At St Joseph’s, we aim to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English that will teach pupils to speak, read and write fluently to communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively. Our high-quality English curriculum will develop children’s love of reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Providing children with these key skills will equip them to thrive in all other curriculum areas and build a strong foundation for learning throughout their school lives and their careers in adulthood. We will develop the children’s reading ability through a love of books, reading widely and often, reading with confidence, fluency and understanding both for pleasure and information. In the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, we aim to equip our children with phonics skills to decode words accurately, blend for reading, and segment to spell. We aim for our children to speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English and listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers. Through the teaching of English, children are encouraged to be confident writers. Pupils use their grammar knowledge to write in a range of genres purposefully and coherently. At St Joseph’s, we follow the National Curriculum. The English curriculum has been planned to be sequential and coherent. It is progressive, so it builds on pupils’ previous knowledge and skills. Skills are embedded and, therefore, can be transferred in a variety of contexts. The curriculum has been designed in this way, so knowledge is secure in pupils’ long term memory.
The overarching aim for our English curriculum is 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 enjoyment.
We believe in both the importance of developing children’s discrete word-reading skills and comprehension and the need to engender their love of books and reading. We recognise that the two elements are intertwined; each relies on the other so that our children become life-long readers.
Our aims are that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding;
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information;
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language;
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage;
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences;
- use discussion to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas;
- are competent in speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in a debate.
Progression of skills
Documents below detail the knowledge and skills that pupils will gain at each stage of the curriculum.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study. Please see below:
Year 2 Spelling
Pupils will be taught to:
- segment spoken words into phonemes and representing these by graphemes, spelling many correctly;
- learn new ways of spelling phonemes for which one or more spellings are already known, and learn some words with each spelling, including a few common homophones;
- learn to spell common exception words;
- learn to spell more words with contracted forms;
- learn the possessive apostrophe (singular) [for example, the girl’s book];
- distinguish between homophones and near-homophones;
- add suffixes to spell longer words, including –ment, –ness, –ful, –less, –ly;
- write from memory simple sentences dictated by the teacher that include words using the GPCs, common exception words and punctuation taught so far.
Year 3/4 Spelling
Pupils will be taught to:
- use further prefixes and suffixes and understand how to add them
- spell further homophones
- spell words that are often misspelt
- place the possessive apostrophe accurately in words with regular plurals [for example, girls’, boys’] and in words with irregular plurals [for example, children’s]
- use the first two or three letters of a word to check its spelling in a dictionary
- write from memory simple sentences dictated by the teacher that include words and punctuation taught so far.
Year 5/6 Spelling
Pupils will be taught to:
- use further prefixes and suffixes and understand the guidance for adding them;
- spell some words with ‘silent’ letters [for example, knight, psalm, solemn];
- continue to distinguish between homophones and other words which are often confused;
- use knowledge of morphology and etymology in spelling and understand that the spelling of some words needs to be learnt specifically;
- use dictionaries to check the spelling and meaning of words;
- use the first three or four letters of a word to check to spell, meaning or both of these in a dictionary;
- use a thesaurus.
At St Joseph’s, the following reading schemes are used within Foundation and KS1:
Read Write Inc, Project X, PM Library, Lighthouse, Rigby Star, Oxford Reading Tree Phonics, Comics for Phonics, All Aboard.