"Embracing our values today… to be a successful part of the world tomorrow!”
|Subject Lead - Mrs Chantelle Nelson
At South Farnborough Junior School, English and the teaching of English is the foundation of our curriculum. Our main aim is to ensure every single child becomes primarily literate and progresses in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Central to our English Curriculum, is the determination from every member of staff, that every child will learn to read regardless of background or ability. We fully recognise that reading is the most vital skill to improve children's life chances and help them to become a successful part of the world.
Staff at South Farnborough feel it is seminal to highlight and be aware of the differing groups of learners and vulnerable children in their class. Once this information is acquired, teachers can plan and teach English lessons which are adapted to meet the needs of each child. We recognise that each child has their own starting point upon entry to every year group and progress is measured in line with these starting points to ensure every child can celebrate success.
In addition to being a daily discrete lesson, English is at the cornerstone of the entire curriculum. It is embedded within all our lessons and we strive for a high level of English for all. We use a diverse range of high-quality texts which immerse our children in vocabulary-rich learning environments whilst ensuring new curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met. The children at South Farnborough will be exposed to a language heavy, creative, continuous and inclusive English curriculum which will not only enable them to become primary literate, but will also develop a love of reading, creative writing and purposeful speaking and listening.
With these aims in mind, we have ensured that half an hour of guided reading happens daily. This ensures that reading is explicitly taught every day and that vulnerable groups can be highlighted and supported appropriately to further ensure progression and that specific year group skills are secure. Lessons are planned based upon appropriate texts and enable children to learn comprehension skills but also support them to develop a love of wider reading, which we believe is crucial for all our children. Reading is thoroughly celebrated in our school through regular book events: trips to the local library, author visits, sponsored reads and book tastings which develop and strengthen our reading culture.
Due to our firm belief that consistency and well-taught English is the bedrock of a valuable education, we ensure that the teaching of writing is purposeful, robust and shows clear progression for all children. In line with the national curriculum, we ensure that each year group is teaching the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for that age group. As well as teaching the objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in engaging writing opportunities and ensure that most children are achieving the objectives at the expected level and that some children can achieve at a greater depth standard.
In order to expose children to a variety of genres which helps to utilise and embed the writing skills, teachers use learning journeys. Each journey is designed to show progress, teach the pertinent year group objectives, apply and consolidate these skills, and develop vocabulary. Writing is taught through the use of a quality text, which exposes the children to inference, high-level vocabulary, a range of punctuation and characterisation. Each text is purposefully selected in order to promote a love of reading, engagement and high-quality writing from each child.
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. Our year 6 SATs reading results are always above the national average and our children demonstrate a genuine enjoyment for reading. This then impacts their writing as good readers become good writers. With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly, children become more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and the manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross-curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific punctuation and grammar objectives. We hope that as children move on from us to further their education and learning, that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.