English Curriculum at Bakewell Methodist Junior School
National Curriculum Rationale
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, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
To develop a curriculum which achieves the following:
- Places the highest priority on reading.
- Instils a love of English literature and language.
- Immerses children in knowledge to apply in their writing.
- Cumulatively sequences the progression of knowledge and skills to enable children to build on prior learning.
- Enables children to produce purposeful outcomes that they are proud of through challenging children at all levels.
- Allows children to be creative with their writing, offering structure and support when required.
- Develops knowledge and uses of a breadth of vocabulary.
- Exposes children to high quality texts to use for inspiration for their writing and develop knowledge in a range of areas.
Writing Content and Sequence
- The National Curriculum forms the basis of teaching and learning and dictates the curriculum content for writing at Bakewell Methodist Junior School.
- Learning is progressive. Each level of challenge builds on prior learning and extends thinking. In each Learning Journey, children learn components which then form a composite outcome. Within component steps, children are given the opportunity to acquire/refine and practise/apply their learning.
- Learning over time is sequenced to ensure that children have an opportunity to revisit and practise objectives from previous units through interleaving.
- Children will begin each fiction and non-fiction unit with a pre-assessment activity called a “Cold Write”. This baselines a child’s capabilities in a genre. From this, targets are set which relate to this planned unit of work but also a child’s specific need.
- Children are given opportunities to apply their skills in work from wider curriculum subjects and to transfer this into their writing.
- Grammar objectives are taught as components as part of the Learning Journey as well as discretely when appropriate.
- Children progress at their individual pace, and there are greater depth objectives planned for all children who are secure within the expected objectives where appropriate.
- Learning Journeys are sequenced to allow children to build on their knowledge and skills. Key texts are a vehicle to engage children and provide them with the knowledge that they will write about.
- Vocabulary is a focus and lessons are planned to provide maximum opportunities for children to develop their knowledge and application. There is a high expectation placed on spelling. Children are encouraged to check and correct spelling mistakes using dictionaries if needed.
Writing Teaching and Learning, Assessment and Feedback
- Each lesson is part of a journey. Children understand that lessons are cumulative and there is a clear sequence in place in order for children to be aware of how they are progressing through the journey in order to produce their very best outcome.
- Formative assessment is used constantly in order to determine children’s starting points, to address misconceptions and to challenge children appropriately each lesson.
- Feedback is given in line with the Assessment Policy. At the beginning of a unit of work, the teacher will highlight errors for the children to correct. Children are expected to recognise this error and will correct it using a purple “improving” pen. Children are then given the opportunity to respond to this marking. This process continues during the children’s learning journey to encourage them to take responsibility for the grammatical accuracy of their written work.
- Knowledge is imparted to the children in order for them to develop their understanding. Children are then given the opportunity to acquire/refine or practise/apply their skills.
- Children’s starting points each lesson are decided upon based upon prior learning and teacher assessment.
- Scaffolding is in place for children to enable them to access the tools they need each lesson through teacher or teaching assistant support, learning walls and spelling, vocabulary and skills toolkits. When children have gaps in their knowledge, tailored additional provision in planned for.
- Children’s writing outcomes are also used for formative and summative assessment. Next steps for individuals or the whole class are identified.
Reading Curriculum at Bakewell Methodist Junior School
To develop a curriculum which achieves the following:
- Instils a love of reading.
- Places the highest emphasis on developing reading to enable fluency and comprehension.
- Uses reading as vehicle for the whole curriculum from the beginning of children’s experience at school.
- Promotes the love of reading through story time, shared reading, reading-rich learning environments and the enjoyment of developing knowledge through texts.
- Ensures that every child (including those who are vulnerable, disadvantaged and those with SEND) is challenged and leaves as a confident, able (in fluency and comprehension) and passionate reader.
- Sequences learning so that it progressively teaches children the word reading, underpinned by phonics, and comprehension skills required to become fluent readers.
- Gives children the opportunity to read widely and often, exposing them to an abundance of varied texts which have different purposes.
Reading Content and Sequence
- The National Curriculum forms the basis of teaching and learning and dictates the curriculum content for Reading.
- Interleaved learning is planned for to enable the opportunity for children to revisit and practise skills.
- Children are exposed to a wide variety of carefully selected texts (including stories poems, rhymes and non-fiction) to develop their knowledge within a range of areas and providing cultural capital.
Reading Teaching and Learning, Assessment and Feedback
- Reading is taught through the whole curriculum. In all subjects, children use reading to gain knowledge and to stimulate questions and promote further enquiry.
- Shared reading occurs in every classroom through daily story time. Story-time books are selected to ensure that they broaden children’s experiences of texts.
- Teachers engage in discussion about literature with knowledge and passion.
- Children are given the opportunity to read a book of their choice independently for pleasure. Children are guided to select books that are appropriate for their independent reading level. They are encouraged to take these books home to read, as stipulated in the homework policy.
- Where gaps in children’s reading are identified, tailored additional provision is planned for to support children to close these gaps. This support ensures that children are accessing the same content, but it is carefully broken down into small steps.
- Summative and formative assessment is used for gap analysis. Additional provision is planned for those children who require support. Formal assessment will occur three times a week and this leads to future intervention and support for those that require it.
- Nearly all children are able to read to an age-appropriate level and fluency. Children can, therefore, access all subjects across the curriculum.
- Children leave Bakewell Methodist Junior School having been exposed to a wide range of texts which have developed their knowledge in a range of areas; therefore, providing cultural capital.
- In 2019 our year children’s attainment was in line with national averages. Nearly a third of the children were working about the expected standards for year 6.
- We will strengthen our choice of books by spending some of our curriculum budget on a new reading scheme aimed at lower key stage 2.
- Subject Leaders will analyse end of key stage 2 data to seek to identify strengths and areas for development. We will seek to then identify any patterns or trends across school.
- Our children regularly read at home and this is embedded into their weekly routines. During our Learning Walk, many children across key stage 2 reported that they regularly read at home with a parent and an increasing number of children listen their parents read.
- We will continue to offer advice and support to parents through workshops to maximise the reading experience whilst also promoting the importance of reading for pleasure.
- Teachers regularly recommend books to children and these are displayed in the classroom.
- We will check the appropriateness of the books read by children independently. We respect it is important that children are free to choose their own book but want to ensure it is accessible and provides appropriate challenge.
- The English subject leader will attend a conference in the Spring Term focussed on reading for pleasure.
- An analysis of phonics attainment in key stage 1 will allow teachers to implement spelling intervention to try and ensure pupils have the required decoding skills.