At Trinity St Mary’s School we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We strive to help children to develop a love of reading, develop a wide and rich vocabulary and to develop their comprehension skills. At Trinity St Mary’s School our intent in teaching reading is for children to develop a love of books and be able to inhabit the world of a story, building their use of language, and their imagination. We believe that reading is a key tool for life, and teaching children to become excellent readers is part of our daily timetable. From an early age children develop their reading through the teaching of daily, high quality phonic work. Our library and reading books have recently been overhauled, in collaboration with art students from our local Secondary school, William de Ferrers, making the area more attractive with a colourful mural; our library books have been replenished with advice from Essex Library Services with quality books from classical to contemporary literature including prize-winning children’s books, graphic novels and picture books. Our stock is replenished with the support of parents during our parents’ evenings visiting our Travelling Book Fair and by visits from our Book Bus. We have checked, and re-classified where needed, reading books for EYFS and KS1 to correspond with phonic phases so that there is an integrated approach to the teaching of reading and to ensure that reading skills are taught and practised in a progressive way. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and be able to use discussion to communicate, consolidate and further their learning. We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is critical for our children in order for them to have the tools they need to contribute as fully functioning members of society and to become the best that they can be.
These aims are embedded across our literacy lessons and the wider curriculum. We have an English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion to support children in developing vocabulary, sound comprehension, and inference and deduction skills. We use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. Teachers also ensure that cross- curricular links with concurrent topic work are woven into the programme of study where possible.
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 for information
● appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
● acquire a rich and varied vocabulary; an understanding of grammar and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
● 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 - listening carefully and respectfully to other people’s ideas, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate/discussions.
At Trinity St. Mary’s, we regularly track progress and identify children who need support and provide intervention in the most effective and efficient way that we can. We run intervention reading groups and are fortunate to have parents and governors who come in regularly to hear children read. Teachers plan and teach English lessons, including literacy skills, which are differentiated to the particular needs of each child: to support slower learners and to challenge faster learners. We help each child to maximise their potential by providing help and support where necessary, such as modelling and scaffolding in class, giving 1:1 support where needed, whilst striving to make children as independent as possible once they are equipped with the tools, strategies and the confidence that they need to succeed.
Good progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. Children are becoming more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, children are able to recognise different genres of writing and are familiar with their main features to the extent that the teaching can focus on creativity, producing wellstructured, sustained pieces of writing - the actual craft of writing in order to have a particular effect on a reader or audience.
Termly assessment is showing that most children at Trinity St Mary’s are achieving in literacy at age-related expectations. Each year we have children achieving at a greater depth in reading and writing at the end of KS1 and are working hard to emulate that at the end of KS2. We hope that with the focus on high quality texts together with all the other initiatives as outlined above will help to accelerate children’s learning and progress.
As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards are improving and skills taught in the English lesson are beginning to be transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives.
We hope that when our children leave Trinity St Mary’s to further their education and learning, that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations follow them and continue to grow and develop as they do, that their love of reading and of learning is with them throughout their lives, that they have been inspired to be inquisitive, life-long learners.