We follow national curriculum guidelines in providing our children with a rich and creative English curriculum. We use exciting, stimulating and inspirational texts to draw our children in and support them in becoming eager and confident learners.
The 4 key areas in our English curriculum are: Reading, Speaking and Listening, Writing and Spelling.
Reading starts when the child learns how to make the 44 phonic sounds and begins to sound out and blend sounds together and then progresses as they move through the school. The foundation stage puts everything in place to enable our children to be successful readers. Children learn at their own place, but a solid understanding of phonics is key in enabling our children to become happy and confident readers. We aim to help them to enjoy reading and put 'Reading for Pleasure' at the heart of our curriculum. For more in formation on a class specific approach , please do speak to your child's class teacher, or if you are considering us as a school please do give us a class and we will support you a best we can.
You can also have a look at our Reading Strategy which outlines to you how we approach reading at King's Somborne C of E.
Speaking and listening
Through our Speaking and Learning provision, we hope to empower our children in becoming confident orators, and people who look forward to opportunities to read to an audience or aloud. Whilst this is the aim, we are very conscious of how daunting this can be for some of our children so we ensure that our approach is very child sensitive and allows our children to develop at their own pace in a supported and guided way. We want to instil of love of learning and an appreciation of how exciting and fun it can be to both speak and listen. Our rich, text led curriculum will offer children the opportunity to delve deep in to different worlds, or meet life long friends on the pages of books. By igniting imaginations we hope to inspire and stimulate learning.
Again, books, texts and other creative means are the stimulus for all of our writing. We believe that children learn best when they are enthused and given the opportunity to write about things that interest them, or write in a way that sparks the most joy and excitement. We are aware that there a key elements to our writing curriculum, but we also know that all children learn differently and that each child is capable of wonderful pieces of writing. The key is to spark enjoyment and provide inspiration.
The process of creative writing will always start with a stimulus. Children will look at ways to improve their writing - they will look at the key skills being taught in directed lessons and be encouraged to apply that independently in their own writing. In Reception class, this may be a child beginning to mark make for the first time, whilst in Yr 6 children might be beginning to write their own chapters of their own independent books - applying creative license and powerful punctuation to draw the reader in.
We have talked about the importance of our phonics, and we then continually progress with our writing and begin to look at the basics of VCOP (vocabulary, connectives, openers and punctuation):
-making adventurous word choices and vocabulary;
- connectives to join ideas together;
- openers to start sentences in different ways
- punctuation - directing the reader
By focusing on these the child begins to produce clear and interesting sentences. Next steps might be to look at the skeleton layout for different types of writing so we can recognise and reproduce our own i.e. is it a story, a letter, an explanation, a poem etc.
Then we might identify the language features for each type of writing so we can recognise and reproduce our own i.e. an explanation will use connectives, a story will often be written in the past tense, instructions will use bossy verbs at the start of the instruction etc.
Grammar and spelling are integral to all our writing, and developing in different phases. At its most basic level we want children to understand why we use grammar, and help to learn spelling patters and behaviours. Whilst at its most advance, we want children to be adventurous and explorative with the way in which they write - but this adventurous stage can happen in each year group and on every step of the journey. The aim for us is to inspire confidence in the children and help them to feel that they can do it.
We try to make all writing ‘real’ so it has a purpose. We use modelling and guided support, and help the children by creating clearly labelled success criteria or steps to success. We want them to become independent learners but want to provide them with the scaffolding required to achieve their best - this will always vary, and the positives of all writing will be celebrated.
We provide writing opportunities across our entire curriculum, and love when we can take our topics and turn them in to exciting writing opportunities. Our hope is that writing becomes enjoyable and is something that the children look forward to doing.
We analyse spelling twice a year to gauge where individual children are, and how much progress they are making using the Single Word Spelling Test (SWST).
We teach rules and patterns of spelling not just individual words:
-KS1 use Letters and Sounds
-KS2 use Support For Spelling
We can often have weekly tests at the level of the individual child, but place more emphasis on spelling and word choices through our use of supporting resources and during each and every activity. We believe that spelling improves most when there are high expectations and appropriate levels of support for each child.
Spelling is integral to all our work across the curriculum and we use spelling logs, dictionaries and thesaurus’ in class.