The Intent, implementation and Impact of our Curriculum – English.
At Christopher Pickering Primary School, English and the teaching of English is the foundation of our curriculum. Our main aim is to ensure every single child becomes primary literate and progresses in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Staff at Christopher Pickering feel it is seminal to highlight and be aware of the differing groups of learners and vulnerable children in their class. Once this information is acquired, teachers can plan and teach personalised English lessons which focus on the particular needs of each child. We recognise that each child has their own starting point upon entry to every year group and progress is measured in line with these starting points to ensure every child can celebrate success.
English at Christopher Pickering will not only be a daily discrete lesson, but is at the cornerstone of the entire curriculum. It is embedded within all our lessons and we will strive for a high level of English for all. Through using high-quality texts, immersing children in vocabulary rich learning environments and ensuring new curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met, the children at Christopher Pickering will be exposed to a language heavy, creative and continuous English curriculum which will not only enable them to become primary literate but will also develop a love of reading, creative writing and purposeful speaking and listening.
When the new curriculum was implemented in 2014, many professionals commented that the creativity had been eliminated and children were expected to be taught a diet of very dry grammar and punctuation skills. At Christopher Pickering, our vision is for the creativity to be at the helm of our English curriculum and for children to learn new skills in a fun and engaging way.
We ensure that reading is explicitly taught every day and that each group of children has time with the teacher, in the reading session, once a week. Vulnerable groups can be highlighted and support staff can be used to support these groups further to ensure progression and specific year group skills are secure. Resources to support and enhance these lessons were purchased so that all staff now feel proficient and skilled in delivering these sessions effectively. With a structured timetable of learning tasks being rotated throughout the week, children are not only learning comprehension skills but also independence, a love of wider reading and exposure to rich vocabulary, which is absolute key in all sessions for all learners.
As we believe consistency and well-taught English is the bedrock of a valuable education, at Christopher Pickering we ensure that the teaching of writing is purposeful, robust and shows clear progression for all children. In line with the new national curriculum, we ensure that each year group is teaching the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for that age groups. As well as teaching the objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in cross-curricular writing opportunities and ensure that most children are achieving the objectives at the expected level and that some children can achieve at a greater depth standard.
In order to expose children to a variety of genres which helps to utilise and embed the writing skills, teachers use a writing journey to plan, structure and teach their English lessons. This journey is designed to show progress, teach the pertinent year group objectives, apply and consolidate these skills and develop vocabulary. Writing is taught through the use of a quality text, which exposes the children to inference, high-level vocabulary, a range of punctuation and characterisation. Each text is purposefully selected in order to promote a love of reading, engagement and high quality writing from each child.
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives. We hope that as children move on from us to further their education and learning that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.
10 Tips on Hearing Your Child Read
As parents you are your child’s most influential teacher with an important part to play in helping your child to learn to read.
Here are some suggestions on how you can help to make this a positive experience.
- Choose a quiet time
Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. Ten to fifteen minutes is usually long enough.
- Make reading enjoyable
Make reading an enjoyable experience. Sit with your child. Try not to pressurise if he or she is reluctant. If your child loses interest then do something else.
- Maintain the flow
If your child mispronounces a word do not interrupt immediately. Instead allow opportunity for self-correction. It is better to tell a child some unknown words to maintain the flow rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from the sounds of the letters. If your child does try to ‘sound out’ words, encourage the use of letter sounds rather than ‘alphabet names’.
- Be positive
If your child says something nearly right to start with that is fine. Don’t say ‘No. That’s wrong,’ but ‘Let’s read it together’ and point to the words as you say them. Boost your child’s confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.
- Success is the key
Parents anxious for a child to progress can mistakenly give a child a book that is too difficult. This can have the opposite effect to the one they are wanting. Remember ‘Nothing succeeds like success’. Until your child has built up his or her confidence, it is better to keep to easier books. Struggling with a book with many unknown words is pointless. Flow is lost, text cannot be understood and children can easily become reluctant readers.
- Visit the Library
Encourage your child to use the public library regularly.
- Regular practice
Try to read with your child on most school days. ‘Little and often’ is best. Teachers have limited time to help your child with reading.
Your child will most likely have a reading diary from school. Try to communicate regularly with positive comments and any concerns. Your child will then know that you are interested in their progress and that you value reading.
- Talk about the books
There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Just as important is being able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.
- Variety is important
Remember children need to experience a variety of reading materials eg. picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems, and information books.
Read our progression documents to see what your child should be learning in each year.