English at our school:
At Lee-on-the-Solent Junior School we have created a text-centred English curriculum that is designed to use high quality literature as a springboard to develop pupils’ reading, writing and speaking and listening skills. The curriculum aims to expose children to literature from across the ages, ranging from classic poetry and prose to modern day tales, and also uses film as a stimulus for writing, with children’s enjoyment and engagement central to the experience.
From an early stage in the writing process, children are encouraged to think about their intended audience, the purpose of their writing and the form that it may take. These aspects are central to the writing journey and children are encouraged to make independent choices over one or more of these aspects at different stages of the process. Children are given aspirational models to follow and to inspire their writing and will be exposed to a number of high quality texts throughout their time in the school, with heritage writers such as Shakespeare and Tennyson and modern authors like Neil Gaiman and Michael Morpurgo equally represented. Using existing texts as a reference point, children will develop the skills to write for a variety of purposes
Our curriculum is designed to support the school’s pursuit of instilling a love of reading within all pupils. The writing curriculum is supported by regular guided reading sessions, which consist of a mixture of whole class and targeted group studies. Our curriculum places an equal importance on the elements of comprehension, such as developing children’s inferential skills and knowledge of themes and conventions, as it does on reading aloud with intonation and expression and children are encouraged to participate in open and critical discussions about what they read.
Speaking and Listening
Central to our curriculum is the belief that success in English is inextricably linked with good speaking and listening skills. In order to promote these, children are provided with meaningful opportunities for drama, performance and collaborative talk during which they have regular opportunities to develop reasoning and thinking skills to express their ideas and listen to the views of others. Some topics will have outcomes that are specifically designed to develop children’s command of spoken word, be this through a presentation to parents, a structured debate or the recording of a script for a radio show or TV documentary.
Taking pride in our presentation in order to communicate our written message effectively is an important aspect of our English provision. Using the Nelson scheme as a guiding principle, children receive weekly taught handwriting sessions with the aim of creating a fluent, legible style that allows them to communicate their thoughts with increasing speed.
Spelling and Grammar
It is our belief that the teaching of spelling and grammar is most effective when taught in context at the point of writing. This is achieved through exploration and probing of high quality textual models during the writing journey. To support their application of common spelling rules, children also take part in twice weekly stand-alone sessions, where an investigative approach is used to further pupil’s understanding of why words are spelt as they are.
Certain texts across our English curriculum have been chosen specifically to complement our provision for PSHE for the concepts and themes that they offer. Titles such as ‘Deadly Letter’, ‘Journey to Jo’burg’ and ‘Holes’ link with our teaching of British Values within school. The school’s library supports this aspect of our curriculum through a designated section of the library, where children can choose titles based on concepts.
Paper Copies of curriculum information are available from the school office. Please ask for Mrs Collins who will be happy to help
Copies of our English curriculum are available to download below: