English Curriculum Intent
The child is at the very centre of everything we do at Burrough Green. Our English curriculum is built on strong, pedagogical principles, with every single child encouraged and nurtured to develop the skills and knowledge they need in order to be successful in their future adventures. We aim to prepare them for a successful working life. We make it our aim to discover what children are good at and to use this to promote a positive attitude to our English learning.
We recognise the importance of reading and writing allowing access to other curriculum areas as well as preparing children for life in wider Britain and the wider world. They will learn a clear progression of skills and knowledge with opportunities for cross curricular links with other subjects allowing links to be made as the learning becomes embedded.
At Burrough Green we recognise the importance of the development of vocabulary. Vocabulary is identified at the planning stage, across the curriculum subjects and is identified at the beginning of each lesson. In English we have a particular focus on tier 2 vocabulary but always ensure we use the correct terms for things. Clear progression maps ensure that vocabulary is built on year by year, class by class.
Handwriting is key for communication. A fluent, confident writer will be able to get their ideas across succinctly and accurately. Speaking and Listening skills allow children to be confident in different and unusual situations. At Burrough Green we aim to provide all children a range of different situations throughout their school life to enable them all to become confident, eloquent individuals.
Our curriculum is both broad and balanced, with opportunities for children to celebrate, share and learn about different cultures, beliefs and diversity. The curriculum content allows pupils to explore where there are no limits to learning and a clear development of skills learnt.’
English Curriculum Implementation
Phonics: We use the DFE approved Twinkl phonics scheme. A systematic, synthetic programme with clear expectations for pupils’ progress across the year groups. Daily lessons have a clearly defined structure to the teaching of phonics, enabling all learners to develop and apply new skills. Each teacher input is followed up with opportunities for children to further apply these skills. Parents are informed about their child’s learning at least weekly. All staff delivering phonics have had the relevant training and ongoing support to ensure they have the knowledge and confidence to deliver high quality phonics sessions. Assessment is ongoing and if any child is deemed to be falling behind then same day interventions take place to ensure they keep up. If children do not pass the year 1 phonics check in year 2 they will continue to be taught phonics in a systematic way using the twinkl KS2 codebreakers programme. Some SEND children will have alternative phonics provision suggested due to their individual needs. Phonics is assessed each half term using the Twinkl assessment packs.
Reading: All EYFS children have a twinkl reading book to take home by Christmas. From this point on, all children on the Twinkl books will take home 3 books each week; a Twinkl one, a Big Cat book and a book of their choice from the library. Once children have completed the Twinkl range they are then helped to choose a book to read suitable for the level they are at. Reading comprehension skills are delivered through guided reading sessions. EYFS start reading 1:1 with an adult, gradually moving into small groups as they develop confidence. In key stage 1 guided reading sessions are completed in small groups based on ability. Once children are confident readers then whole class guided reading sessions occur at least twice a week. These lessons have a clear focus using the National curriculum statements. Termly tests also provide opportunities for teachers to identify areas of weakness that need to be addressed.
Spine Books: Each year group has 6 books that they are encouraged to read throughout the year. These books are chosen carefully to represent all genres.
Class Readers: Children are read to each day. These books are carefully chosen so all children can appreciate the wide range of experiences books can offer.
Grammar and Spelling: The Twinkl phonics scheme covers the year 1 and year 2 grammar objectives from the National Curriculum. Teachers also cover these during Talk For Writing lessons providing a meaningful opportunity to embed these skills. From year 3 upwards we use No Nonsense Spelling over 3 sessions a week. The grammar expectations are reinforced through the daily English Talk for writing lessons.
Writing: At Burrough Green School we use Pie Corbett's Talk for Writing Format:
- The Imitation phase where the children become familiar with the text, looking at the specific features and getting to know the features of the text.
- The innovation stage where children generate their own ideas. Some features are changed as they begin to write their own versions with support.
- Independent writing and application - the students write their own versions of the text, using the features that they have identified.
Handwriting: In the EYFS we recognise that children need to have good gross and fine motor skills in order to be successful writers. Throughout reception, continuous provision opportunities along with a wide range of enhanced provision activities are provided. The Twinkl phonics programme includes handwriting within the lessons in level 2 and 3 as well as opportunities to practise these within the follow up activities. There are also rhymes. From year 1 upwards we follow the Twinkl handwriting scheme that provides a clear sequence allowing all children to achieve the National Curriculum Objectives.
Classroom expectations for Lower School:
- A growing phoneme display that can be referenced to.
- Tricky words that can be referred to during teaching time (relevant to coverage)
Classroom expectations for all classes:
- Key vocabulary displayed.
- Text maps
- Evidence of spine book.
- Text purpose triangle.
- Handwriting examples are being focused on.
- Tricky word maps are available for students to access.
- Phoneme word maps for students to access.
- Teachers are to monitor children’s progress during and at the end of each unit taught.
- They are to monitor against the key skills for their year group and record them.
- Children will be recorded either as: working below, working at, or working above age-related expectations.
- Information will be passed onto the next class teacher.
- Year 2 upwards will formally assess their children once a term.
- Date and LO’s must be spelt correctly.
- Writing should be against the red margins.
English Curriculum Impact
In order to monitor the effective teaching and progression of these key English skills across the key stages, a range of measures will be used:
- Pupils, parents and staff are consistently and regularly consulted about the curriculum and the impact it makes.
- The desired outcomes of the curriculum will ensure that pupils are well-rounded students, ready to embark on their high school education. Pupils will have an understanding of what they are good at and will have developed the appropriate skills to face their future challenges.’
- Impact of the English Curriculum: In order to monitor the effective teaching and progression of these key English skills across the key stages, a range of measures will be used:
- Planning scrutiny focusing on the planned sequences of learning and skills across a year group and specific topics on both long-term and short-term planning.
- Using ‘Comparative Judgements’ across year groups using an assessed piece of work to show depth of understanding and links across English skills – 1 per unit.
- ‘Book looks’ in children’s books to find examples of learning showing progression of skills.
- Reviewing and monitoring to ensure that there is sufficient coverage of the key geography skills being taught.
- ‘Pupil Perception Interviews’ with a range of children across the school once or twice a year to develop a better understanding of their interests and views on the geography curriculum.
- Opportunities for sharing good teaching/activity ideas for the key English skills during staff meetings throughout the school year. The impact and measure of this is to ensure that children at Burrough Green are equipped with geographical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ‘secondary ready’ for life as an adult in the wider world.