Intent Implementation Impact
Intent: Our curriculum and why we teach English like this at St George’s. What we expect the children to learn in English throughout their time at St George’s.
Implementation: How we teach our English curriculum and why. How we enable the children to develop a love of English and achieve the best they can in this area of the curriculum. How we assess the progress the children make and ensure they make good progress.
Impact: Using assessment to support all children on their English journey. Ensure that prior knowledge is built on and look to how this knowledge will be used in future learning to create a rich and meaningful English experience at St George’s. What will a Year 2 reader and writer look like by the end of their time at St George’s and how will their Spoken Language support them in all areas of the curriculum?
At St George’s we want to inspire all children to develop a love of the spoken and written word in order to develop culturally, emotionally intellectually, socially and spiritually as they read, write and discuss, through fun and engaging lessons.
We promote and facilitate progression and application of both skills and knowledge through a well-planned curriculum that draws on real life experiences and the children’s interests, whilst always aiming to further expand their horizons.
We aim to create a safe environment, within which all children feel confident and comfortable to express themselves as a storyteller, author or poet as they use their imagination and creativity.
Supporting these aims is our vision “Inspire, Believe, Achieve. With God all things are possible”. This shared vision underpins everything we do at St George’s; enabling our children to become successful learners and caring, thoughtful individuals.
At St George’s we aim to inspire our children to have a life-long love of discussion, reading and writing, through an exciting English curriculum, which has its foundations in solid, systematic teaching to ensure a sound progression of knowledge and skills.
At St George’s we follow the synthetic phonics approach of Read, Write Inc from Early Years to Year 2. This whole school approach enables all our children to become confident, fluent readers as soon as possible as they are used to a consistent approach to phonics across the school. Whilst we follow Read, Write Inc, we supplement this with additional resources to ensure the best for each and every child as we understand all children learn differently. We provide additional support for children who find this area of the curriculum difficult and are constantly looking for ways to improve out practice. The children are assessed at half-termly intervals to ensure they are receiving appropriate consolidation and challenge in their learning. Alongside phonics the children are taught that some words are not phonetic and these must be learnt by sight. At St George’s all children learn the National Curriculum common exception words, learning groups of these before being introduced to more words, enabling children to learn at their own pace.
For children who are finding phonic acquisition difficult they take part in a phonics catch-up intervention. In EY this is a simple age appropriate daily flashcard session. Meanwhile, in Key Stage 1 the children follow the Read, Write Inc phonics catch up scheme.
We encourage all children to read on a daily basis and have developed our reading scheme to reflect our approach to phonics. Our reading scheme is split into two groups, our Knights books introduce graphemes as the children learn them within their phonics groups, while our Dragon books consolidate the children’s phonic knowledge and create more confident readers. As well as regularly receiving reading scheme books children at St George’s are inspired to develop a love of reading through regular library books, both fiction and non-fiction. These books enable them to explore books beyond their reading ability, being exposed to more complex language and storylines, as well as facts and fascinating topics, enabling children to follow their own interests.
We use whole class, shared reading, guided reading and individual reading sessions to support discussions and questioning around different texts. This enables the children to explore their own thoughts and feeling about different texts and learn about those of their peers.
Books are frequently used as a hook for the children, not just in English, but in other curriculum areas as well, as we believe a book is a good way to capture the children’s imagination and attention, drawing them into a topic area and enriching their experiences.
Children are further supported by access both at school and at home to Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress. Any child who is struggling to make progress in reading becomes a focus reader, having additional one to one reading sessions to support their progress in this area.
At St George’s we view all writing as purposeful and part of a journey to becoming an accomplished writer. Right from the start children are provided with a variety of resources and opportunities to promote mark marking, including in role play, using whiteboards and pens, painting outside with water, using chalks on the playground or using a paper and pencil. Writing using many skills, including the mechanics of writing and the content. Writing is acknowledged as a physical activity, requiring the children to develop good fine motor skills, which we support through ‘Dough Disco’ sessions, use of fine motor resources, such as threading beads and using pegs. The more formal aspect of handwriting is introduced through pre-writing shapes, before the children are introduced to the correct cursive formation of each letter in their initial set 1 sounds phonics lessons. Alongside the formal introduction of handwriting the letter shapes the children are still encouraged to explore a more creative approach, as they write in the air, in shaving foam and in sand. The provision of a wide range of resources for initial formation aims to enable all children to easily access these vital activities to develop their skills.
As the children progress in writing they learn about how to construct sentences and participate in lessons based on SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar). For children who find this element of writing difficult they follow the Read, Write Inc Little Write scheme to support their sentence construction and basic punctuation.
At St George’s all children are exposed to a range of writing for different purposes and where possible engage in meaningful writing tasks, as they write letters to Father Christmas in Early Years or about the environment to David Attenborough or the Queen in Year 2. In Year 1 non-fiction books about firefighters are written and then shared with Early Years. Giving this purpose to writing, we believe inspires the children as writers.
At St George’s we believe language is fundamental to accessing the whole curriculum, not just English. We understand the importance of vocabulary and aim to support all children in their acquisition of language through a range of strategies.
Vocabulary is key within all of our lessons, not just English. Key words for each lesson are noted on daily planning and shared with the children. The meanings of these words are shared to help them to understand new words. A three-star approach to vocabulary is used in Key Stage 1 to challenge the children.
Language is supported across the school through ‘Language Link’, as all children’s understanding of language is assessed In Early Years and children who are seen as achieving low in this area in Key Stage 1. This enables any underlying language difficulties to be identified and children to have appropriate intervention to support their development.
Our fortnightly newsletters include a ‘Chit, Chat, Chop’ section to encourage children to take part in a focused discussion with their family to support spoken language.
A range of strategies are used within lessons to promote discussion, including talk partners, hot seating, debates and open-ended questions to enable children to share their views and feelings.
The National Curriculum purpose of study for English reads:
English has a pre-eminent 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. 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. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
At St George’s our approach to English ensures that by the time our children leave at the end of Year 2 they are equipped with a good grasp of phonics, as we often meet or exceed the national standard for the Phonics Screening Check. They majority of children also meet or exceed the expectations in Reading, Writing and Spoken Language for their age, providing them with an excellent foundation on which to build on as they move onto their junior school education.