Chesham Bois CE School
Our English 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. These enable 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.
- to develop children’s oracy and ability to speak publicly with eloquence and confidence for a range of purposes.
- to enable all pupils to have access to our full curriculum and learn alongside their peers, including SEND pupils.
At Chesham Bois CE School, we endeavour to develop lifelong readers, who not only recognise reading as a key life skill, but also have a passion for reading. We also endeavour to develop writers who are confident, creative and positive. We believe that early Phonics teaching is key to this, therefore, the systematic teaching of Phonics has a high priority throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1. Our aim at Chesham Bois, is for children to use their Phonics skills to become fluent, confident readers by the end of Key Stage One. This allows our children to focus on fluency and comprehension skills as they progress further through the school. We also aim for our children to use their phonics skills to become positive and self-assured writers by the end of Key Stage One. This allows our children to focus on developing their creativity and editing skills as they progress further through the school. It is our systematic Phonics teaching that enables pupils to do this by allowing them to secure letter sounds and the skills of segmenting and blending. This teaching follows the Supersonic Phonic Friends scheme, which provides a planned and sequenced Phonics curriculum that is consistent across classes. We aim to ensure that pupils know why we learn Phonics and share this widely across the school community, allowing the importance of Phonics teaching and the skills associated to be valued by all.
In order to implement our intent, we start our teaching by equipping parents/carers with key Phonics skills, with our Phonics information sessions, run each September, allowing parents to support their children at home. From there on, prioritisation of Phonics teaching is clear through timetabling which has been put into place and followed, including extra interventions provided to those in Year 2 who will be retaking the Phonics screening and extra support for those children who are working below expected levels across Early Years and Key Stage 1. Phonics is usually taught in groups, allowing the needs of different children to be met, however whole class teaching is used when appropriate. We follow the scheme Supersonic Phonics Friends, which provides enjoyment and consistency for our children. Phonics lesson plans are detailed and the children are taught using familiar PowerPoint slides, featuring the Supersonic Phonic Friends characters, who the children know and love. It is through the characters that key components are covered during each lesson and children are revisiting, learning, practicing and applying key skills daily. In addition to the main Phonics teaching, pupils have regular reading sessions with an adult, ensuring the pupils are regularly practising and applying their phonics knowledge, those in need of extra support are 1:1/daily readers, who we read with as much as possible throughout the week. In Early Years, continuous and enhanced provision links to the pupil’s current knowledge and understanding, whilst providing challenge. Each week, the children take home 1-2 fully decodable reading books to further practice their Phonics skills at home. The importance of Phonics is also made clear in the school environment, with displays, reading corners and the school library. Teachers regularly assess the pupil’s Phonics knowledge. This is done after finishing a phase and/or half termly (beginning Autumn 2) mock Phonics screenings. These regular assessments inform planning and allow teachers to identify any gaps in learning and put support into place.
Through Implementing the above, the majority of our children at the end of KS1 will:
- Feel positively about their Phonics learning
- Recognise the close relationship between reading and writing and how phonics supports them to be able to do both.
- Recognise the importance of Phonics and how it allows for them to access the wider curriculum.
- Read for pleasure a wide range of literature.
- Have gained sustained learning and transferable skills.
- Read accurately and with understanding.
- Be able to accurately apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught.