At GEMs Wantage Primary Academy, we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion and enable them to access and explore big ideas. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We aim to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We recognise that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
We have a rigorous and well-organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. Our use of core books to lead each term’s topic ensures that cross-curricular links with concurrent topic work which are then woven into the programme of study and children have extended writing opportunities in other subjects. Each year group have a yearly overview of the writing genres, narrative, non-fiction and poetry, that they will teach. These have been planned to ensure correct coverage of the key genres as well as build on skills from year to year. Units will take between two and four weeks to complete, and the outcome of each unit will be a Hot Write which will be used to assess the pupil’s skills against the agreed success criteria.
Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English which 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.
In addition to daily English lessons, children excel in early reading through the use of the Letters and Sounds programme from Nursery – Year 2 and continue to develop a range of reading skills, as well as a love of reading through guided reading sessions and book share.
As a result of our well-developed curriculum, we will have a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. Our children will be confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas. Our ongoing assessments and attainment at the end of EYFS, KS1 and KS2 will demonstrate our impact.
See our approach to reading and phonics below, as well as the writing progression.