English Curriculum Expectations
We expect all children to learn to speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society. The overarching aim for English is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils to confidently use spoken and written language to communicate, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
Vision for English at Applecroft
At Applecroft School we aim, where possible, to deliver the English curriculum through a thematic approach. Children will be given the opportunity to develop a love of literature and real books, encompassing fiction, non-fiction and poetry, including traditional and classic texts and through this, develop an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. At Applecroft, we aim to develop pupil’s confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills and provide opportunities for all children to participate in classroom discussions, assemblies and drama. Children will be read to regularly each week so that they experience books and texts which may be beyond their own reading capacity.
We want our school to be a place where children are read to, enjoy, discuss and work with high quality books. These ‘essential reads’ would be a store of classics, creating a living library inside a child’s mind. This is the ‘Reading Spine’. We have provided the Pie Corbett reading spine in our classrooms so that children have access to these high quality texts.
Pie Corbett says…
Great books build the imagination. The more we read aloud expressively, and the more children are able to savour, discuss and reinterpret literature through the arts, the more memorable the characters, places and events become, building an inner world. A child who is read to will have an inner kingdom of unicorns, talking spiders and a knife that cuts into other worlds. The mind is like a ‘tardis’; it may seem small but inside there are many mansions. Each great book develops the imagination and equips the reader with language.
Great stories speak to us as individuals and some children will return to certain books again and again. Great stories also build our language because around 75 per cent of our vocabulary comes from our reading. Reading develops the ability to think in the abstract; to follow lines of thought. Schools that have a reading spine, build a common bank of stories that bind the community together. These are shared and deeply imagined common experiences.
Reading Spine books for each year group.
Back on Track English: September 2020
Despite all our best efforts we know most children have missed some key learning in English in the last academic year. Opportunities to discuss, reflect, interact and use immediate feedback are harder to achieve remotely and we know these make a huge difference to children’s learning and progress. We carefully assess all children’s needs as they return to school and focus on key objectives and core skills in the English curriculum. We are using ‘Back on Track’ materials specifically designed to address this. As necessary, we track back so the foundations for core learning are addressed, explored and embedded. Individual children will then be able to access their age appropriate curriculum over the course of the year.
In English we will be using a series of units based around some wonderful books which have been carefully chosen to engage pupils in each year group. We are excited about these new units of work and know the children will feel inspired too. Our first book will be aimed at whole school engagement using the amazing wordless picture book 'Journey' by Aaaron Becker.