At Chesham we believe that the study of English develops children’s abilities to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of audiences and purposes. Using language helps children to learn and communicate ideas, views and feelings. It enables children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts. Through our English curriculum children will gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins, whilst also using their knowledge, skills and understanding in speaking and writing across a range of different situations.
At our school the aims of our English curriculum are:
- To enable children to speak clearly and audibly in ways which take account of their listeners.
- To encourage children to listen with concentration in order to be able to identify the main points of what they have heard.
- To enable children to adapt their speech to a wide range of circumstances and demands.
- To develop children’s abilities to reflect on their own and others contributions and the language used.
- To enable children to evaluate their own and others contributions through a range of differentiated activities.
- To develop confident, independent readers through an appropriate focus on word sentence and text level knowledge.
- To encourage children to become enthusiastic and reflective readers through contact with challenging and lengthy texts.
- To help children enjoy writing and recognise its value.
- To enable children to write with accuracy and meaning in narrative and non-fiction.
- To increase children’s ability to use planning, drafting and editing to improve their work
Use the tabs below to explore each aspect of our English curriculum.
At Chesham Primary School, we believe that following a systematic synthetic phonics programme from the very beginning of formal education enables our children to have the necessary skills to begin their journey as readers and writers. We use the ' Bug Club Phonics' accredited scheme, to support our delivery. This also aligns with our reading book scheme, to ensure that children are reading books which enhances their knowledge of phonics in context. The teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Phonics is also continued in KS2 with targeted interventions ensuring a secure understanding of phonics to support reading and spelling.
End of year expectations:
-By the end of Reception, our pupils will have acquired the skills to blend and segment words to read and write simple sentences.
-During year one, children consolidate previous learning, learn new content and practise and apply what they have learnt in segmenting and blending.
-In year two, time is spent further revising these key skills so that children are able to tackle the demands of reading more challenging texts and learning more complex spelling patterns.
At Chesham, we believe that reading is fundamental to success in all areas of the curriculum and by the end of year 6 we strive to ensure that all children are able to read fluently and confidently. We aim to use a variety of approaches and a wealth of inspiring literature that will engage every child with the "Power of Reading" as our main scheme base.
Through our reading approach we aim to:
- enable pupils to develop the skills in which to decode and recognise printed words from early years and to develop a range of understanding through a diverse range of literature from stories, poems and non- fiction.
- encourage children to read widely to enable them to understand and appreciate the world they live in and foster an imagination that extends every child.
- encourage children to read independently.
- ensure exposure to a rich book led curriculum that motivates and inspires.
- provide a reading programme that matches every child’s needs and results in an enthusiasm to read for pleasure more widely.
- raise pupils’ levels of attainment/achievement in reading throughout the school.
- enable children to become fluent readers when reading for a range of audiences.
- read regularly at home with close home/school relationships and support.
- develop an ability to comprehend texts and foster a range of skills to understand, deduce and interpret their knowledge.
- appreciate, through reading, the feelings and cultural experiences of others.
- develop awareness of different types of texts.
- understand the language terms used in the structure of the English Language.
At Chesham we believe in providing children with a range of different opportunities to write across the curriculum. Within our English lessons our intent is to teach children the necessary skills to become confident and fluent writers. When children enter our Reception class they begin their writing journey, starting to learn how to write individual letters and words, which turn into captions and sentences as the year progresses.
By the end of KS1, children are writing their own full texts, developing a continuous cursive style of handwriting and starting to select precise vocabulary to interest the reader. Across Lower KS2 children consolidate their handwriting style, develop an understanding of controlling paragraphs and vary the types of sentences and language that they apply to different text types.
By the end of KS2, we aim for our children to be confident writers who can independently select different text types for different audiences and purposes.
Through our writing curriculum we aim to:
- enable children to become successful writers by the end of year 6, where they write for a reason and to be able to share with different audiences.
- engage all children in the process of writing where planning, drafting, editing and polishing all hold an important place in the writing process.
- ensure that all pupils have equal access to a writing programme.
- raise pupils’ levels of attainment/achievement in writing throughout the school.
- enable children to be inspired to write from a wealth of stimuli in a broad range of areas that incorporates the whole Curriculum.
- develop awareness of different types of writing genres and their purposes.
- understand and use the language terms used in the structure of the English Language.
- ensure pupils are able to write for a reason, which is linked to a literature rich environment.
- enable al pupils to be involved in the whole writing process where they can plan, draft, edit and polish their work.
- develop the confidence to use their imagination to express the feelings of themselves and others through their writing.
- express their viewpoints on relevant issues and ideas.
At Chesham children should be taught the importance of grammar and punctuation and how it is fundamental to the success of learning to become a well -equipped writer. In each year of learning, children should be taught through specific teaching the specifics of these and be provided with many opportunities to use these in the curriculum to acquire mastery.
We also believe that spelling should be valued throughout school, as the ability to be able to spell correctly is an essential life skill and one that society demands. The English Language is not a regular language but is systematic and patterned. Therefore the children should be taught the patterns of spelling and how these have links to new words. Spelling should be a fundamental skill that is taught as part of the daily lesson and consolidated through handwriting and vocabulary lessons.
We intend to ensure all pupils:
- Are able to develop into successful, confident spellers, who are equipped with a range of strategies to make phonically plausible attempts at unknown words.
- Who experience difficulties in spelling are provided with the necessary support and intervention.
- Can communicate effectively and fluently using spoken and written English.
- Have a good understanding of grammar and linguistic conventions for writing;
- Can adapt their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences using their knowledge of spelling, punctuation and grammar.
We aim to provide children with a curriculum rich vocabulary that immerses them with the power of words that is vital to understand and explain the world around them. Vocabulary should be actively taught on a daily basis to build upon current knowledge and there should be opportunities to use these words in the spoken and written format. The breadth of a reading rich vocabulary should allow children to naturally acquire words which they can share and use throughout the curriculum. By the end of year 6 the children should have a bank of vocabulary that they are proficient in using correctly using the spoken and written word.
Through our curriculum we aim to ensure that all children:
- Are immersed in rich and new vocabulary daily during reading sessions and in whole class discussion.
- Are able to be taught the meanings of these words in context and can look at nuances of meaning through direct instruction.
- Can naturally broaden their vocabulary due to an exposure to a reading rich curriculum, where there is an emphasis is on reading for pleasure.
- Are exposed to vocabulary within the classroom and school environment visually on displays.
At Chesham we believe that speaking and listening is central to learning, culture and life. Essential to this is allowing children to express their opinions, articulate feelings and listen to and respond appropriately in a range of situations. Chesham provides these opportunities through a broad, rich and diverse curriculum.
We aim to:
- Cultivate successful, confident speakers and listeners who are equipped for life
- Raise standards in writing and communication through focused use of speaking and listening across the curriculum.
We intend to ensure all pupils::
- Are given a range of opportunities to hear and use good quality and adventurous vocabulary, focusing also on variety.
- Are encouraged to ask questions, discuss in pairs, groups or as a whole class debate to enable them to become confident and articulate learners
- Are able to use drama as a valuable medium for speaking and listening skills whenever possible
- Are subject to correct Standard English being modelled by teachers and teaching assistants.
- To ensure that all pupils have equal access to speaking and listening opportunities, throughout all subjects.
- Levels of attainment/achievement in speaking and listening are raised throughout the school.
- Be aware of, and meet the needs of children with English as an additional language of children with speech and language difficulties
At Chesham, we believe that automaticity in handwriting helps us write improved content; and handwriting helps us to learn what we write. Automaticity means being able to write and create letters without needing to think about the act of writing the letters themselves. Instead, we are able to give cognitive attention to the content of what we are writing. Writing letters by hand helps young learners to develop their phonological awareness and phonic skills. For older children, the act of writing notes by hand helps fix ideas in their minds. Expectations of neat handwriting help the school to show it is setting high standards in general and of presentation in particular.
We intend to ensure:
- All pupils undertake purposeful handwriting every day.
- A focus on mastering correct spelling is developed through the handwriting process.
- We enable pupils to discover letter shapes and movements from Foundation Stage, which can then be developed in to making letters in connected form.
- We model to children how to join their writing from the beginning of year 2 or as soon as they can form letters securely with the correct orientation..
- We encourage the children to join their writing, in all their writing, as soon as they have been taught these joins in order to develop fluency and increased speed in writing.
- That specific attention to pencil control, pencil grip and posture are being taught explicitly.
- We strive for good handwriting skills to be evident in all independent writing, and not just in handwriting lessons. All teachers and support staff should have high expectations for the quality of work that is produced by every child.
- That all teachers and support staff should model writing using our preferred handwriting scheme.