with a high-quality education in English that will teach them to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. We aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
The curriculum consists of many planned experiences in school and out: lessons, topic days, school council stimulus, assemblies, clubs and sports. Our vibrant and rich curriculum is designed so that the subject specific skills are scaffolded within a cross-curricular theme or context each term. Quality texts are used to enhance the particular topics the children are studying. In order to ensure that progression and balance is maintained, the programmes of study are then developed into medium term plans. Teachers then translate these plans into smaller units – weekly, daily plans where the specific needs of the learners are addressed. We are continuously reflecting on how we assess children’s development and skills and measuring impact on progress and attainment and, as such, teaching is carefully tailored to meet the needs of all the children.
Phonics teaching takes place daily across EYFS and KS1 and all pupils in school will take part in English lessons during morning sessions. A variety of text types and genres are used in lessons where the focus in teaching and learning is on speaking and listening, reading and writing.
Reading is a key tool for life. Teaching children to become excellent readers is a large and exciting part of what we do at St Mary's. We have lots of opportunities for reading exciting books and materials. We use incentive schemes to carefully track progress and practice at home. Each week, parents and carers are encouraged to listen to children read at home and in school we ensure reading books are carefully matched to ability.
Writing is an essential and important part of our curriculum offer at St Mary's. We have lots of wonderful opportunities to inspire pupils, which makes sure they enjoy writing, and excellent teaching and support to ensure children make excellent progress. In EYFS children learn how to hold a pencil correctly and begin to form letters, words and sentences. We explicitly teach cursive handwriting daily and our Handwriting Heroes, every Friday, promote those who have improved their handwriting. We link our writing context to our curriculum topics, finding real life reasons for children’s writing to enthuse them with purpose.