At Mount Pleasant Primary School, we recognise that every child has the right to an education (Article 28 UNICEF Rights of the Child) and within that education, we understand the crucial importance of studying the English language. The English language is the basic language of communication within our society and is the foundation for almost all the learning which takes place in our school. We believe that a mastery of language can empower the learner and allow children to express their thoughts and ideas more fluently, accurately and, ultimately, to their greater satisfaction. Improved performance at reading, writing and spoken language is essential for independent learning and allows children to deal more successfully with other curriculum subjects, while enriching their lives beyond school.
Statement of Intent
We aim to provide a creative, exciting, enjoyable and purposeful English curriculum which engages the wide range of learners within our school community. We want to share with the children a wide range of high quality, stimulating texts that have a rich vocabulary and will help them develop a love for reading which will continue throughout their learning journey and adult lives. We aim to ensure that ALL the children within our school are equipped with the necessary literacy skills to enable them to achieve their aspirations and have the confidence to use and apply them in all aspects of everyday life.
Implementation – Transforming vision into reality
In order to support our developing readers, we have created a reading curriculum which allows all classes access to high-quality texts across a range of genres. These texts have been carefully selected across all year groups to provide a progressive curriculum which allows children to build constantly upon their current knowledge and become the best readers they can be.
In EYFS and KS1, we use the phonics scheme Big Cat Phonics which fully align to our teaching of the LIttle Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised scheme. In Reception and Key Stage One, all children are given a decodable reading book which is matched to the phonics level they are working at. The books vary in several ways, including layout, size, vocabulary and length, to give the children a rich diet of literature. We feel it is hugely important for our children to receive home reading books matched directly to their phonics knowledge so that they become confident and fluent readers, before moving on to a greater difficulty. We also believe that parents are an important resource and reading books allow them to share in this process of learning. Children will continue to receive a home reading book linked directly to their reading level which is assessed regularly throughout the terms to ensure an appropriate level of challenge and skill to continue to improve their reading skills. Once the children become ‘free readers’ they can begin to choose their own reading books, either from the class book corner, the school library or a book from home.
At Mount Pleasant we also understand that not everybody learns at the same pace and we strive to ensure all children are given the tools they need to be fluent and independent readers. We provide targeted support through a range of interventions for children who have not yet met expectations appropriate for their age and year group which are regularly monitored by the class teacher, SENDCo and SLT and where necessary are referred to outside agencies.
Impact – What is the impact of our curriculum on our children?
Through the implementation of our writing curriculum, we have created a community of confident and independent writers who enjoy writing for a range of purposes and audiences. Children display a conscientious attitude to their presentation and writing standards in every piece of work that they do. They are willing to take risks with ambitious vocabulary and can draft and re-draft their work using skills and knowledge acquired and retained throughout their time in school. Children consistently produce high-quality writing and can discuss what they need to do to improve their work and can articulate the reasons for certain language styles and choices they have made.
The impact of our curriculum is also monitored through a combination of assessments which allows us to closely monitor the progress of our children and identify any areas for support quickly and effectively. Examples of this include: quality marking and feedback, verbal feedback, whole class discussions, small group discussions with an adult, diagnostic grammatical or spelling tasks, independent grammar and/or punctuation tasks, specific assignments for individual pupils and any formal statutory assessments (Y2/6 GPS SATS etc.).
In order to enrich our reading curriculum, we provide our children with a wide range of opportunities to explore their literary heritage, including:
visits to our local community library
celebrations of World Book Day
celebrations of famous authors day, e.g. Roald Dahl
reading challenges launched in school
regular reading awards
visits from local authors, such as Adam Bushnell
access to texts across all curriculum subjects