English

 

English: Curriculum Intent

English is a core subject in the National Curriculum. It underpins all areas of the curriculum.

At The Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School, we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children to become confident in literacy (reading and writing) by teaching them the key skills that they need. We aim to inspire a love of reading, writing and discussion. Our philosophy will be driven by the determination that every child in this school will learn to read regardless of their circumstances. We follow ‘Pathways to Write’ and ‘Pathways to Read’ as a way to develop vocabulary, reading and writing skills through the mastery approach. High-quality texts have been chosen to ensure engaging and purposeful English lessons through the mastery approach. The teaching sequence is progressive and builds upon prior learning.

English is prioritised at The Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School.  Please click the links below for further information.

Our Curriculum Drivers

Spirituality: As a Catholic School we are driven by a spiritually rich curriculum that holds Gospel values at its heart, encompassing the importance of British values and Equality.

Possibilities: A curriculum that provides quality experiences, encouraging our children to have high aspiration for their future and to be aware of all the opportunities available to them.

Resilience: Our curriculum encourages children to learn how to think well, it seeks to remove barriers to learning through growth mind-set, developing problem-solving skills and bounce-back ability.

 Writing - Intent

Here at The Holy Spirit we focus on the teaching of writing as both a core subject, and one which opens opportunity in all other subjects. We want our children to leave The Holy Spirit as effective communicators in all types of writing, with a clear knowledge of spelling rules and continuous cursive handwriting.

Implementation

  • Pathways to Write develops writing from the foundations through the mastery approach. Children develop vocabulary, reading and writing skills which they can transfer to the wider curriculum.
  • Writing opportunities are carefully planned so that they are progressive and appropriate for the ability of our children.
  • We teach writing as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age related knowledge contained within the National Curriculum.
  • In KS1, teachers show pupils the relationship between reading sounds and words and help to develop their understanding of using this knowledge to spell words.
  • We learn National Curriculum spellings structured in word families and high frequency words.
  • We use appealing texts to inspire, stimulate and motivate children’s writing.
  • Children will be involved in the assessment of their progress and receive regular supportive feedback on their work.
  • When working on handwriting, children are able to gain a ‘pen’ when they have the skills they need to form letters accurately and joining their writing.

Impact

In all stages of learning at The Holy Spirit, children feel encouraged on their writing journey. They encounter challenge and are building resilience when it comes to spelling and handwriting. Children write in a variety of different genres and they use cross-curricular opportunities to embed skills and further their knowledge. At the end of each Pathways Unit children have the opportunity to apply mastery skills in an extended context and have their work on a showcase wall.

Aspirations for the Future

Pupils develop an understanding of how subjects and specific skills are linked to future jobs.

Here are some of the jobs you could aspire to do in the future as a Writer:

  • Journalist
  • Publicity Assistant
  • Author
  • TV Presenter

For more careers, please visit First Careers.

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We use ‘Pathways to Write,’ which is a text based approach. Through using books as a writing tool, the children are exposed to high quality language from a variety of different authors and genres and are provided with many different writing opportunities.

Following the ‘Pathways to Write’ methodology, our teaching of writing process follows three stages: 

  • Gateway: hooks, enthuses and intrigues young writers whilst revisiting previously taught skills to assess against.
  • Pathway: introduces three new writing skills, which pupils practise and apply through short and extended writing tasks.
  • Writeaway: provides an opportunity for pupils to apply mastery skills in an extended context.

Through writing, the children are exposed to many different elements of vocabulary, punctuation and grammar.  The full break down of the areas of SPaG taught in each year group is available at the following link: Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

 

 Reading - Intent

The first stage in helping children to become confident readers and enjoy books is teaching them the key skills that they need. Our philosophy will be driven by the determination that every child in this school will learn to read regardless of their circumstances.

Implementation

  • We will use a systematic, consistent, well-structured, fast paced and multi-sensory approach to teaching reading.
  • Teaching of phonics is primarily based on Letters and Sounds. Pathways to Read structures the foundations of the English planning across the school and wider resources are used to enhance the teaching of reading within the wider curriculum.
  • Children will be given opportunities to practise their decoding skills to adults to apply what they have learnt.
  • Staff will be highly trained in the principles of phonics, so that they can identify the learning needs of young children and recognise and overcome the barriers that hamper learning
  • The curriculum will give children rich opportunities to talk and listen in a wide range of contexts. Strong cross-curricular links are made with reading across the wider curriculum, e.g. topic book baskets in every classroom using ELS resources
  • There will be a strong and early focus on developing listening skills.
  • Well-structured resources including those from Letters and Sounds and Bug Club will be used appropriately, to support the teaching programme.
  • Phonics and other teaching strategies will be monitored to ensure consistency.
  • The assessment of individual pupils’ progress in reading and their phonic knowledge and skills will be frequent and detailed to identify quickly the pupils who are failing, or in danger of failing, to keep up with their peers. Formative assessment includes Reading and Comprehension Ages and NFER reading assessments.
  • Children will be involved in the assessment of their progress and receive regular supportive feedback on their work.
  • Every classroom will have an attractive and accessible reading area where resources are organised and available for children to regularly use. Every class will encourage and celebrate reading through personalised strategies, e.g. Bug Club moving level certificates, Summer Reading Challenge, book of the week, recommendations, picture books, novels, P2R, P2W etc.

Impact

The impact of our reading curriculum can be clearly seen across the school through children talking about their love of reading, the quality of texts (reading books, Pathways to Read and Write, online Bug Club and Oxford Reading Buddy) children have access to. Children learn reading incrementally and attain as highly as they can. Children are often engaged in activities to demonstrate a love of reading such as finding facts about the wider curriculum through non-fiction books, sharing their favourite texts with other year groups and engaging with authors, linking to their wider work. Our assessment system - a combination reading and comprehension ages, NFER tests, SATS, helps teachers to make informed judgements about the children's learning, the progress they have made over time and to identify the next steps in their learning.

Aspirations for the Future

Pupils develop an understanding of how subjects and specific skills are linked to future jobs.

Here are some of the jobs you could aspire to do in the future as a Reader:

  • Librarian
  • Website Administrator
  • Editor in Chief
  • Publisher
  • Teacher

For more careers, please visit First Careers.

 

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Reading rope.png

Reading is taught daily through phonics and guided reading. We also follow 'Pathways to Read' which links perfectly to our writing curriculum. This is new to y1&2 this September, y3-6 followed this programme last academic year.

Following the ‘Pathways to Read’ methodology, in years 1&2 – 6, we use the following teaching sequence:

  • Whole class shared reading
    • Predict
    • Clarify vocabulary
    • Read and retrieve
    • Read and explain

(In Y1/2 some sessions have 3 sections allow more time to teach the skills of retrieval and explaining key facts).

  • Grouped reading session
  • Predict/summarise
  • Strategy check/vocabulary
  • Key question (mastery focus)
  • Discuss understanding
  • Follow on task
    • A task designed to further practise the mastery skills in the shared and grouped reading sessions.

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