St Philip Neri’s English Curriculum
At St Philip Neri, we believe that literacy and communication are key life skills and that it is our role, through the English curriculum, to help children develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively with the world at large, through spoken and written language. Through a love of reading that is embedded within our school, we strive to help children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety.
Aims and Objectives:
As a school, we aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping children with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading both across the curriculum and at home. We aim to ensure that all pupils:
- 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
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
In all Key Stages a range of genres are taught, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Along with discrete English units, cross-curricular writing opportunities are used as often as possible.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS):
Throughout Key Stages 1 and 2, we teach spelling lessons that focus on specific spelling rules and patterns. Pupils are tested on these in weekly spelling tests that are made up of a combination of seen and unseen words.
Punctuation and grammar is taught in discrete lessons and is embedded in the teaching of writing. Different objectives are taught, in line with National Curriculum requirements. In addition to this, revision or extension of skills is targeted within each class to ensure that all pupils are making progress at their level.
Reading is taught through guided reading lessons, in addition to being an integral part of all writing teaching. Pupils read a range of fiction and non-fiction texts that are appropriate for their level of comprehension. Activities are planned to support understanding of the text and to develop pupils’ skills in decoding, predicting, questioning, clarifying, imagining and summarising.
We believe that a joint approach between school and home is optimal for cultivating both skills and passion for reading, and pupils take books home to read with family members.
For more information on the specific teaching of reading, see Phonics and Reading.
Spellings are sent home to learn weekly. These include a mixture of spellings using the taught spelling pattern and irregular or high frequency words from the National Curriculum at the appropriate year group.