The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
read easily, fluently and with good understanding
develop the habit of reading widely and often for both pleasure and information
acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
write clearly, accurately and coherently
use discussion in order to be competent in the art of speaking and listening
English has an important place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society. Therefore it is a priority of our school that all pupils develop their speaking skills to enable them to make a positive contribution. As well as being invaluable in for further education, employment and society, reading and writing are enjoyable pastimes and pupils are encouraged to enjoy reading and writing for pleasure both at school and at home.
All learning starts with oracy. Working with Voice21, we teach the skills necessary to question, clarify and process learning and understanding in the world around us. We encourage pupils to speak in full sentences when appropriate, to justify their opinions, to respectfully participate in discussions and to present their thinking in various ways. We teach the physical attributes of being a good orator as well as the cognitive skills necessary to adjust talk to suit the audience.
Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. Our pupils are provided with daily opportunities to read collaboratively, independently and in guided reading settings to both develop reading skills and promote reading for enjoyment. As part of their reading session, pupils read, summarise, express and clarify their own ideas and the ideas of others. Through a systematic approach to teaching reading, we are preparing pupils to develop a confidence in reading for learning and to develop a love of reading that will last them a lifetime.
We teach the four purposes of writing:
In layering the skills needed to address each of these areas, we teach pupils to communicate effectively within a range of contexts and to apply the grammatical contexts to each audience for whom they write.
English across the Curriculum
We make cross-curricular links to ensure a cohesive approach to learning. It may be that in History, pupils are learning about Anglo-Saxons and Vikings (see Y5). To solidify this knowledge, our reading will be rooted in a whole class novel (Viking Boy) and our writing will be focused upon comparing life in an Anglo-Saxon village to life in modern Birmingham. We may write a diary from the perspective of Gunnar (our protagonist) and an evaluation of the Battle of Hastings.