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 word and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
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 information;
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language;
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage;
- 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, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
DfE English Programmes of Study, September 2013
At Aughton St Michael’s C.E. Primary School, we intend for all pupils to experience an inspiring, rich and engaging English environment based on language that feeds into reading and writing. We aim to foster a love of books and reading, alongside a positive culture of writing, for a variety of purposes and audiences and across all subjects within our broad curriculum.
Our youngest children will begin their early reading and writing development supported by excellent synthetic phonics teaching using Jolly Phonics until they are fluent in word reading (decoding) and transcription (spelling and handwriting). During their time at Aughton St Michael’s Primary School, all pupils will be given the opportunity to immerse themselves in a wide variety of texts from a range of different cultures. Our ambitious curriculum includes learning from a range of texts in different forms and genres, ranging from their own or different experiences, other cultures, times and places with frequent varied opportunities to practise and refine their speaking, reading, spelling and writing skills. By experiencing a wide range of language and a curriculum that secures the knowledge needed for successful writing our children have the understanding and command of English that they need to flourish.
Our intent is for every child to leave our care as able and independent communicators, with the confidence and skills required to read and write fluently. They will be thoroughly prepared in all aspects of English and fully equipped for the next step in their educational journey.
The daily teaching of phonics supports children in EYFS and Year 1 to develop their phonic knowledge. We use a synthetic approach which guides them step by step, from learning initial sounds to reading and writing sentences with confidence and fluency. Children have daily opportunities to apply their grapheme phoneme correspondence orally, in writing and decoding and begin to learn correct letter formation – by mastering transcription (spelling and handwriting) children can then focus on composition. Teachers focus on identifying children who are not able to decode accurately (or are otherwise at risk of not learning to read) early and prioritise teaching them to read through keeping up and catching up sessions. Struggling readers will continue to be taught phonics in Year 2 or Key Stage 2 to secure essential knowledge and automaticity in reading. Regular opportunities to update and refresh phonics teaching is provided in line with our school approach.
Our reading curriculum is carefully planned and enables pupils to read from a range of diverse texts to increasingly develop reading fluency and understanding, thereby prompting a love of reading. English lessons are planned around literature rich texts in every year group to challenge and develop knowledge all providing an abundance of opportunity to develop fluency and a love of reading. Our reading scheme is designed to develop children’s reading accuracy. For early and developing readers, the books children are reading at home match their phonic ability and reading level. Fluent readers read increasing complex whole texts. Comprehension is explicitly taught in guided reading in school, beginning in EYFS and Year 1, where early readers apply their phonic knowledge and develop understanding. In Year 2, developing readers develop their ability to respond to texts at least three times a week and from Year 3 onwards children have daily guided reading activities. This also provides ongoing assessment and learning opportunities for teachers to regularly check pupil progress and adapt the teaching of reading as necessary. Assessment of reading is broken down by our reading scheme and is ongoing. Termly summative assessments also help teachers adapt and plan for gaps in children’s fluency or understanding.
Writing is planned around our literature rich texts in every year group. Through a range of engaging stories, children in EYFS, have the opportunity to develop fluency in transcription and practise their spelling knowledge and segmenting skills. This is developed and secured so that children can focus increasingly on composition, planning, writing and editing. Our English curriculum allows each year group to:
- develop knowledge of their topic;
- learn key skills in grammar, punctuation and vocabulary; and
- write for various purposes and audiences.
Assessment of writing is broken down by our writing scheme and is ongoing. Short independent writing opportunities also help teachers adapt and plan for gaps in children’s knowledge.
At our school, pupils make good progress in English. This starts with a firm foundation in EYFS, with 76.7 % of pupils reaching GLD and, using our internal tracking, 76.7 % achieving the ARE in Writing and 82.8% achieving ARE in Reading in 2023.
Our end of KS1 assessments for 2023, show that the percentage of pupils achieving expected outcomes in Reading is 82.1 % and for Writing it is 59 %. This is supported by the high number of pupils that pass the Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 1, with an 92.3% pass rate in Year 1 and 100% in year 2 in 2023. This is a direct result of our excellent phonics curriculum and teaching.
The vast majority of our older pupils are equipped with the English skills they need to succeed at secondary school when they leave us. This is reflected in our end of KS2 assessments for 2023, with 76.7% of pupils meeting expected outcomes in Reading and 70.0% of pupils meeting expected outcomes in Writing.
Our progress scores tracking reflects the high quality teaching and comprehensive curriculum received by pupils across the school.
For a more detailed look at how our English Curriculum porgresses, please refer to the document below. For each class's yearly overview (the breakdown for each week), please see the individual class pages.