In the Carey Federation we believe English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. High-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society.
The overarching aim for English in our curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. When pupils move on from the Carey Federation to further their education, they will have a deep passion and creativity for English, that will continue to grow with them.
The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
Promoting our school motto and The Carey Qualities
Our curriculum for English is ambitious and challenging so enables children to ‘Aim High’. Children are encouraged to ‘Build Relationships’ during drama, discussions, debates and reading activities where team work, listening skills and leadership can be developed. Pupils are encouraged to be active learners by responding to teaching points and by being involved in their progress through highlighting areas to develop and areas of achievement. Encouraging a growth mindset and intrinsic motivation for learning. When learning is challenging, children will need to ‘Be Resilient’. Through using word banks, dictionaries, displays, knowledge organisers and spelling/sound mats, children will have the opportunity to ‘Be Resourceful’.
Our aims are embedded across or English lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a well organised English curriculum and framework that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. We use a wide variety of quality texts to inspire and motivate our children.
Teaching sequences are carefully planned to ensure progression of skills across the year groups and key stages. They weave together reading, writing, speaking, listening and grammar skills. They are designed to teach, practise and consolidate learning whilst captivating pupils and firing their imaginations, often with a cross curricular link.
In the Carey Federation, we identify children who need support and provide intervention in the most effective and efficient way possible. Teachers plan and teach lessons which are differentiated to meet the needs of each child. Various resources, methods and strategies are used to help maximise each child’s potential. We provide help and support where necessary whilst striving to make children independent workers.
Our curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. Teachers therefore ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. Pupils develop a capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write. They are assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as to others and teachers ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions. Pupils are taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate.
All pupils are enabled to participate in and gain knowledge, skills and understanding associated with the artistic practice of drama. Pupils should be able to adopt, create and sustain a range of roles, responding appropriately to others in role. They have opportunities to improvise, devise and script drama for one another and a range of audiences, as well as to rehearse, refine, share and respond thoughtfully to drama and theatre performances.
Reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:
We believe it is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.
Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics is emphasised in the early teaching of reading when they start school. In the Carey Federation we follow the structured phonics programme Read Write Inc. It helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. Once children move off the programme, whole class reading is used to deliver the reading curriculum.
Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.
In the Carey Federation, we believe it is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.
Writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:
It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these two dimensions. In addition, pupils will be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on 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. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.
Spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
Opportunities for teachers to enhance pupils’ vocabulary arise naturally from their reading and writing. However, teachers also plan for opportunities to immerse pupils in a language rich environment and explore new vocabulary through dictionary and thesaurus activities. As vocabulary increases, teachers show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language. They also teach pupils how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than one meaning. Pupils are taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English. In the National Curriculum, a non-statutory glossary is provided for teachers along with specific features to be taught, which is followed in the Carey Federation to ensure progression. It is important that pupils learn the correct grammatical terms in English and that these terms are integrated within teaching.
In the Carey Federation, we recognise the impact of promoting vocabulary and language development. This is evident in classrooms where key vocabulary from across the curriculum is displayed and included in topic knowledge organisers.
We implement the curriculum through carefully planned sequences which enable children to learn new skills and knowledge , whilst consolidating previous learning. Mapping what is taught in each year group, allows teachers to plan for progression. Please see our progression grid below:
The impact is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. With the implementation of the writing process being secure and well-established throughout the school, children become increasingly confident writers. As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, we promote cross curricular writing. Pupils begin to transfer their skills across the curriculum, enabling a consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and text type features and objectives.
Pupils write and ‘Elicitation Task’ at the beginning of sequences and an ‘Application Task’ at the end. This demonstrates progress made and enables staff to identify key skills which need to be taught or consolidated. Together with regular Federation writing moderation, opportunities for teachers to discuss and assess writing are organised, allowing for careful judgements to be made against age-related expectations. Progress is tracked and monitored with guided work, catch-up or interventions being planned as necessary
From these tasks, ‘success criteria’ are set and reviewed. Success criteria identify specific objectives for children to develop which will have a profound impact on their progress. Pupils are involved in the success criteria and reflect on they have applied their objectives through highlighting within their work.
Opportunities for pupils to respond to marking is effective and encourages learning dialogue between pupils and staff and between pupils themselves. Book monitoring and moderation involves all teachers to ensure the marking policy is consistent and to reflect on standards and progress.
The Elicitation/Application Tasks, success criteria and the marking system, not only provide regular opportunities for children to be active learners and fully involved in their learning journey, but also provide regular opportunities to celebrate success of all learners.