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English Curriculum

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English Intent at Beamont

At Beamont, we believe that it is our utmost priority to foster and maintain a love of reading with an understating that it is a fundamental life skill.  It reflects the whole school intent that language acquisition is the foundation of thinking and learning.  The learning of Reading is prioritised to allow children to access the full curriculum offer.  We are determined to support the development of children, ensuring that they become literate, creative and motivated young people who will go out into the world, knowing that they can be whoever they want to be with the knowledge that they can take on any of life’s challenges.  Through instilling a love of literature in our children, we enable them to become lifelong learners who exhibit a thirst for knowledge and can fulfil their curiosity through their indulgence in texts.

  • English at Beamont is underpinned by research. Reading, vocabulary development and phonics – alongside opportunities which give real life experiences are at the heart of our curriculum design.  Children are taught to read through a well organised, rigorous and sequential approach that begins at the start of our children’s school journey.  Children are taught the necessary skills to develop fluency, understanding, confidence and enjoyment of reading with a core focus for early readers on developing phonic knowledge and word comprehension skills needed to be able to read.  We are passionate about ensuring all children become confident, fluent and enthusiastic readers.
  • We believe that phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier.  Through phonics, children learn to segment words to support their spelling ability and blend sounds to read words. The teaching of phonics is of high priority at Beamont and we ensure our curriculum design for phonics enables teachers to channel their energy and creativity into teaching daily fun and engaging lessons.
  • Furthermore, Beamont is determined that every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities.  Whilst having a high proportion of children who speak English as an Addition Language (24%) alongside an above national average of Pupil Premium children, we embrace and challenge all of our learners regardless of need and background, to become excellent readers who, through their positive and inspiring experiences, develop a love for reading.  All pupils, including the lowest attaining readers, make sufficient progress and the aim is to meet or exceed age-related expectations. Pupils are suitably challenged though a range of open ended questions and comprehension tasks.  Children who are performing below an age related level are carefully monitored and gaps in learning are identified promptly and are addressed by well-trained staff who are confident in the expert delivery of tailored catch up interventions.
  • Stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction texts are carefully chosen to develop pupils’ vocabulary, language comprehension and love of reading. Pupils are familiar with and enjoy listening to a wide range of stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction.  Throughout the whole school, staff share their own love of reading through their enthusiasm when reading aloud and sharing stories and rhymes. 
  • We ensure parents/carers are fully involved and informed by monitoring home school reading, through using reading eggs and through collaborative support to enhance the benefits of reading at home.  Parents/carers remain fully informed with up to date knowledge of their child’s attainment and engagement in Reading and school provide them with clear support to enhance progress.  For the early readers, the process of teaching a synthetic and systematic approach to Phonics and Reading, which is followed by the reading of texts that are matched to their phonic knowledge, supports with the development of not only reading, but confidence.  Children’s take home books consist of a text that has been practised in school, allowing the children to embed newly learned material whilst engaging parents/carers in their child’s phonic and reading journey.
  • Within Early Years, our initial intent is, once again, to foster a love of reading through our provision. Within both the indoor and outdoor environments, we ensure high quality texts and supportive resources such as small world play, puppets and a stage are readily available and well maintained.  Literature is promoted within all areas of provision and is linked to curriculum content as well as children’s interests.  Staff are encouraged to read throughout the day and once again there is a focus upon vocabulary. Our EYs reading curriculum works collaboratively with our phonics and speech and language development.

 

At Beamont we believe that the reading and writing process should be connected and links made. We feel all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing (in all subjects).

  • As with reading, we want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn. We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
  • We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting style. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process. Within EYs we encourage children to explore mark making with various tools and to work towards applying their phonics knowledge to their writing. We also closely link reading and writing and ensure that purposeful opportunities for writing are regularly provided. We introduce letter formation and sentence writing/ compositions skills.
  • Our teaching of English is delivered through a rigorous and well organised, progressive approach where by the skills that are taught each year, and in through different genres of writing, are built and expanded upon, allowing the children to revisit and practise taught skills in order to embed them.  We expose our children to a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts and writing opportunities and, within that, ensure that they have a secure understanding of types of stories, the features of them and their structure; this supports the children in being able to recreate them.
  • Throughout our Writing curriculum, the integration of reading and speaking and listening skills have been carefully situated in order to maximise outcomes.  Being in an area of high deprivation, and with a higher than national average percentage of Pupil Premium and English as an Additional Language learners, we ensure that these skills are fully embedded in order to improve outcomes and tackle the barriers to achievement caused by delayed speech and language development and limited exposure to vocabulary and conversation. 

The children, teachers and leaders are all aware of the clear end points for each unit and, in writing, these are displayed in the classroom and are used as success criteria and a tool for children to self-assess and edit and improve.  The use of these ‘keys’ are developed and implemented in such a way that allows for the continuous re-learning of skills and revisiting of previously taught skills.

Reading and Writing

We offer a mastery approach to teaching English through the use of the ‘Pathways to Write’ and ‘Pathways to Read’. For Writing, six units of work are delivered in each year group alongside 3 units of poetry. The units are delivered using high quality, language rich, engaging texts that support the teaching of essential skills. Skills are built up through repetition through the units and children are given plenty of opportunity to apply these skills in their writing.

 

At Beamont, we are proud that reading underpins all learning and that we hold it in the such a high priority. We share our love of reading with the children and ensure that it is celebrated across the curriculum. For the teaching of whole class Reading, six units of work (again, based around high quality, language rich, engaging texts) are delivered alongside additional reading sessions from Y2-Y6.

 

We recognise the impact that regular reading has on a child’s progress and therefore ask that children read at home regularly, in accordance with our homework expectations.

Phonics

The children in EYFS and KS1 learn phonics and reading skills as part of their English, through the use of the reading scheme Read Write Inc.

 

Read Write Inc. Phonics, Literacy & Language are highly successful literacy programmes for 4-13 year-olds created by Ruth Miskin and published by Oxford University Press. The training and support from Ruth Miskin Training, rated Outstanding by the Department for Education, ensure the programmes have the best chance of success in schools.

 

The children are regularly assessed in phonics and are grouped accordingly to ensure that the programme is delivered in a way to meet the need of every child. The children are taught by a teacher or teaching assistant trained in RWI.

 

We encourage parental involvement with the phonetically decodable reading books that are matched to the recently taught sounds. These are sent home weekly. We also encourage parents to share the short follow up videos with the children at home so that the learning can continue. Links to these videos are sent home weekly too. For more information regarding the teaching of phonics, please contact your child's class teacher or visit the following website to access parent guides, videos and support. https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/reading/reading-schemes-oxford-levels/read-write-inc-phonics-guide/

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