At Holy Family, we believe that literacy and communication are key life skills. Through the English curriculum, we will help children develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language and equip them with the skills to become lifelong learners.
English is at the heart of all children’s learning. English enables children both to communicate with others effectively for a variety of purposes and to examine their own and others’ experiences, feelings and ideas, giving these order and meaning. Because English is central to children’s intellectual, emotional and social development it has an essential role across the curriculum and helps pupils’ learning to be coherent and progressive.
By the time children leave our school, we expect them to communicate through speaking and listening, reading and writing, with confidence, fluency and understanding and in a range of situations. We want every child to take pleasure in reading across a range of genres and have a strong motivation to read for a variety of purposes.
Children at Holy Family are taught to write clearly, accurately and coherently for a range of contexts; write in different styles and for different purposes and audiences; develop a wide vocabulary and a solid understanding of the grammar rules and terminology appropriate for their age group; apply spelling patterns correctly and use neat handwriting. We immerse the children in a rich, creative and carefully planned curriculum so that they are writing for real and engaging purposes. We strive for children to write with confidence and use an increasingly wide range of sophisticated, well-chosen vocabulary. We encourage children to take pride in the presentation of their writing, and develop a neat, joined, handwriting style by the time they leave our school and move to secondary school. We teach children spelling and grammar both discretely and as part of our analysis of texts and provide opportunities for them to apply these skills to their own writing. Units of work are carefully planned which enable children to become proficient in the writing process: planning, drafting and editing their writing to suit the purpose.
At Holy Family, children will have accessed and experienced detailed and precise teaching of all expected spelling and grammar objectives by the end of Key Stage 2. Pupils who spell with ease can concentrate on the content of their writing and the making of meaning. While it is important to remember that spelling is not the most important aspect of writing, confidence in spelling often has a profound effect on the writer’s self-image. Children will be taught to use a range of approaches to learn and spell irregular words and will learn how to proof-read all writing to ensure that spelling is as accurate as possible.
Rather than restricting the subject to the knowledge of the rudiments of writing (the rules of spelling and grammar), we focus on children being able to use the knowledge they have to produce purposeful, well-crafted, creative written work. Central to our philosophy is that writing must be for a purpose, linked tightly to our thematic approach of teaching. At Holy Family we have a ‘Purpose for Writing’ approach. Rather than trying to teach children ten or more different genres or text types (which can actually be used for a variety of purposes), our approach focuses on what those different types have in common: the purpose for writing.
The four purposes to write being taught across KS1 and KS2 are:
Although coverage of the four purposes of writing is prescriptive, the order in which teachers complete them is up to teacher discretion, their knowledge of the curriculum approach and progress of children in their particular year group.
Children at Holy Family will read for interest, information and enjoyment when accessing all areas of the curriculum. Through the breadth and depth that our curriculum offers, children will be equipped with the skills to become lifelong learners and to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety. It leads them to become informed, enthusiastic and skilled readers and writers, who can engage with texts and the world around them, as reflective and independent thinkers. The impact as our children journey through school from EYFS to Year 6 is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferable skills. We are able to measure attainment using the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 national assessments, along with the information provided by teacher assessments for writing, reading and Grammar, punctuation and spelling. 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 develop as they do.