to discuss what they have read with others
- explore the meaning of words in context both for reading and writing to acquire and develop a wide, rich vocabulary
- write clearly, accurately and coherently making considered and well thought out choices about adapting their language and style to suit a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
Our curriculum is ambitious and designed to give all learners the skills and knowledge they need to be “secondary ready” when they leave our school at the end of Year 6. We want all of our children to develop their confidence, self-esteem and self-belief so they are able to be successful in their learning. Our children understand the power of yet and develop a growth mindset to appreciate and overcame challenges in their learning. It is our intention that every child is able to access the curriculum and that every child is empowered to achieve and exceed their
- Phonics is taught daily in Early Years and Key Stage 1 following the Read Write Inc programme. Read Write Inc is a validated Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme that provides the structure and resources required to support children to develop their phonics skills.
- Children are taught in groups carefully matched to their level of phonics attainment. Phonics knowledge is regularly assessed by our English and Phonics lead to ensure that children make continued progress.
- Children who require additional practice receive targeted keep up support in line with our phonics programme. This delivered on an individual or small group basis.
- We use Read Write Inc. Phonics and Fresh Start for children in KS2 who require additional support with their reading.
- Regular professional development, coaching and mentoring is utilised to ensure that all children have access to a fully trained reading teacher.
- Our reading progression documents clearly outline the skills and knowledge covered in each year groups and how these are revisited and consolidated.
- In each year group, reading and the enjoyment of texts is explored in a range of different ways. This through a combination of daily whole class reading and opportunities for children to read individually or independently. All children who have completed our phonics programme also have a daily guided reading session which focuses on reading strategies and the exploration of texts.
- Pupils explore their understanding of texts using VIPERS skills where they look at vocabulary, prediction, summarising, making inferences and retrieving information. Children are encouraged to justify their thinking using evidence from a text.
- Reading is at the heart of each English unit with writing being linked to high-quality core texts. This enables children to see reading as an integral part of developing their skills as a writer. Our core texts are carefully selected to promote engagements and development of vocabulary which in turn develops children’s writing skills.
- All classes have access to our school library where children are encouraged to borrow a wide range of texts to read for pleasure. Each classroom also has a class lending library which children are able to borrow books from. Our in school libraries are supplemented each term by the Schools Library Service who provide a “topic box” to ensure each class has a wide range of up to date and high quality texts to support their learning.
- In EYFS and KS1 we use a range of phonetically decodable books in line with our phonics programme. Children have a phonetically decodable reading book to take home and read that is in line with their phonics teaching.
- Throughout the year, we hold a range of enrichments events which aim to raise the profile of English ad to further instil in pupils a love of reading.
- Our writing curriculum has its foundations around four main writing purposes: to entertain, to inform, to persuade and to discuss.
- Each English unit is anchored in a core text, and this is used to inspire and engage children with their writing. Over time, the writing purposes are revisited across and within each year group to provide children with the opportunity to develop and secure their writing skills.
- In all English lessons, the big picture, purpose and audience for writing are clearly communicated to give children a real life context for learning and writing.
- Children revisit different purposes within and across year groups to consolidate skills, Application of skills learnt in English also encourage in other curriculum areas.
- Tier two words and other vocabulary are introduced as a focus at the start of each teaching sequence and through displays and other resources (word banks) to encourage children to use a wider range of vocabulary in their writing. Pre-teaching of this vocabulary is used to support those children who require additional scaffolding.
- High quality model texts are used as part of our teaching sequence to best exemplify the writing skills and knowledge that children need to acquire and demonstrate in their own writing.
- Working walls are used to map the journey of writing and provide a resource point for children as writers. This includes the use of clear modelling and scaffolding from teachers to ensure children are aware of the outcome and expectations and are able to use this as models for their own writing.
- In line with the National Curriculum, the conventions of English grammar and punctuation are taught discretely and as part of our English teaching sequences as appropriate to specific genres of writing.
- We follow a writing process from prewrite to publish and make full use of the drafting process which includes the use of purple pens to edit to improve work.
- Spellings are taught explicitly in each class on a weekly basis. In KS1 spellings are linked to the children’s phonics learning and National Curriculum statements. in KS2 spellings are linked to specific spelling statements as outlined in the National Curriculum.
- Each year group completes one dictation session a week which provides children with the opportunity to put into practise their knowledge of spelling, punctuation and grammar in a “real world” application. Dictation also promotes and provides an opportunity for children to develop their skills in segmenting and transcription.
- All children take part in whole class English lessons and teachers plan lessons so that all pupils are included and make progress within the lesson. Teaching, independent work and questioning within lessons are appropriately scaffolded support the needs of individual children.
- Both volunteer and peer readers are used to provide additional opportunities for children to read aloud on a one to one basis.
- Whole School agreed Memory Hacks (retrieval, note taking, chunking, scaffolding/modelling and big picture) are planned for and used consistently in lessons giving children skills to remember more.
- Children are encouraged to read regularly at home and record their learning in the reading journals. This gives children further opportunity to reflect on their reading and demonstrate their understanding of a text.
- Regular monitoring and opportunities for professional developments are utilised to share good practice and develop teacher subject knowledge.
Spellings are taught explicitly in each class on a weekly basis. In KS1 spellings are linked to the children’s phonics learning and National Curriculum statements. In KS2 spellings are linked to specific spelling statements as outlined in the National Curriculum. Children are expected to learn ten spellings each week which are linked to a spelling rule and they are encouraged to use these in their writing.
In addition to this, children in KS2 are expected to learn five additional spellings words linked to another area of their learning; this is an opportunity for children to develop and expand their vocabulary.
Each year group has at least one handwriting session each week to promote legible and appropriate joining. In EYFS and KS1, additional handwriting sessions and free play opportunities are provided in order to allow opportunities for children to develop their fine motor and handwriting skills.
In Year Four, children receive their pen licence to allow them to further develop their presentational and handwriting skills. In Year Six, children begin to explore writing with their own style using the knowledge they have acquired about letter sizing and joins.
Each year group completes one dictation session a week which provides children with the opportunity to put into practise their knowledge of spelling, punctuation and grammar in a “real world” application.
Dictation also promotes and provides an opportunity for children to develop their skills in segmenting and transcription.
Expert Teaching Team
We ensure that all staff at Christ the Sower Ecumenical Primary School have expert knowledge in English. We do this through:
- Internal professional development led by English and Phonics Leads
- External professional development through the academy trust and other external bodies
- English leadership and networking meetings with other schools (both locally and within our trust)
- Staff meetings where good practice is shared
- Planning with teaching teams
- Team teaching
All children take part in English lessons and teachers plan lessons so that all pupils are included and make progress within the lesson.
Work and questioning within the lesson is appropriately differentiated to support the needs of individual children to ensure they are able to access the learning and have success.
Additional resources are provided to support children with their learning as appropriate. For example differentiated texts, word mats and writing frames and prompts. Technology such as Clicker or word processing programmes are also used to ensure all children can demonstrate their writing ability.
During classroom teaching, discreet help may be provided by support staff or the class teacher as appropriate. During activities, children may also be supported by an adult or peer to enable them to access the work hand have success.
It may be necessary for some children to take part in intervention sessions outside the normal English lesson. These are operated in accordance with the class teacher, English lead and SENDCo. The impact of the intervention is measured by class teachers and monitored by SLT.
In KS1, children are expected to read on a daily basis and practise their spellings. Reading books are changed regularly and in line with children’s phonics teaching.
In KS2, children are expected to read on a daily basis, practise their spellings and complete online home learnings task on our electronic home-learning platform (Reading Eggs).
These tasks provide children with an opportunity to further develop and consolidate the reading and writing skills they are exposed to as part of their learning.
By the time that children leave Christ the Sower school they will:
- be able to decode any unfamiliar word using their knowledge of phonics
- read fluently and with confidence demonstrating a good comprehension of what has been read
- read for pleasure from a wide range of literature: appreciating the value of all genres of writing from stories to poetry to non-fiction
- be curious about the meaning of words and be able to discuss the meaning of words in context adding to their growing vocabulary
- understanding the relationship between reading and writing and how skills linked to each area are transferable in all aspects of learning
- be able to write for a range of purposes across a wide range of text types giving consideration to audience
- be able to express themselves and their opinions clearly, confidently and appropriately
- be able to apply phonics knowledge and taught spelling rules and patterns successfully
- be reflective and independent learners
- have acquired the knowledge and skills they require to be successful in their next stage of education and for their future aspiration,
Members of staff responsible:
- English and Phonics Lead - Tina Palfreyman
- Governor responsible for English: Gemma WIlliamson.
- Class teachers