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English

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English Curriculum

In English, our primary goal is to cultivate a deep appreciation for language in children. We aim to engage their minds, nurture their individuality, ignite their creativity, and encourage excellence in expression, whether through written or spoken word. To achieve this, we offer a dynamic and challenging curriculum designed to provide your child with a diverse range of learning experiences that are both stimulating and enjoyable.

 

Here are some of the enriching experiences your child will encounter while studying English:

1. Weekly Library Lessons: From Reception to Year 8, children will participate in weekly library lessons. These sessions help children explore various books, foster enthusiasm for their reading selections, encourage active reading, and teach essential library skills.

2. Competitions and Awards: Throughout the year, we actively engage in various competitions, including story writing and poetry contests. These competitions offer children meaningful incentives for their writing efforts and have a track record of success.

3. Book Week and Author Days: During special events like Book Week and Author Days, children have the opportunity to dress up as their favourite literary characters. Throughout these themed weeks, assemblies and lesson plans are tailored to inspire children to expand their reading horizons.

4. Debating: We also introduce children to the art of debating, equipping them with valuable skills in persuasive communication and critical thinking.

Our English program is designed to foster a lifelong love of language and learning, promoting the development of well-rounded and expressive individuals.

The English curriculum in the Pre-Prep at our school changes annually to align with the evolving interests and passions of our young learners.

Reception

In Reception, we emphasize communication and language as one of the three prime areas in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This involves creating a rich language environment to boost children's confidence and skills in expressing themselves, speaking, and listening across various situations.

Reading instruction comprises systematic daily focused phonic sessions, encompassing high-frequency word recognition, phonetically decodable words, and those with irregular spelling. Children engage in reading from carefully selected books that align closely with their phonics knowledge.

To instil a love of literature, we dedicate time to daily reading of stories and poetry. We believe this not only fosters a passion for reading but also nurtures language development.

To encourage purposeful writing, we provide exciting ideas and inspirations that allow children to integrate writing into their play. They also learn correct pencil grip and posture, use phonic knowledge to write words matching their spoken sounds, and gradually progress to composing simple sentences with both correctly spelled and phonetically plausible words.

Year 1

Reading:

  • Apply phonic knowledge to swiftly respond with the correct sound to graphemes and blend sounds in unfamiliar words.

  • Read common exception words, noting any unusual spelling-sound correspondences.

  • Read books that align with their developing phonic knowledge with accuracy, building fluency and confidence.

  • Develop comprehension skills, including checking text comprehension, discussing titles and events, understanding word meanings, making inferences, and predicting outcomes based on the reading.

Writing:

  • Spell words containing over 40 phonemes, including days of the week and common exception words.

  • Recognize letter names and differentiate between letter names and letter sounds.

  • Apply basic spelling rules, including adding -s or -es.

  • Form lowercase letters, capital letters, and digits correctly.

  • Orally compose sentences before writing, sequence them for short narratives, and read their writing aloud clearly.

  • Punctuate sentences with appropriate marks and use capital letters appropriately.

  • Incorporate finger spaces between words.

  • Use coordinating conjunctions to extend ideas (e.g., and, because, but).

Year 2

  • Implement a range of spelling strategies, including word families, prefixes, suffixes, and identifying smaller words within words.

  • Write neatly in a cursive script with letters of regular size and shape.

  • Read more complex texts, focusing on the relationship between punctuation, sentence structure, intonation, and emphasis.

  • Use inference and deduction skills for analysis.

  • Confidently utilize a thesaurus and dictionary to check spellings and expand vocabulary.

  • Apply exclamation marks, speech marks, and commas correctly.

  • Hone proofreading and editing skills for greater writing independence.

Year 3

In Year 3, we further nurture pupils' love of reading through shared "set texts" that serve as the foundation for various topic-based work. These texts change yearly based on the children's interests and the topics studied. Examples include Traditional Tales and Fables, Mama Panjas Pancakes, Beowulf, works by Roald Dahl, and poetry by A.A. Milne.

Key skills covered in Year 3 encompass:

  • Developing creative and non-fiction writing across various genres, such as letters, poems, playscripts, diaries, reports, and descriptive writing.

  • Enhancing fluency and expression, deepening phonic skills for word decoding.

  • Understanding and using nouns, adjectives, verbs, question marks, speech marks, plurals, adjectival phrases, and more.

  • Advancing proofreading abilities.

  • Refining cursive handwriting for legibility and consistency.

Year 4

In Year 4, our reading materials continue to evolve, reflecting the children's interests and the topics covered. Examples of texts may include:

  • "Kensuke's Kingdom" by Michael Morpurgo

  • "The Lion and the Unicorn" by Shirley Hughes

  • Poetry by Robert Louis Stevenson

  • Greek myths and legends

  • "Varjak Paw" by S.F. Said

  • "Iron Man" by Ted Hughes

Key skills emphasized during this year include:

  • Non-fiction writing, encompassing diary recounts, letters, and fact files.

  • Grammar and Punctuation: Covering topics such as verbs, adverbs, verb tenses, plurals, speech marks, apostrophes, conjunctions, and prepositions.

  • Creative writing, including genres like myths and legends, poetry, and plays.

  • Developing inference skills and providing reasons for answers.

  • Reading fluently and expressively, with exposure to various genres.

Year 5

In Year 5, we select set texts annually, which may include titles like:

  • "Journey to Jo'burg" by Beverley Naidoo

  • "The BFG" by Roald Dahl

  • "Street Child" by Berlie Doherty

  • "Shackleton's Journey" by William Gill

  • "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes

  • "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio

Key skills covered in Year 5 encompass:

  • Poetry, focusing on literary devices like personification, alliteration, rhyme, simile, and metaphor, along with performance poetry and Classical and narrative poetry.

  • Non-fiction writing, including instructions, biographical recounts, newspaper reports, letters, and diaries.

  • Prose writing, with an emphasis on character development, strong openings and endings, and stories with unexpected twists.

  • Grammar topics include complex sentence construction, subject-predicate relationships, homophones, parts of speech revision, and speech marks.

  • Spelling: Revisiting fundamental rules and learning various prefixes and suffixes.

  • Developing reading fluency, comprehension, and the beginnings of formal comprehension paper strategies.

Year 6

Set texts continue to change yearly in Year 6, with examples like:

  • "Dirty Beasts" by Roald Dahl

  • "Macbeth" by William Shakespeare

  • "Skellig" by David Almond

  • "Goodnight Mr Tom" by Michelle Magorian

  • "The Philosopher's Stone" by J.K. Rowling

Key skills emphasized in Year 6 include:

  • Advancing comprehension skills, enabling pupils to independently answer formal comprehension papers with their words and quotations.

  • Creative writing, focusing on powerful settings, captivating beginnings and endings, character feelings, sensory descriptions, plot and theme development, memory utilization in storytelling, tension creation, diary writing, and stories with time shifts.

  • Grammar and punctuation revision, including hyphens, pronouns, prepositions, direct speech, and parts of speech.

  • Spelling: A structured program of revision and introduction of new words, along with regular dictations.

  • Non-fiction writing, encompassing persuasive writing, non-chronological reports, letters, reviews, and recounts.

Year 7

Set texts for Year 7 may include titles such as:

  • "Boy" by Roald Dahl

  • "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare

  • "The Philosopher's Stone" by J.K. Rowling

  • "War Horse" by Michael Morpurgo

Key skills covered in Year 7 encompass:

  • Creative writing, exploring the use of 'conflict' in storytelling, stories with unexpected twists, descriptive writing, diary entries, and poetry.

  • Poetry: Delving into irony, sonnets, iambic pentameter, and various poetic techniques.

  • Non-fiction: Persuasive writing, newspaper articles, biographical writing, reviews, speech writing, advertisements, letters, and articles.

  • Grammar: Pronouns, prepositions, direct speech, apostrophes, complex sentences, clauses, and higher-level punctuation such as colons, semicolons, ellipsis, and multiple commas.

  • Spelling: Continued structured revision and the introduction of new words, along with regular dictations.

Year 8

Year 8 introduces set texts chosen annually, which may include titles like:

  • "The Landlady" by Roald Dahl

  • War Poetry by a selection of poets

  • "Journey to Jo'Burg" by Beverley Naidoo

  • "Romeo & Juliet" by William Shakespeare

Key skills emphasised in Year 8, in addition to revision, encompass:

  • Creative writing, focusing on descriptive language, second-person narration, future tense, engaging beginnings, endings, autobiographical writing, and performing poetry.

  • Non-fiction: Letter writing (including formal letters of complaint), persuasive writing, speech writing, and article writing.

  • Poetry: Delving into meter, iambic pentameter, simile, metaphor, structure, and poetic devices and their effects.

  • Grammar: Mastery of punctuation conventions in poetry and letters, proper use of quotations, colons, semicolons, and more.

  • Spelling: Following a structured program of revision and introducing new words, along with regular dictations.

Contribution to Spiritual, Moral, Social, and Cultural Education:

The English curriculum plays a pivotal role in fostering spiritual, moral, social, and cultural education through various means, including:

  • Cultivating creativity through imagination, language, perseverance, collaboration, risk-taking, and spontaneity.

  • Exploring diverse texts from different cultures.

  • Examining moral dilemmas within literary characters' stories.

  • Engaging with religious concepts in texts.

  • Encouraging pupils to view the world from new perspectives, often through poetry, leading to the discovery of new meanings and insights.

  • Developing aesthetic appreciation through connections with art and music.

  • Teaching collaboration and teamwork.

  • Exploring moods and their creation in writing.

  • Sharing non-fiction texts on current themes and issues in the news and media.

  • Performing poetry for various audiences.

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