'Let your light shine' Matthew 5:16
At Hawkesley Church Primary Academy, we know the importance of teaching English well, so that children have a command of the language that they will need to live a fulfilled and successful life. As fluent and engaged readers, effective verbal communicators and writers with a wide vocabulary and a command of grammar, our children will leave, at the end of Year 6, more likely to become responsible, happy and financially secure adults.
The national curriculum for English aims to ensure 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 in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
We develop the children's literary skills in four key areas from EYFS to Year 6:
Children at Hawkesley are taught the components that are needed to learn for successful spoken communication. It focuses on interrelated aspects that constitute effective spoken language (physical, linguistic, cognitive, and social and emotional) Pupils are equipped with the right knowledge and vocabulary for them to be able to speak on a topic effectively. This is done through exploratory talk and there is a focus on ensuring that pupils can select and use appropriate grammar and register for audience and purpose, including Standard English where necessary. The curriculum provides frequent opportunities for pupils to practise, refine and apply their spoken language knowledge and skills.
Our reading curriculum enables pupils to read increasingly complex and whole texts, by ensuring children’s reading accuracy, automaticity and prosody is developed .Time is given to pupils reading a lot of text, in order to develop their reading fluency. Children are equipped with the knowledge necessary for comprehension and this is taught explicitly and includes vocabulary, knowledge of narrative structure, lexical and syntactical knowledge, as well as knowledge of context and ideas in the text. Children are taught the relationships between words, helping them to explore morphology and etymology to support their comprehension and spelling.
At Hawkesley we have a reading rich environment, to help pupils foster a genuine love of literature, and an ability to respond to texts personally. The literary diet that children receive has been designed to enable pupils to deepen their understanding in the 4 fields of knowledge. Children tackle a carefully chosen, subject-specific diet of ambitious whole-texts covering a range of forms and genres. The literary spine introduces pupils to texts that they would not choose to read for themselves, especially from other times and places and offer a range of perspectives.
At Hawkesley children are taught the necessary knowledge needed in order to write for a wide range of purposes and audiences. Children's accuracy and automaticity in transcription are developed early on, in order for children to develop high-level processes of composing, planning and revision later on. The direct teaching of sentence construction, control of grammar, syntax is vital in order for children to develop an increasing flair in their writing.
Vocabulary, spelling, Grammar and punctuation:
Vocabulary is the foundational knowledge for reading, speech and writing. It is vital that our curriculum is built in order to narrow the word gap between pupils who are word-rich and word-poor, ensuring all children leave Hawkesley with a good command of language and able to communicate confidently. This is achieved by creating dialogue with children, in order to support language development. Sharing books and stories introduces a wider, deeper range of vocabulary than is found in speech, but also shows how the meaning of words is context-dependent.
All tier 2 and 3 words have been mapped out across the curriculum so children are introduced to a wide variety of subject specific and tier 2 words which are ambitious and enable children to succeed. Planned and spaced recall helps children to retain the new vocabulary they have learned.