At Town Farm we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop pupils’ love of reading, writing, speaking and listening. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum which provides many purposeful opportunities for this. Our curriculum is informed by, but not limited to the Power of Reading scheme and the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014 to enable all pupils to:
read easily, fluently and with good understanding
develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
These aims are embedded across English lessons and the wider curriculum. We provide the means for pupils to develop a secure knowledge base, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. Rigorous assessment and review enable us to provide targeted support so that all pupils experience success; we believe that a secure foundation of literacy skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our pupils the transferrable skills they need to participate fully as a member of society.
The curriculum is sequenced to ensure progression in skills and knowledge from the EYFS, following ‘Development Matters’ guidance until pupils leave us at the end of key stage 2. When planning sequences of literacy lessons, teachers make links to other areas of the curriculum to ensure that cross curricular links provide further context for learning. Teaching blocks cover fiction, non-fiction or poetry, in line with the 2014 National Curriculum and comprehension, grammar and writing are embedded in lessons. Lesson sequences themselves build progressively towards an extended piece of writing through a cycle of immerse, imitate, invent.
Early reading and the acquisition of phonics is supported through the Read Write Inc scheme. Regular training and development opportunities ensure that staff are equipped to teach with the expertise and skills required to promote excellent progress. When pupils have completed the RWI programme, they develop deeper reading skills through our complimentary schemes of work. Each class’s timetable is organised to enable weekly access to the library, with a broad selection of books to provide quality reading materials for all pupils to promote reading for enjoyment. Each classroom has a reading corner with a selection of books which are regularly refreshed. Regular reading is rewarded through the book vending machines, where pupils can choose a brand new free book to take home.
Handwriting is also taught within English lessons, and publishing in KS2 are handwritten in pen in their English books to promote a high level of pride and presentation across all written outcomes.
To enrich the English curriculum, the school arranges visits from writers and book illustrators from the local and wider community as inspirational role models. Significant annual dates are scheduled within the curriculum to offer enrichment opportunities, for example Roald Dahl day and poetry and creative writing competitions.
Assessment for Learning is embedded in English lessons and pupils are active in reviewing the successes in their work and identifying, with support from their teacher and peers, target areas for development to ensure a continuous and individualised approach to improving their work.
The organisation of the English curriculum has realised a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing English knowledge and skills. Pupils are confident discussing and share their ideas. Outcomes of work in both literacy and topic books evidence the high quality of work and the impact of varied and cross curricular writing opportunities. These enable pupils to write across a range of forms and adapt their writing successfully, considering the purpose.
Pupils achieve well in national testing and surpass national outcomes at the end of key stages 1 and 2.