At St. Maria Goretti Catholic Academy, we aim to build an English curriculum which develops learning in knowledge and skills so that pupils know more, remember more and understand more. We aim to achieve these through collaborative learning as well as opportunities to become independent learners, helping them reach and exceed their potential.
In addition, the curriculum is designed to develop a love of reading, where reading is at the core of all curriculum areas. Through selecting quality texts, we intend to provide opportunities to recognise the pleasure they can get from their reading, as well as understanding that reading allows them to discover new knowledge, revisit prior knowledge and understand more about what they learn. The intention of this is also to fuel their imagination for ideas to use in their own writing.
Writing intentions include opportunities to develop ideas through speaking and listening, author-inspired reading and reading across the curriculum, in order to allow for a range of writing genres and pupil leadership.
Through the English curriculum, we intend to provide opportunities to develop life-long skills in order to secure these for future learning and potential careers. Pupils are to be exposed to the links made with possible career paths, where speaking and listening, reading and writing are crucial foundations for successful futures.
Whilst the English curriculum is planned for following the EYFS framework and the KS1 and KS2 National Curriculum, our curriculum is centred around the needs of our pupils, families and local community. We expect learning to be meaningful and purposeful, in order for the pupils to be prepared for the wider world. Therefore, the pupils are exposed to a rich variety of opportunities. The curriculum allows for pupils experiences to broaden and have opportunities to apply, discover, explore, focus, plan and decide for the exciting world of English, leading into real-life context.
The systematic approach of phonics has a high priority throughout the Foundation Stage and KS1, which is taught daily to secure early reading. Parents are consistently involved in the development of reading to allow for the continuity of home reading. Parental support is provided via the website, workshops and reading sessions in the classroom.
The profile of reading is at the highest priority at SMG. Accelerated Reader scheme is used to challenge pupils, as well as allowing for reading for pleasure. A range of texts are used also to teach reading skills during whole class and guided reading. During these sessions, the pupils are exposed to high order questions to develop a secure comprehension of a variety of genres and authors.
All classrooms at SMG have an author-focused reading area, which is used to promote reading for pleasure, exploration of texts and age-related challenges. Reading for pleasure is also promoted through our school libraries, where our school librarians have been trained professionally by the local librarian, to provide all children with opportunities to borrow books and provide recommendations for their peers.
The development of language works alongside reading into writing, where a language rich curriculum is essential to the acquisition across the curriculum. The development of speech and language is identified as one of the most important parts of our school’s early years curriculum. Staff’s expertise enable quality interventions to be implemented when pupils enter our nursery below age-related expectations. This enables staff to match oral language activities to learners’ ages and stages of development, so that it extends their learning and make connections to the rest of the curriculum.
The promotion and use of an accurate and rich cross-curricular vocabulary throughout the school is planned. Pupils are provided with opportunities to develop tiered vocabulary through speaking and listening and reading to support the writing process, along with Talk for Writing strategies. Quality texts as a way of developing a variety of exciting stimuli for writing. Genres and grammatical skills are mapped out progressively for each year group to ensure quality coverage of the English curriculum. Additionally, pupils have the opportunity to lead their own writing and apply skills with relevance to the pupils. Writing assessment grids are used to enable next steps to be identified by staff and pupils during self and peer assessment.
Pupils will make at least good progress in all areas of English. Pupils will be engaged and have high aspirations, instilled by staff, for their achievements in their learning, as well as their peers’ success. They will feel excited to explore new authors, texts and read and write for pleasure, celebrating and sharing their ideas with others. Pupils will be able to make links to future careers and understand how English skills apply to these. All staff will be provide their expertise to develop and assess early reading and writing and understand how these develop progressively, to ensure pupils’ learning moves forward. They will therefore, provide targeted interventions to support all groups of learners, tailored to their needs.
Pupils will have the opportunities to liaise with the community to develop their reading, writing and knowledge of career opportunities for the future. This will allow for aspirations of exceeding expectations, via external writing projects and visits to the MAC high school for early exposure to greater depth reading and writing.
The exposure to a wide range of professionals in the wider community will promote the importance of all English skills and reinforce their purpose and relevance to their future.
How we teach Reading and Writing at St Maria Goretti Catholic Academy