Intent - What are we trying to achieve?
Aims of the English National Curriculum
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
English @ YFPS
At Yealmpstone Farm Primary School, we recognise that English is the key to effective communication. Reading, writing, speaking and listening are all essential skills to enable a full and meaningful participation in society, and, as such, we provide children with a broad variety of opportunities through which to develop, practise and improve those skills.
One of our key priorities as a school is to ‘develop children’s skills and strategies for reading comprehension with greater challenge for more able readers’, all underpinned by the structured teaching of systematic synthetic phonics in KS1.
In our teaching of writing we use carefully-planned topics and texts to inspire creativity, whilst also providing the SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) tools to enable children to produce high-quality compositions.
Boosted by our participation in the Plymouth Oracy Project, we place a significant emphasis on children developing and articulating their ideas orally, and we foster an environment where everyone’s thoughts and views are shared and valued.
Implementation - How will we achieve it?
At YFPS, we follow the 'National Curriculum in England: English Programmes of Study, full details of which can be found at:
Early reading skills are taught consistently from our nursery, through Foundation and into KS1, using the government's 'Letters and Sounds' programme as the basis for the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics. We are supplementing Letters and Sounds with additional resources and have trained staff who are phonics specialists. We also have provision for additional phonics interventions, as required, throughout KS2.
Alongside the decoding skills taught through phonics, we use the reading 'VIPERS' approach to teach the skills required for effective reading comprehension. VIPERS stands for: vocabulary, inferencing, prediction, explanation, retrieval and summarising/sequencing. Children are taught these VIPERS skills explicitly through daily reading comprehension lessons.
Most importantly, at YFPS we aim to promote a 'love of reading'. We have recently launched the use Accelerated Reader in KS2, as a means of ensuring that children are matched with (and challenged by) appropriate texts, whilst also being highly motivated to progress in their reading. We encourage children and staff to discuss and share texts, and embrace opportunities for events and initiatives which celebrate and promote reading, including World Book Day and the Summer Reading Challenge.
Writing opportunities are carefully planned around class topics and high-quality texts. In KS1, teachers use the Talk for Writing approach, where children imitate and innovate texts, progressing to their own inventions. In KS2, children respond to class texts in their writing, utilising a wide range of tools, including Alan Peat's Sentence Types, to provide structure and variety.
From September 2019, we have adopted the Spelling Shed scheme of work from Year 1 to Year 6, which provides a structured progression of spelling rules and skills, whilst also providing children with a fun and interactive means of applying, practising perfecting their spellings.
Speaking & Listening
Oracy skills are taught and practised across all areas of the curriculum. Children are encouraged to use structured sentence stems, which enable children to articulate and present their thoughts and ideas. In addition to the many oracy opportunities in class, we have a debating assembly in KS2 every two weeks, where children come together to discuss issues or local, national and global significance. Further opportunities to develop oracy skills include House Captains' Assemblies and School Council.
Impact - What difference will it make?
Our English curriculum is designed to have the following impact across all year groups: