At St Chad’s C of E Primary school, we believe that high-quality English education should not be restricted to just one session a day. We endeavour to provide ample opportunities throughout the curriculum for children to develop their literacy and become competent, confident and passionate readers, writers, speakers and listeners. Speaking and listening skills, reading, spelling, grammar, writing, phonics and drama feature in all strands of our curriculum to ensure that children are not just meeting the requirements of an English education, but that they are immersing themselves in it.
Phonics – As part of our mission to ensure that every child becomes a life-long reader, our high quality phonics teaching is offered for Nursey, Reception and KS1 pupils through the systematic synthetic phonics strategy championed by Ruth Miskin’s ‘Read Write Inc’ approach. Focusing on the process of decoding whole words with the unit of sounds (or, phonemes) means that our children are taught to read accurately, fluently and with excellent comprehension. It also provides opportunity for children to form each letter, spell correctly and compose their ideas step-by-step. We regularly assess and monitor our children’s progress for quality assurance so that they are working within a phonics group that is appropriate for their reading level. When a child is in Year 1 (during the month of June), the Department for Education stipulates that children must undertake the 'Phonics Screening' assessment. If they do not meet the requirements of the assessment, they will retake it the following year. All information is submitted to the Department for Education and you will also receive the relevant information from school.
Reading – A real love is learning is our commitment for every child at St. Chad’s, from Nursery all the way up to Year 6. As soon as your child joins our school, we will actively foster a love reading by encouraging them to read regularly and widely, and the children are invited to take books from our class and school libraries to enjoy at home, too. Through careful planning and teaching, pupils develop the appropriate skills and attitudes towards reading that will ensure they can tackle ambitious texts through our daily, quality-first Forensic Reading approach. Beginning when your child has moved off of the ‘Read Write Inc.’ scheme in Year 2, each Forensic Reading lesson is comprised of four key elements:
- developing fluency;
- expanding children’s lexicons with sophisticated vocabulary;
- honing comprehension skills through VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising/Sequencing).
- explicit teaching of assessment rubric.
In addition to this, we have created a bespoke reading scheme for each year group from Year 2 to Year 6 which is comprised of a selection of age-appropriate, diverse and challenging texts which aim to build upon your child’s cultural capital and enjoyment of reading. Once your child has completed reading the texts allocated to their year group, they will receive a ‘reading key’ to acknowledge their accomplishments and also to signify how being a reader opens up so many doors and opportunities for them!
Writing - Regular writing opportunities that are not just confined to English lessons are embedded throughout our curriculum to ensure consistent development of the skills that are being modelled. We follow a 7 part writing framework based on research conducted by the Education Endowment Foundation, which are principally:
- A hook to engage learners along with an exciting and high quality text;
- Exploration of examples of model texts;
- Practice of contextual Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar skills;
- Planning for structure and key vocabulary;
- Drafting their own piece of writing based off of the key text;
- Editing and proof-reading
- Publishing and celebrating their work
Teachers provide engaging and exciting English lessons, based off of relevant, diverse and high quality texts which are both accessible yet challenging, to enthuse children to become competent writers across all subjects. Our targeted English writing lessons cover the National Curriculum objectives for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar, transcription and composition and these are used imaginatively by teachers to create unique unit plans, based around the requirements of the learners within the class. At St Chad’s, handwriting is taught regularly in order to hone children’s fine motor skills and to ensure that all of their writing is legible, allowing them to convey their ideas effectively.
Oracy – At St. Chad’s, we are proud to be a Voice21 school, aiming to transform the learning and life chances through talk so that every child has the chance to use their voices and be heard. We provide explicit and consistent teaching of the oracy framework and talk is encouraged and facilitated throughout the school day: from the classroom, to the playground, to the dinner hall and even during our Collective Worship! Through our intentional curriculum design for oracy, we hope to increase engagement for all learners, develop emotional wellbeing, improve academic outcomes and promote chances of employability for children in later life. As well as this, oracy equips students with the skills to thrive in civil and democratic life as well as promoting social equity.