In English, a Roundwood leaver will know:
…the way in which we communicate, be it written or spoken, shapes all areas of life. Through opportunities to develop a love of reading and language, pupils explore a variety of texts chosen for their range of vocabulary, genre, characterisation, historical context, cultural content or authorial voice. Reading opportunities enable pupils to develop their writing skills across the curriculum, learning to write as readers, engaging the audience, demonstrating their ability to manipulate language to meet the needs of the audience and the purpose of the piece. In all areas of the curriculum, pupils will develop their ability to speak, discuss, question and analyse using their skills to debate, report and discuss.
Our curriculum is designed around key texts to promote a love of reading and writing; both are lifelong skills that interweave through the whole curriculum. We aim to deliver a rich and varied curriculum, one which is not simply focused on teaching to the tests or achieving good exam results but to develop a lifelong love of learning.
The use of inspirational key texts is fundamental to the teaching of English at Roundwood Primary School. This is where the teaching of specific grammatical topics is linked, and feeds in to, the all-important higher-level literacy skills so that the foundation of a good English curriculum – the engagement with wonderful children’s literature in several media – is at the heart of all our teaching.
Developing reading fluency is a priority in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 to enable pupils to access all areas of the curriculum over time. Children’s reading is developed through the thorough and systematic daily teaching of phonics, one to one reading, guided reading and shared reading. In Key Stage Two, children are encouraged to read regularly, both fiction and non-fiction. We focus on developing children’s reading habits with the expectation that broadening the range of books that they are experiencing will result in a more sophisticated level of writing. High quality texts pitched appropriately will allow children to synthesise important language patterns whilst exposing them to ambitious vocabulary. Our Active reading approach (including Home Learning) encourages children to analyse authorial techniques by explicitly discussing language choices and identifying the structural organisation of texts and the sentence structures within them. By jotting down sentence openers, descriptive phrases and cohesive devices, children will come to his or her own writing with a bank of ideas to dip into, putting them into an enviable position to tackle a range of different genres as a writer. Studies consistently show that children who are prolific readers are also adept at writing.
We teach a range of literature that develops spiritual development through discussion and debate. They allow the pupils to identify good and bad characters or actions which in turn gives them an opportunity to think about the consequences of right and wrong behaviour, applying this to their own lives. This may be very simply through exploring the actions of Goldilocks in Years one and two or at a deeper level exploring childhood fears and compassion as themes in ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’ in Years five and six.
Creative writing and the study of poetry gives students the opportunity to reflect on their own beliefs and helps them to establish their own relationship with language. Writing is expressive and allows for a reflective process and the freedom to be creative and experiment.
Many texts encourage moral thinking through the recognition of values such as goodwill, humility and kindness. Students are able to analyse character and events to explore the consequences of negative actions.
During the study of fiction, students are given the opportunity to consider different perspectives and empathise with other characters and allow pupils to explore moral questions, such as equal rights for men and women, deforestation and homelessness, giving students the opportunity to produce their own writing. Writing non-fiction texts such as newspaper articles, leaflets, reports and reviews help to develop students’ ability to apply fiction to real life scenarios.
English lessons promote cooperation and teamwork through being able to work in groups, listening to presentations and asking questions. Real issues encourage students to think about the world outside school and give opinions on topics that may affect them in the future for example, imagining it has been proposed that a new supermarket is to be built in the local area. Students are required to take on a role and argue a point of view.
We also give students the opportunity to speak in different contexts and regarding a range of different real life issues, applying learning to careers and life after school. Peer assessment is an integral part of our teaching and we encourage focused feedback between students, whereby they support and encourage each other, reflecting and giving advice using their own method for success.
Students are all given the opportunity to be independent, self-reliant and responsible for their own learning.
Students learn about respecting others through the study of poetry from different cultures. Many poems deal with conditions faced by those in impoverished or less fortunate situations. Students are able to appreciate different cultures and empathise.
The study of World War Two in Years five and six is an example of how we appreciate British history and culture with the children exploring the Blitz from a child’s perspective as well as exploring the emotional impact of the D Day Landings through well-chosen film clips.
Speaking and listening activities promote the opportunity to share their own experiences and appreciate other students’ perspectives and experiences.
Theatre trips, visits from drama groups and published authors give all students the opportunity to access cultural activity alongside the viewing of DVDs of plays in performance, which otherwise some pupils may not have the opportunity to experience.