At St.Cedd’s, we believe that English is a fundamental life skill. English develops children’s ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes. Children are enabled to express themselves creatively and imaginatively as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts. Children gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. Children use their knowledge, skills and understanding in speaking and writing across a range of different situations.
English Curriculum Planning
At St. Cedd’s, we follow the National Curriculum (2014) as set out by the Department for Education to plan our English lessons, incorporating a variety of teaching and learning styles. Our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding. The National Curriculum is used to create planning is divided into three main stages: long-term (yearly), medium-term (units of study) and short-term (daily lessons). Narrative, Non-Fiction or Poetry form the basis of each unit, and teachers ensure that their daily lessons encompass the units throughout the academic year. Where possible, teachers make attempts to develop links with topics being covered.
Children within the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One also have an allocated 25-30 minutes of phonics teaching each day using Fast Track Phonics. The scheme is used as an intervention tool across years 3-5. Children in Key Stage Two have additional Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar lessons daily.
The Foundation Stage
Children within the Foundation Stage follow the Foundation Stage Curriculum. There are opportunities to explore and experiment with sounds, words and texts, stories rhymes and poems, role-play and mark-making. All of which aid with the development of vocabulary and communication skills.
Children at St.Cedd’s are encouraged to use and apply their learning of English in all areas of the Curriculum. We plan carefully to develop purposeful links to other subjects, providing a context for further learning. Reading, writing, speaking and listening skills enable children to communicate and express themselves in all areas of school life. Links to the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are actively promoted throughout the school.
At St. Cedd's we believe that writing is an essential skill not only for further learning but in later life.
We aim to ensure all children reach their full potential in writing, enabling them to become confident, fluent and imaginative writers.
At St. Cedd's writing is taught in many different ways from the moment a child begins in Reception. Teachers follow the 2014 National Curriculum and EYFS Curriculum in order to plan exciting and engaging English lessons where the skill of writing is specifically taught. This happens every day and time to rehearse writing skills is provided in other areas of the curriculum. The children are taught in units, meaning they will look at a particular genre of writing i.e. narrative (story writing) over a period of 2-3 weeks. This enables children to fully immerse themselves in the techniques needed for each type of writing. During this time the children will be given several opportunities to write in the given style. This process is detailed in greater depth in the school's English Policy.
Visits from touring theatre companies such as the English Shakespeare Company and visiting authors, poets and storytellers are used to inspire the children's writing.
Homework for English is given weekly across the school. This often takes the form of writing. Other ways to promote writing in the home could involve:
- Writing shopping lists together
- Writing diaries during the holidays
- Writing birthday and Christmas cards
- Reading together - Good readers help make good writers