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How English is taught at Arnot St Mary

At Arnot St. Mary we believe our English curriculum should enable our pupils to develop a life-long love of reading, writing and discussion.  It is our intent that all pupils will:

  • 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 and become competent in the arts of speaking and listening  

These aims are embedded across our literacy lessons and the wider curriculum. We will provide the means for children to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. Assessment and review will ensure that we are able to provide targeted support so that all children experience success in English; we believe that a secure basis in English literacy is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.  

At Arnot St Mary we recognise the fundamental importance of improving reading standards for our pupils’ future academic achievements, wellbeing and for their success in life. We strive to teach children to read effectively and quickly using the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme which includes teaching synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary, decoding and encoding words as well as spelling. we want all children to enjoy and experience early success in learning to read.  As children complete the RWI programme they move to Book Talk lessons. Book Talk is used to systematically teach reading knowledge and skills. The hallmark of Book Talk  sessions is children  reading engaging books at an appropriate ability level to develop reading for meaning and oral comprehension techniques.

At Arnot St Mary our English writing curriculum scaffolds children to build self-esteem and enables them to feel the  success of effective writing. Opportunities are exploited to build vocabulary and compensate for less or different life experiences. Our children write for a wide range of purposes confidently and independently; applying text features effectively, using grammar skilfully and the artistic techniques of writing appropriately.

Our Writing curriculum in designed to bring clarity to the mechanics of writing. Children engage with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing. This approach ensures all of our children are exposed to high quality texts that stimulate quality responses to reading, high quality writing and purposeful speaking and listening opportunities. This approach maximises opportunities for rich speaking and drama activities to fuel their imagination and provide experiences that will equip them to become good writers. Teaching blocks focus on fiction, non-fiction or poetry, and comprehension, grammar and writing are embedded in lessons.  The Write Stuff teaching sequences move between engaging experience days and sentence stacking lessons. With modelling at the heart of them, the sentence stacking lessons are broken into bite-sized chunks and taught under the structural framework of The Writing Rainbow. Teachers prepare children for writing by modelling the ideas, grammar or techniques of writing. Sentence Stacking lessons build progressively towards planning and writing an independent extended piece of writing.

Enrichment in English

In order to benefit from the positive impact engaging with authors has on children’s reading for pleasure we maximise opportunities for children to engage with authors through online author events such as the Liverpool Children’s Festival of Reading and sessions offered by publishers and during World Book Day. Engaging with authors in this way inspires us to write as well as it read. Children have the opportunity to visit The Story Barn in Calderstones Park to experience a full day of fun and excitement focused on books.  

CalderstonesWorls Book DayVideo authorY4 writingReadathon

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