English at Christ Church

The Christian faith is at the heart of our school community.

At Christ Church we all care, learn and work together for God and others.

For we are all God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do’. Ephesians 2:10

Our Christian Values are

Creation, Community, Endurance, Thankfulness, Reconciliation, Wisdom

Intent

At Christ Church we know that a rich, quality English curriculum will develop children’s love of reading, writing and spoken language. We want to inspire children to be confident writers, readers and to have strengths in the art of speaking and listening. We give our children a foundation in strong literacy skills that they will use today and for the rest of their lives. The primary aim is to develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. We aim to provide our children with ability to progress through the primary curriculum and beyond. We want our children to leave Christ Church with a passion for reading, writing and creativity and for every child to be equipped with key literacy skills and knowledge they can apply in adulthood.

Implementation

These aims are embedded across our daily literacy lessons and through a cross curricular approach with all subjects. We provide a high quality English curriculum that provides our children with meaningful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. We use a plethora of quality texts to motivate and inspire our children. Our teachers ensure that we forge strong cross curricular links with topic work, which are closely woven into our programme of study. Our teachers plan and teach inspiring English lessons which are differentiated for the needs of each child in their class.

Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014.

The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
● 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.

Literacy is celebrated and promoted across our school through bright and engaging writing and reading displays, engaging reading areas and daily opportunities for reading and writing. Daily reading is strongly promoted through the ethos in our school and Home Reader Books are monitored closely to ensure pupils are supported at home as well as at school. Each child in our school has a one to one reading session with a school adult at least once a week and teacher led Guided Reading sessions are taught daily.  This ethos of reading is additionally supported by whole class reading, shared reading, independent reading and paired reading across the school.

Each class will enjoy being read to from a class book every day.

We have implemented an effective Marking and Feedback policy to provide our children with regular opportunities to edit and improve their writing whilst providing them with the skills required to edit that they can transfer into adulthood. Writing is celebrated through writing displays, ‘Wow Work’ walls, ‘Sunshine Sentences’ and ‘Presentation Stars’ to ensure children take pride in their work and achievements are praised.

At Christ Church we quickly identify children who require additional support and provide effective interventions. We run daily reading interventions across our key stages to give additional support for children to help them close the gap. Our Senior Leadership Team run daily phonics interventions for Year 1 pupils. We run phonics and reading workshops to provide our parents with additional resources and information to equip them with the tools to support their child at home. We provide extra resources for our Year 2 and Year 6 parents to support their child through SATS and our teachers and Senior Leadership Team lead literacy boosters for our Year 5 and 6 pupils. There is a daily ‘Stay and Read’ project each morning to encourage parents and carers to spend time reading with their child.

We have formed strong links with The Hall, an esteemed independent school, and have weekly drama sessions led by their drama specialist for pupils across the key stages. They also provide cross curricular enrichment days. Our teachers have worked closely with the drama specialist to ensure these sessions are intertwined with each class’s literacy topics. Through role play, hot seating, freeze frames and performance in these sessions this has further embedded pupils’ understanding of a text, engagement in their topics and as a result has enhanced their writing, whilst developing and improving pupil’s oracy skills. We have worked with the Camden Oracy Hub to enhance pupil’s language and vocabulary and we have embedded speaking and listening skills across our curriculum.

Additionally, we work closely with Beanstalk and we have weekly trained volunteers who provide one to one literacy support for children who require extra help with their reading. We are also lucky enough to have excellent parent volunteers who read weekly with Key Stage One pupils. We work annually with the National Literacy Trust and run three successful and engaging reading events for 90 pupils every year. The children each receive three brand new books and participate in reading events which include poetry performances, drama and storytelling workshops. To further promote a love of reading at Christ Church every class runs a free library service for their pupils so they can choose any text to read alongside their leveled home reader books. Each class has daily story time so our children are exposed to a rich variety of texts and our teachers can model the art of storytelling.  In addition, our literacy curriculum is enhanced through World Book Day, Book Fairs, Sponsored Reads, Weekly Spelling Tests, Reading and Writing competitions and a range of trips and visits which enrich and compliment the children’s learning.

Early Reading

High quality teaching of early reading and phonics underpins our children’s journey as they develop their literacy skills and knowledge. The teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics is taught daily from Nursery through to Key Stage One following the Letters and Sounds scheme of work. Extra, daily support is provided to those in Year 2 who have not passed phonics screening in Year 1 and interventions are planned for those children who are working below expected levels. Staff systematically teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. Pupils have regular reading sessions with an adult we ensure the pupils are regularly practising and applying their phonics knowledge. In the EYFS the continuous provision matches the pupil’s current knowledge and understanding whilst ensuring the children are suitable challenged. Teachers regularly assess the pupil’s phonetic knowledge using the phonics assessment and Reading Early Learning Goal (in EYFS). These regular assessments inform planning and allow teachers to identify any gaps in learning. The children have two weekly reading books appropriate for their reading level and, additionally, every child is given a phonetically decodable book each week alongside their home reader books.

Impact

At Christ Church the impact of our high quality English provision on our children is clear, we have a school community of enthusiastic and confident readers, writers, story tellers, performers and public speakers. Outcomes in English and across the curriculum show clear progression; children’s language, vocabulary and literacy skills are enhanced and improved across the key stages. Each and every child is provided with the tools to succeed. Children of all abilities achieve in all lessons and a love of literacy is entrenched in the ethos and culture of our school community. The most disadvantaged children and children with SEND are given the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. All children are taught a broad, rich curriculum and achieve success in examinations and tests. We hope that as children move on from us to further their education and learning that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and flourish.