English Curriculum Overview
At St Julie we develop children’s abilities to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes. Children learn to use language to communicate ideas, views and feelings. This enables children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively both verbally and through the written word. We aim to share with children the joy of reading and to help them to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts.
Reading and Phonics
Children are given daily opportunities to develop their reading skills. Children learn to read using synthetic phonics. This consists of six phases. This is carried out daily in the foundation Stage and KS1. Where necessary phonics will continue into KS2. Once children master accurate decoding, a greater emphasis is placed on comprehension. Through reading independently, guided, shared and paired reading children learn to read with confidence, fluency and understanding. Reading takes place with a variety of adults and peers. Home/school reading partnerships support every child to become an independent reader. At St Julie we encourage a love of Reading through a well resourced library, special events, themed days, author visits and a very strong partnership with Eccleston library.
As children enter the Foundation Stage there are writing opportunities in all areas of learning. In KS1 and 2 transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing) form the basis for what is taught. Children apply the skills they have been taught in all areas of the curriculum. Children are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. Writing takes place in many forms - through word and sentence level activities, independently, modelled, shared, paired and requires an awareness of audience, purpose and context.
Through synthetic phonics children are taught the different ways of spelling sounds and then apply their growing knowledge to write words, captions and sentences. Alongside decodable words, the reading and spelling of common exception/tricky words (those which can't be sounded out) are taught. As children enter KS2 we encourage children to explore words and think about the origins and connections between them. Wordlists for Years 3&4 and Years 5&6 are taught and contain a mixture of frequently used words as well as those that children often misspell. We aim to embed spelling opportunities in all areas of the curriculum.
In the Foundation Stage children develop many pre-writing skills. Correct letter formation is taught in a variety of enjoyable ways. As they become able, children begin to write letters using a variety of materials. Children are taught how to hold their pencil correctly. Children learn to regulate the size of letters which leads to neatly presented work. Children are ready they are taught to join letters which leads to fluent, legible and speedy writing.
Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
Through talk and reading, children's vocabulary is developed. Children are taught grammatical concepts and then encouraged to apply and identify these in the written and spoken word. Specific punctuation and grammatical terminology is taught in each year group.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening are not taught as discrete subjects, but are embedded in all aspects of school life, across all areas of the curriculum and are part of everything we do. Pupils are provided with many and varied contexts for talk enabling them to communicate confidently and effectively.