English at E21C Primary Schools
At the E21C primary schools, we believe that a quality Literacy (English) curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledgebase in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our pupils the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
Our English curriculum reflects the pupils we teach. Many of the texts we use across the school have a BAME lead protagonist, although these texts need not necessarily cover specifically racial themes. Other stereotypes such as gender and disability are also tackled through texts and discussion. Our curriculum also makes links to the local area where our school community resides and thrives. Each school selects its own texts in order to deliver these aims.
The aims of the English curriculum at E21C, follow those of the National Curriculum. Our goal is for every pupil leaving our schools to be able to:
- Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- Have developed the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- Have acquired a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- Show competency in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
These aims are embedded across our literacy lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. The Writing curriculum, ‘Recipe For Writing’, was written for the E21C primary schools and is not based on any commercial scheme, this ensures that cross curricular links with concurrent topic work are woven into the programme of study. Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014.
The teaching of Punctuation and Grammar is woven into English lessons through the use of ‘Grammar Masters’. This programme was written by English leaders to ensure that all grammar objectives from years 1-6 are covered whilst at primary school. Teachers at E21C use Grammar Masters at the beginning of every lesson, linking the topic closely and meaningfully with the writing genre being taught. Grammar topics are assessed at the end of each week by completing an independent activity.
In addition to daily English lessons, children excel in early reading through the use of the Read Write Inc programme from reception – year 2 and continue to develop a range of reading skills, as well as a love of reading through the ‘Reading Masters’ programme. This programme was developed by the Trust’s Associate Headteacher, and teaches, models and practices each of the reading skills separately. Pupils start the written-style Reading Masters programme when they have been assessed at the end of the RWI phonics programme in Years 1 or 2. However, Reception and Year 1 pupils receive daily Reading Masters lessons orally.
A love of reading is promoted through class readers, library time, story assemblies and World Book Day. The Trust hopes to start a project to encourage adults at home to read with pupils as part of a ‘Bedtime Story Project’. It is the Trust’s hope that by sharing stories at home, children’s enjoyment of reading will flourish.
We use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. Pupils have opportunities to enter national and local writing competitions covering a variety of genres including poetry. The school takes advantage of external partnerships to promote the power of writing for different purposes. This ensures that children benefit from access to positive role models from the local and wider locality. The Rights Respecting Schools award will be embedded into our writing curriculums, giving pupils numerous opportunities to express themselves and give their opinion on issues relating to children’s rights for themselves and others in a national and international context.
The quality of teaching and learning is monitored using the following methods:
- Book monitoring
- Lesson Observation
- Pupil Voice
- Whole school moderations
- Trust moderations
- Instructional Coaching
By the time children leave an E21C primary school, they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader. They can also read books to enhance their knowledge and understanding of all subjects on the curriculum and communicate their research to a wider audience.
Pupils will make good progress from their own personal starting points. By the end of Year Six they will be able to write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Our pupils will acquire a wide vocabulary and have a strong command of the written word. Most importantly, they will develop a love of writing and be well equipped for the rest of their education and adulthood.
As a result, we have a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. They are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas.
If a pupil is not making the expected progress in any area of the English curriculum, this will be identified promptly and an intervention put in place, on the advice of the class teacher and SENCO. Learners may also receive pre-teaching with texts for Reading Masters or Writing, which aims to boost their confidence with fluency, vocabulary, comprehension and verbalising their ideas.