CURRICULUM – ENGLISH
At Camp School we believe that, through quality English teaching, we can foster a love of reading and writing with our pupils.
Through a text-based English curriculum, we engage our classes in reading a wide range of quality texts from different authors as well as learning the necessary grammar techniques embedded within their writing. We believe children should be taught the skills and techniques from their grammar learning and be able to adapt these within a variety of written styles. Through an engaging curriculum, support and encouragement, we believe our pupils are confident and able writers by the time they leave in Year 6.
We recognise that as well as English lessons and taught phonics sessions, English is accessed through a variety of learning opportunities in Early Years. Children are always encouraged to develop their skills in speaking and listening during focused activities and active learning and are continually taught and are accessing new vocabulary. Mark marking and writing opportunities are available to the children in their child-initiated learning.
Children are taught and motivated to write through early mark making in the Early Years. We recognise the importance of clear, legible handwriting and follow a consistent approach to teaching cursive writing from Year 2. Each class has regular taught handwriting sessions as well as opportunities to apply this in other areas.
Phonics is taught in the Early Years and Key Stage 1 using a scheme called “Time for Phonics”. This scheme uses a similar teaching sequence and order of sounds as Letters and Sounds which enables us to ensure children’s reading books are aligned fully to their phonics understanding. This scheme uses a range of multi-sensory and practical activities to deliver a systematic phonics approach. Through small group and individual intervention, phonics teaching may continue in Key Stage 2 classes for those children that may need further support.
Every child has an opportunity to weekly visits to our recently renovated library, where we continually monitor and add to the range of texts available. Children are able to borrow both a fiction and non-fiction book of their choice.
We ensure all children have a reading book to take home. This may be a book of free choice for those that are confident to do so and for children in Reception and Key Stage 1, following a systematic phonics programme, we ensure reading books are sent home according to each child’s phonetic understanding.
To further encourage a love of reading, we have regular book fairs for families to purchase new books as well as author visits promoting new texts to the children. Staff share their love of books and reading through our whole class reading sessions and daily story times.
In Reception and Key stage 1, pupils are taught the skills of reading through a carousel guided reading approach where teachers ensure sessions are pitched correctly for the groups of children, allowing for decoding and comprehension to be taught at a correct level. Children also participate in shared reading and “book talk” within their English learning.
In Key Stage 2, reading is taught through a “Whole class Reading” approach. This allows all children to access and engage in exciting and quality texts in a range of genres and topics. Children who may require further practice in their decoding and comprehension skills are taught through small group and 1:1 interventions.
In delivering our English lessons, we use Herts for Learning English planning as a basis for planning and delivering our sessions. Often, we adapt these to match texts to our topic themes for each term. Recently, we have been following the Herts for Learning “Back on Track” scheme of work to focus our English teaching on the essential skills needed for each year group as a great resource for any missed learning during covid lockdowns. We have continued to apply some of these Back on Track plans to secure sentence structure understanding in the first half of Autumn term to continue to close any gaps in children’s writing.
We recognise the importance of children writing for a purpose and fully engaging in the writing process when it has true meaning to them. In the past this has included a mystery egg on the school roof, letters to authors and, most recently, writing letters to (and receiving a reply from) Her Majesty, The Queen!
Through regular staff meetings, we allow for professional development and training to ensure our knowledge and skills are up to date with key strategies for delivering English teaching as well as collaborative moderation when assessing reading and writing.
Our staff team are passionate about reading and writing and delivering lessons to engage and motivate our pupils and believe. We enable confident, create and enthusiastic writers in our classes and make it a mission to find that one book that captures a love of reading for all of our pupils.