Since December 2019, pupils at Stuart Road Primary Academy have been experiencing a new and exciting approach to learning English. We have a revised clear, comprehensive and cohesive programme for delivering the English National Curriculum. Under our new approach, children's knowledge, skills and understanding are widened and deepened over their primary school experience; as they journey through the key stages, their central learning remains the same, but their radius widens. Through this structured and sequenced design, children are well equipped with the tools they need to succeed in school and later in life.

Our English curriculum supports children's progress and depth of understanding in a number of ways: it is carefully designed in a sequential way, making sure that learning is revisited and embedded not only within a term or year, but also over a key stage; inter- and intra- curricular links are used to encourage connected learning; and children are provided with a range of rich, experiential learning opportunities which both inspire and challenge.

Our English curriculum encompasses all of the National Curriculum objectives in a clear and structured way. It is divided into strands which each follow a journey from Y1-Y6. Writing is divided into 5 strands: Transcription, Grammar & Punctuation, Language & Vocabulary, Text Structure & Features, and Plan, Draft & Edit. 

Across key stages 1 and 2, objectives are standardised in each year group. This ensures that learning is correctly sequenced, the level is appropriate, and objectives are revisited and embedded a number of times both within and across key stages.

To ensure coverage of the English curriculum, learning is delivered through “mini missions” which combine a small number of subject areas and provide a context for all learning. English is at the heart of each mini mission and writing is woven through every theme. Each mini-mission lasts between 2-4 weeks to ensure coverage is broad and balanced across the year and to offer a rich variety of opportunities for writing. 

All English objectives are revisited multiple times within and across key stages, ensuring that the learning sequence is correct and that children are always building on and embedding previous knowledge and understanding. Pupils are given frequent opportunities to revisit previous learning in different and new contexts thereby allowing for greater depth of understanding.

English Knowledge Organisers are used to provide direction around what children should know, remember and understand by the end of any given mini-mission. In addition, key vocabulary is provided to ensure that children are exposed to a language-rich environment and that they develop a strong grasp of subject-specific vocabulary. A greater emphasis is placed on spoken English and oracy skills, with children being taught to discuss, present and debate. 

Along side these skills based sessions, we are also ensuring that the English curriculum is rich and varied for your child. They will have lots of 'real life' opportunities to write and will engage with quality texts to ensure they have good ideas for their writing.  Reluctant writers are supported through our mindsets approach and by finding the right stimulus e.g. writing a graphic novel or a script for a short film.

High Frequency Words

Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 children learn to read, write and spell a considerable number of High Frequency Words. The teaching of the high frequency words is linked to the teaching of phonics. It is expected that pupils in KS2 consistently spell HFW correctly, therefore, we would greatly appreciate parental support with the learning of these words. 

We support the DFE's assertion that all children from Y2 up should join their handwriting 'fuently and legibly' by developing a new handwriting policy.  This policy clearly signposts the steps needed to allow all children to write in a cursive style; beginning with pre-cursive in reception and year one, allowing children to naturally begin joining in Y2.  A copy of the policy and some practise sheets can be found below.  

If you would like any help or advice about how to develop your child's or your own knowledge of the English curriculum please see me (Mrs Hannon) or your child's teacher.

Mrs Hannon

English Coordinator