Chesham Bois CE School
Our curriculum focuses on nurturing children’s reading, writing, language and communication skills in all subjects. Our English curriculum is built around the idea of ‘purpose’; carefully sequenced and planned journeys to success create a cohesive link between reading, writing and spoken language, which enables children to explore different text types whilst making progress in their reading and writing through embedding key concepts and skills identified for each year group.
Through English, we engage and excite children with a wide range of high quality texts, both fiction and non-fiction, immersing all pupils in a language-rich learning environment, where they develop confidence in themselves as readers and writers. Writing always builds upon the foundations of reading and spoken language and is taught through English, as well as through writing opportunities in other curriculum areas where children can apply their skills.
The aims of our English curriculum are:
- to enable children to speak clearly and audibly in ways which take account of their audience;
- to encourage children to listen with concentration in order to be able to identify the main points of what they have heard, and respond appropriately;
- to enable children to adapt their speech to a wide range of circumstances and demands;
- to develop children’s abilities to reflect on their own and others’ contributions and the language used;
- to enable children to explore and evaluate their own and others’ thoughts, feelings and beliefs, through a range of drama activities;
- to develop confident, independent readers through an appropriate focus on word, sentence and text-level knowledge;
- to encourage children to become enthusiastic and reflective readers through immersion in challenging, texts and discussions;
- to help children enjoy writing and recognise its value;
- to enable children to write with accuracy and meaning in narrative and non-fiction;
- to increase the children’s ability to use planning, drafting and editing to improve their work.
In the EYFS pupils have at least four phonics sessions per week and at least two adult focused Communication, Language and Literacy sessions per week. Children have opportunities to develop their Communication, Language and Literacy skills daily through a wide range of child initiated activities. In Key Stage One pupils have four phonic sessions per week and four allocated English sessions. In Key Stage Two pupils have four allocated English sessions each week.
Across the school all pupils are heard read either on a 1:1 basis or through Guided Reading sessions weekly.
Each year group explores 12 text types across the academic year (10 text types are covered in Year 6). Teachers select the text types they want to explore with the children each half term so that careful consideration can be made and cross curricular links planned for work with Humanities and Science.
A unit of work will begin with a cold write challenge (in years 2 – 6) so that teachers are able to assess what pupils are already able to achieve. A set of unit targets are created, based on each year group’s expected outcomes from the national curriculum, and are shared with pupils in the form of a ‘Journey to Success’ grid which features differentiated I can statements. These I can statements are then used by pupils and teachers to identify knowledge and skills that are secure and next steps in their learning during a unit of work.
A unit of work is carefully planned to ensure pupils have opportunities to develop knowledge and progression in skills in all aspects of the English curriculum. Challenges within lessons will involve a variety of activities including: exploring texts, identifying key aspects of texts, discussing rich vocabulary, exploring language and the impact it has on the reader, posing and answering questions, exploring spelling and grammar and punctuation, planning, writing, editing and publishing different text types as well as a range of drama based activities to support pupils in developing their knowledge of text types and literary features. During each unit pupils have at least two opportunities to plan, write and edit an extended piece of writing for a selected text type, this enables pupils and teachers to identify the progress made by pupils within a unit of work to identify knowledge and skills that are secure before moving on to exploring a different text type.
Reference is made to previous learning in English in other areas of the curriculum through cross-curricular writing in Humanities, Science and RE. Opportunities for pupils to complete writing challenges that link to previously taught text types are planned for regularly so that pupils are able to continuously develop their writing knowledge and skills.