At St Monica`s R.C. Primary School, we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing, speaking and listening. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often, for pleasure as well as to inform. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their work, 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, in order to use discussion to communicate and further their learning. We understand that for our children to gain and develop knowledge across the wider curriculum, they need to become competent readers. We have therefore created an interesting and relevant curriculum to teach them the knowledge and skills needed to prepare them for life-long learning.
We want to to motivate and inspire our children through offering a reading curriculum that promotes a true love of reading and enables pupils to be able to read competently, so that they can become confident and informed learners. We achieve this goal by teaching our youngest learners through a rigorous, systematic synthetic phonics programme of Read, Write Inc. followed by developing fluency and vocabulary using John Murray and Cracking Comprehension alongside the teaching of linguistic and knowledge of the world context for the older years. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction.
As a whole school, we use the principles of the Jane Considine approach to teaching writing; `The Write Stuff’.
The Write Stuff brings clarity to the mechanics of the teaching of writing. It follows a method called ‘sentence stacking’. Sentence stacking refers to the fact that sentences are grouped together chronologically or organizationally to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can apply immediately to their writing. An individual lesson is based on a sentence model, broken into three separate chunks:
1. Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence
2. Model section – the teacher close models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques
3. Enable section – the children write their sentence following the model
It reinforces grammar through the use of:
The FANTASTICs which are an acronym that summarise the ideas of writing
The Grammar Rainbow is a classroom tool that enables the teacher to drive key grammar messages.
The BOOMTASTIC which helps children capture 10 ways of adding drama and poetic devices to writing in a vivid visual way
Planning for the Write Stuff follows the Jane Considine model of Initiate, Model, Enable.
Throughout the school, the Nelson Handwriting Scheme is used. This supports teachers in making sure children develop correct letter formation which then leads into accurate joining of handwriting. By the end of KS2, we want children to be able to write fluently at speed so that they can communicate by writing.
Children are taught the National Curriculum spellings through the use of Read Write Inc, Spelling Shed and teacher resources to teach High Frequency and Common Exception Words.