English at St Laurence's
At St Laurence’s Catholic Primary School, the foundations for teaching National Curriculum English begins in Early Years Foundation Stage, with the development of a high quality programme planned within Communication, Language and Literacy.
The teaching of English at KS1 and 2 is underpinned by the National Curriculum (2014) At St Laurences we believe a high-quality education in English will teach children 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, children have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. We understand that reading also enables children both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know in all areas of the curriculum. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society.
At St Laurence’s Primary School, English and the teaching of English is the foundation of our curriculum. Our main aim is to ensure every single child becomes literate and progresses in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. We are passionate about promoting reading throughout the school day in all curriculum areas.
Staff at St Laurence’s feel it is seminal to highlight and be aware of the differing groups of learners and vulnerable children in their class. Once this information is acquired, teachers can plan and teach personalised English lessons which focus on the particular needs of each child. We recognise that each child has their own starting point upon entry to every year group and progress is measured in line with these starting points to ensure every child can celebrate success.
English at St Laurence’s will not only occur in daily English, Reading and Spelling/Phonic lessons, but it is embedded within all our lessons and we will strive for a high level of English for all. Through using high-quality texts, immersing children in vocabulary, rich learning environments and ensuring curriculum expectations are met, the children at St Laurence’s will not only become primary literate but will also develop a love of reading, creative writing and purposeful speaking and listening.
As we believe consistency and well-taught English is the bedrock of a valuable education, at St Laurence’s we also want to ensure that the teaching of writing is purposeful, robust and shows clear progression for all children.
As a proud 'Power of Reading' school we utilise quality children’s literature and proven creative teaching approaches to support and develop a high quality literacy curriculum and a whole school love of reading and writing. The Power of Reading meets all requirements of the National Curriculum. Each text is purposefully selected in order to promote a love of reading, engagement and high quality writing from each child.
As a team we now have a carefully sculptured reading spine. This ensures each text has a deeper meaning , which we feel was important in developing our children as they move throughout school. Our themes are: our world, breaking sterotypes, other cultures, classic narrative & poetry, favourite authors and growing up. Each theme was discussed and books were built around them based on what we know the children have enjoyed in previous years.
In line with the national curriculum, we ensure that each year group is teaching the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for that age groups. As well as teaching the objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in cross-curricular writing opportunities and ensure that most children are achieving the objectives at the expected level and that some children can achieve at a greater depth standard.
Assessment of writing is fluid as teachers assess writing, once per half term, against moderation criteria created by staff. All year groups use the same format for assessing writing which have been produced in line with the end of Key Stage assessment frameworks as published by the Department for Education.
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly in all key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives.
Please see our induvidual pages for reading and writing for a more in depth look at the reading spines, progression documents and reading for pleasure we are taking part in across our school.