At Bramble, we believe that English is at the heart of our teaching and learning and essential to every area of the curriculum. It is through English that concepts are formed and we are able to make sense of the world and our place in it. We value the importance of speaking with eloquence and conviction; reading for pleasure and understanding, and writing with fluency and style. Our English curriculum intent 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 Novel Study and widespread reading for enjoyment.
We aim to ensure that all pupils:
We use the Novel Study approach to raise writing and reading standards through high quality novels which are explored through using immersive learning experiences: different drama techniques; speaking and listening activities; language development; grammar sessions and shared reading activities. The teaching of writing across the school consists of two dimensions; transcription, (spelling and handwriting) and composition, (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).
Good speaking and listening skills are fundamental to good learning, and play a large part in a child’s progress. We aim for children to speak clearly, fluently and coherently and to be able to listen attentively with understanding, pleasure and empathy and contribute to group discussions effectively.
We create opportunities to improve pupil’s attitudes towards reading and embed these by using reading skills across other subject areas. We promote a teacher love for reading culture and develop enjoyment for reading within the English curriculum as well as promoting a wide range of reading initiatives across and outside the curriculum.
In year 1 to 6 children study each book for half a term. Staff model the writing process and demonstrate ambitious, high standards expected of all children. Pupils are encouraged to develop the stamina and skills to write at length with accurate spelling and punctuation using legible, correctly formed and eventually pacey handwriting. Pupils are taught to use ‘cursive letters’ handwriting from Reception onwards following our spelling scheme. Children are taught to develop, articulate and communicate ideas, organising them coherently for a reader, with clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Grammar is built on what they have been taught to expand the range of their writing and the variety of the grammar they use. Writing is fluent across a range of genre, mapped within our curriculum overview, including narratives, explanations, descriptions, comparisons, summaries and evaluations.
Children are supported to articulate their ideas and provide purposes and audiences for talk within a range of formal and informal situations and in individual, partner, group and class contexts. Vocabulary is outlined on subject knowledge organisers and displayed in classrooms thereby children use to enhance speaking and listening as well as reading and writing. We provide opportunities to perform to a larger audience, in assemblies and productions, where children’s efforts and skills are acknowledged by staff, parents, visitors and peers. Children use a range of experiences and work collaboratively to reflect and explore real and imagined situations through vocabulary enrichment activities and immersive drama strategies.
The teaching of reading across the school consists of two dimensions; word reading and comprehension (both listening and reading). Our comprehension teaching includes literal, inference and evaluation skills with progression being provided through the increasing challenge of texts being used and from the complexity of the questions staff ask or tasks set. We teach children to read fluently and use comprehension skills from year 1 through to year 6, which provides opportunities for children to meet the reading objectives drawn from the National Curriculum. We provide opportunities to read for pleasure across a range of fiction and non-fiction to develop pupil’s knowledge of themselves and the world they live in to establish an appreciation and love of reading and to gain knowledge; widening their understanding of vocabulary across the curriculum.
Phonics is one strategy we use for learning to read in EYFS and continues throughout KS1 until children are secure in their phonic knowledge. Children learn how to use this to decode unfamiliar words by the end of year 1 to be successful as both readers and writers. Children’s learning in phonics is based on the ‘Letters & Sounds’ programme which teaches the five key skills for reading and writing: