The English curriculum at Staveley CE Primary School has been carefully designed to fulfil the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum with our Christian vision at the heart. Through our English curriculum we want to encourage and equip the children to be self-regulated learners, critical thinkers, good communicators and problem solvers. The children will learn to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and develop the skills of language that are essential to participate fully as a member of society. The children will develop reading and comprehension skills and a love of reading not only to enable them to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know but also for enjoyment of literature and to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.
What do we teach English?
The teaching of reading at Staveley CE Primary School consists of two very important elements – word reading and comprehension. During the Early Years and Key Stage 1 the children take part in daily phonics sessions following the Read, Write, Inc. programme where children are taught within small groups according to the phase of phonics they are working on. We call these our Fred Time sessions, named after the little frog character in the programme. If needed, this is continued into lower Key Stage 2 alongside further support in reading and spelling. From Year 2 onwards, all children take part in daily spelling sessions using the Read, Write, Inc. spelling programme, learning spelling rules and patterns. All children in the EYFS and Key Stage 1 take home reading books weekly that are carefully matched to what sounds they have been learning during their daily RWI sessions. In Key Stage 2, the children choose reading books from a selection of high quality texts. We want to instil in the children a love of reading therefore each child also gets to take home a library book, either to be shared with an adult at home for EYFS and Key Stage 1 children or independently in Key Stage 2. We all enjoy termly visits from the Library Van where each child helps to choose a selection of books for their class and hear about new books and enjoy stories being read aloud to them and taking part in World Book Day activities each year. Upper Key Stage 2 take part in the Spellbinding initiative where they have opportunity to read a selection of new quality texts and vote on their favourites. This is always a highly anticipated part of the school calendar. Throughout their learning journey at Staveley CE Primary School, the children will be taught reading comprehension skills through reading a range of high quality texts in class. We have weekly Whole Class Reading sessions focusing on the VIPERS (vocabulary, inference, predict, explain, retrieve and sequence/summarise).
Writing is taught as part of daily English lessons and across other curriculum areas, in conjunction with speaking and listening and reading activities. Children learn to write in a range of styles and for different purposes right from the Early Years where children are encouraged to mark-make and ‘write’ in all areas of their play. Throughout school, the children will write stories, poems, information texts, instructions and much more. We use units of work by Jane Considine, using high quality texts to engage and inspire creative writing and create stimulating and meaningful opportunities to write as well as real-life experiences and adventures. Writing becomes progressively more complex as the children learn about the features of text types and apply it in their own work. We make meaningful links between subjects where possible and place the same expectations on children’s writing within all curriculum areas.
What are the outcomes?
Children at Staveley CE Primary School develop a love of reading and books early on in their learning journey, being able to use their reading skills for pleasure and to help acquire new knowledge across all areas of the curriculum. Termly PIRA and GAPS tests measure the progress being made in reading, reading comprehension, spelling, punctuation and grammar with interventions in place for those children needing extra support. Children at risk of falling behind in phonics and reading are quickly detected in the EYFS and Key Stage 1 and offered 1-1 tutoring to keep up. Children become competent writers for different purposes, able to communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively.