The English curriculum is easiest to think of as speaking and listening, reading and writing.
Speaking & listening.
Permeates every element of school life. A key strength of our curriculum is in the time dedicated across the school to performance in front of large audiences, particularly in our weekly class assemblies which parents and carers attend. Pupils are taught and practice how to speak for different occasions and the use of correct English and pronunciation.
Reading is the bedrock of our school curriculum.
Reading in the Early Years and Key Stage 1 is taught primarily using phonics. The school follows the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme and phonics is taught as a discrete lesson everyday from EYFS through KS1. The school maintains a strong emphasis on one-to-one reading until children have a secure grasp of phonics and are able to read independently. We use Rigby Star books in the EYFS and KS1 and Oxford Reading Tree books in KS2. Once pupils can ‘decode’ words, the focus moves on to understanding.
Our reading curriculum is primarily delivered in two ways:
- through ‘guided reading’ (from Reception)
- through reading-focused lessons
During these sessions, children are taught the key skills of: retrieval; inference; structure; language choice; purpose/viewpoint and context.
Reading should be a pleasurable activity and time should be devoted at school and home to 'reading for pleasure'. Throughout the week, children have the opportunity to be read to by their teachers, read books of their own choice and take books home to read and discuss. This is key to the development and enjoyment of reading.
Teachers plan rich and varied writing tasks, which are purposeful and stimulate the enthusiasm and interest of the children.
The tasks often link to the topic being studied at the time. For example, when Year 2 learn about the Great Fire of London as a topic, they might write diary entries inspired by Samuel Pepys. These take the form of both written work and eBooks! Our classrooms have dedicated role play/writing areas in which children can create their own experiences through role-play and which provide them with writing opportunities and key vocabulary which they can use in their extended writing.
We provide opportunities for the children to celebrate the fact we live in the wonderful and historic Royal Borough of Greenwich. For example, Yr 5 and 6 pupils undertook a walk round Blackheath and Greenwich and recorded their ideas and thoughts in the form of poetry, prose and non-fiction accounts. The resulting scrapbooks they produced were stunning!