At St Paul’s we are committed to ensuring that our children become avid readers; children who read fluently and widely, children who are able to comprehend what they read, and who are able to express preferences and opinions about the texts that they read. We want them to read a range of text types, genres and authors in order for them to make informed opinions about their preferences. We want to produce writers; children who write with confidence and accuracy for a variety of purposes and audiences, with their own personal flair. We want our children to be able to write with grammatical accuracy and be able to apply spelling patterns correctly, using a neat handwriting style. We aim to expose our children to a wide range of vocabulary which they can they use to communicate effectively with others. We want our children to be confident speakers and effective listeners. To ensure this, during their time at St Paul’s, all children will be exposed to a high-quality education in English.
English is most often taught in a cross-curricular way, linking up with other areas of the curriculum. At St Paul’s, our English curriculum consists of:
- EYFS and Key Stage 1 children follow a rigorous phonics scheme, reading phonetically decodable texts linked to the phonics previously taught.
- Accelerated Reader is used in Key Stage 2, allowing us to effectively track the progress of our ‘free readers’. Children who are not meeting age-related expectations continue with the appropriate book band on our reading scheme.
- Guided Reading sessions take place daily from Year 1 to Year 6. These sessions follow a clear progression of skills, which has been developed by our staff for our children. All classes use a whole class reading approach to these sessions. These sessions cover a wide variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and develop the children’s comprehension skills.
- Children take part in weekly reading fluency sessions, designed to develop their expression, accuracy, pace, volume and prosody when reading aloud.
- Our pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure and to read widely through our reading scheme and well-stocked school library.
- Children share whole class stories and are listened to read regularly, both in groups and individually.
- Carefully designed text-led learning journeys form the basis of our writing curriculum, with a clear starting point and end outcome.
- Differentiated learning activities are designed to support and challenge all learners.
- Writing skills are developed 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 a purpose and we encourage pupils to see themselves as authors and poets.
- A wide range of opportunities to apply taught skills during extended writing in other areas of the curriculum are offered to our children.
- Daily Phonics sessions are taught in EYFS and Key Stage 1, following the Twinkl phonics programme
- Spelling sessions in KS2 are taught three times a week and use the ‘Sounds and Syllables’ approach, supplemented by an additional session focussing on the Statutory Spelling Lists for each year group.
- Cursive handwriting is introduced in Year 2 and then continues across the school. Handwriting is taught daily in EYFS and in Key Stage 1. In Year 3, handwriting lessons take place weekly. Interventions take place where necessary throughout the rest of KS2.
Speaking & Listening:
- Children are given regular opportunities, throughout our curriculum, to develop their speaking and listening skills.
- Our children are taught and encouraged to: ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge; articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions; give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings; maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments; speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English and to participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates.
- We know the value of excellent vocabulary and this is developed and practised across our curriculum constantly. Children are exposed to high-quality vocabulary throughout our curriculum.
- Weekly vocabulary sessions take place across the school, using Vocabulary Ninja as our approach.
- Children are taught how to use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary.
At St Paul’s we want our children to take risks in their reading and writing, and to love discussing and sharing their ideas. We strive to ensure that our children's attainment is in line with or exceeds their potential when we consider the varied starting points of all our children. We measure this using NFER testing materials, STA assessment guidelines and STAR reading tests which all supplement our rigorous daily assessment of learning, where we always consider the age-related expectations for each year group. Our English curriculum is designed to ensure our pupils are academically prepared for life beyond primary school and throughout their educational journey.