English Curriculum Statement
“A child who reads will be an adult who thinks.”
Reading lies at the heart of the curriculum at Christ the King. We are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers as we believe reading is key for academic success
- Children take part in daily guided reading lessons, where they are exposed to a range of different texts and can demonstrate their understanding and thinking behind these.
- We have a range of reading books in every classroom including a specific collection of age appropriate books linked to safeguarding. This enables children to access information for their own personal needs and to further their knowledge and understanding of important subjects.
- All children from reception to year six choose a reading book to take home and this reading book is changed frequently.
- Each classroom has a selection of books which are directly linked to the class topic. This offers opportunities for pupils to apply their reading skills across the curriculum.
- We believe in the importance of sharing stories, therefore children are given regular opportunities to read by their class teacher. Opportunities for DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) are specifically timetabled for all year groups. Texts shared may include a class core text, a book that the teacher recommends to the class, a recommendation from a child or simply a book of choice.
- During the season of Advent, all classes participate in our whole school initiative, “An Advent of Christmas Books”. Each class is given a selection of gift wrapped books around the theme of Christmas. This provides a perfect opportunity to recommend texts to other classes.
- All classes in year one – six assign a Reading Star each week. The reward for this is additional reading time during the following week (at a time chosen by the winning child).
- Classes are encouraged to reflect on the books they have shared by ranking their class texts in our ‘Battle of the Books’.
- By the time children leave Christ the King, they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books. They can also read books to enhance their knowledge and understanding of all subjects on the curriculum, and communicate their research to a wider audience.
“Writing is the painting of the voice.”
Writing is a crucial part of our curriculum at Christ the King. By the end of year six we intend for our children to have developed a love of writing and to be able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through the written word. We also intend to create writers who can re-read, edit and imp improve their own writing, and enable pupils to be able to confidently use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling. We set high expectations for all our children to take pride in their work and have a fluent, cursive handwriting style.
- In order to help us to develop confident, enthusiastic writers who can express themselves in a variety of different styles and across a variety of contexts, our teaching of writing is often cross curricular and linked to our class topics. This provides our children with regular opportunities to write for a range of purposes and audiences. Writing tasks are specific and meaningful, and often meet a purpose to engage children and to illustrate how their writing skills can be applied to real life contexts. Teachers set each child a personalised target which relates to the ten “Key Performance Indicators” (KPI’s) specific to each year group to ensure progress and target areas for support.
- Children learn spellings at home each week and these are tested in school. Additionally, spelling is taught daily in Key Stage 1, in phonics lessons, and weekly in key Stage 2. Children who need additional support with spelling receive a variety of interventions that are tailored to address their gaps.
- We value the importance of writing for real-life purposes. Class teachers are expected to provide opportunities throughout the year for children to send their writing via post or email to people and organisations of interest. We often receive replies which is very exciting!
- The educationalist Alan Peat devised a number of sentence types which have been proven to enhance progress and attainment in children’s writing. We teach these throughout the school, from year one to year six. We use a ‘Sentence Progression’ document to ensure children are appropriately challenged and are taught how to use and apply punctuation in line with their National Curriculum year group.
- Handwriting is specifically taught and consolidated each week in all year groups.
- All children are given weekly spellings to learn which are linked to the spelling patterns and rules identified in the National Curriculum. They are also given opportunities to use, learn and apply specific statutory words such as common exception words, Y3/4 and Y5/6 word lists. All of these key words are clearly displayed in all classrooms and children have access to spelling boxes containing these words to help them when using the ‘look, say, cover, write’ approach.
Pupils will make good progress from their own personal starting points. By the end of Year Six they will be able to write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Our pupils will acquire a wide vocabulary and have a strong command of the written word. Most importantly, they will develop a love of writing and be well equipped for the rest of their education
“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.”
Our intention is for children to:
- Express their opinions, articulate feelings and listen to and respond appropriately in a range of situations;
- Participate with different groups of children to present ideas with confidence, valuing the views of others;
- Speak audibly and confidently before an audience (for example when leading class and whole-school worship; when performing in school plays).
- Approaches to teaching and learning encourage pupils to voice their ideas in small group and class discussions, as we recognise that sharing and explaining concepts with peers enhances learning. Staff model the use of higher level vocabulary within their speech and expanding children’s vocabulary is a key focus from EYFS. Subject specific vocabulary is embedded across the curriculum, through teacher modelling, in context. Contextual learning helps children to understand new words and supports them in including them in their work.
- Staff model correct grammar in speech and encourage children to reflect this in their use of spoken and written language.
- Drama is used across the curriculum to explore and engage children in their learning. This gives children the chance to embed vocabulary in shared activities. Each class (year one – six) leads worship at least once a year for parents in church and individual pupils lead class worship on a weekly basis.
- We appreciate the importance of providing children with meaningful opportunities to perform in front of an audience, including our friends and families.
- We participate in a whole school poetry recital competition once a year, where children are given the opportunity to learn and recite poems from a specific focus author e.g. Michael Rosen for 2020-2021.
- Children in reception perform a nativity play each Christmas; year 1 and 2 also perform a Christmas production; years 4 and 5 rehearse and perform a production at Easter; year 6 perform in summer term.
“Reading and writing float on a sea of talk.”
In a safe and encouraging environment, children develop into confident communicators who illuminate the goodness in each other by listening, speaking with kindness and empathy and explaining with clarity and confidence. Children recognise that speaking and listening can lie at the heart of conveying character, and that through speaking and listening effectively, misunderstandings cab be addressed and relationships enhanced.