We aim to inspire and foster a love of literature: creating fluent and confident readers, speakers, and writers who can effectively communicate their understanding and ideas in a range of contexts.
Mrs L Pollard and Mrs M Uraih (English Leads)
We acknowledge the importance of English skills in enabling our pupils to access all areas of the curriculum and the wider world. Through the high-quality teaching of English, pupils are encouraged to develop spiritually, culturally, emotionally, intellectually, and socially. Our curriculum enables pupils to acquire knowledge; building on what they already know, deepening skills and understanding and fostering inquisitive analytical minds.
We equip children with a strong command of the spoken and written word, providing access to a wide range of texts; enabling us to promote high standards of language and literacy, whilst developing and nurturing their love of literature. We acknowledge that great readers become outstanding writers and our curriculum is planned with this at the forefront.
We intend for our children to learn through immersion in literature. Children build on their skills in reading and writing, as well as on their phonic and spelling knowledge, as they develop greater independence in writing for purpose and meaning. We aspire for our pupils to become successful and purposeful writers, confident and expressive readers and articulate orators who can inspire and empower others.
The understanding of the power of language, in both its written and spoken form, is an integral part of our English lessons through our use of the Read into Writing programme, EdShed Spellings, Sir Linkalot and Accelerated Reader. The progression of skills for writing, reading, and speaking and listening, are developed through the year groups, with grammar, punctuation, and spelling skills of key importance within all lessons. Key texts and outcomes are chosen carefully to engage and develop critical thought, response and enjoyment. Pupils listen, read, write, speak, role-play, question, analyse, edit, and improve, to gain the essential English skills required to progress. Sequences of lessons develop and embed knowledge and skills, building on previous learning. There is also the opportunity to regularly review, evaluate and recap understanding and address misconceptions. All children have the appropriate level of support and challenge.
Teachers monitor learning and skills, identifying errors and misconceptions, exploring language, plots and characters further, and providing direct feedback. Children are taught to become free thinkers, accomplished writers and confident speakers.
Lessons are well-resourced and teachers deliver high-quality teaching and learning opportunities which are monitored closely by the leadership team.
Our curriculum lends itself to active learning; we take every opportunity to enhance learning and enjoyment in English. To support the well-structured and progressive curriculum, we constantly celebrate the diversity and power of language. Through different avenues (author visits, storytelling events, World Book Day, book fairs, shared reading activities, forest school), children explore their acquisition and understanding of language, thus developing their speaking and listening skills which are essential to becoming an accomplished reader and writer.
English at St Botolph’s is fun, engaging, and of high-quality, providing children with the foundations for communicating effectively with the world around them. By the end of the curriculum, pupils have the tools to write purposefully, read with clarity, spell confidently and express themselves clearly. Pupils feel confident in their reading skills and ability to write for a range of purposes; they are excited about literature, show that they are actively curious to question more and see the importance and relevance of their English skills and knowledge as they build their futures.
Progress is measured through a child’s ability to read, write, speak and spell with greater perception and accuracy, detail and purpose. The focus on vocabulary ensures all children can visualise and respond to texts with confidence. Evidence of English skills and learning are recorded in pupil’s books and moderated throughout the year. Moderation provides valuable opportunities for teachers to ensure expectations and outcomes are maintained at a consistently high level. Leaders monitor the quality and impact of the English curriculum through lesson observations, book looks and regular pupil voice to ascertain the extent to which pupils’ skills and knowledge are improving.
Learning environments consistently show a love of literature with an emphasis on rich and varied language displayed, spoken and used by all learners. Whole-school and parental engagement is maintained through events such as World Book Day, annual storytelling festival, non-fiction November, author visits, book fairs and author-specific home learning tasks, alongside promoting the importance of reading at home.
The impact of our English curriculum is seen across the school, as our children develop the skills to access the rest of the curriculum successfully. Further evidence of this impact can be seen when our pupils leave us equipped with the literacy skills and knowledge required for the Key Stage 3 curriculum, and for life as an adult.