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St Margaret's

CofE Junior School

Growing and achieving in God's love

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What is the intent of our English curriculum?

At St Margaret’s CE Junior School we intend to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for pleasure. We believe that language is the major connecting element across the curriculum, therefore, our focus is not only on language for its own sake, but also on its application across all subjects. It also facilitates connections with the wider community. Pupils will be exposed to high quality texts and engaging, purposeful writing opportunities to develop their language for school and making connections within their learning. The development of communication and language skills is essential for the success of all of our pupils.

 

We will ensure that all pupils can read easily, fluently and with good understanding and develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information. We want all children to acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language in addition to appreciating our rich and varied literary heritage.

Through good quality teaching of English, children will be able to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Children will become competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate and using these discussions in order to learn new ideas and to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding. We aim to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in English through units of work that build children’s skills.

How do we implement our English curriculum?

All children are to be provided with opportunities to develop and apply their written, visual and oral language skills across our curriculum which encompasses a broad and balanced range of national curriculum subjects. To enable this, teachers provide quality first teaching supported by a sound subject knowledge, knowledge and understanding of the National Curriculum expectations as well as links to the wider national curriculum.  Staff will be aware of and familiar with current practice and Government guidelines within the teaching of English.

 

A range of teaching strategies will be used in class including: demonstration, modelling, questions and discussions. There will also be a range of assessment strategies used consistently throughout learning sequences which will be embedded within sessions to monitor and check the children’s progress which will then be used to inform future planning.  Regular assessment opportunities and extended writing opportunities will help to show the progress being made by children across each year group.  Resources used in each class will enable to the children to make progress and may vary for different children based on their individual needs.  Student agency and support within each class will allow the children to develop a sense of independence in their work.

To support children in moving towards independence in their written language skills, staff will provide a wide range of activities with links to the wider curriculum, as well as modelled, shared and guided writing, peer assessment and conferencing with their peers and adults in the classroom setting. Children will be encouraged to view themselves as communicators of both written and oral language.  In addition to quality first teaching, we will promote a love of reading that extends beyond the classroom. Children will have the opportunity to visit our local library and will take part in a range of extra activities to support this including World Book Day, and after school clubs (such as newspaper club).  Staff will use literature as a context to explore other cultures and utilise links to our local community wherever possible, including visits to our local library.

 

We have high expectations of all children at St Margaret’s CE Junior School and expect them to leave at the end of KS2 with detailed knowledge and skills across the curriculum and, as a result, achieve well.  These will be skills that are transferable across all subjects and will establish the children as lifelong learners within a global community.

 

How do we assess the impact of our English curriculum?

Evidence of achievement will be reflected in results from national tests and examinations that meet government expectations along with school data assessment drops which occur three times a year.  Whilst academic achievement will be measured through end of year or key stage data, the children will also leave St Margaret’s CE Junior School with a range of transferable skills which will allow them to be lifelong learners within a global community.

 

As the children develop and progress from years three to six, evidence of progress will be seen through their confidence and approach to learning as well as in their books and through their outcomes regardless of their ability.  Sequential learning, as outlined in our progression documents, will establish progress for all children.

 

Lower Key Stage 2

By the end of Year 4, children will have had the opportunity to listen to and discuss a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays and non-fiction books.  In terms of reading comprehension, children will be independent in checking their understanding of what they have read, confident in making predictions, summarising their reading and be able to draw inferences from a wide range of texts. They will be able to plan, draft, organise and evaluate their writing whilst using Standard English, and a range of grammar techniques as stated in the National Curriculum.

 

Upper Key Stage 2

By the end of Year 6, children will be able to demonstrate positive attitudes to their reading by increasing their familiarity with a wide range of literature.  In terms of reading comprehension, children will be able to explain how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning and evaluate the impact that language has on the reader. In their written work, they will be able to write fluently, legibly, draft, organise and evaluate their work, considering their audience and making appropriate grammar and vocabulary choices. When writing, they will show an awareness of the difference between formal and informal language and understand how sentence structure can be varied using the passive voice. Children will be able to confidently use more advanced punctuation and other key grammar features as stated in the National Curriculum.

 

The children by the end of year 6 will be able to leave St Margaret's CE Junior School knowing that they are able to transfer their learning across a range of subjects and to make wider connections in their learning allowing them to make those connections and relate ideas and skills back to each other.

 

 

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”— Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”

 

At St Margaret’s CE Junior School we intend to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for pleasure. We believe that language is the major connecting element across the curriculum, therefore, our focus is not only on language for its own sake, but also on its application across all subjects. It also facilitates connections with the wider community. Pupils will be exposed to high quality texts and engaging, purposeful writing opportunities to develop their language for school and making connections within their learning. As one of our four curriculum drivers, communication and language are key for the success of all of our pupils.  

 

Reading

We will ensure that all pupils can read easily, fluently and with good understanding and develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information. We want all children to acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language in addition to appreciating our rich and varied literary heritage.  

Since ensuring our termly text links to our topic and by planning more creatively, we have noticed our children are more engaged than ever before with reading and their love for it. This has, hand in hand, developed not only their reading skills but their understanding. We also use VIPERS (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explaining, retrieve, summarise and sequence) which are key skills taught to our children to help find the deeper meaning of a passage. We are passionate about shared reading and as adults, we read to the children daily. We also give the children time to read within daily 'DEAR' time (drop everything and read) which has proved very successful to enhance a love for reading. 

 

We use Accelerated Reader daily giving pupils the opportunity to quiz on books they read independently, to peers and adults both in school and at home.  All genres of texts are covered, therefore allowing all pupils to participate enthusiastically. They are eager to finish a book cover to cover and to quiz using the class devices working towards meeting their 85% accuracy target. Termly certificates are awarded for all pupils meeting the 85% benchmark. 

 

Teachers hear all pupils in their class fortnightly with our lowest 20% of readers being heard more frequently by other adults including teaching assistants and volunteers. We also have an intensive intervention programme in place for those significantly below their peers. 

 

Author Visits and Book Day

Throughout the school year, we hold events to help introduce children to a wide range of authors and writing styles; these days consist of fun activities to help foster a love and enjoyment of reading. We also try and invite authors to come in to our school and join virtual workshops and "an audience with" sessions to enhance our pupils' love of reading. 

 

Writing & Oracy

Children will be encouraged to view themselves as communicators of both written and oral language. Writing opportunities are carefully planned and sequenced to help pupils draw on texts they are reading, knowledge gathered from the topics taught as well as from their own reading. Student agency and support within each class allows the children to develop a sense of independence and purpose for their writing. Pupils are given numerous opportunities to plan, draft, edit and publish their written pieces throughout their time at St Margaret's CE Junior School. 

To support children in moving towards independence in their written language skills, staff will provide a wide range of activities with links to the wider curriculum, as well as modelled, shared and guided writing, peer assessment and conferencing with their peers and adults in the classroom setting. Resources are also used in each class will enable to the children to make progress and may vary for different children based on their individual needs. 

Our School Library

In the words of our pupils, the school library is an "exciting" and also "relaxing" place to be! We ensure our library is up-to-date with current choices and endevour to restock literature yearly. This includes class libraries also. The library is open at lunchtimes for book clubs and for children to browse texts which they are unable to find within their class library. 

 

We have a close relationship with Rainham Library and have previously organised weekly year group visits. This gave a cohort of children the ability to visit the library on a regular basis and allowing them the opportunity to select, sign out and change books of their choice independently. The education team at Medway also deliver schools assemblies three times a year.

 

 

Spelling and phonics

Every class has weekly spelling lessons which are inline with the National Curriculum expectations. Lessons are designed to teach pupils the numerous spelling patterns and rules we have in the English language so that pupils can apply this knowledge to a whole range of words rather than just those they learn as part of homework. For pupils needing extra support with phonics, we have interventions in place taught either on a 1:1 or small group basis. Some of these groups are taken by our phonics specialist. 

At St. Margaret's, we encourage pupils to use ambitious vocabulary. We foster independence so in each classroom there are a selection of dictionaries (paired with thesauruses) and children are allowed to use online spell checkers so they feel confident when using new vocabulary.

 

Please use the follow links to support your childs' spelling journey: 

 

Handwriting

It is a government expectation that by the end of Key Stage Two, children are able to produce legible joined handwriting whilst also maintaining speed. At St. Margaret’s, we have adopted a fully cursive script. This handwriting style has many advantages. Studies have shown that by using both entry and exit marks, letter reversal issues, (such as b and d) are limited. In addition, as words are written in one set of movement (without the pen/pencil being taken off the paper) this helps the motor memory store spellings; this is therefore especially important for those irregular spellings which so many children find hard to commit to memory. Lesson time is dedicated to this skill in Year 3 and in Year 4.

For further information regarding the English national curriculum, please explore the links below:

  

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