Holy Trinity CE Primary School is committed to providing excellent learning opportunities for all pupils in all arears of the curriculum. Our pupils receive a stimulating and enriching experience in English, developing the skills necessary to master the English Programme of Study.
We believe that developing a love for reading is the first step in a child’s reading journey. Throughout our EYFS provision we expose children to books and storytelling, thus encouraging them to interact with texts and begin to form opinions and questions. This develops as the children progress through the school, with high engagement in reading competitions and book clubs. Children are taught in a language rich environment” where word consciousness is encouraged and promoted. All children receive daily explicit instruction of challenging vocabulary exciting ways that actively involve pupils.
Our writing curriculum is designed to turn enthusiastic readers into writers who keenly express their thoughts, ideas and analyses into texts across a range of genres. Writing is taught using Power of Reading books and high-quality topic related texts. Our aim is for children to leave school being able to write with confidence and accuracy for a variety of purposes and audiences whilst developing their own individual flair.
Through our curriculum, we support children to develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language and equip them with the skills to become lifelong learners.
We teach using the principles of Barack Rosenshine within all lessons and across the whole school. All lessons begin with the essential first step of Rosenshine, to Review, this allows the child to successfully re-address the learning that has already occurred and to understand its application to current and new learning. There is also a focus on small step learning (Rosenshine step 2) which creates a level of familiarity with the work, from a child’s perspective; and gives the time for misconceptions to be addressed. The incorporation of these principles makes English teaching and learning successful. Rosenshine's Principles of Instruction pave a structured pathway through writing as it allows the learner to understand their starting point, the journey they are going on with writing and to produce outstanding work as their final piece.
We follow a clear, sequential curriculum based on the National Curriculum which builds skills in reading progressively through the school. Children receive direct teaching in reading skills as well as a plethora of opportunities to develop and hone these. We create a “language rich” learning environment where reading and books have a high priority and status. We believe that no child should be left behind or become a disenchanted reader so targeted interventions – both group and individual – are deployed appropriately.
Power of Reading developed by The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) is highly regarded classroom-based research and experience of working with teachers. The Power of Reading project combines the use of outstanding books for teachers and children with an approach to teaching the English curriculum that is creative, engaging and develops a love of literacy.
Every Picture Tells A Story
Learning starts with a picture. A stimulus picture sparks interest and curiosity, the more creative the better. The idea is that the picture will illicit an emotive response from the pupils, challenging their thoughts, asking them questions and giving them the opportunity to ask / wonder/ predict what, where, who, why, and when. This can be done through many means:
Targeted questioning enables children to form cohesive responses to the work they’ve been given. Using the previous explorations of the work and using recall questions begins to build confidence and familiarity to shape answers. Using Bloom's Taxonomy aids in the creation of targeted questions and high ordered thinking skills that can be used to focus and enhance the work by building ambitious responses. The use of ambitious sentence openers is important in both verbal and written responses as, again, this creates a sense of ambition in writing that is both creative and at greater depth.
Spelling, punctuation and grammar
We believe children require a secure understanding of spelling, punctuation and grammar to develop a true understanding of English and to be successful, so these concepts are taught discretely within English lessons in engaging ways. Through careful planning, teachers introduce new concepts in relation to the genre that the children are currently studying. These concepts are regularly revisited such as via SPAG mats in KS2 to ensure that they enter the children’s long-term memory.
We feel that children should be able to write with ease, speed and legibility so we follow a consistent approach across the school to the teaching of handwriting.
We strive for every pupil to leave us with the necessary skills to access the reading and vocabulary demands of the secondary curriculum and for them to be successful communicators throughout their lives. We endeavour to ensure that children are able to produce written work in all areas of the curriculum to a similar standard as in their English lessons and can write in a range of genres for a variety of purposes needed in day-to-day life.
We monitor the impact of our teaching of English regularly throughout the year through:
- Seasonal testing using PiXL followed by detailed gap analysis of children’s strengths and development areas to inform teachers’ planning, therapies, and interventions
- Daily oral and/or written feedback with children
- Year group, whole school and trust wide reading and writing moderations
- Detailed quality assurance by year group leaders and senior leaders three times a year incorporating book moderations, lesson observations and pupil conferencing
- Regular lesson drop-ins by the English lead
- Termly pupil progress interviews and data reviews
- Governor monitoring visits