English – Intent, Implementation and Impact
At St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School and Nursery, we aim to deliver an exciting and engaging English curriculum designed to enable our children to become competent and confident readers, writers and speakers.
Reading lies at the heart of the curriculum at our school. We are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers and we believe reading is key for academic success across all areas of the curriculum.
Alongside becoming fluent readers, we intend for our children to be able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through the written word, developing and drawing on a rich vocabulary across all curriculum areas. We endeavour to create writers who can identify the features of effective writing; re-read, edit and improve their own written pieces; in addition to being able to securely use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling.
It is also essential for our children to be able to express their opinions and articulate feelings, as well as listen to and respond to the world around them. The ability to participate in presenting their ideas, whilst listening to and valuing the views of others, are key skills we wish to develop in our children. We strive for every child to acquire the appropriate communication and oral skills for speaking to any listener or audience appropriately.
Children are exposed to a range of different texts, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays, and can demonstrate their understanding and thinking behind these. Texts to be shared are chosen carefully to inspire the children as well as enhance topics, develop a wider knowledge of authors and develop a wider knowledge of the world around them. This could be from a historical, geographical, social, political, cultural or environmental perspective.
In Reception and Year 1, daily Phonics lessons are taught using Floppy Phonics to develop Early Reading. The letter/s to sound correspondence is taught to develop reading fluency and language comprehension, as well as vocabulary. Supportive interventions are provided for children as appropriate. These could continue in Year 2 and beyond where necessary.
Each classroom has a selection of books including some which are directly linked to the class topics. This offers opportunities for pupils to apply their reading skills across the curriculum.
Children are read to each day by their class teacher. These are predominantly books that the teacher recommends to the class but can be a recommendation from a child.
Children have the opportunity to take part in ‘Reading Buddies’ sessions, in which children mix with other children from different year groups and share a book together. This improves reading skills, discussions around books and nurtures good relationships between children in our school community.
We have an excellent library and a wide range of reading books in school. All children can take a reading book home and this reading book is changed frequently. Whilst the children are developing their Phonics knowledge and reading fluency in EYFS and Key Stage 1, two books are available – one of these is directly linked to their phonological stage and one to their reading age.
Children across all year groups are assessed in their reading termly and intervention reading sessions are implemented for any children whose reading age is below their chronological age or for whom progress has diminished.
Writing tasks are specific and meaningful, and often meet a purpose to engage children and to illustrate how their writing skills can be applied to real life contexts.
Modelling of writing or examples of different writing styles for different genre the children are studying are shared and critiqued.
In EYFS, opportunities for early mark making are developed into letter formation and Early Writing opportunities are planned for the children to express their ideas.
In Years 1-6, checklists of features are used in long writing tasks to target specific features of a particular genre and also particular writing techniques that are being developed in the children’s writing.
Appropriate time for editing and redrafting work is planned in.
Opportunities for the children to write across a range of curriculum areas and for a variety of reasons.
Writing is shared regularly – usually orally or in display work – to share ideas and to demonstrate to the children the value of their writing as well as develop presentation skills.
Grammar and punctuation skills are developed alongside writing abilities and are integrated into written tasks.
Children learn weekly spellings at home each week and these are tested in school. Spelling is taught in Reception and Key Stage 1 alongside Phonics teaching and in Key Stage 2, spelling patterns are used to teach spelling.
Termly Spelling Bee competitions occur every term with teacher’s selecting words appropriate to the current topic vocabulary, identified commonly misspelled words or age-specific spelling words.
Speaking and Listening:
Children develop Early Language skills in EYFS and Year 1 using planned opportunities for the children to share their knowledge and vocabulary. Role play areas are provided in each class with resources to enhance the current curriculum topics. Children in EYFS who require additional support with speaking may be selected to undertake the NELI programme to improve their communication skills at an early stage.
Children are provided with planned opportunities for debates, partner and group work as well as presentations to develop speaking to an audience, as well as listening to and valuing other people’s ideas. These occur across the curriculum, enhancing the children’s use of a wide range of vocabulary.
Speaking and Listening is enhanced by the Catholicity of the school through daily prayers, bible readings and involvement of the children in Masses and assemblies in school and as part of the community.
Children in all year groups participate in school productions every year, including nativities, Christmas and Easter productions, as well as Year 6 Leavers’ assemblies too.
Assessment shows that our children make good progress from their different starting points. They achieve age-related expectations to an equivalent or better level to children nationally in reading and writing, performing well above average in our Phonics results, and with increasing numbers achieving greater depth.
When the time comes for our children to leave St Patrick’s, they are competent readers who enjoy reading both for enjoyment and also for knowledge. They are able to discuss the texts that they have read, evaluating them and selecting authors and genre they have enjoyed and would recommend. The children are able to retrieve information and conduct their own research from a range of texts and across the wider curriculum, communicating what they have discovered.
By the end of Year 6, the children can write clearly and accurately, adapting their writing to a particular audience and for a particular purpose. They can draw on a vocabulary from a range of subject areas to enhance their writing and demonstrate a good command of the written word. Our children develop an ability to use the written skills they have learned to express themselves and be equipped for the next level of their education and future life.
Our children are confident and competent communicators who listen and speak with kindness, respect and clarity. They recognise that speaking and listening effectively can support their learning through eliminating misconceptions and to enable them to share their knowledge. Most crucially the children are able to express feelings and opinions as well as form relationships.