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ENGLISH

ENGLISH CURRICULUM

In English, we aim to foster in children a love of language, to stimulate the mind and encourage individuality, creativity and excellence of expression in all areas of written and oral work. With this as our aim, we provide a challenging and varied curriculum, ensuring that your child benefits from a wide range of learning experiences that challenge and encourage, and are both stimulating and fun. Some of the experiences that your child will be part of as they study English are:  


  • Weekly library lessons for Reception - Year 8, in which children learn to explore different books, children enthuse about the books that they are reading, they are heard to read and they are taught specific library skills.  

  • Competitions and Awards: from story writing through to poetry, we enter several competitions throughout the year, which give children a real purpose for writing and in which they enjoy notable success.   

  • Book week and Author days: children dress up as their favourite literary characters.  During this week, assemblies and schemes of work are specifically focussed to inspire the children to extend their breadth of reading.   

  • Debating: children learn the art of debating.

Pre-Prep

The English curriculum in the Pre-Prep changes each year as it reflects the interests and enthusiasms of the children.  

  

Reception

In Reception, communication and language is one of the three prime areas in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment. This develops their confidence and skills in expressing themselves and in their ability to speak and listen in a range of situations. 

Reading involves systematic daily focused phonic sessions. High frequency word recognition includes words that are phonetically decodable and those with irregular spelling. Children read out loud from carefully selected books that closely match their phonic knowledge.

Daily reading of stories and poetry helps to instil a love of literature in children. 

In order to encourage the willingness and desire to write, children need to be interested and motivated by opportunities for purposeful writing. Exciting ideas and inspirations allow children to write as part of their play. 

Children are taught the correct pencil grip and how to sit correctly at a table. They learn to use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways that match their spoken sounds and learn to write some irregular words. As their confidence develops, they begin to write simple sentences that can be read by themselves, some of the words being spelt correctly and others phonically plausible. 

 

Year 1

Reading: 

  • Use their phonic knowledge to respond speedily with the correct sound to graphemes and use this knowledge to blend sounds in unfamiliar words.   

  • Read common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound when these occur in the word.   

  • Read aloud accurately books that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and re-read these books to build up their fluency and develop their confidence in word reading.   

  • Develop their understanding of the books that they are reading, and those that are read to them by; checking the text makes sense and correcting inaccurate reading, discussing the significance of the title and events, discussing word meanings, linking what they read to their own experiences, making inferences on the basis of what is being said and done and predicting what might happen based on what has been read so far.

 

Writing:  

  • Spell words containing each of the 40+ phonemes including days of the week and common exception words. 

  • Name the letters of the alphabet and distinguish between letter names and letter sounds.  

  • Understand and apply simple spelling rules including adding -s or -es.  

  • Correctly form lower-case letters, capital letters, and digits 0-9 starting and finishing in the right place.   

  • Compose sentences orally before writing, sequencing their sentences to form short narratives, re-read what they have written to check that it makes sense and read aloud their writing clearly enough to be heard by their peers and the teacher.   

  • Punctuate sentences with a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark and use capital letters at the beginning of a sentence and for the names of people, places, days of the week and the personal pronoun ‘I’.   

  • Use finger spaces between words.  

  • To use joining clauses to extend their ideas such as and, because or but.   

 

 

Year 2 

  • To use a range of spelling strategies including knowledge of word families, common prefixes and suffixes and the ability to recognise smaller words within words, to aid their spelling.   

  • To form letters of regular size and shape, using a neat, cursive script and to know some of the grammatical features of written Standard English.  

  • To read more complex texts, learning the connection between punctuation and sentence structure, intonation and emphasis and using inference and deduction skills to make comparisons and draw conclusions from reading a range of texts.   

  • To use a thesaurus and dictionary confidently to check spellings and make wider word choices   

  • To use exclamation marks, speech marks and commas appropriately in their work.  

  • To develop proof-reading and editing skills to make them more independent writers.  

  

Year 3 

In Year 3, children develop their love of reading as ‘set texts’ are introduced, which are shared as a class and around which a variety of topic work is built up. Texts will vary each year depending on the interests of the children and the topics covered.  

Some examples are:  

  • Traditional Tales and Fables 

  • Mama Panjas Pancakes 

  • Beowulf  

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl  

  • The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl 

  • Poetry by A.A. Milne 

  

Key skills covered in Year 3 are:  

  • To develop creative and non-fiction writing through a variety of genre, such as letters and poems, playscripts, diaries, reports and descriptive writing.  

  • To develop fluency and expression, gaining a greater knowledge of phonic skills to decode words.  

  • To understand and use nouns, adjectives, verbs, question marks, speech marks, plurals, speech marks, adjectival phrases  

  • To develop the ability to proof-read.  

  • To refine cursive handwriting.

Prep

Year 4 

As in Year 3, texts will vary each year depending on the interests of the children and the topics covered. Some examples are:   

  • 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 covered are:  

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

  • Grammar and Punctuation: Verbs, adverbs, verb tenses, plurals, proof reading, speech marks, proof reading, speech marks, apostrophes, conjunctions, prepositions.  

  • Creative writing, including, for example, myths and legends, poetry, plays.  

  • To understand inference and give reasons for answers.  

  • To read fluently and expressively, widening their understanding of a variety of genres.  

  

Year 5 

Set texts are chosen each year from titles such as:   

  • 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:  

  • Poetry: focussing on personification, alliteration, rhyme, simile, metaphor, assonance; performance poetry; Classical and narrative poetry  

  • Non-fiction writing: instructions, Biographical Recount, Newspaper Report, Letter & Diary Writing  

  • Prose writing: Story writing with the focus on character development, strong openings and endings, stories ‘with a twist’.   

  • Grammar covered includes: developing complex sentences, subject and predicate, homophones, revision of parts of speech, speech marks.   

  • Spelling – revisit basic rules and learn a variety of pre and suffixes.   

  • Reading fluently and with understanding, including higher level inference. In Year 5, we begin to learn how to approach formal comprehension papers.   

  

Year 6 

Set texts are chosen each year from titles such as:   

  • Dirty Beasts by Roald Dahl 

  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare 

  • Skellig by David Almond   

  • Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian 

  • The Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling 

  

Key skills covered:  

  • To develop a higher level of understanding of inference, being able to answer formal comprehension papers independently including answering in their own words and incorporating quotations in their answers.  

  • Creative writing will focus on developing powerful settings that grab the reader’s attention, beginnings and endings, how to convey the feelings of the narrator, use of senses in creating atmosphere, how to develop plot and theme, (how to use memory in story writing), creating tension, diary writing, stories with time shifts  

  • Revision of parts of speech and use of a variety of punctuation, including hyphens. Spelling follows a structured programme. All rules are revisited and tested through regular dictations.  

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

  

Year 7 

Set texts are chosen each year from titles such as:   

  • Boy by Roald Dahl 

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare 

  • The Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling 

  • War Horse by Michael Morpurgo  

  

Key skills covered:  

  • Creative writing: using ‘conflict’ in story writing; stories with a twist; descriptive writing; diary writing and poetry writing. Off campus visits to museums and inspiring places used as inspiration.  

  • Poetry: irony, sonnets, introducing iambic pentameter, developing poetry comprehension through the understanding of a variety of poetic techniques.  

  • Non-fiction: persuasive writing, newspaper writing, biographical writing, reviews, speech writing, adverts, letters and articles.  

  • Grammar: pronouns, prepositions, direct speech, apostrophes, parts of speech, complex sentences, clauses. Higher level punctuation such as colons, semi colons, ellipsis and multiple commas. Spelling – continue to follow a structured programme of revision and adding in new words along with regular dictations.  

  

Year 8 

Set texts are chosen each year from titles such as:   

  • 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 covered (in addition to revision):   

  • Creative writing: Descriptive writing using evocative language, writing in the 2nd person, writing in the future tense, (writing for the reader), varying sentence openings and closings, autobiographical writing. Poetry is performed.  

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

  • Poetry: metre, (iambic pentameter), simile, metaphor, structure, poetic devices and their effects  

  • Grammar: Punctuation conventions in poetry/letters, using quotations, correct usage of colons and semi-colons.   

  

Contribution to Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education  
English develops SMSC in a wide variety of ways, including:  

  • Developing creativity through imagination, language, perseverance, collaboration, risk-taking, spontaneity  

  • Reading a wide variety of texts from different cultures  

  • Exploring moral dilemmas of characters in stories  

  • Exploring religious ideas in texts  

  • Encouraging the children to see the world in a different way, such as through poetry, and so discover new meanings and insights  

  • Developing aesthetic appreciation through links to art and music.  

  • Teaching the children to work collaboratively  

  • Helping children to explore moods and how these are created in writing  

  • Sharing non-fiction texts on themes that are in the news and media  

  • Performing poetry to different audiences  

01284 754654

South Lee School, Nowton Road, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 2BT, UK

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