The principal aim of the English curriculum at Holy Family Catholic Primary and Nursery School is to enable all of our pupils to develop to the full, their ability to communicate effectively and confidently through the spoken and written word.
In Years 1-6, English is taught daily in all classes in a dedicated lesson. Lessons include a range of activities such as shared reading and writing, focussed grammar work, drama and role play, text analysis and opportunities for the children to write and review their work in guided groups or independently.
At Holy Family we aim for children to be able to:
- Read, write and speak with confidence, fluency and understanding.
- Speak confidently and clearly, adapting what they say and how they say it to the purpose and audience.
- Listen, understand and respond appropriately to what others have to say.
- Understand the connections between the spoken and the written word.
- Be able to orchestrate a full range of strategies and cues (phonic, graphic, syntactic, contextual) to monitor their own reading and writing and to correct their own mistakes.
- Understand a range of text types and genres (fiction and non-fiction) and be able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the audience and purpose.
- Be able to plan, draft, revise and edit their own writing.
- Develop fluent and legible handwriting.
- Have an interest in words and their meanings, developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms.
- Have an interest in books, read with enjoyment and understanding, evaluating and justifying their preferences.
- Discuss reading and writing comprehensively, expressing opinions, explaining techniques and justifying choices, about a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts, using suitable technical vocabulary.
- Through reading and writing, develop their powers of imagination, inventiveness, critical awareness and self-expression
We also aim to give children a safe and secure environment, which provides encouragement for the development of all aspects of English. We ensure that there is equality of access and opportunity for all children to develop their English skills and we seek to ensure that all children achieve their full potential in all aspects of English by the time they move from Primary to Secondary Education.
All children receive Quality First Teaching in class. Some children may need extra support beyond the daily English teaching in the classroom and therefore when necessary, we aim to provide a range of intervention programmes to support children to make progress, and wherever possible, to enable them to catch-up with their peers.
We recognise that reading is of central importance in allowing children to access learning, broaden their educational experiences and deepen their knowledge of the world. At Holy Family we aim to nurture in each child a love of books and reading and develop a growing ability to read fluently, confidently and with understanding, not only to improve and extend each child's skills but also for pleasure.
Daily phonics lessons in KS1 support reading in its early stages. In addition, reading is taught through regular 1:1 work with each child, shared reading within the main English lesson and guided reading. Pupils' reading books are carefully aligned to their phonic ability. This allows pupils to consolidate their phonic knowledge through their reading. Children are also encouraged to enjoy a wide range of "free reading" materials - both fiction and non-fiction.
We recognise that it is essential to lead children to a level of literacy which will enable them to express themselves fluently and grammatically in order to communicate effectively. At a deeper level, we aim to equip children to use writing as a means of accessing and expressing their innermost thoughts and feelings, both real and imagined, in a personal and reflective way and by so doing, to understand themselves and others more fully.
In Foundation Stage all planning is topic-based and is linked to the children's own ideas and learning. Within this structure, children are given the opportunity to use their acquired phonic knowledge to begin to write independently. In KS1 and KS2 English units have been organised into a two-year rolling programme for Y1 & Y2, Y3 & Y4 and Y5 & Y6. Class teachers organise the units for each year into a Long /Medium Term Plan over the year making links with other curriculum areas wherever possible. These plans ensure that there is balance and progression across the Key Stages.
Spelling & phonics
In KS1 the children receive daily phonics lessons. In KS2, children who need further support in developing their understanding and use of phonics, continue to receive appropriate support. The majority of KS2 children have twice-weekly focussed spelling lessons.