The English Curriculum at All Saints’ School has four distinct elements: reading, writing (including spelling, punctuation and grammar), speaking and listening. These essential skills have a very high priority throughout a child’s time at the school and are practiced by the children in all areas of the curriculum.
Drama is an integral tool through which many areas of the curriculum are taught, for example: hot seating in History when a member of the class takes on a role of Florence Nightingale and other pupils have the chance to question "Florence" about her life and experiences. Drama is regularly used as a stimulus for writing, for example: in the Power of Reading, the Year 3 children used dance and role play to be re-enact Egyptian dramas. In RE and PSHE a "conscience alley" is used as a tool to promote tool, discussion and valuing others' opinions.
An hour each day is timetabled specifically for the teaching of literacy. This session includes whole class, independent and group work focusing on a variety of texts, writing, spelling, punctuation, grammar, reading skills and handwriting. Children are given regular opportunities to write in extended contexts in both fiction and non-fiction modules. They will always start modules with a 'cold' piece of writing so the impact of teaching and learning can clearly be seen in end of modular pieces. Writing opportunities are also provided in cross-curricular contexts, for example, Hajj diaries are written in Year 6 RE and cookery instructions are written in DT in Year 4.
At the Nursery/Reception stage when children first enter school, English work builds upon language skills that the children already possess. Children are presented with a rich and vibrant environment full of writing and speech. Writing will be in the form of displayed labels, captions, name tags, children’s work and individual letters. From the earliest days in school all children will be encouraged to recognise and respond to the writing that they see. Handwriting is taught each week. The 'No Nonsense' Phonics Programme has been fully implemented in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 and is taught with consistency throughout these Key Stages and into Key Stage 2, if necessary.
At Key Stage 2 the children are further encouraged to use the wide range of skills that they now possess from their time in Key Stage 1. One such example of building upon prior learning, is the teaching of basic poetry in Year 1 leads to structured poetry writing in Year 3, on to comparing the work of William Wordsworth to that of his sister, Dorothy in Year 6. We also use the children’s experiences and those gained on educational visits as a catalyst for writing.
Our children also participate in regular writing competitions organised both locally and nationally. This gives them a sense of purpose and writing for an audience. These competitions are across a variety of genres .
In all Key Stages, the children are at all times encouraged to speak clearly and listen attentively to both their friends and teachers. Class discussions and debates are a valuable vehicle for allowing children to speak to an audience and developing the skill of listening carefully. Each year, we participate in the Young Speaker of The Year Competition within our cluster.
Reading has a very high profile throughout the school. Each year a substantial amount of money is allocated for reading books and reading materials. There is a well-structured reading scheme which, in Reception and Key Stage 1, has a main base of the Oxford Reading Tree. This is supplemented by a wide variety of other reading material. In Key Stage 2 we follow the Renaissance Reading Programme where children complete a computerised quiz after each book which records their comprehensions skills and provides accurate assessment of their reading level. Children are encouraged to take books home where parents can take an active role in developing reading skills. There is overwhelming evidence to show that where children and parents read regularly together, children progress much more rapidly.
At Key Stage 2 an emphasis is placed on reading for information in support of topic work, as well as reading for pleasure. A large range of fiction books are available in each class.
We hold many events here in school to engage and immerse children in their reading and ensure parents are heavily involved in this also. For example, our annual Reading Evening for parents, highlights the importance of home / school links to improve the level in children’s reading. We also participate in many immersive activities, such as: World Book Day, Poetry Days and have visiting authors in school to work with our children.
Our excellent library provides a collection of information books which are available to all children. We are constantly improving and increasing the stock of library books and are members of the Library Service, which allows us to bring ‘Topic Boxes’ in to school to ensure children are immersed in their topics through reading. We also participate annually in the Summer Reading Challenge through the Library Service