At Bedford Primary School, we recognise that the curriculum we deliver is the toolkit we send our children out into the world with. It reflects our context, core values and the kind of citizens we want them to be. We have to be ambitious for them and prepare them for a rapidly changing digital world.
"When I read great literature, great drama or speeches I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings
and thoughts through language."
James Earl Jones
The skills of a great student of English:
- A strong command of spoken language underpins the development of vocabulary, grammar and the understand needed for effective reading and writing so confidence and competence in this aspect of English is key.
- The ability to be imaginative, listen carefully, think creatively and express themselves clearly through the conventions of discussion and debate refines ideas and understanding.
- Ease and fluency in reading are also essential for children are to gain enjoyment from reading widely and often, for pleasure or information.
- A good writer has stamina and a good understanding of purpose and audience and uses this knowledge to adapt their style, flair and language choices. Proof-reading and editing are habitually used to evaluate the impact of each piece
Throughout the subject of English, our pupils will also demonstrate additional traits from our Bedford Learner Profile including resilience, adaptability, ambition, digital citizenship, effective teamwork and the ability to learn through and from mistakes.
Our vision for English:
At Bedford Primary we aim to foster an engaging and accessible for all curriculum that ensures all children have access to a rich, deep, varied and enjoyable English experience.
We believe that a high quality English education is essential. We aim for our children to hear quality and a variety of language which they can then use in their own vocabulary, to develop a love of reading, to be inspired by texts and use their knowledge to help develop their imaginations, to be able to read fluently and understand what they are reading and have good speaking and listening skills
Our English Curriculum:
At Bedford we have drawn upon a range of different sources to support in creating our English curriculum. We are constantly reviewing and evaluating our learning journey to ensure we have an inspiring English curriculum which supports the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum.
In order to achieve very high standards in reading, each child in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 participate in a daily discrete phonic session following the Read Write Inc Phonics scheme. This is a structured programme, designed to ensure all children learn to read accurately and fluently. We are committed to working closely with our consultant, from Ruth Miskin's team, to ensure staff development and our fidelity when delivering the programme remain a priority.
With Read Write Inc, children experience success from the very beginning as they start to blend and build words after just a few initial sounds have been taught. Lively, decodable phonic books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words. Throughout the week, as children re-read the stories, their fluency, confidence and independence increase. Carefully planned prompts for 'thinking out loud', developing vocabulary and discussion work together to help children find and read with their own 'storyteller voice'.
When children complete the Read Write Inc Phonic programme in Year 2, they move on to the Read Write Inc Spelling Programme. Any children who are not at this stage in Year 2, continue to receive daily discrete phonic sessions. To further consolidate knowledge gained in Key Stage 1, targeted phonic intervention may also be offered to individual or small groups of children in Key Stage 2.
For information and tutorials on how to support your child learning to read go to: http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/parents/
At Bedford, our approach to reading is driven by an unrelenting determination that every child will learn to read fluently and with confidence. Reading is essential for acquiring knowledge and building upon what is already known. Reading also gives pupils the invaluable opportunity to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Alongside exposure to a range of high quality literature across all subjects, a curriculum that promotes curiosity, a love of books and the desire to discover more is key to this development. Teachers have chosen high-quality texts as the main focus for English lessons to ensure that all children are exposed to a wide range of high quality literature. Children also complete guided reading sessions which exposes them to more high quality literature. In KS1 children complete guided reading in groups and complete sessions with an adult at least once a week. In the sessions they are not working with an adult they are completing follow up tasks and reading activities related to the texts they have been reading. In KS2 children complete whole class guided reading sessions at least four times a week. Teachers ensure that guided reading focus texts include: fiction extracts, non-fiction texts, poetry and song lyrics to ensure our children are exposed to a high-quality, varied and diverse diet.
During English lessons, children are exposed to high quality texts. Teachers have worked with our English consultant Maddy Barnes to plan writing journeys linked to the focus text. These writing journeys are carefully planned to show progression throughout the journey and to ensure children are given the opportunity to write extended pieces of writing using a wide range of fiction and non-fiction genres. Children often complete short bursts of writing and use carefully constructed planning grids to support them in completing extended pieces of writing. Additionally, year group appropriate grammar objectives are taught explicitly and linked to the type of writing the children are focussing on. Teachers have worked hard to ensure children have a clear understanding of the purpose of the writing and the intended audience to ensure children are always thinking about their author voice and appealing to their audience. Once an extended piece of writing has been completed, children are given an additional session to proof read and edit their writing. These skills are often difficult for children to complete and teachers are beginning to explicitly teach the skills needed.
Bedford Reading Spine
Our English lessons are text driven and each year group has key focus texts which children explore. Teachers then skillfully plan writing opportunities based around the text. Our reading spine contains texts children are exposed to during English lessons and texts chosen to read aloud for pleasure. This year we are working hard to develop and adapt our reading spine to not only ensure we are exposing our children to new and current texts but also ensure that our children are accessing a diverse range of literature.
English Progression Maps
Following the National curriculum objectives, we have created progression maps for each year group to outline key skills that need to be taught.
The most important thing you can do at home to support your child with English is to read, read and read some more. While it is vital that your child reads the book they are sent home with to you, it is just as important for you to share different books with them at home. It would be great for children to have special time with parents while you share a book they have chosen together, either with both of you reading some or adults just reading it to the children. This will help children to develop their vocabulary but will also hopefully give your children a love of reading. Bootle Library is a great resource for allowing children to choose a wide range of books.