English at St Anne's
‘One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world’ – Malala Yousafzai
At St Anne’s we know and understand our children. We have created a curriculum which is bespoke to our pupils and encourages them to become enthusiastic and engaged with English. We aim to develop pupils’ abilities within an integrated programme of Speaking & Listening, Reading, Writing & Vocabulary. Pupils are given opportunities to interrelate the requirements of English within a broad and balanced curriculum, with opportunities to consolidate and reinforce taught literacy skills.
At St. Anne’s Catholic Primary School we are committed to providing rich and varied opportunities for children to become literate pupils. Through our English Curriculum, we strive to teach the children how important their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills will be in the real world. By giving this context to their learning, the children understand the value of English to them now, and in their futures. They can indeed ‘Aspire to be more’.
At St Anne’s we want all of our pupils to be capable readers, writers, spellers and speakers, who can transfer their English skills to other curriculum subjects and who are prepared for the next steps in their education. Our English lessons develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary. We teach our pupils to speak clearly, to convey their ideas fluently and confidently and to ask questions. We know the value of excellent vocabulary and this is developed and practised across our curriculum constantly through our ‘word of the day’ and ‘idiom of the week’ and during the reading phase of our English units. Our pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure and to read widely through our reading scheme and school library. Daily class reading sessions help to foster a love of reading and stories throughout the school. School Librarians and Subject Ambassadors help to promote English and reading throughout school.
We use Read, Write Inc for our phonics programme. Read, Write, Inc is a focused teaching strategy that teaches children how the alphabet works for reading and spelling. It is taught as a discrete 20 minute session in ability groups.
Our guided reading sessions cover a wide variety of both fiction and non-fiction texts and help to advance the children’s comprehension skills in a small group in KS1 and as a whole class in KS2. Children in KS2 also hone their reading comprehension skills through daily practise using Reading Plus. Children learn to work on their retrieval and inference skills and become more fluent and confident at sharing their thoughts and ideas. Parents are also given clear expectations and guidance about reading at home.
We develop writing skills so that our children have the stamina and ability to write at the age expected standard. To support children in moving towards independent writing we provide a wide range of activities including the use of film and imagery, music, ICT, modelled, shared and guided writing, peer assessment and discussion. We provide varied and exciting opportunities for writing for purpose and we encourage pupils to see themselves as authors and poets. We promote the importance of written work by providing a writing purpose and opportunities for children’s writing to be read aloud and listened to by an audience.
Handwriting sessions are taught at a minimum of three times weekly in KS1 and twice weekly in KS2 to instil the importance of good presentation. We have developed a range of extra activities, which are used to promote English within the school including: The Fantastic Book Awards, The Brilliant Book Awards, World Book Day, home reading awards, English challenges and awards in assemblies.
Home reading is very important and takes high priority at St Anne's. We work hard to promote a positive reading culture across the school and work together with parents to support them with home reading at school.
Children have access to a wide range of different books and are expected to read daily.
In Reception and KS1, children’s home reading books are linked to the phonics phase they are secure at. In KS2, children’s home reading books are linked to their reading ability. Children have a reading level which staff and children use to choose suitable books. Parents are asked to make comments and sign their child’s Home Reading Record to show that they have supported their child with their reading. These comments are used by staff to monitor the frequency of reading at home and provide additional support to children in school.
We celebrate the efforts of children with their home reading at St Anne's during our Friday Award Assemblies. The class with the highest percentage of books returned each week is awarded William - the school reading worm - to display in their class and a sweet treat to celebrate their success!